Record Store Day: Our pick of 10 of the best jazz releases

Nine-day festival to celebrate Thelonious Monk in Birmingham, U.K., on June 12-20

Record Store Day, the internationally celebrated day of vinyl records dedicated to supporting local independent stores, celebrates its 10th anniversary on April 22. This year’s extensive list of exclusive releases, special and limited editions, reissues, and oddities include a number of jazz records worth highlighting.

For a complete list of Record Store Day releases, go to

BILL EVANS – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
Label: Resonance Records
Quantity: 2000

A rare, never before issued recording of the legendary Bill Evans trio, featuring the pianist alongside bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette, recorded live at the Netherlands Union Studios in Hilversum in 1968. Despite this being only the third known recording in existence of this particular trio, the tapes had laid dormant for nearly fifty years – until now.

DEXTER GORDON – Walk the Blues
Label: ORG Music
Quantity: 1750

Walk the Blues features tracks recorded by saxophonist Dexter Gordon and his quartet at one of his favorite venues: the Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 21, 1964. The tracks on this record are issued on vinyl for the first time, and are described on the Record Store Day website as being among Gordon’s “finest European recordings.”

WES MONTGOMERY & THE WYNTON KELLY TRIO – Smokin In Seattle: Live at The Penthouse (1966)
Label: Resonance Records
Quantity: 1500

Smokin In Seattle presents previously unreleased live sets by guitarist Wes Montgomery with pianist Wynton Kelly and his trio, which featured bassist Ron McClure and drummer Jimmy Cobb. It was recorded at the Penthouse in Seattle, Washington, on April 14 and 21, 1966. This limited release comes with extensive liner note books including rare photos, essays, and interviews.

THELONIOUS MONK – Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
Label: Sam Records / Saga
Quantity: 2000

In 1959, Thelonious Monk recorded a number of tunes with his all-star band of saxophonist Charlie Rouse, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Art Taylor, with special guest saxophonist Barney Wilen, for the soundtrack of Roger Vadim’s French film Les Liasons Dangereuses. The tracks, that have only been heard on the film until now, will be released for the first time as a 2LP box set.

JACO PASTORIUS – Truth, Liberty & Soul – Live in NYC: The Complete 1982 NPR Jazz Alive! Recording
Label: Resonance Records
Quantity: 2000

Truth, Liberty & Soul – Live in NYC showcases bassist Jaco Pastorius’ brilliant compositions for large ensembles and documents him leading a 22-piece big band on June 27, 1982, at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City, New York. The big band featured such top musicians as drummer Peter Erskine, saxophonist Bob Mintzer and harmonica player Toots Thielemans.

SUN RA – Janus
Label: ORG Music
Quantity: 2000

Janus compiles a treasure trove of rare material from the Sun Ra Arckestra. The tracks features on this release are drawn from tapes recorded between 1963 and 1970, taken from both live and studio performances. Janus is also pressed on a beautiful audiophile grade psychedelic yellow/black swirl – a visual tribute worthy of the space-age jazz shaman.

IKE REIKO – You, Baby
Label: Bamboo
Quantity: 1000

Our entry in the “oddities” category is Ike Reiko’s unusual 1971 album. Reiko was a Japanese actress best known for her role in action/erotic films, known as “pink films,” of the 60’s and 70’s. She also released a number of music albums. Among them, You, Baby, made up of naive jazz and pseudo-spy theme movie music described by Mutant Sounds as “an unprecedented maelstrom of eroticism and sexual depravity.”

ALLEN TOUSSAINT – The Allen Toussaint Collection
Label: Nonesuch
Quantity: 1,500

The Allen Toussaint Collection was originally released in 1991. It showcases the New Orleans pianist at his funkiest. Released for the first time on vinyl in a two-LP, three-sided pressing, the fourth side of the vinyl features an etching of a quotation from Toussaint.

NELS CLINE / SHIRLEY HORN – In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
Label: Blue Note Records
Quantity: 1000

Blue Note Records releases a limited edition 7″ concept vinyl featuring two version of Frank Sinatra’s song “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” The first is by guitarist Nels Cline, played with tenor saxophonist and string quartet. The second is by singer and pianist Shirley Horn.

THE ART PEPPER QUARTET – The Art Pepper Quartet
Label: Omnivore Recordings
Quantity: 1000

Originally released in early 1957, The Art Pepper Quartet is reissued in its original form with the addition of the alternate take of “Blues At Twilight” as a bonus track. Mastered from the original mono tapes recorded in late 1956, this album features saxophonist Art pepper alongside pianist Russ Freeman, bassist Ben Ticket and drummer Gary Fromer.

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