Third Man Records and Blue Note Records are proud to announce the 313 Series Partnership, showcasing five milestone albums from the Blue Note catalog representing some of the finest work recorded by Detroiters (or recorded in the city), specially chosen for re-release by Blue Note Records President – and Detroiter – Don Was. The 313 Series Partnership will include such classic Blue Note titles as Thad Jones’ Detroit-New York Junction (1956), Donald Byrd’s Electric Byrd (1970), and Elvin Jones’ Genesis (1971), …as well as a first-ever vinyl reissue of Kenny Cox and The Contemporary Jazz Quintet’s Multidirection (1969) and a first-ever vinyl release of Grant Green’s Live at Club Mozambique (1971). All five 180 gram vinyl releases in the Third Man / Blue Note 313 Series Partnership are newly remastered from the original tapes at Third Man’s Detroit mastering and pressing facility, where sound and mastering engineer Warren Defever and the Third Man team worked to ensure the closest possible approximation of the magic found on the original masters. Exclusive limited-edition color variants will be available via Third Man, Blue Note and at indie record stores, with 313 copies available per variant.
Thad Jones’ Detroit-New York Junction and Donald Byrd’s Electric Byrd will be available on July 21, followed by Elvin Jones’ Genesis and Kenny Cox and The Contemporary Jazz Quintet’s Multidirection on September 22. Finally, Grant Green’s Live At Club Mozambique will be released on November 3. Pre-orders are available now. An exclusive new video celebrating the Third Man / Blue Note 313 Series Partnership is streaming now at YouTube.
“There’s no better way for us to celebrate the abundance of Detroit talent on the Blue Note roster than this 313 collaboration with our hometown brothers and sisters at Third Man Records,” says Blue Note Records President Don Was. “Spin your turntables, close your eyes, and listen as the sweet analog sounds of Detroit Jazz roll thru your mind like the cool, clear waters of the River Rouge.”
Detroit and New York City have long held a mutual respect, both known for a similar outlook on authenticity. Third Man Records and Blue Note Records share this esteem as well a commitment to integrity regarding the musical legacies of their home cities. The five albums in the Third Man / Blue Note 313 Series Partnership highlight the best of the Motor City – innovative sounds, incredible playing and that inexplicable something you know is real. From the beautiful compositions by Kenny Cox and the Contemporary Jazz Quintet to the psychedelic funk of Donald Byrd, it is impossible to pigeonhole the Detroit sound but the current running through these recordings affirm just why the musical legacy from the 313 area code remains beloved around the world.
Thad Jones – trumpet
Billy Mitchell – tenor saxophone
Tommy Flanagan – piano
Kenny Burrell – guitar
Oscar Pettiford – bass
Shadow Wilson – drums
Recorded at Audio Video Studios, New York, NY 1956. Produced by Alfred Lion.
It would be difficult to overstate the importance of the Jones brothers Thad, Hank and Elvin on the world of jazz. Between the three of them, their performances can be heard on thousands of recordings, including legendary sessions recorded with some of the greatest artists. Post-War Detroit was taking notes on the new sounds of jazz coming into favor and the group of former Detroiters on this album include some of its most virtuosic students. Thad Jones, (although he was technically from nearby Pontiac, MI) on trumpet, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Tommy Flanagan on piano and Billy Mitchell on saxophone. Jones’ first for Blue Note from 1956 stands as a fantastic sounding announcement that the Detroiters had landed in New York and were about to take off. Also featuring greats Shadow Wilson on Drums and Oscar Pettiford on Bass; Detroit - New York Junction, a long sought after rarity and a testament to the importance of Detroit on the evolution of jazz music through Blue Note Records.
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DONALD BYRD – ELECTRIC BYRD (1970)
Donald Byrd – trumpet
Bill Campbell – trombone
Frank Foster – tenor saxophone, alto clarinet
Jerry Dodgion – alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute
Lew Tabackin – tenor saxophone, flute
Pepper Adams – baritone saxophone, clarinet
Hermeto Pascoal – flute
Duke Pearson – electric piano
Wally Richardson – guitar
Ron Carter – bass
Mickey Roker – drums
Airto Moreira – percussion
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1970 by Rudy Van Gelder. Produced by Duke Pearson.
