Vinyl Watch, September 2020: John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk & 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.


John Coltrane, Giant Steps (RHINO)

Rhino has released a remastered 60th-Anniversary Deluxe Edition of John Coltrane’s seminal 1960 album, Giant Steps, on vinyl. The set boasts eight alternate takes, a booklet, never-before-seen photos and original liner notes as well as new liner notes by historian Ashley Kahn. The bundle also includes a single 7-inch vinyl disc featuring alternate takes of “Giant Steps” and “Naima.” In addition, Rhino has also released a Super Deluxe Edition of Giant Steps, featuring 20 additional outtakes from the original sessions. Both sets are also available on CD.


Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas (Craft)

This Friday, Craft Recordings will release a one-time vinyl pressing of Vince Guaraldi Trio’s beloved A Charlie Brown Christmas. The album was originally released in 1965 and this reissue will include a bonus lenticular print of the original album cover, featuring Charles Schulz’s iconic illustration. This reissue marks the 70th-anniversary of Peanuts and has been pressed on a range of colors and picture discs for participating retailers.


Ambiance, Into a New Journey (BBE Music)

Ambiance was the name of an ever-shifting jazz collective headed by multi-instrumentalist/composer Daoud Abubakar Balewa. Into a New Journey is a collection of rare and private Ambiance spiritual jazz recordings, and part of a prolific period of great music recording by the ensemble from 1979 to 1986. The album – a spiritual jazz masterpiece with Latin, Brazilian and Afro overtones – was recently unearthed by The Mighty Zaf for BBE Music.


Thelonious Monk, Palo Alto (Impulse!)

After some legal trials and tribulations, Palo Alto, the unreleased 1968 live Thelonious Monk record, is finally out, including on vinyl via Impulse! The album was recorded at Palo Alto High School on October 27, 1968. It features the piano legend at the peak of his powers, performing some of his most famous compositions alongside his then-touring band, including saxophonist and longtime collaborator Charlie Rouse.


Count Basie, Basie at Birdland (Pure Pleasure)

A remastered version of the 1961 live double-album documenting Count Basie, one of the greatest bandleaders of all time, at the height of his prowess. Live at Birdland also proves that no one could swing quite like his orchestra. Against the lively backdrop of the self-proclaimed “Jazz Corner of the World,” Basie’s tight-knit unit showcases top Kansas City-style jazz and harder-hitting big band bop via a program including such tunes as “Blues Backstage,” “Good Time Blues” and the signature “One O’Clock Jump.”


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