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.
Various Artists, The Jazz Room Vol. 2 Compiled by Paul Murphy (BBE)
BBE has released the second volume of the Jazz Room, a series curated by DJ Legend and label-owner Paul Murphy, compiling jazz dance tracks ranging from the heavy funk of New Orleans to Latin grooves and contemporary jazz from the new generation. Matching the rare and obscure with the new and the fresh, this double-vinyl features excellent cover versions of tracks from Fela Kuti, The Stranglers, Azymuth and The Human League, among others. Release date: May 5.
Henry Franklin, Tribal Dance (Real Gone)
Real Gone Music will reissue Tribal Dance from bassist Henry Franklin, originally recorded in 1977 for the little-known Catalyst label and part of the artist’s estimable Black Jazz catalog. As its title suggests, the record leans a little more on the spiritual side without losing the pulsing drive of its predecessors. Tribal Dance also features saxophonist Charles Owens, trombonist Al Hall, Jr., and guitarist Kenneth Climax, along with West Coast jazz stalwarts like percussionist Sonship and pianist Dwight Dickerson. Release date: May 12.
André Previn and His Pals, West Side Story (Craft/Acoustic Sounds)
Craft Recordings and Acoustic Sounds’ acclaimed Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series, celebrating the iconic Contemporary jazz label, kicks off its 2023 collection in style with a swinging interpretation of West Side Story by pianist André Previn and His Pals, including drummer Shelly Manne and bassist Red Mitchell. The album was originally released in 1960, three years after the legendary musical opened on Broadway, and includes eight memorable selections from Leonard Bernstein’s score. This special reissue marks the album’s first vinyl pressing in more than three decades. Release date: May 19.
Ray Barretto, Que Viva la Musica (Craft Latino)
Craft Latino has released a post-50th anniversary vinyl reissue of Ray Barretto’s classic salsa album, Que Viva la Musica. This landmark title in the influential bandleader and conguero’s prolific catalog features such favorites as “Cocinando,” “La Pelota” and the title track, all performed by Barretto’s legendary original band. The long-out-of-print album returns on vinyl for the first time in decades, cut from original master tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio. Release date: May 26.
Featured photo: Real Gone Music.
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