Savoy Jazz CDs made in Japan

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Dan Steele, Jul 11, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Didn’t see an open thread on this so scold me if I’m wrong, but recently picked up a few of these and am on a jazz focused exploration of late (I alternate between being classic rock obsessed or jazz obsessed). Very distinctive coloring - purplish back cover with yellow lettering and a burnt red CD, as well as Jasrac on the label and Nippon Columbia on inserts. You can not miss these in the bins! I have discs from the 1991-1992 series and 1993 (will post that list shortly). A few questions to get the discussion started:
    1. Were the 1991-2 series and 1993 series the only years these were issued?
    2. What are people’s favorites? I have two by Curtis Fuller, Imagination and Blues-ette which are basically the Jazztet (Fuller, Golson, Tyner), and these contain fantastic music. For me they foreshadow the groovier Blue Note recordings to come in the early 1960s.
    3. The 3 I own all say Monaural but is that actually true or did they just borrow the labeling from the LP?

    @Trevor_Bartram please join in, I know you started a similar thread on RVG’s passing.

    [​IMG]
     
    Scroller and ispace like this.
  2. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    I can't answer all the questions as the only one I've picked up is the Jay & Kai CD - used bin find of course and I think mine is US made. If you're like me and enjoy the sound of the trombone, it's a good one to get. The recording quality isn't the greatest across every track, but it's not drowned in noise reduction.
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  3. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Here is the list I have from the inserts. I have 2 from the first years release and 1 from the second (Dancing Jazz by Billy Ver Planck Orchestra). Orchestra is not my preferred genre but saw Donald Byrd in the band and it was 99 cents in clearence bin. Also saw the Shelley Manne Deep People in the bins yesterday but passed on it to research first. Noticed it is not on this list (SV-186), so apparently as the bottom note says “the above titles may be changed without any notice to in advance”! Therefore, I would also like to know if someone has a more complete list.

    [​IMG]
     
    pudgym, ClassicalCD and ispace like this.
  4. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    It might be a bit of a slog, but this discogs page may help in some ways at least: Savoy Jazz

    I'd personally love to get the Cecil Payne, GG Gryce, Booker Ervin, Red Rodney & Frank Wess material. Hell throw that Stan Getz in there too.
     
    bluejimbop and Dan Steele like this.
  5. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    I don’t see that in the list I posted, but don’t think my list is anywhere near complete. Can you post a picture? The discs I am specifically referring to look like this:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks Bobby, I was on that yesterday, and I like discogs but not ideal for this search. I am trying to find the complete listings for this 199[1]2-3 series and although you can sort by years in discogs there is a lot of filler. The Gigi Gryce I would like to find, a few more of the Fullers, Hank Jones, there are a lot of good artists here. Surprised to see a Yusef Lateef in the 1993 series. I have seen and heard the Hank Mobley cd but dont own it.
     
    Bobby Boogaloo likes this.
  7. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    By the way, the Jazz Way Out cd by Wilber Harden (SV-0122) is from a 1958 recording and includes an up and coming John Coltrane. Same for the other 2 Harden titles SV124 and 125
     
  8. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    The CD face is similar, only the red is a darker tone & I'm not sure about the monaural notation - I'll have to check next time I'm able and if I can I'll post an image. I noticed after you posted that list that the CD wasn't listed, but Discogs notes there's a Japanese version of it as well. Perhaps the list expanded or they did another series?

    Oh yeah, these were just mentioned over in the Coltrane album by album thread recently. Several posters noted they've never heard these releases, myself included.
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  9. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    I am really curious as to why these CDs don’t get more attention? People tend to crave made in Japan CDs, that first series has some great jazz artists like Curtis Fuller, Art Blakey, Hank Mobley, etc., they don’t seem overly pricey - usually less than $10, but maybe they are still scarce since Savoy isn’t as commonly known a label like Blue Note or Impulse. Throwing a Hail Mary to @princesskiki to see if she has an opinion on these?

    Edit-a Hail Mary is a US football term meaning the game is almost lost, let’s just throw the ball as high and far as possible and hope our receiver comes down with it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    crispi and princesskiki like this.
  10. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    I don’t recall seeing these in stores for very long, and I remember them being pretty cheap at the time. I have a bunch of them and they’re great. I especially like the Sun Ra disc, and the Booker Little one is also terrific.
     
    Dan Steele and Archtop like this.
  11. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    I have six of these, and they only date from 1991-1993. That doesn't definitively answer your first question, but does provide some basis for that being a possibility. Also, the inserts from 1991 don't indicate Nippon Columbia Co., Ltd. Japan on the reproductions of the original back covers but do indicate this on the purple and yellow Denon Digital Remastering page inside the fold. In '92 and '93, this designation appears in both locations.

