Black Jazz Records The Complete Singles CD
Our 2020-2021 release on CD and LP of the 20 albums recorded for the legendarily collectible Black Jazz label was probably the most momentous and successful reissue campaign we at Real Gone Music have ever done. That music recorded 50 years ago could speak so eloquently to the turmoil our society was experiencing during those days of COVID and civic unrest attests to its enduring beauty and the power of its spiritually-tinged message of black empowerment. Ever since we put out the last Black Jazz album, though, we have wrestled with how to create a compilation of this amazingly varied and rich body of work. And then we realized—why not label producer Gene Russell do it for us? Though Russell is long gone, the compositions he selected for the ten singles the label put out give us a ready-made template for a Black Jazz collection. Thus, we’re releasing this 15-track CD with three goals in mind. First, to offer something of a “best-of” for folks new to the label or for those who want a “sampler” (though we highly recommend delving into the complete album catalog). Second, for the completist collectors, we’ve included the unique single edits…with a caveat. On those singles that simply faded out the album track on one side and faded it up on the next, we’ve elected to present the album tracks without interruption to ensure a more seamless listening experience. And, finally, Black Jazz Records: The Complete Singles provides a window into what Gene Russell considered to be the most commercial tracks released by the label. His guesses did not result in financial success for Black Jazz; but there is no questioning the production values and fierce, passionate playing that he and the artist roster brought to every single piece of vinyl the label put out, be it a longplayer or single. It’s quite the artistic legacy; and we at Real Gone are very proud to have had a hand in its reassessment and re-appreciation, which we are hoping this collection only bolsters. Remastered by Mike Milchner at Sonic Vision, with extensive notes by Pat Thomas.