Like many record collectors, Andrew Schrock wasn't happy with plunking down $700 to get some privately pressed jazz recording that usually didn't live up to its hype. But instead of complaining about it to friends, he started up the ReRelease online label, designed to digitally recirculate amazing overlooked vinyl artifacts that were much too good to keep to himself while giving most of the profits back to the artists.
Schrock's initial focus was the Boston-area indie jazz scene of the late 60s and early 70s, which he's begun to document with Elysian Spring's deeply soulful small-group improvisations on their Glass Flowers album. It opens with the entrancing modal swinger Blue Sands and peaks with the flute duel of Lotus, soon to appear on BBE's Super Heavy Jazz comp.
No less dazzling is Arni Cheatham's Thing project from 1972, which boasts two extended throwdowns of the sort of free-form funk that makes dealers see dollar signs. Check 'em both at www.rerelease.net.
Jolly good Bollywood
Since the vast majority of Bollywood comps being released focus on the dance-floor- and sampler-friendly joints, it's a delight to find that Times Square's double-disc R.D. Burman retrospective A Bollywood Legend moves beyond the soundtrack don's Moog-tweaked freakouts to cover his jazzier cabaret numbers, spy thrillers and soul ballads created for EMI-connected film projects during the 70s and early 80s.
So while Bolly-funk fanatics may lament the absence of mindmelters from Burman classics like Burning Train, Bullet, Chandi Sona, Chor-Police and Harjaee, set compiler Bhagwant Sagoo has ensured there are still some trippy thrillers here, particularly those voiced by wife Asha Bhosle on the first disc, like the timeless Dum Maro Dum and the hip-shakers from Apna Desh and Caravan featuring the crazed panting of the maestro himself.
Those looking for some Bolly disco flava should investigate Sitar Beat Vol. II (Guerrilla Reissues). The 16-track budget package offers no photos or historical context, but, then, you don't really need a 20-page musicological analysis to appreciate this tasty selection of 70s and 80s groove-heavy floor-fillers from the bent minds of Burman, Babla, Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal. Get down.
The unlikely parallels between the current freak folk fad and the adventurous experimentation of Brazil's Recife scene of the early 70s have been overlooked by just about everyone except those people behind the Time-Lag label of Portland, Maine. So along with putting out the latest recordings by Espers, Six Organs of Admittance, Wooden Wand and others, they've also been reissuing various sought-after Brazilian hippie-psych gems cut by Lula Cortes and pals like the fabulously fucked Satwa album.
Slightly less raga-roasted but just as trippy is their reissue of No Sub Reino Dos Metazoários, the lone album from the late poet Marconi Notaro, with cloudy studio help from the tricordio-twangin' Cortes, Zé Ramalho, Robertinho and their drumming buddies. Three decades late perhaps, but right on time. www.time-lagrecords.com.