The experimentations taking shape in music at the end of the 60’s with Miles Davis leading the pack pushed jazz in many new directions. Released six months after Bitches Brew, Electric Byrd shows renowned Detroit hard bop trumpet player Donald Byrd was listening to, but not necessarily following concurrent paths. Backed by a diverse group of players including several hard bop legends with Brazilians Moreira and Pascoal lending a fresh sound. Shimmering percussion, wind instruments and electric piano and guitar set the backdrop for Byrd’s dramatic flight into a psychedelic space with his echo-laden trumpet blasts. The LP concludes with a classic funk number that foreshadows the gold he would soon mine with the Mizell Brothers on his string of hit records recorded shortly after. An important glimpse of an artist in transition and an astounding album.
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KENNY COX AND THE CONTEMPORARY JAZZ QUINTET – MULTIDIRECTION (1969)
Kenny Cox – piano
Charles Moore – trumpet
Leon Henderson – tenor saxophone
Ron Brooks – bass
Danny Spencer – drums
Recorded at GM Recording Studio, East Detroit, MI 1969 by Jim Bruzzese. Produced by Francis Wolff.
Detroit has a long tradition of being the farm team for the Big Apple jazz big leagues, but just as important is the acknowledgement of local stars who left their mark on the city by staying and releasing amazing music in Detroit. Kenny Cox and the Contemporary Jazz Quintet is one such group that could have and definitely should have had a wider audience in their day, but their recorded legacy continues to grow in estimation. A comprehensive group with no weak links, the compositions and playing on this record show the incredible talent and innovation that was brewing in Detroit before, during and after Motown locked its doors in the Motor City.
Of note is group member Charles Moore, an important figure in the jazz and arts scene in Detroit and founding member of an underground art and music co-operative called the Detroit Artist Workshop. A great musician and composer in his own right, Moore and group leader Cox composed all the material on Multidirection. Cox described it as “more of an orchestral-type effort than just a combo per se” in the original release liner notes by Nat Hentoff. Both were integral in the future DIY jazz universe by co-founding the highly influential Strata Records. But before embarking on that journey, his group recorded two timeless works for Blue Note Records. Often the best albums shine brightest as a whole with new dimensions to discover during each listen. This exciting first-ever vinyl reissue is certain to provide the listening experience with the best possible platform.
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ELVIN JONES – GENESIS (1971)
Elvin Jones – drums
Joe Farrell – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Dave Liebman – tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Frank Foster – tenor saxophone, alto flute
Gene Perla – bass
Recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 1971 by Rudy Van Gelder. Produced by Francis Wolff & George Butler.
Elvin Jones, one of the true great drummers in jazz, recorded this album in 1971 after having led his own band for several years following his immortal work with the John Coltrane Quartet. This unique recording has a spacious feel with plenty of room for the players to work out the melodic compositions created by the members of the group. At times the recording creates an almost cinematic space, yet always propelling forward into unexpected territory. No pandering to contemporary tastes at this date or following trends, this is a fine example of mature musicians given the freedom to create their own vision and place in time. Frank Foster, Joe Farrell, and Dave Liebman’s instruments intertwine in a spellbinding way with many opportunities to showcase Jones’ incredible virtuosity as a drummer and band leader.
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GRANT GREEN – LIVE AT CLUB MOZAMBIQUE (1971)
Grant Green – guitar
Clarence Thomas – soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone
Houston Person – tenor saxophone
Ronnie Foster – organ
Idris Muhammad – drums
Recorded live at Club Mozambique, Detroit, MI 1971 by Ed Greene. Produced by Francis Wolff.
Grant Green’s near perfect slice of jazz funk and soul, Live at Club Mozambique, is finally available on vinyl, remastered and rendered back in the Motor City. Grant Green’s band had been playing a series of live dates at Detroit’s Club Mozambique, (before it became a fabled male dance club) when this session was recorded live on two cold January nights in 1971. Powerhouse drummer Idris Muhammad and soulful tenor star Houston Person were brought in to supplement Green’s current band featuring Ronnie Foster on organ and Clarence Thomas on soprano and tenor sax. This treasure remained in the Blue Note vaults for 35 years before a 2006 CD release. Sounding incredibly fresh, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more real stamping of Grant Green at the top of his game. Hypnotic and wild funk, such as the cover of local hit “Jan Jan” by the Fabulous Counts, contrasts with laidback renditions of early 70’s soul favorites like “Walk on By,” “Patches,” and “One More Chance” by the Jackson 5. Live at Club Mozambique captures the magic of hearing a fantastic band effortlessly doing their thing in a small club while the audience unwinds after a long work day. Green pulls it all together with his melodic genius and perfect delivery. No pretensions, just Green and company burning up the stage with unmistakable chemistry on what might be the ultimate jazz funk time capsule.