Gene Russell - New Direction
The first album released from the most sought-after label, bar none, among jazz collectors! Black Jazz was started by keyboardist/producer Gene Russell for Dick Schory's Ovation Records. Active only from 1971 to 1975, and reputed to be the first jazz label started by an African-American since Sunshine Records in 1921, Black Jazz sought to expand minds as well as hearts, releasing spiritual, socially conscious music that explored such burgeoning genres of the era as funk, soul jazz, and free jazz. Real Gone Music kicks off its Black Jazz reissue campaign with the very first record the label released, entitled, fittingly, New Direction, and performed by label founder Russell. Oft-bootlegged, with original copies commanding princely sums, New Direction, while a fairly straight-ahead piano trio outing, sets the tone for the entire label with its modal and soul jazz flourishes, and features such sidemen as double bassist Henry 'The Skipper' Franklin and drummer Steve Clover. Co-produced by Real Gone's own Gordon Anderson and jazz reissue specialist Zev Feldman, Real Gone's reissue includes the distinctive original Black Jazz album art along with new liner notes by Pat Thomas, the author of Listen Whitey! The Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975. Transparent clear with heavy black swirl vinyl limited to 1500 copies worldwide. Pressed at Gotta Groove Records for Record Store Day.
1. Black Orchid 2. Hitting the Jug 3. Willow Weep for Me 4. Listen Here 5. On Green Dolphin Street 6. Silver's Serenade 7. My Cherie Amour 8. Making Bread