Albums by jazz vocalist Mark Murphy and pianist Monty Alexander dropped Friday on vinyl and CD via Edel Germany in partnership with Bob Frank Entertainment.
NEW YORK CITY (13 August 2021): It’s been a special summer for jazz lovers and record collectors and another treat arrived on Friday when MPS Records reissued jazz vocalist Mark Murphy’s “Midnight Mood” and pianist Monty Alexander’s “Montreux Alexander: The Monty Alexander Trio Live! at the Montreux Festival” on vinyl and CD. With these two releases, Germany’s first jazz label that was founded in 1968 by Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer has reissued 31 titles by legendary jazz figures, including Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, The Count Basie Orchestra and George Duke, over the last two months in the US and Canada via Edel Germany in partnership with Bob Frank Entertainment.
A quintessential post-bop jazz singer, Murphy was viewed as underrated and revered as one of the finest jazz vocalists of all-time by many. 1967’s “Midnight Mood” finds the inventive singer who crooned blues, scatted bebop and emoted standards with panache paired with eight members of the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. However, Murphy opens the collection with a mesmerizing a cappella version of Duke Ellington’s “Jump For Joy.” Murphy swings elegantly on “I Don’t Want Nothin’” and he cowrote the cool “Why and How.” His articulate phrasing stands out on “Alone Together” while the ardent “You Fascinate Me So” is a romantic overture. The singer wrote the somber ballad “Hopeless” and “Sconsolato” cha cha’s to an exotic Latin rhythm. Murphy interprets Ira Gershwin beautifully on “My Ship.” “Just Give Me Time” swings to a bossa nova groove. The set closes with Hoagy Carmichael’s poignant and powerful “I Get Along Without You Very Well.”
The Jamaican-born Alexander teams with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton for the 1976 set “Montreux Alexander: The Monty Alexander Trio Live! at the Montreux Festival.” Blues, soul and gospel reign on this stellar jazz trio session that rightfully earned Alexander comparisons with his MPS label mate Oscar Peterson. Alexander’s nimble piano is centerstage on this six-song date anchored by the taut rhythm section with each member of the trio afforded equal time to solo.
Alexander opens with Ahmad Jamal’s “Nite Mist Blues” before going pop on “Feelings.” He swings on the Ellington, Johnny Mercer and Billy Strayhorn standard “Satin Doll” and then shows off his remarkable speed and dexterity on “Work Song.” Blues and gospel intersect on “Drown in My Own Tears.” The disc marches to an unexpected conclusion with a note of whimsy on “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Another tranche of albums from the MPS catalogue will be reissued this fall. For more information and to see what else is coming soon from MPS, please visit https://www.mps-music.com.
Jazz history was forged in the rustic Black Forest of Germany in 1968 when Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer launched MPS and recorded some of the genre’s seminal artists. Legends like Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, The Count Basie Orchestra and George Duke released albums on the prestigious label known for its high-level recording technique and distinctive aesthetic.
About Bob Frank Entertainment
Bob Frank Entertainment (BFE) was formed in 2012 by longtime entertainment business executive and entrepreneur Bob Frank. BFE divisions include Admiral Lane Music Publishing, Bob Frank Distribution (BFD), independent label Red River Entertainment, and Damson Lane Film Production. BFE has teamed with Germany’s Edel to reissue albums in North America from the famed MPS label