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Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series All-Analog 180g Vinyl LP Mastered by Kevin Gray Directly from the Original Master Tapes and Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
The Classic Vinyl Reissue Series is the continuation of Blue Note’s acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series, which was created in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Blue Note Records in 2019. The series presents affordable, high-quality reissues in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio and manufactured on 180g vinyl at Optimal Media in Germany. The pressings are all-analog whenever an analog source is available, with Gray mastering directly from the original master tapes.
Blue Note Records has recorded the legends of Jazz and has traced the entire evolution of the music from the early days of Boogie Woogie, Hot Jazz and Swing, through the innovations of Bebop, Hard Bop, Post-Bop, Soul Jazz, Avant-Garde, and 70s Fusion, and into the vibrant sounds of Jazz’s many modern-day incarnations. The Classic Vinyl Series is curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman and is broad in its scope. The series reissues the best-known Blue Note classics from the 1950s and 60s, but also goes deeper, exploring the many different eras and styles of the legendary label’s eight-decade history with the aim of telling their story and fully representing the Blue Note motto: The Finest In Jazz Since 1939.
Herbie Hancock debuted on Blue Note in 1962 and quickly established himself as both a remarkable pianist and a brilliant composer with three excellent albums – Takin’ Off, My Point Of View, and Inventions & Dimensions – before making what is widely considered to be his first masterpiece: Empyrean Isles. Recorded in 1964, the album seemed to distill the full breadth of Hancock’s artistry into a sweeping 35-minute musical journey. Joining Hancock on the voyage were three of his closest collaborators: trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and Hancock’s Miles Davis Quintet bandmates Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums.
Each of the four distinctive original pieces Hancock composed for the date occupies its own unique space. The quartet launches into the album opener “One Finger Snap” which consists of a single opening line that leads directly into blistering improvisations by Hubbard and Hancock. The first side concludes with the beguiling “Oliloquy Valley” which conjures a mysterious and mystical vibe. The flipside leads off with one of Hancock’s most enduring themes, “Cantaloupe Island,” with its undulating groove and unforgettable melody, before moving into a more exploratory realm with “The Egg,” an expansive 14-minute epic that flirts with the avant-garde and gives ample space for the musicians to let their imaginations run wild.
Herbie Hancock, piano
Freddie Hubbard, cornet
Ron Carter, bass
Anthony Williams, drums
• Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series
• All analog 180g vinyl LP
• Mastered by Kevin Gray directly from the original master tapes
• Manufactured at Optimal in Germany
• Standard packaging