Albums by Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, and other jazz giants will be reissued March 15 through Concord Music Group’s Original Jazz Classics Remasters series. The releases consist of four LPs, originally recorded by Fitzgerald, Monk, Art Blakey, and Cal Tjader.
Fitzgerald’s album, Ella And Oscar, is a 1975 collaboration with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. Also released is Monk’s Music, a 1957 album by Thelonious Monk featuring ridiculously talented saxophonists Coleman Hawkins and John Coltrane. Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers’ Ugetsu, a 1963 live album recorded at the famous New York jazz joint, Birdland; and The Cal Tjader-Stan Getz Sextet, a 1958 collaboration with acclaimed saxophonist Stan Getz round it off.
One great thing about jazz is that it values collaboration, and this collection of releases gives the impression of this elite cadre of musicians who all knew each other and hung out in the same smoky clubs, and maybe bowled on weekends (who knows?). The band rosters on the re-releases read like a who’s who for the jazz scenes of the early ’60s on the east and west coasts. Every album has been remastered, so perhaps if you listen close enough, you’ll be able to hear every one of Monk’s stifled coughs.