Vinyl Watch, April 2024: Sonny Rollins, Gerry Mulligan & 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, make sure to also check out our JAZZIZ Vinyl Club, a series of vinyl compilations carefully curated by the JAZZIZ editors and featuring some of the most exciting jazz artists from yesterday and today!


Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe, La Gran Fuga (The Big Break) (Craft Latino)

Craft Latino reissued 1970’s La Gran Fuga, the sixth collaboration between salsa pioneers Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe. The two artists were teenagers when they began working together under Fania Records, and La Gran Fuga found them entering a new era of creativity and commercial success, featuring such classics as “Barrunto,” “Pà Colombia” and “Abuelita.” The newly-remastered edition comes in a classic tip-on jacket with a poster of the iconic “Wanted” cover artwork as a bonus insert. Release date: April 12.

Gerry Mulligan, Night Lights (Verve/UMe)

Verve/UMe releases saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s 1963 album, Night Lights, as part of its renowned audiophile-grade vinyl reissues series, Acoustic Sounds. A soothing nocturnal delight, the relaxed program features three originals by Mulligan and interpretations of Chopin’s Prelude in E minor, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” and “Morning of the Carnival” from Black Orpheus, performed with trumpeter Art Farmer, trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, guitarist Jim Hall, bassist Bill Crow and drummer Dave Bailey. Release date: April 26.


Harold Land, The Fox (Craft/Acoustic Sounds)

The latest of Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds releases in their acclaimed Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series is saxophonist and composer Harold Land’s The Fox, originally released in 1960. The album showcases Land’s range, as well as a fondly-remembered collaboration with trumpeter Dupree Bolton, whose career tragically derailed, and legendary pianist Elmo Hope, who penned four of The Fox’s six tracks. Release date: April 12.


Sonny Rollins, A Night at the Village Vanguard: The Complete Masters (Blue Note)

Blue Note releases a special Tone Poet vinyl edition of Sonny Rollins’ A Night at the Village Vanguard: The Complete Masters, cut directly from newly-discovered, previously unused original master tapes. Rollins’ tour-de-force 1957 live trio album is presented as an expanded 3-LP set including a booklet featuring previously unseen photos by Francis Wolff, essays and a new interview with Rollins in conversation with Blue Note President Don Was. Release date: April 26


In Case You Missed It…


Pete Jolly, Seasons (Light in the Attic)

Light in the Attic presents the first-ever vinyl reissue of virtuosic jazz pianist’s rare 1970 album, Seasons, originally produced by Herb Alpert and released on his A&M Records. Full of atmospheric grooves and soulful vignettes, its music has been sampled by everyone from Jay Dee and Cypress Hill to Busta Rhymes, foreshadowing the roots of hip-hop and marking a stylistic departure for Jolly. This vinyl edition is available in two color variants, clear amber and clear light green. Release date: March 29.


Dave Grusin, Murder by Death (Varèse/Craft)

Varèse Sarabande and Craft Recordings have released Academy Award-nominated composer Dave Grusin’s score to Neil Simon’s 1976 whodunit comedy, Murder By Death, on vinyl for the first time. The original 22-track program was released on a translucent clear pressing and its jacket features artwork by iconic cartoonist Charles Addams, sourced from the artist’s original illustration. A limited-edition diamond yellow marble pressing is also available exclusively at Varèse’s official website. Release date: March 22.


Janek van Laak, Circle of Madness (Sonar Kollektiv)

Berlin-based drummer, composer and producer Janek van Laak’s debut as a bandleader, Circle of Madness, intertwines acoustic elements within electronic soundscapes while embracing diverse influences and traditions, inviting listeners to explore new musical territories while navigating the balance between curiosity and perfectionism. The album is also available on vinyl and to find out more about it, you can listen to a recent JAZZIZ Podcast conversation with the artist by clicking here. Release date: March 15.


Featured photo courtesy of Blue Note Records.

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