Review: It's not hyperbole to suggest that "A Love Supreme" is not only amongst a handful of jazz records that everyone should own, but also one of the greatest albums of all time. As this weighty vinyl reissue proves, it's lost none of its charm. The four-part suite is undoubtedly Coltrane's masterpiece: a deeply spiritual album that saw the virtuoso saxophonist add sublime solos to a backing track that combines elements of modal jazz, hard bop, avant-garde jazz, free jazz, post-bop and modal jazz. It says a lot about Coltrane's quality - and that of his assembled players - that it was recorded in a single day in December 1964. Basically, it's brilliant and there should be a copy in everyone's record collection.
Review: Jazzman's dusty-fingered diggers recently did a deal to reissue some of the "holy grail" albums released by Austin-based Fable Records in small numbers back in the early 1970s. Forty Seven Times Its Own Weight's "Cumulo Nimbus" is the first of these. It's a pleasingly warm and evocative set of tracks from the one-album combo that offers an enjoyable and cutting edge fusion of hard-wired jazz-funk, post-modal fusion, horizontal slow jams and low-slung goodness that pairs free-jazz style solos and spiritual grooves with just the right amount of funk-fuelled instrumentation (see "Jig"). The set includes both dancefloor-friendly and laid-back fare, with the jaunty title somehow managing to tick both boxes at once.
Review: For the 30th volume in the label's ongoing "holy grail" series of rare jazz reissues, Jazzman has once again mined the vaults of obscure Texan label Fable Records. Starcrost was a short-lived six-piece whose members included trumpeter Mike Mordecai, the man who founded Fable in part to get the band's music onto wax. Their self-titled 1975 debut album has long been a favorite of crate-digging jazz-funk and soul-jazz heads, so this reissue is long overdue. It features a mixture of sweet and soulful vocal numbers, solo-rich instrumental workouts and heady cuts that throw suitably spiritual influences to the band's fizzing, funk-fuelled take on mid '70s jazz.