**THIS IS A VINYL LP**
Release Date: 2023
Label: Contemporary Records (Acoustic Sounds Series)
- Back In The Cage
- The Very Thought Of You
- And Now…
- By Myself
- Too Late Now
Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds are proud to continue the Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series for 2023 with seven album releases from the Contemporary Records catalog, celebrating 70 years of the legendary jazz label. The releases are supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings.
Each title, originally engineered by Roy DuNann and/or Howard Holzer, features all-analog mastering from the original tapes by legendary engineer Bernie Grundman (himself a former employee of the label), as well as unsurpassed audiophile pressing on 180-gram vinyl at Quality Record Pressings, presented in a Stoughton Printing old-style tip-on jacket.
The series highlights gems from Contemporary’s extraordinary catalog and features artists who both defined and expanded the sound of West Coast jazz.
Portrait of Art Farmer is an album by trumpeter Art Farmer featuring performances recorded in 1958 and released on the Contemporary label. It was recorded when Farmer was adjusting to moving from Horace Silver’s band, where he received a high level of rhythmic and harmonic support from the rhythm section, to Gerry Mulligan’s quartet, where there was no piano and only light backing.
The Penguin Guide to Jazz selected the album as part of its suggested Core Collection stating “The rhythm section is beautifully balanced and offers exemplary support to the leader, whose playing summons elegance, fire and craftsmanship in almost perfect accord, with his ballad playing particularly refined”. The Allmusic review called the album “an excellent showcase for trumpeter Art Farmer in the 1950s.”
Founded in 1951 by film producer, screenwriter and record collector Lester Koenig (1917-1977), Contemporary Records became the epicenter of the West Coast jazz scene, while its cutting-edge approach to sound and design attracted some of the era’s most exciting artists. The Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series-which launched in the spring of 2022 with titles by Art Pepper, Barney Kessel and Benny Carter, among others-honors the label’s rich legacy through meticulous reissues that highlight the label’s influential classics, as well as its must-hear rarities.
Since its initial rollout, the series has earned accolades from a slew of outlets, including JazzTimes, which spoke to the impact of the label, reflecting: “Artists, producers, and engineers alike have held Contemporary aloft…as a label dedicated to presenting jazz at its absolute purest, richest, and live-est,” adding that the new reissues “are living, breathing proof of that label’s hotly cutting clarity.” Audiophile Review, meanwhile, marveled at the stereo pressing of Art Pepper + Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics, which it called “top-notch,” elaborating that it sounds “richer and more inviting…deliver[ing] a bit more cinemascopic ‘view’ of the group.” Praising Hampton Hawes’ Four! as “pristine,” Audiophile Audition added, “Kudos to Craft Recordings for re-introducing a brilliant pianist.”