We Love Vinyl!

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Record Store Day hits April 22, so we deliver a glimpse at some of the vinyl dropping in and around that blessed holiday of wax. Here are just a few new releases and reissues the DownBeat staff is looking forward to (or is already) digging into right now! For further information on the latest vinyl release, click here to view DownBeat’s We Love Vinyl feature from the April 2023 issue.

Andrew Hill, Dance With Death

Andrew Hill
Dance With Death (Blue Note)
Blue Note Records continues its Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series with 22 releases already out or scheduled to come out throughout 2023. The beauty of the series is bringing back and bringing attention to a variety of unsung classics like Andrew Hill’s Dance With Death, released March 3. Recorded for Blue Note in 1968, the session features Charles Tolliver on trumpet, Joe Farrell on saxophones, Victor Sproles on bass and Billy Higgins on drums. All Tone Poet releases are cut directly from the original analog masters. A few others to look forward to this year include Freddie Hubbard’s Blue Spirits (out in May), McCoy Tyner’s Time For Tyner (June release) and Lee Morgan’s Infinity (August release).

(bluenote.com)


Christian McBride
The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait of Four Icons (Mack Avenue)
Available for the first time on vinyl, Christian McBride’s The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait Of Four Icons elegantly focuses on four key figures of the Civil Rights Movement: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Muhammad Ali. McBride composed his five-part suite for an 18-piece big band, complete with chorus and narrators, offering a powerful musical glimpse into the lasting impact of the times and bravery of the people who demanded change. Added to the original piece is a fifth movement, “Apotheosis,” acknowledging Barack Obama’s election as the first African American President of the United States.
(boutique.mackavenue.com)


Dizzy Gillespie
Portrait Of Jenny (BBE)
In 1970, Perception Records released two albums by the great Dizzy Gillespie: first, The Real Thing, a funk/fusion all-star affair; then, Portrait Of Jenny, a gem of an album featuring four long-form, Gillespie-penned tunes recorded at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio in New Jersey. The latter was a return to Gillespie’s love for Afro-Cuban rhythms, with Mike Longo on piano, Andrew and Jerry Gonzalez on bass and congas, respectively, and Carlos Valdes on percussion. Gillespie not only composed the music here; he arranged and produced the entire recording with his cousin Boo Frazier. The Real Thing has also been reissued. Both feature 180-gram heavy vinyl as part of BBE’s Perception/Today Records series.
(bbemusic.com)

Dorothy Ashby and Frank Wess
In A Minor Groove (Real Gone)
In the pantheon of jazz greats, those playing harp never seem to get their due. Such is the case with the swinging harpist Dorothy Ashby, who battled sexism and instrument discrimination in the ’50s and ’60s while making amazing music. On this 1958 New Jazz release, the quartet — with Frank Wess joining on saxophone and flute as well as Herman Wright on bass and Roy Haynes on drums — glides through a terrific set of eight tunes that includes “Yesterdays” and “Alone Together.” Real Gone went back to the original mono audio sources of In A Minor Groove, reproduced the first-pressing album artwork and restored Ira Gitler’s original liner notes.
(realgonemusic.com)

Medeski Martin + Wood
It’s A Jungle In Here (Real Gone)
Here’s another Real Gone release dropping on Record Store Day 2023. In honor of the 30th anniversary of Medeski, Martin + Wood’s second album, It’s A Jungle In Here, the recording is being released for the first time on vinyl. The trio performs some stellar originals and breathes new fire into the music of John Coltrane, King Sunny Ade, Bob Marley and Thelonious Monk. It’s a Clearwater Blue pressing limited to 2,500 copies. In addition to the trio, Steven Berstein plays trumpet and flugelhorn; Josh Roseman, trombone; Dave Binney, alto saxophone; Mark Ribot, guitar; and, Jay Rodriguez, tenor and alto.
(realgonemusic.com)

