New Release Cheat Sheet: November 23 (Black Friday)

Black Friday is no ordinary Friday; it is the day that officially marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. It is also a special day for record collectors, as a number of great limited-edition vinyl LPs are released for Record Store Day Black Friday, one of two annual events held to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record stores. So, for this list, we have selected three Record Store Day Black Friday releases and two new works that we believe you should know about and might just want to add to your collection.

Ella Fitzgerald, Ella at the Shrine (Verve)

Earlier this year, Verve released Ella at Zardi’s. The album captured Ella Fitzgerald’s live performance at Zardi’s in Hollywood, California, recorded on February 2, 1956. Its Record Store Day 2018 limited-edition sold out almost immediately and was followed by a CD and digital release. Today, on Records Store Day Black Friday, a new treat for fans of the First Lady of Song: a newly discovered live performance captured just ten days before her show at Zardi’s at a “Jazz at the Philharmonic” show at the Shrine in Los Angeles, California. Released for the first time ever, Ella at the Shrine will be available on translucent yellow vinyl pressed at 45 rpm. Unlike Ella at Zardi’s no plans have been announced yet for CD and digital releases of Ella at the Shrine.

Duke Ellington, Duke Ellington Plays Mary Poppins (Rhino/Warner Bros.)

Next month, a new film titled Mary Poppins Returns will see actress Emily Blunt playing the role of the quintessential English nanny character made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1964 Disney musical, Mary Poppins. Perhaps it was this occasion that inspired the Records Store Day Black Friday limited-edition reissue of a classic album that has long been unavailable on vinyl: Duke Ellington Plays Mary Poppins. Originally released by the Reprise label in 1965, this album features recordings of tunes from the Academy Award-winning song score by the Shearman brothers for the beloved 1964 film – opening with “Spoonful of Sugar” and closing with “Supercalifrgilisticexpialidocious.” The music was arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and is reissued today in a faithfully reproduced sleeve and colored vinyl.

Harold Mabern, The Iron Man: Live at Smoke (Smoke Sessions Records)

Jazz master Harold Mabern swings through an album that could be described as an “autobiography in song.” Captured in the course of a single night on stage at New York City’s Smoke Jazz & Supper Club, The Iron Man packs a rich lifetime’s worth of music, with the 82-year-old legendary pianist performing some of the favorite songs from his renowned career – kicking off with the rollicking funk of the title track from his 1968 debut album as leader, A Few Miles From Memphis, and featuring such tracks as “Nightlife In Tokyo” as well as unique takes on such songs as John Coltrane’s “Mr. P.C.” and Michael Jackson’s “She’s Out of My Life.”

Frank Kimbrough, Monk’s Dream: The Complete Compositions of Thelonious Sphere Monk (Sunnyside Records)

For over four decades, pianist Frank Kimbrough has established a personal way to express himself through the prism of Thelonious Monk. Monk’s Dream, a project that began last year, is arguably one of the most ambitious and significant releases of 2018: a 6xCD set comprised of Monk’s 70 known compositions performed by Kimbrough and his all-star quartet, with Scott Robinson on reeds, Rufus Field on bass and Billy Drummond on drums. The band recorded a disc’s worth of material each day for six days, working each day from 11 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. in two three-day intervals. They miraculously succeeded, and the resultant tracks on Monk’s Dream are fresh, varied and inspired.

Eric Dolphy – Musical Prophet: The Expanded N.Y. Studio Sessions (1962-1963) (Resonance Records)

Arguably the most exciting of this year’s Record Store Day Black Friday releases, Musical Prophet, a new limited-edition deluxe 3xLP set, is the first official release of previously unissued studio recordings of saxophonist Eric Dolphy in over three decades. It contains complete studio tracks from the albums Conversations and Iron Man, originally produced by Alan Douglas, plus nearly 85 minutes of bonus material from the New York City studio sessions from 1962 to 1963. Featuring Dolphy playing alongside such jazz greats as saxophonist Clifford Jordan, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and trumpeter Woody Shaw, among many others, Musical Prophet comes with an exhaustive booklet, rare and previously unpublished photos, memorabilia and more.

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