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.
The Singers Unlimited, Christmas (MPS)
MPS Records has been reissuing gems from its historic archive all throughout the year. One of the latest is four-part jazz vocal group The Singers Unlimited’s holiday-themed evergreen LP, Christmas. Regarded as one of the great a cappella albums of the period, Christmas was originally released in 1972 and set a musical precedent with its distinctive vocal arrangements of traditional carols and festive classics, marrying tradition and modernity. Order it here.
Joey DeFrancesco, More Music (Mack Avenue)
Joey DeFrancesco plays multiple instruments, including the tenor saxophone for the first time ever on record, on his latest tour-de-force, More Music, released earlier this year on Mack Avenue. The album also finds him offering up ten new compositions and aims to offer a remedy for a challenging year. “It’s time for more music,” DeFrancesco declares via a press release. “This situation has been difficult for so many people. It’s definitely time to get back at it.” In addition to being out on CD and digital platforms, the record is now available as a 2-LP set on splatter vinyl. Order More Music here.
Ennio Morricone, Il Gatto a Nove Code – 50th Anniversary (Rustblade)
Rustblade has released a deluxe edition of Italian maestro Ennio Morricone’s gloriously dissonant, avant-garde soundtrack to Dario Argento’s cult 1971 thriller, Il Gatto a Nove Code (The Cat o’ Nine Tails), to celebrate the film’s 50th anniversary. Limited to 499 copies, the album is pressed on transparent black cat smoke vinyl, contains bonus tracks and comes with a poster of the film. A limited expanded version of the set is also available. Order it here.
Portico Quartet, Monument (Gondwana)
Multi-instrumentalists Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie, mainstays on the contemporary U.K. jazz scene, return a mere six months after their minimalist Terrain record with a more melodic and electronic-driven Portico Quartet LP, Monument. “It’s possibly our most direct album to date,” explains Wyllie via an official statement. “It’s melodic, structured and there’s an economy to it that is very efficient.” While the double clear vinyl limited edition release is sold out, Monument is still available on black vinyl. Order it here.
Record Store Day Black Friday Releases
The annual Record Store Day Black Friday returned to participating independent record stores worldwide on November 26. This date saw the release of an extensive list of exclusives, special reissues and limited editions. Among them, a slew of noteworthy jazz titles, including music by Chet Baker, Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis, among others. Click here for our list of noteworthy Record Store Day Black Friday 2021 jazz releases.
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