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Joe Coughlin - Debut [40th Year Remastered]

by Joe Coughlin

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"Jazz vocalist Joe Coughlin first released his eponymously–titled LP 40 years ago.

Produced by Eleanor Koldofsky Sniderman on her prestigious Aquitaine label, the recording quickly garnered rave reviews, widespread airplay, and international distribution…and
then it vanished.

Coughlin had caught Eleanor Sniderman’s ear while competing in CBC television’s Search for the Stars competition. Joe won a $500 merit award, but more importantly, the wife of Sam “The Record Man” Sniderman signed him to a 3-year, 3-album management contract. Eleanor had already produced Liona Boyd’s big-selling debut LP, a critically acclaimed collection of Beethoven sonatas by Anton Kuerti, and over two dozen more classical recordings on her Aquitaine label.

Coughlin’s 1981 recording debut was her first and last jazz album.

Only a couple of years into jazz singing, the 26 year-old Coughlin went into Phil Sheridan’s Toronto studio to record with a crew of jazz stars including guitarist Ed Bickert, keyboardist Bernie Senensky, bassist Don Thompson, drummer Terry Clarke, saxophonist Les Sabina, with added percussion by Marty Morrel.

Morrel, a seven-year veteran of the great Bill Evans Trio, recently suggested that Coughlin put the long-lost LP out on CD, adding “There’s some serious, vintage Ed Bickert on that record!”

Indeed, Bickert’s tasty guitar is one of the highlights on eleven, Rick Wilkins arranged tracks backing Coughlin’s buoyantly swinging readings. The young vocalist’s soulful, horn-like phrasing soars seamlessly with his veteran band on a repertoire of lesser-known gems by Quincy Jones, Wes Montgomery, and Chick Corea, as well as jazz standards like Round Midnight.

40 years ago, a messy divorce between Sam and Eleanor Sniderman pushed Coughlin’s debut LP into obscurity. Only a few copies of the original vinyl recording exist, and the wizards at
London’s Abbey Road Studio have performed a skillful digital lift off of
a pristine copy that Joe found on the Internet. It’s a beautiful recording of a historic, Canadian jazz moment. Enjoy!"
- Joseph Blake, Jazz Critic



released May 1, 2021

Ed Bickert: Guitar

Terry Clarke: Drums

Marty Morrel: Percussion

Les Sabina: Alto Saxophone

Bernie Senensky: Keyboards

Don Thompson: Acoustic and Electric Bass

Recording engineers: David Greene, Phil Sheridan

Recorded at McClear Place Toronto ON

Remastering engineer: Simon Gibson Abbey Road Studio London UK


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Joe Coughlin Victoria, British Columbia

Through four decades, eight albums, one JAZZ REPORT award and two National Jazz Awards, Joe has continued to appear to rapt crowds in concert, at Festivals and in jazz venues throughout Canada and elsewhere. With his wise, easy delivery and his ability to plumb the emotional and musical depths of a great and timeless tune or a contemporary jazz classic, he's the real deal. ... more

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