London Begins at 40 music critic, Robert Spellman, casts his eye across some of the latest music album releases in July, so you can enjoy music in the comfort of your own home.

Journeys In Modern Jazz: Britain

2LP 2CD iDigital

Don Rendell: Space Walk

LP iDigital

The New Jazz Orchestra: Le Dejeuner Sur l’Herbe [Decca]

LP iDigital

album releases in July

The golden era of British jazz, a period spanning the early 60s to mid-70s, was overlooked until around 20 years ago when jazz historian Tony Higgins and the DJ Giles Peterson put together two anthologies called Impressed.

They were a revelation; this music could swing and bop like its parent sound across the water, but also had elements that felt unique to place, sometimes folkish or pastoral, other times cool and noirish, but London-style. The likes of Don Rendell, Ian Carr, Michael Garrick, John Surman, Stan Tracey and Mike Westbrook emerged as cult stars, men whose singular vision had been hidden in the jazz clubs of Soho and on tiny album runs soon to vanish.

Now Higgins is back with more, starting with a fascinating collection similar to Impressed, Journeys In Modern Jazz: Britain, and two complete albums – Don Rendell’s Space Walk and Le Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe by The New Jazz Orchestra. Everything is sourced from the original tapes so the fidelity is first generation – making the vinyl format an absolute treat. Further releases are planned.

Miles Davis: Merci Miles! Live in Vienne [Warner Bros/Rhino]

2LP 2CD and digital version

Miles Davis

Previously unreleased Miles Davis concert from July 1991 recorded at Jazz a Vienne in Isere, France. The set features two compositions written by Prince – Jailbait and Penetration – a friend for whom the trumpeter also had great respect as an artist.

The music continues along the path of jazz-fusion, an approach pioneered by Davis in the late 60s when he took a keen interest in the work of Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and James Brown and saw no reason why jazz could not encompass these styles, or why they could not encompass jazz. Miles passed away two months after this show.

Manzanita y Su Conjunto: Trujillo, Perú 1971 – 1974 [Analogue Africa]
LP and digital versions

Select gathering of instrumentals featuring the dazzling guitar work of Manzanita, one of Peru’s finest players, whose sun-kissed, faintly psychedelic cumbia and guaracha jams of the early 70s have been resurrected by the Analogue Africa label. Hot weather music.

David Crosby: For Free [BMG]

CD and digital versions

New material from the 79-year-old folk-rocker and the presence of Michael McDonald, Donald Fagen, Sarah Jarosz and son James Raymond on the set. Sleeve painting by Joan Baez.