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.
Barney Kessel, The Poll Winners (Craft/Acoustic Sounds)
Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds have teamed up to celebrate the 70-year legacy of legendary jazz label, Contemporary Records, in a new vinyl reissue series. The Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds Series continues this month with the reissue of Barney Kessel’s The Pool Winners, originally released in 1957. The album features the dazzling interplay of the legendary guitarist with drummer Shelly Manne and bassist Ray Brown.
Frank Sinatra, Watertown (Frank Sinatra Enterprises/UMe)
Frank Sinatra Enterprises and UMe released a newly-mixed and remastered edition of Frank Sinatra’s heartbreaking concept album Watertown, about the tragedy of a working man with children whose wife suddenly leaves him. Originally released in 1970, the record was a collaboration with songwriter/producer Bob Gaudio and has been re-evaluated as one of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ finest LPs. The new edition comes with eight bonus tracks and radio promos and, in addition to a recreation of its original packaging, includes new liner notes, essays and a track-by-track breakdown from Gaudio.
Amy Winehouse, Live at Glastonbury 2007 (Ume/Island/BBC)
An iconic Amy Winehouse performance at Glastonbury Festival from 2007 has been issued on vinyl for the first time ever. Live at Glastonbury 2007 features live performances of some of her timeless hits, including songs from her award-winning Back to Black album, and takes on earlier soul classics. The performance, released 15 years after its original recording, was issued on a 2-LP black vinyl set with an exclusive crystal clear edition available.
Ray Charles, A Message from the People (Tangerine)
Tangerine Records, founded by Ray Charles in 1962, has reissued one of the artist’s most impactful albums in honor of its 50th anniversary. The socially conscious A Message From The People was originally released in 1972 and finds Charles taking on issues of poverty and injustice while seeking peace. The album was remastered for the occasion and in addition to being reissued on vinyl and CD, it was made available on all streaming services for the first time in more than ten years.
The Staple Singers, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself (Craft/Stax)
Stax Records and Craft Recordings released this month a 50th-anniversary edition of The Staple Singers’ iconic soul classic 1972 album, Be Altitude: Respect Yourself. The album features the group’s enduring hit songs “I’ll Take You There” and “Respect Yourself,” as well as stellar instrumentation by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and the Memphis Horns. This special edition vinyl boasts all-analog remastering from the original stereo tapes by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl.
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