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.
Miles Davis, Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet (Craft)
Craft presents Relaxin’ with the Miles Davis Quintet as the latest release in its acclaimed Small Batch audiophile vinyl series. Released in 1958, Relaxin’ is regarded as the most notable LP to have emerged from a series of exceptionally productive Miles Davis recording sessions from 1955-to 1956 with his stellar quintet featuring John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones for Prestige Records. It is presented here in an individually-numbered, remastered edition with new liner notes from Ashley Kahn. Release date: May 6
Hermeto Pascoal, Hermeto (Far Out)
Far Out reissues this month Brazilian multi-instrumentalist/composer Hermeto Pascoal’s self-titled debut from 1970. The record showcases his brilliant sound, the fusion of Brazilian tradition and jazz experimentation, and his celebrated talents in orchestration and improvisation. Hermeto also includes North American titans Ron Carter, Hubert Laws, Joe Farrel and Googie Coppola, and Brazilian stars Airto Moreira and Flora Purim (who also produced the album). Release date: May 20
Oneness of Juju, Bush Brothers & Space Rangers (Strut)
Strut presents the reissue of Afrocentric creative jazz group Oneness of Juju’s Bush Brothers & Space Rangers, another classic from the vital Washington label Black Fire Records. While the album was released in 1996, it features recordings from several different sessions with different personnel from 1977, led by saxophonist James “Plunky” Branch. Its program is packed with versions of landmark Oneness of Juju tracks, such as “Be About the Future,” “Plastic” and more. Release date: May 13
Gilad Hekselman, Far Star (Edition)
Israeli-born, New York-based guitarist/composer Gilad Hekselman’s new self-produced studio venture, Far Star, offers music that is both progressive and timeless. Emerging from the challenging times of the pandemic, the record speaks to the transportive power of music and blends personal experimentation with universal resonance. Released via Edition Records, Far Star is also available on limited-edition orange-colored vinyl with online-only exclusives. Release date: May 13
Art Pepper, +Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics (Craft/Acoustic Sounds)
Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds have launched this month a new vinyl reissue series celebrating the 70-year legacy of the legendary jazz label, Contemporary Records. The series was launched with the reissue of Art Pepper’s +Eleven: Modern Jazz Classics from 1960. The album features brilliant arrangements by Marty Paich and is considered one of the saxophonist’s masterpieces, showcasing his characteristic cool tone and simmering lyricism with a large ensemble of some of the best instrumentalists on the Los Angeles scene at the time. Release date: May 13
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