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Detroit has a long tradition of being the farm team for the Big Apple jazz big leagues, but just as important is the acknowledgement of local legends who left their mark on the city by staying put and releasing amazing music right in Detroit. Kenny Cox and the Contemporary Jazz Quintet is one such group that could have and definitely should have had a wider audience in their day, but their recorded legacy continues to grow in estimation. Truly a comprehensive group with no weak links, the compositions and playing on this record show the incredible talent and innovation that was brewing in Detroit before, during and after Motown locked its doors in the Motor City.
Of note is group member Charles Moore, an important figure in the jazz and arts scene in Detroit and founding member of an underground art and music co-operative called the Detroit Artist Workshop. A talented musician and composer in his own right, Moore and group leader Cox composed all the material on Multidirection. Cox described it as ''more of an orchestral-type effort than just a combo per se.'' in the original release liner notes by Nat Hentoff. Both were integral in the future DIY jazz universe by co-founding the highly influential Strata Records. But before embarking on that journey, his group recorded two timeless classics for Blue Note Records. Like many of the greatest musical albums, this work shines brightest as a whole with new dimensions to discover with each listen. This new and exciting re-issue is certain to provide the listening experience with the best possible platform.
Detroit has long held a shared respect with New York; a similar outlook on authenticity. Tough to describe, but you know it when you see it. Third Man Records and Blue Note Records share this respect and also a commitment to integrity regarding the musical legacies they support that extends to the collaboration happening on the 313 Series partnership. The five unique albums from the Blue Note catalog chosen for limited edition re-release by Blue Note Records President and Detroiter Don Was represent the best of the Motor City; innovative sounds, incredible playing and that inexplicable something you know is real.
For an undertaking like this you have to walk the extra mile. The original tapes were sent to Third Man's Detroit mastering and pressing facility where their extensive all analog re-mastering process ensured that the albums delivered live up to the tradition they are part of. The Third Man Records team's commitment to audio purity means no corners can be cut; sound and mastering engineer Warren Defever's goal being to provide the closest possible approximation of the magic found on the original master's tape brought to your living room. From the lacquers cut in the studio on the Neumann VMS-70 Cutting Lathe to the 180 gram vinyl pressed across the hall, every step of the process is tested in the facilities against exacting standards. That's the Detroit way and the reason why the musical legacy from the 313 area code remains beloved around the world.
Kenny Cox - piano
Charles Moore - trumpet
Danny Spencer - Drums
Ron Brooks - Bass
Leon Henderson - Tenor Sax
Recorded at GM Recording Studio - East Detroit, MI 1969 by Jim Bruzzese