Gene Russell - New Direction
This album comes to you by way of one of those glorious serendipitous moments where I inquired about the availability of this record with our distributor just as it was about to be repressed. Perfect timing! I had caught it just in time to get a large pile pressed just for our subscribers. I have been hooked on this record since I first heard the opening piano bass line on “Black Orchid”. I’ve yet to put this record on at work without someone saying, “What’s this?!” within the first 30 seconds. It’s one of those records. Gene Russell founded the Black Jazz label with percussionist Dick Schory in 1969 withNew Directionbeing the first release. Gene Russell’s previous album,Up and Away- a collection of pop standards covered by his piano trio - featured a full color picture of him on the cover being shot out of a jet engine with balloons in hand.New Directioncould not have been a more fitting title for his next endeavour. The iconic cover art set the tone for all later Black Jazz albums - a black and white photo in a black frame with white type. While Black Jazz Records lasted only 4 short years, it released some of the most sought after and collectible jazz records of all time. For that and so many other reasons we are so excited to get to share this gem with you all.
La Folie - Antigua, Guatemala
There aren't many coffees we like to see appear back on our menu more than La Folie. This is such a stunner every year, and this year is no exception. La Folie has been managed since 2003 by Luis Pedro Zelaya, a coffee agronomist who also owns and operates the Bella Vista Beneficio. It is orderly and clean; the rows of coffee are evenly spaced, the rows of gravillea shade trees are perfectly spaced and nearly identically sized. It’s a sight to see! It is an impressively managed farm and the continued growth in output and increase in quality over the years are testament to the detailed care that goes into it. This is our first offering from Antigua this year, and one that shouldn't be missed. It's got tons of really sweet stone fruit qualities with the classic toasted nuttiness that we've come to love.