Vinyl Watch, April 2020: Nina Simone, Gil Evans & 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.


Nina Simone, Fodder On My Wings (Verve/UMe)

Nina Simone considered her 1982 Fodder On My Wings, recorded shortly after her move to Paris, one of her best recordings. Despite this, it has remained relatively obscure within her universally celebrated oeuvre.

Now, Verve/UMe has given it the long-overdue reissue it deserves. In addition to making it available on digital platforms for the first time, Fodder On My Wings was released on CD and vinyl. Along with such painfully personal songs as “I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive” the new version is expanded with three bonus tracks culled from the original recording session previously released on a 1988 French reissue. These include a heartfelt take on Gilbert O’Sullivan’s hit song “Alone Again (Naturally).”


Peggy Lee, Ultimate Peggy Lee (UMe/Capitol)

Peggy Lee’s captivating voice continues to resonate with audiences of all ages to this day. Over the course of her seven-decade career, the singer/songwriter wrote over 200 songs and recorded over 1100 masters.

In celebration of her centennial, UMe released Ultimate Peggy Lee. This is a 22-track comprehensive LP featuring her hits, five songs she co-wrote as well as the previously unreleased “Try a Little Tenderness.” The latter makes its world debut 57 years after it was originally recorded. Ultimate Peggy Lee is available as a 2-LP collector’s edition set on colored vinyl and is also available on CD and digital.


Marvin Gaye, More Trouble (Motown/UMe)

More Trouble is a vinyl-only collection of alternate and extended versions of tracks from Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man, the soundtrack album for the 1972 cult film of the same name.

The tracks were culled from the expanded 40th-anniversary version of Trouble Man and are now released for the first time on vinyl, presented with a new photo of the “Prince of Soul” on the cover of the gatefold jacket. More Trouble is released via Motown/UMe and the music was mixed in hi-res from the original 16-track session reels.


Gil Evans, New Bottle Old Wine (Blue Note)

Blue Note has reissued Gil Evans’ 1958 album New Bottle Old Wine as part of its Tone Poet Audiophile series. The album features Evans and his orchestra, with main soloist Cannonball Adderley, performing a suite of songs written by or associated with major jazz composers and musicians. This version of New Bottle Old Wine was mastered from original tapes under the supervision of producer Joe “Tone Poet” Harley.

Also reissued as part of the series this month, Joe Henderson’s The State of the Tenor from 1985 and Cassandra Wilson’s Glamoured from 2003.


Various Artists, Our Town: Jazz Fusion, Funky Pop and Bossa Gayo Tracks from Dong-a Records (Beat Ball)

For the more adventurous music explorers. Beat Ball has released a brand new compilation spotlighting the jazz fusion, funky pop and Bossa Gayo popular in Japan during the ’80s. This was a post-economic boom period for the country, the soundtrack of which was pop music influenced by such western styles as smooth jazz, soft rock, R&B, funk, adult contemporary and more.

While Our Town is a nostalgia-tinged collection, it also reveals a somewhat surprising resurgence of interest in this type of music, best-represented by the vaporwave, future funk and city pop.

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