Vinyl Watch, July 2022: Ella & Louis, Jackie McLean & 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.


Hampton Hawes, Four! (Craft/Acoustic Sounds)

Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds have teamed up to celebrate the long-lasting legacy of legendary jazz label Contemporary Records in a new vinyl reissue series. Their Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds Series continues this month with the reissue of Hampton Hawes’ Four! Originally released in 1958, the album features Hawes, one of jazz’s most appealing yet unsung pianists, in a quartet with guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Shelly Manne. Release date: July 15.


Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Ella & Louis (Verve)

Verve has reissued Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s seminal 1956 album, Ella & Louis, as part of its fabled Acoustic Sounds Series. The album captures the instant chemistry shared between the two legendary artists on a program of well-worn standards, achieved in spite of limited rehearsal time. As with each of the titles of the series, the Acoustic Sounds reissue of Ella & Louis features transfers from analog tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl and deluxe gatefold packaging. Release date: July 15.


Jackie McLean, Tippin’ the Scales (Blue Note)

Blue Note has released Jackie McLean’s Tippin’ the Scales as part of its Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series, presenting top-quality reissues of overlooked classics from the historic label’s fabled archive. Tippin’ the Scales fits the bill as a star-studded session recorded in 1962 but unreleased until 1979, with the saxophone great leading a quartet featuring Sonny Clark, Butch Warren and Art Taylor. The program includes two originals by McLean, three by Clark and a tender version of Vernon Duke’s “Cabin in the Sky.” Release date: July 21.


Azymuth, Telecommunication (Craft/Jazz Dispensary)

Craft Recordings and Jazz Dispensary will release a 40th-anniversary edition of Brazilian jazz fusion giants Azymuth’s classic album Telecommunication. Originally released in 1982, this funky and samba-instilled affair also includes a guest appearance by the acclaimed Brazilian guitarist Hélio Delmiro, who lends his talents to several tracks on the record. This newly-remastered edition of Telecommunication is being released as part of Jazz Dispensary’s ongoing Top Shelf series. Release date: July 15.


The Pyramids, Aomawa: The ’70s Recordings (Strut)

Strut has released a 4-LP vinyl box set bringing together fully-restored and remastered recordings of cosmic jazz travelers The Pyramids, led by Idris Ackamoor, from the 1970s. The box-set includes all three albums released by the band during this time – Lalibela (1973), King of Kings (1974) and Birth/Speed/Merging (1976) – plus the previously-unreleased Live at KQED, 1975. It also comes with a 12-page booklet with extensive interviews with three of the original band members by Francis Gooding, alongside unseen photos. Release date: July 15.


Featured photo courtesy of Craft Recordings.

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