Sadly, the limited edition “Hidden Masters: The Jess Roden Anthology” is unavailable.
Three and a half-plus years in development, the deluxe edition was a 6CD, 94-track edition that – for the first time ever – chronicled Jess’ entire career; from his late-teens fronting the Mod-Soul of The Alan Bown! during the late 60s – to his long Island Records’ sojurn with Bronco, The Butts Band – his first solo album recorded with Allen Toussaint and Chris Blackwell. That led to the Brit-Funk of The Jess Roden Band before his move to New York and further, highly acclaimed, solo recordings and into the 80’s by way of The Rivits and, post Island with the Seven Windows and The Humans albums.
Containing well over 50% of previously unreleased material, the Anthology included never-before-heard demos, alternative mixes, long-thought-lost masters, completed but discarded tracks, alternate takes – as well as a wealth of live recordings.
All of the selections were re-mastered in the UK and US from the original 1⁄4”, 1” or 2” analog tapes.
The 1st edition was limited to 950 hand-numbered copies and presented in a 12” hard-back, casebound book format in which the 32-page booklet contains the first interview Jess has given in 30 years discussing many of the song selections.
Jess Roden is oft heralded as one of the greatest of all British RnB Voices in the same manner as his more widely known contemporaries such as Steve Marriott, Joe Cocker, Paul Rodgers, Jack Bruce and Steve Winwood.
For the last 20 years or so, Jess has pursued a career away from the public eye in graphic arts with the vast majority of his music long-since deleted and with virtually nothing (legally) available via the the digital medium. During these intervening years, a ‘Best Of…’ was issued in 2008 but only scratched the surface since it ignored large chunks of his career and, surprisingly, that set wasn’t even made available via iTunes.
HiddenMasters believed that Jess’ career was well worthy of proper investigation.
Jess – “I suppose like many musicians who are no longer active, I’ve long wondered just what might have survived within the archives. Me and my bands recorded so much back in the day but one also hears these terrible tales of multi-tracks being thrown out and ending up in skips. Without Neil Storey’s Sherlock Holmes-like tenacity, none of this material would have been tracked down and would probably have been left on the shelf to gather even more dust. Neil’s unearthed some stuff I couldn’t readily recall writing let alone recording… and, I have to say… I’m really rather glad he has.”
During the course of 2010 nearly 800 pieces of music were logged – ranging from after hours studio-jams to rehearsal tapes; from demos to live recordings; almost all of the key masters together with a good deal found on reels that bore no relation to what was written on the actual tape-box itself. The original Seven Windows analog recordings were also unearthed in New York and the digitisation process begun on both sides of the Atlantic.
Originally conceived as a 5CD set, the 1st pressing was expanded to include a 6th CD (The Subs Bench) which will only be made available with this edition.
With Jess himself overseeing the project from the get-go, the complete set was mastered by Richard Whittaker at FX Mastering in London with the exception of the Seven Windows selections which were mastered in New York by A. T. Michael MacDonald, (the original engineer and co-producer of the Seven Windows project).
The Anthology was made available as a pre-sale exclusively through PledgeMusic on November 12th 2012 and was over 50% subscribed by the time the pre-order process completed.
Finished copies for all pre-orders were mailed out to the expected territories such as the UK and mainland Europe but also further afield to Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong… and… the United Arab Emirates.
For further information on Jess, please go to: JessRoden.com