Vinyl Watch, May 2024: Diana Krall, Mulatu Astatke & 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!


Luke Stewart Silt Trio, Unknown Rivers (Pi)

Bassist Luke Stewart, known for leading and co-leading acclaimed ensembles like Irreversible Entanglements and Blacks’ Myths, introduces his Pi Recordings debut, Unknown Rivers. Showcasing his Silt Trio with Brian Settles on tenor saxophone, the album finds the groups pushing greater emphasis on rhythmic acuity, drawing on the different approaches of its alternating drummers, Chad Taylor on four studio tracks and Trae Crudup on three live ones. The album is also available on vinyl. Release date: May 5.


Joe Cuba Sextet, Vagabundeando! (Hangin’ Out!) (Craft Latino)

Craft Latino celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Joe Cuba Sextet’s classic Tico Records debut, Vagabundeando! (Hangin’ Out!), with the album’s first vinyl reissue in nearly 50 years. Led by celebrated conguero, bandleader and “Father of Latin Boogaloo” Joe Cuba, the 1964 album features an all-star line-up of talent, including legendary Puerto Rican vocalists Cheo Feliciano and Jimmy Sabater, plus such fan favorites as “El Ratón,” “Nina Nina,” “I Need You,” and “Oye Bien.” Release date: May 10.


Mulatu Astatke, Mulatu of Ethiopia (Strut)

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Strut has released a special edition of Mulatu Astatke’s Mulatu of Ethiopia, including a special 2-LP set pressed on opaque white vinyl. Recorded in New York in 1972, this record is regarded as a landmark within the realm of African music and marked a juncture in Astatke’s musical journey, which found him adeptly fusing various styles to craft the distinctive genre known as Ethio-jazz. Release date: May 10.


Hampton Hawes, For Real! (Craft/Acoustic Records)

For Real!, the latest reissue in the Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds series, was released just four days after what would have been the 95th birthday of Hampton Hawes, widely regarded as one of the most influential pianists of his time. Originally released in 1961, the album finds him shining bright in familiar territory, performing alongside a stellar lineup of revered collaborators, including Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Harold Land and Scott LaFaro. Release date: May 17.


Pepe de Lucía and Paco de Lucía, Pepito y Paquito (BMG)

BMG has joined forces with the Paco de Lucía Foundation to rescue and release a treasure trove of previously unreleased recordings featuring Paco de Lucíá and his older brother, Pepe. The recordings on Pepito y Paquito, due out May 31, harken back to the years 1959 and 1960, when the brothers were 13 and 11 years old, respectively. These historic recordings were restored from a vintage Grundig TK46 tape recorder using cutting-edge AI technology. (A deluxe bookpack edition will also be released on August 23.) Release date: May 31.


Stanley Turrentine and The Three Sounds, Blue Hour (Blue Note)

Blue Note released 1960’s Blue Hour, a deeply soulful hard bop outing pairing tenor saxophonist Stanley Turrentine with The Three Sounds, the trio featuring pianist Gene Harris, bassist Andrew Simpkins and drummer Bill Dowdy, as part of its Classic Vinyl Series. Originally released mere months after Turrentine’s recording of Look Out, which marked his debut album as a bandleader, Blue Hour is a late-night affair comprising four ballad performances of four standards and a sole uptempo number, the spunky Harris-penned “Blue Riff.” Release date: May 17.


Harold Land, Choma (Burn) (Wewantsounds)

Wewantsounds presents the first-ever reissue of saxophonist Harold Land’s 1971 album, Choma (Burn), recorded in Los Angeles alongside Bobby Hutcherson, with Reggie Johnson on bass, Ndugu and Woody Theus on drums, and Bill Henderson and Harold Land Jr. on piano/Fender Rhodes. Together, the musicians crafted a spiritual mix of funky and modal jazz that was the trademark of the Harold Land-Bobby Hutcherson quintet between 1968 and 1972. This reissue comes with remastered audio, original gatefold artwork and new liner notes. Release date: May 24.

Diana Krall, The Look of Love (Verve)

Verve has reissued Diana Krall’s The Look of Love as part of its Acoustic Sounds series of transfers from analog tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging. Originally released in 2001 and produced by Tommy LiPuma, the record is a cinematic collection of ballads and bossa nova, coupling Krall’s renowned elegant piano playing and sultry vocals with the London Symphony Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Claus Ogerman. Release date: May 31


Like this article? Get more when you subscribe.

Join Our Newsletter
Join thousands of other jazz enthusiasts and get new music, artists, album, events and more delivered to your inbox.

The Authoritative Voice in Jazz