Few jazz followers would think of trumpeter Chuck Mangione and pianist Keith Jarrett as former members of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but in 1966, they both worked in the drummer's classic hard bop unit and the stint gave them needed exposure and helped the pair to develop their own individual voices. With tenor saxophonist Frank Mitchell and bassist Reggie Workman completing the quintet, this particular version of The Jazz Messengers only had the opportunity to record this one excellent live LP (which is currently out of print) but proved to be a worthy successor to their more acclaimed predecessors.
In 2000, Koch reissued Don Covay's two classic mid-'60s albums, Mercy and See-Saw, on one tremendous CD. The term "classic" is thrown around haphazardly in pop music, but these are two sublime records that earn the term, even if they're not as roundly celebrated as platters from Otis Redding or even cult favorite James Carr. Though he racked up a number of singles on the R&B charts, he never had a huge crossover hit, but his music stands as some of the most effervescent, infectious soul of the '60s (not to mention that his vocal style was a clear inspiration to Mick Jagger). What makes his music so remarkable is how it's earthy Southern soul, kicking really hard in its rhythms and with plenty of growl in Covay's voice, but is as nimble, tuneful, and sunny as the sounds coming out of Chicago and Detroit during the mid-'60s. Perhaps that's why he never quite got a huge single – he straddled the two popular sounds without fully being part of either. It may have not resulted in big singles, but it resulted in splendid music. If there's not much difference stylistically between Mercy and See-Saw – they're both pretty much cut from the same cloth – there's also little difference in quality. It's all tremendous, enjoyable, sweet Southern soul. Razor & Tie's Mercy Mercy: The Definitive Don Covay provides the definitive overview, but for a pure concentration of Covay at his peak, this is irresistible and essential.
Features SHM-CD format and the latest 24bit 192kHz remastering. One of our favorite albums from Lee Morgan – a soaringly soulful session that was recorded in the mid 60s, and finally issued by Blue Note at the end of the decade! The vibe here really follows from the lyrically inventive, post-Sidewinder mid 60s Morgan years – with a spirit that's similar to Lee's work on the albums Gigolo or Tom Cat, in a style that mixes in a fair bit more modal and Latin influences to the rhythms.