Walter Bishop Jr.
Bish At The Bank, Live In Baltimore (Reel to Real)
Bop pianist Walter Bishop Jr. gets a well-deserved, overdue ovation with the release of Bish At The Bank. Recorded during performances for Baltimore’s Left Bank Jazz Society in 1966 and 1967, the sets have been beautifully packaged and reproduced by archivist Zev Feldman and musician–impresario Cory Weeds, complete with great photography and in-depth liner notes from journalist Ted Panken. “The energy levels and good-time attitude are characteristic of the Left Bank caberet parties that transpired every sunday of the month since mid-August 1964,” wrote Panken.
(walterbishopjunior.bandcamp.com)

Albert Ayler
Europe 1966 (Org)
This four-LP set features four dates from saxophonist Albert Ayler’s 1966 tour to Europe. The box captures live performances in Berlin, Lörach, Stockholm and Paris over a two-week span featuring Donald Ayler on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin, William Folwell on bass and Beaver Harris on drums. The music has ben remastered for vinyl by Dave Gardner at Infrasonic Mastering and includes a 12- by 24-inch foldout insert with liner notes by John Litweiler and tour photography. The albums were pressed on audiophile-grade black vinyl at Pallas Group in Germany.
(orgmusic.com)

Chet Baker
Chet (Craft)
Craft Recordings digs into the Riverside Records catalog to reissue the silk-voiced vocalist and trumpeter’s third album for the label, originally released in 1959. But on Chet, we find an entirely instrumental offering from Baker, who offers his beautiful take on nine classic tunes including “How High The Moon,” “September Song,” “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” and “You And The Night And The Music.” It’s the first mono version of the recording to be released since 1959 featuring AAA remastering with lacquers cut directly from the original master tapes.(craftrecordings.com)


Miles Davis
Turnaround: Rare Miles From The Complete On The Corner
Sessions (Legacy/Columbia)
Back in 2007, Legacy/Columbia pulled out the stops and released the complete recording sessions from that historic 1972 recording date famously titled On The Corner. On Turnaround, the label picks four great cuts from the sessions, which features Michael Henderson on bass, Al Foster on drums, Mtume on percussion and appearances by the likes of Dave Liebman, Herbie Hancock and Bennie Maupin. This is an RSD exclusive pressed on 12-inch sky blue vinyl.
(legacyrecordings.com)

Scott Colley
This Place (SteepleChase)
Originally released on CD in 1997, This Place catches the renowned bassist as an up-and-comer of 30 years old. While he was introduced to SteepleChase in 1994 as a member of the Harold Danko Quartet, this was Colley’s SteepleChase debut as a leader. He masterfully delivers a seven-song set that includes John Coltrane’s “Mr. Day,” and Sonny Rollins’ “Airegin,” “The Peacocks” by Jimmy Rowles and Stan Getz, “The Blessing” by Ornette Coleman as well as three originals. This Audiophile Edition is pressed on 180-gram vinyl.
(steeplechase.dk)

Shirley ScottQueen Talk: Live At The Left Bank (Reel to Real)
This two-LP set is an RSD launch featuring the Queen of the Hammond B-3 live at the Famous Ballroom in Baltimore on Aug. 20, 1972. The date features George Coleman on saxophone, Bobby Durham on drums with guest vocals by Ernie Andrews. The liner notes feature interviews with Monty Alexander, former Scott sideman saxophonist Tim Warfield and the late organ hero Joey DeFrancesco.
(reeltoorealrecords.bandcamp.com)


Various Artists
Jazz Dispensary: Hotel Jolie Dame (Craft)
This one takes us back to 1978 on the French Riviera. The vibe is fantastical. The music includes Dizzy Gillespie, Dorothy Ashby, Cal Tjader, The Blackbyrds and more. Alongside these jazz icons are tunes by the bossa nova/sunshine pop group Triste Janero, the South Uraguayan/American fusion group Opa, Flora Purim and the Euro pop of Jean Jacques-Perrey. This one’s as much about a place and a mood as the music. The package features a single LP in what has been termed psych-sunset orange marble.
(craftrecordings.com)

Bill Evans
Treasures: Solo, Trio & Orchestra Recordings
From Denmark (1965–1969) (Elemental)
In the growing pantheon of unearthed Bill Evans recordings, Treasures: Solo, Trio & Orchestra Recordings From Denmark (1965–1969) comes in as a true amalgamation of what the great pianist and composer embraced. As a limited-edition, three-LP, 180-gram vinyl exclusive for RSD, the album will also be released as a two-CD set. Compiling music that originally aired on Danish radio in the 1960s, the package is the work of Zev Feldman, the Jazz Detective, and his team, complete with extensive liner notes that include interviews with trio members Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell as well as Danish musicians Alex Riel and Palle Mikkelborg.
(elemental-music.com)

