Gerald Short, founder of the peerless Jazzman Records, has this week released the third instalment of his Spiritual Jazz series, an ongoing project dedicated to unearthing a trove of awakening and experimental recordings. The third volume picks up were the last left off, officially licensing and reissuing – in most cases for the very first time – a collection of meditative, modal and religious European jazz. The only way to hear these pieces previously was by tracking down the rare, often privately pressed, LPs that occasionally change hands for hundreds of pounds.
This edition includes material from Jef Gilson, Babs Robert, Albert Mangelsdorff Quintet and Full Moon Ensemble, whose ‘Samba Miaou’ is a highlight of the compilation: a powerfully evocative spoken word performance, originally penned by Bob Kaufman, is delivered here by an artist credited only as Sarah on the original 1969 CBS pressing.
Available information about the artists featured on the compilation is thin on the ground, and Jazzman addresses this by including comprehensive liner notes with individual pieces on each included track, and original stories coming directly from the artists themselves. The CD comes with a 16 page colour booklet, and the 180g double vinyl issue is housed in a thick, glossy gatefold sleeve, making this an essential addition to the library of all serious jazz heads.