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Keepnews Collection

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The batch of five reissues by Monk, Wes Montgomery, Cannonball, Joe Henderson & Kenny Dorham is the first of a new reissue serie named Keepnews Collection.

From Concord website:

ON MARCH 27TH, THE CONCORD MUSIC GROUP PRESENTS “KEEPNEWS COLLECTION,” A REISSUE SERIES OF CLASSIC ALBUMS PRODUCED BY THE LEGENDARY ORRIN KEEPNEWS

THE SERIES FEATURES FIVE TIME-HONORED TITLES RECORDED BY SUCH TITANS OF JAZZ AS THELONIOUS MONK, WES MONTGOMERY, CANNONBALL ADDERLEY, JOE HENDERSON AND KENNY DORHAM

ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON RIVERSIDE AND MILESTONE

ALL REISSUES, WITH 24-BIT REMASTERING FROM THE MASTER TAPES, INCLUDE ORIGINAL LINER NOTES AND KEEPNEWS’ VOLUMINOUS NEW COMMENTARIES; WHEN AVAILABLE, THE ORIGINAL TRACKS ARE SUPPLEMENTED BY BONUS CUTS FROM THE SESSIONS

On March 27th, the Concord Music Group will unveil its new reissue series, Keepnews Collection, which spotlights classic albums originally produced by the legendary and arguably the most respected of all jazz producers, Orrin Keepnews. The titles were released either on Riverside Records or Milestone Records, two Keepnews labels that documented landmark jazz in the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s.

The collection, remastered in 24-bit from the original master tapes, allows Keepnews to revisit some of his accomplishments as a producer. The series comprises pianist Thelonious Monk’s Plays Duke Ellington (originally released on Riverside in 1955), guitarist Wes Montgomery’s Full House (Riverside, 1957), trumpeter Kenny Dorham’s Jazz Contrasts (Riverside, 1957), alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley’s Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco (Riverside, 1959) and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson’s Power to the People(Milestone, 1969).

In his written introduction to the series, Keepnews notes, “Each [album] is of special importance to me—some because of the initial impact they made, others because they have particular personal meaning or may present a performer whose value has not been fully appreciated.”

Keepnews is a historical figure in jazz, given that he gave Monk the opportunity to fully grow into the titanic figure that he became during his Riverside Records period, in between stints with then-indie Blue Note and his later signing to major-label Columbia. Keepnews is also noteworthy in the nurturing of the careers of such artists as Montgomery and Adderley, destined to be influential and monumental jazz masters.

In the early ‘90s in an interview with Keepnews in his fifth floor office in the Fantasy Records building in Berkeley, California, he said, “I have a feeling that one of the only secrets of my success as a jazz producer is that I’m not a frustrated ex-musician. I’m in no danger of trying to play a solo for an artist. I don’t even have subliminal feelings of competing with the musicians I produce.”

On his office walls, in addition to photos of artists he produced, there were two plaques, one reading “We don’t have to be unrealistic just because we’re a little insane” and the other saying “This business is dangerous for people who don’t know what they’re doing; it’s also dangerous for people who do know what they’re doing—watch me.”

Despite his self-effacing humor, Keepnews has always been well aware of his impact on the jazz legacy. In his Keepnews Collection notes, the producer writes, “For more than a half-century in this incredibly unstable age of jazz activity, I have frequently succeeded in finding, recognizing, coddling, arguing with and collaborating with a great variety of talented and occasionally difficult people. On the whole, I am unreasonably and unshakably proud of the results.”

Following are five snapshots of Keepnews’ portfolio as producer in the Keepnews Collection:

• Thelonious Monk: Plays Duke Ellington

For Monk’s debut Riverside date, Keepnews decided to ease the pianist into what turned out to be his lengthy association with the label by asking him to momentarily set aside his own compositions and instead play Duke Ellington tunes. He did so in the company of the esteemed rhythm section of bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Kenny Clarke. With his distinctively angular style, Monk nails Ellington’s best-known tunes such as “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Mood Indigo” and “Caravan.”

