Jazz at its vinyl best from Gearbox

Pure analogue jazz from vinyl-only label Gearbox is bucking the digital trend by putting sound quality and sheer enjoyment of the physical article above everything else

With the recent decline in high-street record stores and HMV's much-publicised collapse, the future of music retail is looking strictly (and some would say depressingly) digital.

But vinyl-only label Gearbox are going against the grain in that regard with their purely analogue offering of jazz music, which puts sound quality and sheer enjoyment of the physical article above everything else.

By "putting the ritual back into music listening", Gearbox seeks to provide something the digital download simply can't with their expanding catalogue of previously unreleased archive recordings, plus new releases recorded at their own vinyl mastering studio. Gearbox speak directly to that section of the jazz-buying market for whom there is no substitute for buying a record, appreciating its perfectly tuned sound, poring over its liner notes, and adding it to a growing collection.

Some of the previously unreleased material Gearbox plans to issue this year includes Ronnie Scott and Alan Skidmore at the BBC Jazz Club, beatnik jazz/poetry from Pete Brown and Mike Horovitz recorded in 1962, plus recordings of various artists playing at Ronnie Scott's in the 1960s, including Helen Merrill and Sonny Rollins.

New releases from the label will include a tribute to Shirley Horn by Mark Murphy recorded last November, a new hard-bop LP from Simon Spillett (pictured) and a new EP from singer/songwriter Sasha Siem.

With the label being awarded "Best Unearthed Gem" last year by New York City Jazz Record for their 2012 reissue of The Jazz Couriers' album Tippin' (1959), 2013 promises more of the same and a welcome alternative to all things digital.

For more information, visit gearboxrecords.com.

Sally Evans-Darby

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