Vinyl Watch, June 2020: Frank Sinatra, Dee Dee Bridgewater & 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.


Frank Sinatra, Nice ‘n’ Easy (Capitol/UMe)

Capitol/UMe is releasing a 60th-anniversary edition of Nice ‘n’ Easy. The album was originally released in July 1960 and is known as one of the most iconic collaborations between Frank Sinatra and arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle. The vinyl LP edition comes in a faithful production of the original Capitol Records “Full Dimension Stereo” sleeve and features the original 12 songs. These include the title track, “That Old Feeling,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and more.


Tenderlonious, The Piccolo – Tender Plays Tubby (Jazz Detective)

Tenderlonious is a British multi-instrumentalist/producer whose 22a Music label is at the forefront of the new wave of young London-based jazz musicians. The Piccolo – Tender Plays Tubby finds him paying homage to an unsung hero of British jazz, Tubby Hayes, best known for his long-standing collaboration with Ronnie Scott and his prolific recordings from the ’50s and ’60s. The EP finds him reinterpreting four of his classic tracks, using Hayes’ own piccolo, which had been stored in a trunk for over 40 years prior to this recording session.


Gato Barbieri, Last Tango in Paris (Ams/Cinevox)

Gato Barbieri provided the soundtrack to Bernardo Bertolucci’s iconic 1972 arthouse hit film, Last Tango in Paris, about a steamy encounter between two perfect strangers in the French capital. The Argentine-born saxophonist/composer’s music is the perfect backdrop to what is generally considered one of the most erotic (and controversial) cinematic works ever. A sublime encounter of jazz and tango, the record finds Barbieri performing with a 9-piece enlarged ensemble and symphonic orchestral arrangements by Oliver Nelson. The new AMS/Cinevox vinyl reissue comes in pink vinyl with new artwork and gatefold cover.


Andrew Hill, Smoke Stack (Blue Note)

Smoke Stack was pianist/composer Andrew Hill’s second album for Blue Note. Here, he showcased his distinctive compositional voice, performing an all-originals program, including an ode to his first wife Laverne Gillette, titled “Verne.” The music is also performed with an unusual quartet lineup formed by two bassists – Richard Davis and Eddie Khan – and drummer Roy Haynes. This vinyl edition is reissued as part of the label’s 80th-anniversary celebration, was mastered by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes and pressed on 180g vinyl at Optimal.


Dee Dee Bridgewater, Afro Blue (Mr Bongo)

Mr Bongo has reissued vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater’s 1974 debut album, Afro Blue. The LP was recorded in Tokyo, Japan, with a quintet of musicians including brothers Ron and Cecil Bridgewater, and features versions of compositions by such artists as Mongo Santamaria, Horace Silver and Bobby Hutcherson, among others, as well as a stellar version of The Stylistics’ “People Make the World Go Round.” Released exclusively in Japan via two different Japanese labels, this has been a sought-after item for a long time and is now widely available on vinyl in its original 1974.


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