JJ Johnson and Kai Winding on A&M/CTI

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rbisherw

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Does anyone know why the fantastic LPs of Kai and Jay has never been released on CD?

I absolutely love these albums.
 

Rudy

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It's not ideal, but titles like these would be smart for Universal to sell as downloads. I don't think they bother releasing anything on CD unless they expect it to sell in decent numbers, especially today. The advantage of downloads is that there are no production, manufacturing, mastering and distribution costs involved.

It doesn't help that labels are also run by bean counters and not music people anymore...
 

!!goingplaces!!

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Does anyone know why the fantastic LPs of Kai and Jay has never been released on CD?

I absolutely love these albums.
I so agree with that, Israel & Betwixt & Between are fantastic entries in the duo's discography. There are also many other titles from the A&M CTi series that haven't and likely will ever see a release on CD, I'm lobbying right by your side to see these albums get an updated release. Stonebone needs to be added to the mix as well..
 

LPJim

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One of my A&M fantasy reissues is a 2-disc set by J&K. It would include ISRAEL, BEWIXT & BETWEEN and STONEBONE. There may be additional tunes that weren't included on the LPs.

JB
 

Captain Bacardi

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As big of fan of both Kai Winding and especially J.J. Johnson that I am, these albums did very little for me, except for Stonebone, which is quite good. The other two LPs have one good song each, then the rest is pretty much elevator drivel. Creed Taylor's excessive use of strings really killed a lot of these CTi albums. I much prefer the albums they did on other labels, which are soooo much better. That said, I would buy them if they came out on CD, being the complete-ist I am, but that's just not realistic. The market is just not there.

I could see a limited box set of all the A&M/CTi albums. That would probably make more sense than individual releases.

A lot of these LPs have been reissued on Verve's Original series. Many are available on CD and/or downloads already. I know the George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Tamba 4 and Paul Desmond titles are available. I believe one of the Roger Kellway Cello Quartet albums are also available.


Capt. Bacardi
 

Rudy

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I agree there. The overbearing string arrangements on some of these albums does wear thin after a while. I can handle the strings on Jobim's Wave, but I've always found many of those Wes Montgomery tracks to be in very poor taste. It buries his playing.
 

Dave

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CD-reissues for Jazz Greats such as these & many others are simply things--especially when the genre reached this era--that went amiss...

One such example is my favorite Gabor Szabo album, Magical Connection, to me, referred to as Szabo '70... There were songs such as "Down On The Corner" and "Feelin' Alright", which I can only imagine could have sounded but it would have meant a double album at the time (a rather expensive proposition) or just a One-Filled-Side of a successor, lacking good material for a legitimate second release...

Hence, along came the still-good collaboration with Bobby Womack... Tapes are then left to biodegrade no matter how well-kept, if along comes the debacle of songwriting credits & musicians receiving proper royalties & just plain getting their dues... Time is simply not good to these sorts of things as it is, and the market, as well, still not favoring jazz in the grand old way it did when that earliest-form of American music had just started...

So does another reason stands that a number of things are left in a state of "what might have been": The heirs to these performers estate or lack of, if not able participation from anyone to mediate or control the efforts of past releases & put out the unreleased... In short, what would truly make A Perfect World...!


-- Dave
 
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Harry

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With the testimony from the Captain and Rudy that there are "overbearing strings", I decided I might like ISRAEL and BETWIXT & BETWEEN and have found reasonable-looking copies on eBay. They've arrived but I haven't yet given them a spin. All of the things about the Wes Montgomery's and the Walter Wanderley's that people seem to hate are the things that make the albums palatable to me. I LIKE the string arrangements.

Harry
 

Rudy

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I like some string arrangements in general (I like what Claus Ogerman did on Diana Krall's The Look of Love album, for example), but when the strings overpower the rest of the music, it sounds awkward to me. Especially that phony baroque sounding backing to Wes Montgomery on some of his tracks--he sounds like a guest artist on his own records! If you listen to some of Wes's Verve albums with a brass section backing him up, compared to what happened at A&M/CTi, there is a big difference.

I like the title track "Israel". It was on that Audio Master Plus Vol. 1 sampler. But I don't recall there being strings on it.
 

Captain Bacardi

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The song "Israel" was indeed without strings and clearly the best track of the album. Betwixt wasn't quite as heavy on strings and was a better album than Israel. I did like the little classical chorals in between some songs. But it still wasn't as good as their albums on other labels.
 

Harry

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I fully respect your opinions, but for me, it's a little like Gene Siskel's movie reviews. Almost invariably, if he hated it, I loved it.

Harry
 

Dave

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The Jobim albums used the strings the best & for that matter, so did Walter Wanderley--though the latter was into vocal chorus's...

I never really minded anything with or without strings (ie Montgomery, et al) in any case--I liked just about everything A&M/CTi...


-- Dave
 

Harry

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Right. Another set of CTi albums that I like, and that also have prevalent strings.

Harry
 

Rudy

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I fully respect your opinions, but for me, it's a little like Gene Siskel's movie reviews. Almost invariably, if he hated it, I loved it.

Harry

That's how we roll here. :D It's not the Corner if we don't all have our different opinions on the music. :wink:
 

rbisherw

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I keep checking this thread hoping for some "good news" on releases.

Oh well, I can only keep hoping.
 

Bobberman

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With the testimony from the Captain and Rudy that there are "overbearing strings", I decided I might like ISRAEL and BETWIXT & BETWEEN and have found reasonable-looking copies on eBay. They've arrived but I haven't yet given them a spin. All of the things about the Wes Montgomery's and the Walter Wanderley's that people seem to hate are the things that make the albums palatable to me. I LIKE the string arrangements.

Harry
I Like the string arrangements too. And i was raised on what they call " Muzak " or Elevator Music. And i am fortunate to own all my favorite A&M/CTI albums on cd ( whatever i could find of them.) A string orchestra with a Nice Rock or Jazz Beat. Along with great arrangements to me make for Great Listening.
 

Moritat

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The best tune of any K & JJ lp on A&M was "Israel". What a great solo by Herbie Hancock! They should have allowed more straight ahead jazz arrangements like this on more selections. Instead they went with strings and less improvisation. I liked these K & JJ lps but didn't exactly embrace them. The best use of strings on the A&M jazz line was the Wes Montgomery lps. I think A&M, Verve and several other record companies felt that adding strings to jazz arrangements somehow made an lp more commercial or palatable to the public and in turn would increase sales. If this is true, then I never understood why. I think when strings are creatively added to one or two selections on a jazz lp, it can really work well as it gives diversification to the album. For me this works better than having string arrangements on every (or nearly every) tune.
 
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