Don Cherry
Hear & Now (Real Gone)
This is the third in a series of recordings from the Archives of the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore that will be dropped on RSD. The 1973 date at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom found Stitt and his saxophone in fine form backed by a rhythm section of jazz royalty: Kenny Barron on piano, Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. The package features rare photos as well as an overview by jazz critic Bob Blumenthal and interviews with Barron, Hayes and saxophonist Charles McPherson. How good was Sonny Stitt? “Sonny Stitt scared people,” McPherson said. “Roy Haynes said that he seemed to be the only guy that Charlie Parker would be nervous around.”
(thejazzdetective.com)




Sonny Stitt
Boppin’ In Baltimore, Live At The Left Bank
(Jazz Detective)
This is the third in a series of recordings from the Archives of the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore that will be dropped on RSD. The 1973 date at Baltimore’s Famous Ballroom found Stitt and his saxophone in fine form backed by a rhythm section of jazz royalty: Kenny Barron on piano, Sam Jones on bass and Louis Hayes on drums. The package features rare photos as well as an overview by jazz critic Bob Blumenthal and interviews with Barron, Hayes and saxophonist Charles McPherson. How good was Sonny Stitt? “Sonny Stitt scared people,” McPherson said. “Roy Haynes said that he seemed to be the only guy that Charlie Parker would be nervous around.”
(thejazzdetective.com)

D.B. Shrier
Emerges (Omnivore)
This is the story and music of a lost artist. Saxophonist D.B. Shrier released his only studio recording in 1967, D.B. Shrier Emerges (Alfa Records). It would have been lost in the ether, a novelty known by few, if not for Alan Sukoenig, the man responsible for developing Retrospect In Retirement Of Delay: The Solo Recordings by Hasan Ibn Ali. Sukoenig had met Shrier while attending the University of Pennsylvania. In searching for the Ali original tapes, Sukoenig reconnected with Shrier and came across the saxophonist’s nearly forgotten recorded material. Now reissued in its original format for vinyl, the set has been expanded from five to 10 tunes for digital and CD release. The music is sweet; its re-emergence even sweeter. DB
(omnivorerecordings.com)


Other RSD Drops!

At press time, plenty of other RSD drops were being announced:

• Roy Ayers, Stoned Soul Picnic (Nature Sounds)

• Chet Baker, Blue Room: The 1979 Vara Studio Sessions In Holland (Jazz Detective/Elemental)

• Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers, Live At Jazz Workshop 1970 (Gearbox)

• Butcher Brown & Bruce Hornsby, Secret House (Concord Jazz)

• Terry Callier, Hidden Conversations (Mr. Bongo)

• Larry Coryell, Introducing The Eleventh House (Culture Factory USA)

• James Cotton & Friends, The Chicago Sessions (Reel)

• Willie Dixon, Catalyst (LMLR)

• Eric Dolphy, Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions (Resonance)

• Howlin’ Wolf, Live And Cookin’ At Alice’s Revisited (Anagram)

• Jazz Artist Guild, Newport Rebels (Candid)

• Norah Jones, Little Broken Hearts (Blue Note)

• B.B. King, Blues Is King (Anagram)

• Charlie Parker, Afro Cuban Bop: The Long Lost Bird Live Recordings (Liberation Hall/Rockbeat)

• Max Roach/Archie Shepp, Force–Sweet Mao–Suid Afrika 76 (LMLR)

• Archie Shepp, Live At Massy (LMLR)

• Sonny Stitt, The Bubba’s Sessions (Who’s Who In Jazz)

• Sun Ra, Haverford College Jan. 25, 1980 (Modern Harmonic)

• Koko Taylor, I Got What It Takes (Alligator)

• Muddy Waters, The Muddy Waters Woodstock Album (Anagram)

• Muddy Waters, Hollywood Blues Summit 1971 (Liberation Hall)



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