Vinyl Watch, April 2023: Taj Mahal, Kenny Wheeler & More

Vinyl is back! Each month on “Vinyl Watch,” we list some of the most noteworthy new vinyl releases — including new albums, reissues, special-edition box sets and more. At JAZZIZ, we share the vinyl community’s appreciation of the experience of collecting and playing vinyl records. As an increasing number of music fans discover the joy of vinyl, we hope these lists will serve as a starting point for new musical discoveries. And if you love jazz and vinyl, be sure to check out our carefully-curated series of vinyl compilations, JAZZIZ Vinyl Club!


Albert King, Born Under a Bad Sign (Craft)

Craft celebrates Albert King’s centennial year with a special vinyl reissue of his Stax Records debut, Born Under a Bad Sign. This highly-influential blues album features an all-star lineup of musicians, including Booker T & The M.G.’s and members of The Memphis Horns. It also finds King performing the iconic, original recording of “Born Under a Bad Sign,” plus classics like “Laundromat Blues,” “Oh Pretty Woman” and “Crosscut Saw.” Release date: April 21.


Howard “Youngblood” Bomar, I, Who Have Nothing (Sundazed)

Sundazed has released a new collection of familiar favorites and unique originals highlighting the artistry of vocalist Howard “Youngblood” Bomar. I, Who Have Nothing, is a 13-track collection that features his 1960s 45 soul sides and five previously unreleased recordings. Among them, is an early Northern Soul cover of Prince’s iconic hit song, “Purple Rain.” Release date: April 15.


Kenny Wheeler, Gnu High (ECM)

ECM has reissued Kenny Wheeler’s label debut, Gnu High, which finds him fronting a stunning quintet with Keith Jarrett on piano, Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums. The album, originally recorded in 1975, put the Canadian trumpeter on the map as both a lyrical improviser and jazz composer, laying down the foundation for his influential and highly-regarded work to come. Gnu High is one of the releases officially launching ECM’s new audiophile-grade vinyl reissue series, Luminessence. Release date: April 28.


Taj Mahal, Savoy (Stony Plain)

Roots music legend Taj Mahal applies his vocal craft to an exploration of classics from the Great American Songbook and a throwback to the sounds of the swing jazz big band era. Taking a new direction in his musical journey on his latest album Savoy, also available on vinyl, the record is also a delightful decades-in-the-making collaboration between Mahal and his good friend John Simon, the great record producer whose resume includes collaborations with Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, The Band and many more. Release date: April 28.


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