Universal/Verve Acoustic Sounds Series
Release date: January 29, 2021
Seeking to offer definitive audiophile grade versions of some of the most historic and best jazz records ever recorded, Verve Label Group and Universal Music Enterprises’ new audiophile Acoustic Sounds vinyl reissue series utilizes the skills of top mastering engineers and the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings. All titles are mastered from the original analog tapes, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and packaged by Stoughton Printing Co. in high-quality gatefold sleeves with tip-on jackets. The releases are supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world’s largest source for audiophile recordings. For more information about the Acoustic Sounds remastering process, view this eight-minute video.
Included in the January 2021 title releases for the the series is the iconic Peggy Lee’s first 12-inch album, Black Coffee (1956). This was Peggy Lee’s album smash for Decca, originally released as a 10-inch album in 1953 and then expanded with four additional songs in 1956. The album offered her an intimate stage with a small jazz combo, exchanging her usual jazz-pop style with a big band or orchestra. This smaller combination worked to perfection.
“Encouraged by longtime Decca A&R Milt Gabler, [Peggy Lee] hired a small group including trumpeter Pete Candoli and pianist Jimmy Rowles (two of her favorite sidemen) to record an after-hours jazz project similar in intent and execution to Lee Wiley’s ‘Manhattan project’ of 1950, Night in Manhattan. While the title-track opener of ‘Black Coffee’ soon separated itself from the LP — to be taught forever after during the first period of any Torch Song 101 class — the album doesn’t keep to its concept very long; Lee is soon enough in a bouncy mood for ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ and very affectionate on ‘Easy Living.’ (If there’s a concept at work here, it’s the vagaries of love.) Listeners should look instead to ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ or ‘Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You?’ for more examples of Lee’s quintessentially slow-burn sultriness. Aside from occasionally straying off-concept, however, Black Coffee is an excellent record, spotlighting Lee’s ability to shine with every type of group and in any context.” — John Bush, AllMusic
“Each step in our production process — from title selection to mastering, pressing and packaging — is designed to meet the highest standards, and we want everyone who hears these albums to feel the love and hard work we put into everything we do,” says Chad Kassem CEO of Acoustic Sounds.
1. Black Coffee
2. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
3. Easy Living
4. My Heart Belongs to Daddy
5. It Ain’t Necessarily So
6. Gee, Baby, Ain’t I Good to You?
7. A Woman Alone with the Blues
8. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was
9. When the World Was Young
10. Love Me or Leave Me
11. You’re My Thrill
12. There’s a Small Hotel