• Wes Montgomery: Full House

Keepnews was responsible for giving Montgomery his first recording deal, thanks to a tip from Cannonball Adderley. The guitarist made a number of albums for Riverside, but Full House tops them all. It’s a live date (recorded in Berkeley, Calif., at Tsubo’s) featuring Miles Davis’ rhythm section comprised of pianist Wynton Kelly, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Jimmy Cobb and augmented by young tenor saxophone firebrand Johnny Griffin. Montgomery fully stretches out on this date. The original six tracks are complemented by five bonus tracks.

• Kenny Dorham: Jazz Contrasts

Dorham’s lyrical trumpeting on ballads and uptempo tunes is showcased on his Riverside debut that also features tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist Oscar Pettiford and drummer Max Roach. Keepnews says, “This is one of my favorite ‘blowing’ albums, ever.” He adds, “There are extremely few jazz trumpeters who reached prominence in the second half of the 20th century who should be ranked any higher than Kenny.” Six tunes from the original are remastered, including three with guest harp player Betty Glamman.

• Cannonball Adderley: Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco

Recorded live at the Jazz Workshop in San Francisco, this hit album captures the bluesy alto saxophonist and his band (featuring brother Nat on cornet and Bobby Timmons on piano) during their triumphant four-week run. It not only wowed the city’s jazz aficionados but also introduced Russian classical composer Dmitri Shostakovich to his first dose of live jazz. These sets arguably gave birth to soul-jazz, as well as put Riverside on the map as a label of renown. The lengthy five tunes of the original release are augmented here by three bonus tracks, including two previously unissued.

• Joe Henderson: Power to the People

The only Milestone release in the Keepnews Collection is Henderson’s brilliant electric and acoustic outing with an incredible band of pianist Herbie Hancock (also on keys), bassist Ron Carter (also on electric bass) and drummer Jack DeJohnette. This marks the first time Power to the People has been issued on CD in its own right, other than having its tunes be included in a boxed set. While the tenor saxophonist never got his true recognition until his latter-day career, he recorded extensively for Milestone, including this third outing that Keepnews says offers “some of the most wonderfully, effectively professional music I have ever been involved with.” The disc features the debut recording of the tenor saxophonist’s classic composition, “Black Narcissus.”

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Shouldn't the musicians matter more than Keepnews? :o

Though he may have been important as a facilitator for the careers of Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball, and Wes Montgomery, I've never been particularly impressed with his "insights" as a liner note writer.

Guy

Edited by Guy

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Now is the time I especially lament Chris A.'s absence from the board.

I'm sure he'd tell us that the series should have been named "Some of the Better Sessions I Held the Stopwatch At".

:g

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I like most of the Keepnews-produced material and can't wait to finally get my hands on Power to the People - it's about damn time that album got issued on CD individually!

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Shouldn't the musicians matter more than Keepnews? :o

RVG matters more than the musicians, too, to many folks... he's "the messenger", you know, without the messenger, no message from the musicians... :crazy:

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It's great these are finally being remastered ... ;)

The Cannonball was reissued by Fantasy on K2-remastered CD and SACD already, the Monk and Wes on K2 CD, and the Dorham was partially in the Sonny Rollins "Freelance Years" box.

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Glad to see that Wes Montgomery title finally seeing the light of day... :rolleyes:

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Yawn. So we also will be expected to buy the 28-bit remasters, the 32-bit remasters, the 36-bit remasters....? Not very creative by Concord here. Could be worse, at least it isn't Blue Note issuing a "Mizell Collection".

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I'm getting a little tired of these non-musician ego-driven reissues. The RVGs on Blue Note were fine, but Keepnews is a stretch. What's next, the Crouch Collection on Columbia?

