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!
esperanza spalding, Radio Music Society (Craft)
Craft Recordings has released a new 2-LP, 10th-anniversary edition of esperanza spalding’s Radio Music Society. The musician/singer/composer’s fourth album followed her 2010 breakthrough LP, Chamber Music Society, and boasted an all-star lineup, as well as the acclaimed singles “Black Gold” and “Radio Song.” Originally executive produced by Q-Tip, this 10th Anniversary Edition was pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI. Release date: December 2.
Donald Byrd, Live: Cookin’ with Blue Note at Montreux (Blue Note)
A previously unissued recording of Donald Byrd’s performance at a Blue Note showcase at the Montreux Jazz Festival of 1973 sees the light of day. The LP finds the trumpet legend leading a 10-piece band of top-shelf instrumentalists and was released on what would have been Byrd’s 90th birthday. The set list includes “Black Byrd” along with otherwise unrecorded Byrd originals like “The East,” “Kwame,” and “Poco-Mania,” as well as an excellent cover of Stevie Wonder’s “You’ve Got It Bad Girl.” Release date: December 9
Pharoah Sanders, Karma (Verve)
Verve reissues Pharoah Sanders’ spiritual jazz classic, Karma, as part of its audiophile Acoustic Sounds series. The album, originally released in 1969, was the tenor saxophonist’s third Impulse! Records outing and is now seen as a milestone of the Spiritual Jazz movement. It also includes one of his most celebrated compositions, “the Creator Has a Master Plan,” regarded by many as a Spiritual Jazz anthem. The reissue honors the late jazz legend, who passed away in September at the age of 81, and concludes the Acoustic Sounds series for 2022. Release date: December 16.
Benny Carter, Jazz Giant (Craft)
Craft released Benny Carter’s Jazz Giant, featuring performances by André Previn, Shelly Manne, Barney Kessel and Ben Webster amongst others. First released in 1958 and recorded by legendary engineer Roy DuNann, this new edition features all-analog mastering from the original tapes by Bernie Grundman. Jazz Giant is part of Craft’s Acoustic Sounds Series, which celebrates the 70 years of Contemporary Records by highlighting gems from the legendary label’s catalog and featuring artists who both defined and expanded the sound of West Coast Jazz. Release date: December 16.
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