Feature/Interview

Ten vinyl releases from Whirlwind Recordings

Sebastian writes:

Michael Janisch’s label Whirlwind Recordings will be 10 years old in 2020. As a “pre-celebration” the label has launched a special edition of ten issues on vinyl. A pre-order period is about to come to an end later this month.

Multi-coloured vinyl of Walter Smith III’s TWIO

Some are current releases, others are among the label’s more popular releases from the label’s back catalogue which vinyl customers have been emailing the label about and asking to be done in vinyl”, Michael Janisch told us. (The full list with the label’s descriptions is below).

All of the releases are on 180 gram, heavyweight vinyl, and come with download code.” Quality is a watchword, says Janisch: “We use some of the best engineers and lacquer cutters in Europe (like Peter Beckmann) and he has advised us from the get go that in the vinyl business you should never shortchange on quality because Vinyl lovers/collectors for the most part want the highest quality product to have the best possible listening experience. We also make sure that the quality of the vinyl itself only comes from the best plants.” And finally: “In each case, they are the very first LP release for each of these artists.

“Two that are recent releases are In Common and TWIO by Walter Smith III. Rather than just re-printing those, we made a special second pressing. TWIO to be tri-colored vinyl (just like the artwork) and In Common will be on yellow vinyl. Both those first limited edition pressings sold out quite soon after release (or were taken by stores), and there were quite a few emails asking us to reprint those. Both of those will be the last time we print each release on vinyl, as we don’t plan to keep reprinting jobs when they sell out or it loses the special limited edition collector’s item quality.”

THE TEN LP ISSUES FOR WHIRLWIND 10

Lee Konitz – First Meeting: Live in London Volume 1.

Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer, Michael Janisch and Jeff Williams. The initial run, a one-time-only pressing of 300 albums of this double album on purple vinyl is well on the way to selling out. “One of our all-time most popular releases, this new double LP with gatefold artwork features the entire album recorded live in London across 4 sides of music on 180 gram, Purple Vinyl. We are doing a one-time printing of this so order fast as this will certainly become a collector’s item.”

Rez Abbasi – Unfiltered Universe

This was one of the big releases of 2017. We had plenty of interest for this in vinyl. Now we’re happy to offer this limited edition, double LP with gatefold artwork at 180 gram. World-renowned guitarist and composer Rez Abbasi leads an all-star cast featuring Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss, plus guest appearances from renowned classical cellist Elizabeth Mikhael.”

Walter Smith III – TWIO

By popular demand, we are doing a second and final printing of Walter Smith’s TWIO. The first edition sold out in no time and we’ve had many emails asking if we were going to re-print this, so we’ve obliged in style. This second printing features 180 gram, TRI-Color Vinyl, which again will become a collector’s item, so order quick before this one goes. Also featuring Eric Harland, Harish Raghavan, Joshua Redman and Christian McBride.

Partisans – Nit De Nit (live at the Vortex)

With an authority developed over two decades on the circuit, Partisans are proud to unleash their first live album and their first LP, Nit De Nit, recorded at London’s Vortex Club. Across this revved-up hour-plus of back-catalogue reinventions and new delights, electric guitarist Phil Robson, saxophonist Julian Siegel, electric bassist Thaddeus Kelly and drummer Gene Calderazzo command the stage with inimitable joie de vivre. Fans of Partisans have been asking for vinyl for years so we’re very excited to present this.

Jeff Williams Trio – Bloom

We’re happy to announce the first LP release from legendary drummer Jeff Williams, and his fitfh album for Whirlwind. It speaks volumes when the bustling opening track his new piano trio release, Bloom, is revealed as “just us warming up, getting our headphone mix together”! For that’s the remarkable, spontaneous quality which his partnership with pianist Carmen Staaf and double bassist Michael Formanek delivers across ten numbers individually penned by each, plus a Buster Williams interpretation.”

SCOPES – SCOPES

The contemporary sound is strong in this sparkling, eponymous debut from new European quartet SCOPES, led by Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig and German bassist Tom Berkmann. Originally meeting up when based in New York for several years, performing there in various projects with French pianist/keyboardist Tony Tixier, they created the basis of a striking collaboration completed by acclaimed Dutch alto saxophonist Ben van Gelder.”

Gareth Lockrane Big Band – Fistfight At The Barndance

Another back catalog item, we’re happy to release Fistfight At The Barndance on 4-sided, double LP at 180 grams in gatefold artwork by The Gareth Lockrane Big Band. In his most ambitious artistic undertaking yet, respected British flautist, composer and educator Lockrane brought his debut big band project to Whirlwind to interpret eleven original works on an exciting, cinematic scale. Known for his considerable work with smaller ensembles such as Grooveyard (with saxophonist Alex Garnett), as well as being a familiar sideman on the UK scene, here Lockrane distils all of his experience into leading a 20-piece which sparkles with ebullient expression.

Tori Freestone – El Mar de Nubes

We’re delighted to release the first LP from Tori Freestone. The natural phenomenon of the Canary Islands’ ‘sea of clouds’ is an exhilarating experience – a highland ascent which rewards with views across the shifting stratocumulus ocean surrounding El Teide (the highest point in Spain) and her neighboring summits. It’s a landscape which has proved endlessly inspirational for tenor saxophonist and composer Tori Freestone, and a special impetus for El Mar de Nubes, her third trio album with double bassist Dave Manington and drummer Tim Giles.

Gabriel Grossi – #motion

The passion and energy in the performances of Brazilian harmonicist Gabriel Grossi are as crystal clear as the sounds and atmospheres he produces from one of the smallest yet evocative instruments on the bandstand. Described by legendary Toots Thielemans as his successor, Grossi’s many collaborations have included Chico Buarque, Ivan Lins, Guinga and Snarky Puppy. Now he releases his first live album, #motion, on Whirlwind, and his first 180 gram LP – a joyous celebration of his career to date, dedicated to those he loves, featuring his latest quintet: trombonist Sergio Coelho, pianist Eduardo Farias, bassist André Vasconcellos and drummer Rafael Barata. Guest appearances including celebrated fellow countryman Hermeto Pascoal.”

 

Walter Smith III / Matthew Stevens – In Common

One of our most popular of recent releases, and now with a sold out first LP printing, we’re releasing a second and final pressing of In Common by Walter Smith III and guitarist Matthew Stevens in 180 gram, Yellow Vinyl, another collector’s item. Together with vibraphonist Joel Ross, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Marcus Gilmore, they fashion striking improvisations from original compositional foundations.” (pp)

ORDER FROM WHIRLWIND RECORDINGS

An interview with Michael Janisch from pre-Whirlwind days

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