We’re delighted to announce the first two treats of 2023 from our beloved Top Shelf series, with a groove-tacular double feature of David Axelrod’s jazz-rock opus Heavy Axe and hit-maker Bernard Purdie’s rhythm extravaganza Purdie Good!. Heavily sought after by cratediggers globally, these reissues mark the first wide vinyl release of both albums in over 20 years. As with every title in the Top Shelf series, Heavy Axe and Purdie Good! have been cut from the original analog tapes (AAA) by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and pressed on audiophile-quality 180-gram vinyl at RTI. The LPs are housed in tip-on jackets, featuring faithfully reproduced original designs. Available to pre-order beginning today (3/1), both releases are due out April 14th at JazzDispensary.com and record stores worldwide. If you’re planning to nab both releases, make sure you take advantage of the bundle deals, available exclusively on our website.
If you’re not hip to the genius of these two legends, here’s some essential info:
Legendary producer David Axelrod’s solo album Heavy Axe is one of the finest outputs of the jazz-rock wave, which was the preeminent sound of the mid ’70s. With a little help from legendary players like Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Cannonball Adderley, and George Duke, Heavy Axe crisscrosses between lush funk sounds and full, round low end and majestic orchestral flourishes that made Axelrod’s sonic realm a goldmine for sample-hungry hip-hop beatmakers from the ’90s until today.
In between being one of the most recorded studio drummers of all time, the beat-maestro extraordinaire Bernard Purdie squeezed in a few sessions of his own. Purdie Good! was recorded early in 1971 by legendary engineer and audio obsessive Rudy Van Gelder, at his bespoke studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, and has all the quality hallmarks of that esteemed locale. Three Purdie-penned originals are balanced by three covers of hits-du-jour, utmost among them a blazing romp through James Brown’s “Cold Sweat.”