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Glad to see that Wes Montgomery title finally seeing the light of day... :rolleyes:

. . . in 24-bit. I've been suffering through that scratchy, tinny, ear-drum-assaulting 20-bit K2 long enough. :angry:

:P

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I'm getting a little tired of these non-musician ego-driven reissues. The RVGs on Blue Note were fine, but Keepnews is a stretch. What's next, the Crouch Collection on Columbia?

followed closely by the Matt Pierson collection on Warner Bros. Edited by felser

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Glad to see that Wes Montgomery title finally seeing the light of day... :rolleyes:

. . . in 24-bit. I've been suffering through that scratchy, tinny, ear-drum-assaulting 20-bit K2 long enough. :angry:

:P

I've had this session for years on a mid 1980s Japanese Victor CD- it still sounds great ( as does the version in the Riverside Montgomery Box set)

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There's already going to be a Matt Pierson collection on Mosaic...

Bertrand.

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Oh, come on.

Some of those look pretty good.

Especially if you only have the Wes & Cannonball on crappy old cassettes(like I do).

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Yawn.

Word. Somebody wake me up when there's some actual news from those people. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz..... -_-

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I'm surprised they didn't find a way to shoehorn Cookin' into this batch of reissues. After all, it's been at least a month since it was reissued in its latest incarnation :o

I'll pick up the Henderson, I don't have it but I've been interested in it for awhile

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It is nice to see the Henderson seeing the light and I'll pick up the Dorham, but I don't get the point of of mucking with reissues that have already been K2ed.

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It is nice to see the Henderson seeing the light and I'll pick up the Dorham, but I don't get the point of of mucking with reissues that have already been K2ed.

for the glory of the allmighty ORIN (sic bastard)

Edited by gslade

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It is nice to see the Henderson seeing the light and I'll pick up the Dorham, but I don't get the point of of mucking with reissues that have already been K2ed.

for the glory of the allmighty ORIN (sic bastard)

I'm not sure I'd blame Orin for these. More likely Concord's simply jumping on the marketing gimmick bandwagon that began with Blue Note's RVG series.

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It is nice to see the Henderson seeing the light and I'll pick up the Dorham, but I don't get the point of of mucking with reissues that have already been K2ed.

for the glory of the allmighty ORIN (sic bastard)

I'm not sure I'd blame Orin for these. More likely Concord's simply jumping on the marketing gimmick bandwagon that began with Blue Note's RVG series.

Yes you could be right,

but I won't take it back

I need to vent, this is the thread

Orran Keepnews killed JFK

Orran Keepnews worships the devil

Orran Keepnews is a re-marketer :excited:

oh oh

for splng

Edited by gslade

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Power to the People is a great record. I'll buy the remaster if it is indeed a remaster.

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I'm getting a little tired of these non-musician ego-driven reissues. The RVGs on Blue Note were fine, but Keepnews is a stretch. What's next, the Crouch Collection on Columbia?

followed closely by the Matt Pierson collection on Warner Bros.

Or the Schaap collection on Columbia: Classic albums with the wrong takes.

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KEEPNEWS’ VOLUMINOUS NEW COMMENTARIES

shut the fuck up, orrin.*

edc

* yr book was bad enough (for the most part)

p/s-- what other producsers is he dissin' as 'frustrated musicians'?

i beg of thee bill grauer-- return!!

:g

Nobody can toot their own horn quite like Keepnews. These new voluminous notes should make quite a case for Keepnews central importance in jazz history. :D So far, my two favorite Keepnews moments in liner notes are:

(1) The introduction to the Thelonious Monk Riverside Box, where he characterizes the contents as "all of my work with Monk" as opposed to the other way around.

(2) The liner notes to the Don Byas/Bud Powell disc "A Tribute to Cannonball." Even though Keepnews had nothing to do with the record, he still managed to focus a good part of the notes on himself. (The success of the record is due to Cannonball's excellent production, and, of course, Cannonball learned everything that he knows about producing from Keepnews during his time at Riverside.)

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