I love writing about long out-of-print LPs that have never been released on CD or CDs that have gone out of print. Now that the CD era is being eclipsed by MP3s, here are some I’d like to see back in print. I’ll do one artist at a time.
I’ll start with the A’s and the first on my list is George Adams. There are two out-of-print GA titles on my want-to-buy list. At least one of them, Nightengale, was released on Blue Note back in 1988. Much of the Blue Note label’s 80’s output is out-of-print and I’ve never been able to track this one down. It actually was released on CD.
The other title on my list is Rip Off, which my notes say was released on the JVC label in the 1980s, but this one is not listed in the All Music Guide. I suspect it was a Japanese issue only or I made an error.
Toshiko Ashiyoki. One on my “want to buy, but out of print” list. It is called “Dedications” and it was released, according to my records, in 1977 on the Inner City label. Inner City came and went before I got into jazz, but from what I understand it was primarily a reissue label of titles on the Steeplecase label or Japanese labels. As far as I know “Dedications” never popped up on CD.
Still on the A’s. I have one out-of-print, never-released-on-CD title from bop pianis Joe Albany called, appropriately enough, “Proto-Bopper”. According to my notes, it was released on LP back in 1972 on the Revelation label, which I’m not familiar with. As far as I know the LP has never been released on CD.
Still on the A’s. The American Jazz Orchestra, “Ellington Masterpieces”, from 1988 on the East West label. This one made it to CD, but is long out of print as far as I know. The AJO was an orchestra that played at Cooper Union in the 1980s/early 1990s and was run by critic Gary Giddins and John Lewis, of Modern Jazz Quartet fame or infamy depending on how you feel about the MJQ. I believe the East West label was an imprint run by Nesudi Ertugan, brother of Ahmet, who ran (and founded) Atlantic Records. I missed this one on original release and have never found it in a used CD store.
Today we tackle Gene Ammons, aka Jug. The two LPs that as far as I know have never made it to CD that are on my want-to-buy list are “Dig ‘Em” on Argo and “Together Again for the Last Time” on Prestige. Argo, which was the jazz subsidiary of the legendary blues label Chess, has been ill served by its corporate parent, which I believe is Universal (which also owns the Verve catalog). In any event, not much has been released on Argo at least in this country.
Why the Prestige title hasn’t made it to CD I’ll never know since the Fantasy/OJC folks released a ton of material on compact disc, including numerous Ammons titles. This side, from 1973, late in Ammons’ career, looks like a killer side. Sonny Stitt, who is also on the out-of-print Argo side, joins Ammons here. And the Prestige LP also includes the hard-swinging pianist Junior Mance. It is a real puzzle why this one never came out on CD considering how deep the Fantasy/OJC went into their catalog in their CD reissue program.
Two Curtis Amy titles are on my “out of print/want to buy” list. The first is “Mustang”, a 1966 session released on Verve that, to the best of my knowledge, hasn’t yet made it to CD even though Verve has gone deep into its catalog. The other title is “Sounds of Broadway, Sounds of Hollywood” on the Palomar label, a label I have never heard of. I learned of both of these titles from reading the liner notes of one of Amy’s releases on the Fresh Sound label.
One title I’ve long wanted is Chris Anderson’s “Inverted Image”, a session from 1961 on the Jazzland label. This is another one controlled by the Fantasy/OJC people that didn’t get released on compact disc. Anderson is a pianist with a cult reputation, mostly because Herbie Hancock, at the inchoate stage of his career, studying with him. When Anderson would gig in NYC and you would usually see a bevy of jazz pianists in the audience.
Next up is Count Basie’s “16 Men Swinging” on the Verve label. As far as I know this one never made it to CD. This is somewhat surprising since Verve has gone deep into its catalog in the CD era and this is good session from a well-known artist.