Vinyl Watch, March 2024: Thundercat, Ella Fitzgerald & 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.

And if you love jazz and vinyl, make sure to also check out our JAZZIZ Vinyl Club, a series of vinyl compilations carefully curated by the JAZZIZ editors and featuring some of the most exciting jazz artists from yesterday and today!


Abdallah Oumbadougou, Amghar: The Godfather of Tuareg Music – VOL. 1 (Petulama)

Amghar: The Godfather of Tuareg Music – VOL. 1 is a collection of recordings from the late Abdallah Oumbadougou, the Saharan-born Tuareg guitarist and originating architect of the desert blues genre. The 2-LP set released by Petulama Records features 14 tracks remastered by GRAMMY-winning engineer Michael Graves and includes six unreleased, never-before-heard songs. The album is also available digitally. Release date: March 1.


Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans, Know What I Mean? (Craft)

Craft Recordings has reissued Cannonball Adderley and Bill Evans’ 1960 album, Know What I Mean?, as part of its Original Jazz Classics series. This was the last of a series of albums the saxophonist and pianist collaborated on together, accompanied here by the rhythm section of the Modern Jazz Quartet with Percy Heath on acoustic bass and Connie Kay on drums. Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers’ Caravan (1963) and Ron Carter’s Where? (1961) are also released this month as part of the series. Release date: March 1.


Hakushi Hasegawa, Somoku Hodo and Air Ni Ni (Brainfeeder)

Hakushi Hasegawa have released the first-ever pressings of Somoku Hodo, their 2018 debut album, described via a press release as “a hyperspeed junglist jazz workout,” and 2019’s Air Ni Ni. Somoku Hodo comes in translucent green with illustrations by Momoka Aiso and designs by Takeaki Emori, and includes the previously unreleased track “Doku (SCREWED).” Air Ni Ni comes in grey marble with artwork by Taishi Urakawa and Namonaki Sanemasa, as well as designs by Takeaki Emori. Release date: March 3.


Jessica Williams, Orgonomic Music (Sundazed)

Originally released by the small Clean Cuts label in 1981, Orgonomic Music finds pianist and composer Jessica Williams heading the largest group of her many recordings, a septet, performing seven of her original compositions and a take on John Coltrane’s “Dear John.” Out of print since its initial release, the album was reissued by Sundazed Music as a double album, including a full LP’s worth of unissued music, among which features what may be Williams’ only vocal recording and extensive liner notes by musician Jennifer Leitham and jazz historian Scott Yanow. Release date: March 22.


Joe Henderson, Power to the People (Craft/Jazz Dispensary)

Tenor saxophonist fused a socially-conscious spirit with hard bop, jazz funk and pioneering electronic elements alongside such legends as Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Mike DeJohnette and Mike Lawrence on his 1969 classic, Power to the People. The album features such originals as Isotope,” “Afro-Centric” and the first recording of his classic “Black Narcissus,” and comes in a gatefold tip-on jacket, replicating the album’s original packaging on Milestone Records, in its first wide vinyl release, as part of Craft and Jazz Dispensary’s Top Shelf series. Release date: March 15.


John Lurie, Painting With John (Strange & Beautiful)

Multi-disciplinary artist John Lurie, also known as the leader of the vastly influential downtown New Yor City jazz ensemble The Lounge Lizards, has released a double album of music from his popular HBO/MAX series, Painting with John. Released on his own imprint label, Strange & Beautiful Music, the soundtrack features 56 tracks, including material written exclusively for the series, as well as classic recordings spanning his discography. The collection is available on limited 2-LP 180-gram vinyl and digital formats. Release date: March 15.


Shelly Manne & His Men, At the Black Hawk, Vol. 1. (Craft/Acoustic Sounds)

At the Black Hawk, Vol. 1., reissued as part of the Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series, highlights famed bebop drummer Shelly Manne’s passion for playing club shows. Recorded during a 1959 gig at San Francisco’s Black Hawk nightclub in the Tenderloin district, this first of four volumes features captivating renditions of Gershwin’s “Summertime” and the swinging waltz “Blue Daniel.” Release date: March 15.


Thundercat, Apocalypse (Brainfeeder)

Virtuoso bassist and singer Thundercat has released a special 10th-anniversary edition of his 2013 album, Apocalypse. The new edition contains two previously unreleased tracks, “Before I loved myself ‘I’ pooped my ankles (true)” recorded with Austin Peralta and Taylor Graves, and “Paris” (with Mono/Poly). The deluxe LP also features special rainbow holographic artwork housed inside a transparent PVC outer slipcase complete with an “x-ray” holographic skull print. Release date: March 1.


Toumani Diabaté and Ballaké Sissoko, New Ancient Strings (Chrysalis)

Chrysalis begins a reissue campaign of Toumani Diabaté’s albums with a remastered version of his collaboration with Ballaké Sissoko, New Ancient Strings. The two kora players recorded the album in 1997 in one single night in Bamako, the capital of Mali, on the anniversary of the country’s independence. The record was seen as a follow-up to 1970’s Ancient Strings, featuring a collaboration between their fathers, Sidiki Diabaté and Djelimadi Sissoko on kora. Comprising eight creative renditions of traditional Mande melody, the new edition of New Ancient Strings also comes with a 16-page booklet of liner notes and photos. Release date: March 15.


Ella Fitzgerald, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! (Verve/UMe)

Verve/UMe has reissued Ella Fitzgerald’s 1961 album, Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!, as part of its audiophile-grade vinyl reissue series, Acoustic Sounds. In contrast to her classic Songbook albums for Verve, this album captures the essence of Fitzgerald as most people got to see her live, performing a program made up mostly of repertoire from the Swing and early bebop periods alongside pianist Lou Levy, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Joe Mondragon, and drummer Stan Levey. Release date: March 29.


Featured photo by Ariel Goldberg.

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