Newvelle Records is proud to present The Renewal Collection, a four-album series affirming the resilience of music through the anguish and loss of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Newvelle's community of jazz patrons have come together year after year to support some of the most talented artists on the scene and help bring their music to the world. With plans to press only 500 copies of this limited-edition collection – Newvelle's first new series release in two years – our long time listeners (you!) will once again play a critical role in ensuring that we can continue to record and release music with the care and attention that we’re known for.

A pre-order not only secures copies of these records, lovingly captured on 180-gram vinyl, for your own collection. You'll be supporting musicians who have presented a wide range of musical reflections and celebrations on what it means to be jazz artists in this moment, and guaranteeing that their art gets to be heard.

Each member who places a pre-order will receive the full collection as soon as it's pressed in September. Individual albums will be released monthly between September and December 2022 while supplies last.




Discover the Collection

Elan Mehler's There Is A Dance

There Is A Dance features all original compositions from pianist Elan Mehler – heralded by The Guardian for the “subdued certainties of his playing [that] bring a crowded room to total silence.” Elan’s eleventh and most personal album pays tribute to the artist’s late mother.

"I’ve spent my whole life with this music," says Mehler. "Listening to this music – practicing this music – relying on this music – struggling with this music – and – when it’s good – welcoming this music’s arrival from the quietest place in my heart."

Joining him in this trio are two outstanding artists and Newvelle alumni: bassist Tony Scherr and percussionist Francisco Mela.

"Making this record was a dream," says Mehler. "Francisco Mela and Tony Scherr are musicians that I’ve been listening to with appreciation and often awe for many years. I didn’t share the music in advance with them. I made sure before handing them the manuscripts that there weren’t any words describing the music, no directions and no descriptions. With each piece, I would play through the melody alone on solo piano, and then without saying a word, we would cut a take."




Michael Blake's Combobulate

A couple of years ago, Michael sent us some video of him playing a house concert with a brass band. At that time we had a full slot of releases lined up, but that video stayed in our minds. There was something infectious and joyful about it. It wasn’t just the joy of the music, something about the atmosphere felt right too. A living room setting, a joyful explosion of noise, a bull in a china shop, something that felt just barely contained. A pre-pandemic, shoulder-to-shoulder gathering with none of the accouterments of “the concert hall” setting. Not even a piano. When putting together this collection, we had to capture some of that joy on vinyl.

Michael Blake’s sextet on Combobulate features the debut of a world-class brass band – a much needed explosion of color from Blake’s inimitable musical mind. Holding court with a titanic low end are two of the most iconic tuba players of our time: Bob Stewart and Marcus Rojas. New York all-stars Steven Bernstein on trumpet and Clark Gayton on trombone round out the brass section and the phenomenal Allan Mednard holds down the drum chair in this one-of-a-kind ensemble.

Blake is always exploring the edge of so many different pockets of the New York jazz world. A “first call” musician who prefers to call his own shots. Country, soul, “free,” swing, trad jazz, rock, musical traditions from Vietnam and Inda, southern blues...all of it rolling around in his bag but always with an ear tilted towards the joy of it. Despite whatever complexity he digs into, there’s always a dance to his music – never an intellectual remove. Blake writes and plays music that wants to be heard.




Dave Liebman's Trust and Honesty

What makes a wordless music ‘honest?’ How do we know it so clearly when we hear it? Dave Liebman, John Hébert, Ben Monder: these men have a sound that is theirs and theirs alone. Dave has recorded on more than 500 albums. And still, every time, in the studio, the dissolution of the ego. The doubt, the questions, the wait for inspiration. The moments when it feels exactly right. “This is me.”

Trust and Honesty is a historic, all-ballads release from Liebman, a a personal and raw exposition of the NEA Jazz Master's legendary sound and concept. Liebman is a perpetual searcher, never complacent in his quest for capturing the moment; here he works in lock step with Monder on guitar and Hébert on bass: two of the most sought after and creative musicians on the scene. In this unprotected, drumless context, true mastery is apparent.

Good musicians keep chipping away at the veneer that keeps them separated from us. Showing the world who they are. And when they were. This music freezes a moment. It could only have been created on February 12, 2022. You couldn’t reconstruct it with a thousand days in the studio. It’s an exercise in exposure, even for someone who has had as vaulted a career as Dave Liebman. When you are doing it right, there’s nowhere to hide. “Here we are today, I am bringing everything I can to this moment. This is me.”




Nadje Noordhuis's Full Circle

Nadje Noordhuis’s Full Circle features all original compositions and an incredible lineup of Fred Hersch on piano, Thomas Morgan on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. There’s a very clear point of view in this music. A perspective hard-earned but not at all jaded. Suffused with the knowledge that things will be alright. If we bring beauty to the world, the world will come and greet it.

Noordhuis' sound on the trumpet and flugelhorn is pure, unique and unmistakable. And the band is irrepressible: a masterclass in tone, clarity and precision. These artists need little introduction, but it’s a revelation to hear them in this context. Noordhuis wrote most of the music with this particular ensemble in mind and it shows. The generosity of spirit and the effortlessness in her playing and writing positively glows. During the session, Noordhuis sang a quick example to Fred that made it immediately clear that she has perfect pitch. Not just an uncanny ability to recognize and reproduce notes, but something even more exceptional.

On the second day of this session, we met to go over the mix. Nadje arrived saying there was something in one of her solos that she wanted to fix. Something that struck her when she was "listening back." We thought, "OK no problem," before remembering that she hadn't yet heard any of the rough mixes from the day before. She was "listening back" from memory, to an entire day's worth of improvisations. So yeah, she comes by that effortless sound honestly.




About the Collection

The Renewal Collection was recorded and mixed by Grammy-winning engineer Marc Urselli at New York’s East Side Sound between November 2021 and March 2022, and mastered by Josh Bonati. The four records are pressed on 180-gram vinyl, using patented Groovecoated Stampers by Matt Earley of Gotta Groove Records, and stored in incredible gatefolds designed by Studio Mococo, the multi-award winning team that designed Newvelle’s New Orleans Collection and KIMBROUGH tribute album. Given free rein to build the series in response to the music they heard, Mococo’s team designed covers featuring dramatic crops of stunning photography from the U.S. Library of Congress’s archives and timeless, yet unique typefaces.

Videos by Isaac Gillespie. Photos by Anna Yatskevich.