    I love 'em all:
    1. Wilbur Harden/Coltrane - Tanganyika Strut (most certainly stereo)
    2. Donald Byrd - Byrd's Word (mono)
    3. C. Fuller - Jazz....It's Magic (mono)
    4. The Futuristic Sounds of Sun Ra (most certainly stereo)
    5. Mingus - Jazz Composers Workshop No. 2 (mono)
    6. Yusef Lateef - Prayer to the East (mono)
    I also have Curtis Fuller's Blues-ette and Images on Savoy, but in the Japanese Mini-LP format (I think these came out post '93, but that's long ago enough that I can't be sure).
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  12. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Any chance you meant Booker Ervin? I am struggling to find the Booker Little Savoy title. I do like the Sun Ra Futuristic Sounds as well
     
  13. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks for the info! How is the Yusef Lateef one? Looks like a quintet (my favorite format), has Night in Tunesia (one of my favorite songs) = should be good
     
    Archtop likes this.
  14. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    Well, it's very good, but not over the top great, I guess. Band is:
    • Lateef: Flute and Tenor
    • Wilbur Harden: Fleugelhorn
    • Hugh Lawson: Piano
    • Ernie Farrow: Bass
    • Oliver Jackson: Drums (a name I'm not familiar with, but he does a very serviceable job)
    A Night in Tunisia has a very interesting opening, with (to my ears) Lateef on multi-tracked (and dissonant!) oboe (an instrument he is not credited with here, but has been on other releases) along with gong and percussion. It then proceeds to the usual opening at a rapid tempo and then swings, as is the form.

    Endura is a jazz blues a la Tenor Madness or some similarly-structured Monk blues but it's not Monk...but it is good.

    Prayer to the East Features another gong opening, and then becomes a flute/fleugelhorn duo head. The rest of the track is basically a straight swing with the usual solo trades.

    Love Dance is basically a vampy Latin-influenced number with some interesting, not exactly Roland Kirk flute fluorishes.

    Lover Man is very well played, but as a standard ballad, it's not the best closer.

    Don't break the bank for this one, but for ~$15 +/- it's certainly a good listen to someone who really made a bigger name for himself several years after this 1957 date. By the way, your dog is very cute and like ours, always seems to be carrying a toy around the house even at 12+ years of age.
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  15. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    Well, this is embarrassing... For some reason, I was certain that this was a blue-spine Savoy CD... :hide:

    [​IMG]
     
    JRM, Archtop and Dan Steele like this.
  16. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Great summary, will be on the lookout for it. My favorite Yusef is Live at Pep’s. That opening number Sister Mamie where he plays the shenai is hypnotic. Thanks, dog is a goldendoodle, doesnt always have a toy, but is always near me.
     
  17. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks for clearing that up. Great album and lineup. I really like Pete LaRoca (Turkish Women at he Bath is a little known treasure and of course Basra on Blue Note are two dates of his as leader).
     
    action pact and crispi like this.
  18. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    I have nearly every single one of these releases from Savoy/Denon, bought as they were initially released. I had my then Tower Records jazz buyer (who has become one of the best friends of my life) insure that he got these in and that I had a copy.

    An excellent series. Some I think were Japan only, others were released in the US. There were later releases in newer masterings and LP facsimile format.

    I truly like the sound on these. They are pretty accurately marked mono or Stereo. Some fabulous music.
     
  19. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks Lonson. I was going to PM you and ask for your opinion, in between your Jazz and Conversation thread contributions, but you beat me to it. Do you have a complete listing for the 1991-2 and 1993 series in your database that you could share? And do you have a top 5 list of these?
     
  20. Lonson

    Lonson Don't Get Around Much Anymore

    I don't have a database Dan. . . my collection is half organized and half chaos and I have no electronic record of my holdings.

    Don't have a complete list. . . there must be one out there somewhere, I'll see what's what and report here if I find one. I really am such an omnivorous beast of a jazz collector and don't think in terms of "favorites." I have to say I love the Charlie Parker releases (especially in their 20 bit LP facsimile versions). I knew a few jazz musicians as pen pals in the past and they told me that the original Savoy LPs these meticulously reproduce were their introduction and "Bible" for Bird and I love hearing these configurations. I also really like the RVG sound for Savoy which includes some explosive stereo imaging (for instance Yusef Lateef really explodes out of the speaker in a track on Fuller's "Images" and the albums from the Coltrane/Harden group are marvelous sounding. Lateef is a favorite of mine and those in this series are excellent, especially "Prayer to the East" which has the best instrumental version of "Lover Man" I've heard. I also like the Frank Wess and Frank Foster titles. . . . Another that gets some play is the "Hank Jones Trio" with Wendell Marshall and Kenny Clarke which was recorded the afternoon I was born, and I play all the Cannonball titles and Kenny Clarke titles a lot. Kenny Clarke was the second inspiration that led me to drumming (the first being Tony Williams) and his role as house drummer for Savoy (so to speak) initially got me collecting these as they came out.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    Dan Steele likes this.
  21. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    That counts as a top 5, thanks ! :edthumbs:
     
  22. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    Some of those Bethlehem releases have an almost identical purple spine and back to the '91-'93 Japan Savoys. When I was pulling CDs off my shelf last night to see which Savoys I have, I pulled a couple of Bethlehems off the shelf and had to put them back.
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  23. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Sorry if the size of these is relatively large, but this is the Jay & Kai Savoy CD I have. Denon CD marked as monaural from '92. Music is excellent, IMO.
     
    Dan Steele likes this.
  24. Dan Steele

    Dan Steele Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago suburbs
    Thanks! I just think these discs are beautiful. For me they rival teal colored target CDs like Lef Zeppelin. We must be in the minority though.
     
    Bobby Boogaloo likes this.
  25. Bobby Boogaloo

    Bobby Boogaloo Heavy on the grease please

    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Agreed. I'm hoping to make another trip to the place I got this in the coming weeks with fingers crossed that there's at least another one of these Savoy CDs there - maybe more!
     
    Dan Steele likes this.

Share This Page