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  • 742 Congress Street
  • Portland, Maine 04102
  • (207) 760-4440

Cafe + Roastery

  • 122 Anderson Street
  • Portland, Maine 04101
  • (207) 760-4440

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Gene Russell - New Direction


The Good Thing - March 2021

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 with New Direction being 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 Direction could 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.

Side One
1. Black Orchid
2. Hitting The Jug
3. Willow Weep For Me
4. Listen Here
Side Two
1. On Green Dolphin Street
2. Silver’s Serenade
3. My Cherie Amour
4. Making Bread