Seeking to offer definitive audiophile grade versions of some of the most historic and best jazz records ever recorded, Verve Label Group and UMe’s new audiophile vinyl reissue series Acoustic Sounds will launch July 31 with its inaugural releases – the sensational collaborations, Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s landmark Getz/Gilberto (1964) and the remarkable Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (1959). Utilizing the skills of the top mastering engineers and the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings, all titles will be mastered from the original analog tapes, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and packaged by Stoughton Printing Co. in high-quality tip-on gatefold jackets. The releases will be supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings.
The Acoustic Sounds series will feature two releases a month highlighting a different storied label spanning Verve/UMe’s extraordinarily rich archive. To begin with, the series will largely focus on some of the most popular albums from the ’50s and ’60s in their unmatched catalog. The July releases will celebrate two of Verve’s most beloved albums, the aforementioned Getz/Gilberto and Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson, and will be followed in August by John Coltrane’s immortal Impulse! records, A Love Supreme (1964) and Ballads (1963). Two of Nina Simone’s legendary Philips albums I Put A Spell On You (1965) and Pastel Blues (1965) will come in September which will be succeeded in October by two from the EmArcy Records vault: Sarah Vaughan‘s self-titled 1954 album, the vocal great’s sole collaboration with influential trumpeter Clifford Brown, who is also represented alongside pioneering drummer Max Roach on the hard bop classic, Study In Brown (1955). November will spotlight Decca Records with the iconic Peggy Lee’s first album, Black Coffee (1956), and composer George Russell’s important New York, N.Y. (1959) performed by an all-star orchestra that includes Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Art Farmer and Milt Hinton, among others. All titles and exact release dates are listed below. Additional titles will be announced as the series progresses.
Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson is a brilliant undertaking in which Verve’s legendary “house pianist” encountered one of jazz’s most revered giants. A significant part of Peterson’s genius was his ability to be an exceptional pianist and leader, while also being a perfect accompanist when the circumstance demands… and in a situation like this, to be both. Armstrong is not only recognized as one of the most innovative, singular, fascinating and beloved artists of the 20th century, but also one of the most generous in the way he embraced and stimulated his collaborators. Backed by the Oscar Peterson Trio – bassist Ray Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis, and augmented by frequent fourth member Louis Bellson on drums – these peerless heavyweights created an album that is utterly compelling, radiantly jubilant and consummate in artistry. The musicians provided the setting for the jewel that is Pops, with Peterson perfectly embellishing every phrase Armstrong sings or plays. The focus here is primarily upon his totally personal and thoroughly captivating vocal style, with his occasional trumpet solos limited in all but one case to a single chorus. Essentially culled from the Great American Song Book – Cole Porter, the Gershwins and Harold Arlen among the songwriters – the pieces range from poignant ballads and blues to effusive easy-grooved swing. Each song is an exquisitely crafted gem that will warm the heart and enrich the soul.
Getz/Gilberto is not only a marvelous album, but one which had a profound influence upon the face of jazz and American popular music. This stunning 1964 collaboration between Stan Getz, one of the most popular and respected tenor saxophonists of the era, and the remarkable Brazilian guitarist João Gilberto, launched the bossa nova craze and the career of João’s wife Astrud Gilberto with the hugely popular and iconic hit song, “The Girl from Ipanema (Garota de Ipanema).” Even more impactful, it introduced the famed Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim to the English-speaking musical world. In addition to playing piano on the album, Jobim also composed six of the eight compositions, including two of his most popular masterpieces, “Desafinado” and “Corcovado,” along with the aforementioned “Garota de Ipanema.”
While Getz had embraced the music of Brazil prior to this with two outstanding Verve albums – Jazz Samba and Big Band Bossa Nova – Getz/Gilberto, with multiple Grammy Awards and a permanent place on various Best Albums of All-time lists is the album that launched a revolution. Regardless of that, the collaborative blending of Getz’s fluid, muscular virtuosity and João’s impeccable acoustic guitar stylings and captivating vocals, Astrud’s enchanting almost-whispered singing on two tracks, all backed by Jobim’s minimalist subtlety on piano and the flawless support of Sebãstio Neto and Milton Banana on bass and drums, make this an utterly momentous musical experience regardless of its lofty place in musical history.
Now these albums and many more will be heard better than ever in the exciting new audiophile Acoustic Sounds series.
Acoustic Sounds Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series:
July 31 / Verve Records
- Stan Getz and João Gilberto – Getz/Gilberto (1964)
- Louis Armstrong and Oscar Peterson – Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (1959)
August 28 / Impulse! Records
- John Coltrane – Ballads (1963)
- John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (1964)
September 25 / Philips Records
- Nina Simone – I Put A Spell On You (1965)
- Nina Simone – Pastel Blues (1965)
October 30 / EmArcy Records
- Sarah Vaughan – Sarah Vaughan (with Clifford Brown) (1954)
- Clifford Brown and Max Roach – Study In Brown (1955)
November 27 / Decca Records
- Peggy Lee – Black Coffee (1956)
- George Russell – New York, N.Y. (1959)