Nina Simone’s landmark output on Philips collected together in a lavish box set

Nina’s years on Philips (1964–66) was the most significant period of her long and distinguished career.  To mark her 90th anniversary, Verve has brought together in their entirety all of the albums she recorded for Philips in a limited 7LP boxed set. In a limited edition of 2500, “Four Women” includes complete albums newly remastered and cut from the original tapes. The deluxe collection includes a booklet featuring rare photos and liner notes by the music historian Ashley Kahn.

Four Women: The Nina Simone Complete Recordings 1964–1967 captures a uniquely powerful artist at her peak.

For lovers of: Nina Simone, social history, activism, protest songs, soul jazz, limited editions, women of jazz

Read on: Jeffrey Boakye surveys the legacy of Nina Simone’s music and activism

Newly discovered Coltrane on striking orange vinyl

Imagine the frenzy amongst jazz fans earlier this year when a never-before-heard recording of John Coltrane’s legendary quintet was released over 60 years after it was made. In the summer of 1961, ‘Trane took to New York’s Village Gate club, joining him were band mates Eric Dolphy on multi reeds, McCoy Tyner (piano), Reggie Workman (bass), and Elvin Jones (drums) and the resulting recording captures the magic of a phenomenal band in full flight on classics such as “My Favorite Things” and “Impressions.” It’s a major discovery and an absolute must for all fans of the great John Coltrane and his superb band mates.

For lovers of: new discoveries, free jazz, coloured vinyl, jazz history. John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, post bop, modal jazz

Read on: Drummer Terry Clark on sitting in with John Coltrane

A beautifully produced, all star big band with plenty of swagger

Fans of Charles Mingus, Count Basie, Gil Evans and Miles Davis’s big band sounds will love these thick slabs of horns, masterfully arranged by trumpeter Gerald Wilson. This really is an all star band which includes saxophonist Harold Land and some wonderful bluesy guitar playing from Joe Pass. Audiophiles will appreciate this excellent remaster by Kevin Gray for Blue Note’s high end Tone Poet series. If you’re buying for a collector who already has the big name titles, this is a great option

For lovers of: big bands, Blue Note’s Tone Poet series, high quality audio

Read on: Tone Poets – When Joe Harley met Darrel Sheinman

Highly collectable 10 inch LPs, with original artwork…it’s THE Bird box set

This is a box of bebop history, crammed full of legendary musicians, 21st century insight and packed with vintage charm. Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker originally recorded these five, 10 inch albums on Mercury/Clef and this special box set features the original artwork and rare photography alongside new writing by pianist Ethan Iverson and author David Ritz.  Fans of bebop will love the titles which include “Charlie Parker with Strings,” “South of the Border” and “Bird and Diz”. And with bandmates including Thelonious Monk, Buddy Rich and Dizzy Gillespie, this is everything you need to know about bebop.

For lovers of: bebop, obsolete formats, jazz writing, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Rich

A master musician’s creative quest

Saxophonist and flautist Charles Lloyd has long been a free spirit, master musician, and visionary, and in his mid 80s he remains at the height of his powers. Lloyd’s restless creativity has perhaps found no greater manifestation than on his latest masterwork “Trio of Trios,” an expansive project that encompasses three albums, each a deft change of musical context that presents him in a different trio setting. His trio partners: guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan; guitarist Anthony Wilson and pianist Gerald Clayton; guitarist Julian Lage and percussionist Zakir Hussain each provide a sensitive and translucent canvas for Lloyd’s searching saxophone.

For lovers of: spiritual jazz, contemporary jazz, guitar, saxophone, chamber jazz, meditation

All of Ella’s singles for Verve

When Ella Fitzgerald first went into the recording studio for Verve in 1956, it was to record four singles, and she went on to record a number of classy 45s alongside her major album projects for the next ten years. This limited-edition collection gathers all of Ella’s singles together for the first time, reflecting the many facets of her musical personality. Whether she’s singing a bossa nova take on a standard like “Stardust” or sashaying through the wonderfully obscure “I’m a Poached Egg Without Toast,” Ella’s wonderful voice makes every one a hit.

For lovers of: Ella Fitzgerald, beyond the greatest hits, lavish arrangements, swingin’ lovers.

Stepping further into Alice Coltrane’s devotional music

By the late 1970s, jazz harp pioneer Alice Coltrane had changed her name to Turiyasangitananda and become spiritual director of an ashram near Los Angeles. Originally released in 1982 as the first in a series of private, cassette-only releases, “Turiya Sings” was a collection of Indian devotional chants featuring Coltrane’s Wurlitzer organ and voice swathed in additional synthesiser and strings. Under the supervision of her son Ravi Coltrane,  those overdubs have been stripped away for “Kirtan: Turiya Sings.“  They reveal the breathtaking simplicity of Coltrane’s arrangements for organ and voice. This is the perfect gift for fans of Alice Coltrane who want to stretch beyond “Journey in Satchidananda”

For lovers of: Spiritual jazz, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, women in jazz

Read on: The Art of…Jazz Harp

Need more ideas?

Try these hand-picked collections of albums from the Everything Jazz team.

Be Santa’s favourite helper

Socks, strangely perfumed chocolates, another bottle of dayglo liqueur to languish at the back of the drinks cabinet…gift well, gift jazz! From lavish box sets to collectible coloured vinyl, we’re simplifying seasonal shopping.

Building a highly diggable collection

Here’s where you’ll find the tracks that became a sampler’s delight, albums beloved by DJs and producers, and jazz funk gems that discerning tastemakers keep on repeat.

Just can’t wait?

Here’s where you can find our favourite albums that are ready to ship right now.

Freya Hellier is a content editor for Everything Jazz. She has spent many years making programmes about all genres of music for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and beyond.

Header image: Nina Simone. Photo: Great Women of Song Album Cover / Verve Records.