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.
Natalie Cole, Unforgettable… With Love (30th Anniversary Edition) (Craft)
Craft has released a 30th-anniversary edition of Natalie Cole’s multi-GRAMMY-winning Unforgettable… With Love. Released in 1991, the album famously features Cole’s groundbreaking virtual duet of “Unforgettable” with her father, Nat “King” Cole, plus an array of classic hits from the Great American Songbook. The original 22-track album is available on 180-gram vinyl as a 2-LP set with new liner notes from producer David Foster. Order it here.
Stro Elliot, Black & Loud: James Brown Reimagined by Stro Elliot (Urban Legends/UMe)
Producer/multi-instrumentalist Stro Elliot celebrates the legacy of James Brown via ten remixes, reimagining ten of his classic songs with influences from several different genres. “The ‘Godfather of Soul’ was The Godfather of so much more,” says Elliot. “There are genres and subgenres that wouldn’t exist today without him … This is a dissection and celebration of that.” Black & Loud is available physically as an LP on black vinyl, and will also have a clear vinyl color variant available as an e-commerce exclusive on the Urban Legends website. Order it here.
Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (Verve/Impulse!)
In 1962, a rising star saxophone innovator named John Coltrane recorded a quartet session with the long-established jazz institution Duke Ellington. Duke Ellington & John Coltrane is regarded by many as one of the seminal albums of its period and a legendary encounter between two of the most influential artists in jazz history. It was reissued this month on vinyl as part of Verve’s Acoustic Sounds series, presenting definitive audiophile versions of classic jazz albums. Order it here.
Dexter Gordon, Clubhouse // Joe Pass, For Django (Blue Note)
Two more “underrated” gems from Blue Note’s archive, released as part of its acclaimed Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Series, launched in 2019 as part of its 80th-anniversary celebration. Clubhouse, recorded in 1961 and unreleased for many years, captures saxophonist Dexter Gordon in the midst of his “golden period” career renaissance after signing with Blue Note in 1961. For Django is guitarist Joe Pass’ tribute to Django Reinhardt from 1964.
Louis Armstrong, The Nightclubs (Dot Time)
This Dot Time Records compilation offers a snapshot of Louis Armstrong on the road throughout the 1950s. The tracks on Louis Armstrong – The Nightclubs, provided by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, were captured at five different engagements with five different iterations of Armstrong’s All Stars, featuring top sidemen, including Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Arvell Shaw and more. This numbered, limited edition vinyl of 500 copies also comes with liner notes by Ricky Riccardi. Order it here.
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