Review: One of Baker's most iconic, enduring albums enjoys a reissue. Written and recorded two years after his debut with Vido Musso and as many years before he hit Hollywood and heroin, Chet's debut album is laced with his lullaby dulcets and a sombre, spacious musicianship that creates a bubble that somehow sits both in and ahead of its time. Regarded as one of his most important pieces of work and accepted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001, while it's clearly Chet at his youngest and purest, scratch the surface (both sonically and with the art of hindsight) and his barbed future is softly embedded in the album's DNA.
Review: Despite being 57 years old, Charles Mingus's 1959 full-length Mingus Ah Um still sounds incredibly fresh. It's rightly regarded as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, an accolade based not only on the consistently high quality of the tracks, but also their musical variety. So, while "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" and "Self Portrait in Three Colours" are traditionally melancholic, down-tempo jazz explorations, the album also contains the gospel-influenced rush of "Better Git In Your Soul", the high-octane Duke Ellington tribute, "Open Letter To Duke", and the atmospheric late night blues of "Pussy Cat Dues". Thanks to the excellent re-mastering work audible on this vinyl reissue, Mingus Ah Um has never sounded so good.