New Reissue Label Markets Rarities

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Arcana Records, a new venture from Frances Canular Media hoping to do for jazz what Rhino did for pop culture, is releasing their first batch of rare finds today (April 1). We have spent years combing the vaults of many other record labels, said Canular president, WBA cruiserweight champ Jean-Marc Mormeck (29-2, 21 KOs), and not only have found many wonderful treasures, but have left those vaults beautifully combed and styled.

The first round of releases highlight an eclectic sampling of some of the stranger moments in jazz. Mimes, Mehldau, and Miles all conspire to provide some of the most intriguing releases of the year.

Duke Ellington and Richard Nixon, Live from the White House
After receiving the Medal of Freedom, Duke and Dick performed an impromptu jam session with Nixon on bass. The recording was withheld for many years for a myriad of reasons, and was released almost by accident in 1994. The highlight is a searing version of Black and Tan Fantasy, complete with 18 choruses mysteriously erased.

Miles Davis Reads Dr. Seuss
Apparently, he thought the Cat in the Hat was Dizzy Gillespie. Not for kids, as Miles has a few choice words in store when he finally figures it out at the end.

Marcel Marceau Trio, Invisible Box
It was only a matter of time before the French combined their passion for American jazz with their own art form of mime. Too bad no one told them that audio recording was probably the wrong medium for it. The highlight comes at 12:59 of cut two, where Marceau can be heard trying to stifle a sneeze. Oddly enough, also available on SACD.

Keith Jarrett's Complete Wal-Mart Sessions
A 6-CD set of Jarrett in his neighborhood Wal-Mart, performing improvised masterpieces on the display Casio keyboard. Count how many times the clerk asks, “Are you gonna buy that?"

Brad Mehldau, Rogets Rag
Loquacious pianist Mehldaus tribute to the man who has had as large an impact on his career as any musical influence, Dr. Peter Mark Roget. Propulsive ragtime rhythms and semantic gymnastics highlight this previously unreleased effort that was deemed unsalable by execs at Warner Brothers due in part to its 1,800 pages of liner notes. Highlights include Song (Air, Anthem, Aria, Ballad, Canticle, Carol, Chant, Chorale, Chorus, Ditty, Expression, Golden Oldie, Hymn, Lay, Lullaby, Lyric, Melody, Number, Oldie, Opera, Piece, Poem, Psalm, Refrain, Rock, Round, Shanty, Strain, Tune, Verse, Vocal) and the abbreviated No Synonym (for Thesaurus).

Louis Armstrong and Willie Nelson, Pass it Around
Pops and Willie shared only one thing in common, their love for the herb. Recorded in 1968, and mostly consisting of a ganja-enhanced conversation between the two disparate musicians, it nevertheless provides a fascinating insight into the effects of weed on the creative mind. The highpoint is a protracted debate over who was easier, Patsy Cline or Billie Holliday, while the two men eat an entire Bundt cake and three bags of Fritos.

~ Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius

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