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Record Store Day 2023 Jazz Releases


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Record Store Day, which started in 2007, is a biannual event designed to promote independent record stores. Every Record Store Day drop features limited-edition vinyl releases in practically every genre of music. The releases, however, are offered on a limited basis, and they are available for one time only. As a result, collectors often wait in long lines at a participating store hoping to get copies of releases before they are sold out. As expected, this 2023 drop on April 22 features a wide variety of albums, and jazz is no exception. Here is a list of jazz albums coming out for April's Record Store Day.

Roy Ayres
Stoned Soul Picnic
Nature Sounds

Roy Ayers rose to fame during the seventies and eighties with his blend of smooth jazz and R&B. However, his earliest recordings are much more focused on jazz. One of these albums, Virgo Vibes (Atlantic), was re-released for last year's April drop, and this year sees a reissue of his 1968 album Stoned Soul Picnic (Atlantic). At first glance, this album might appear to simply be a foray into the popular music of the day. Nothing could be further from the truth. This album is a very tasty slice of soulful jazz.

Produced by Herbie Mann, Stoned Soul Picnic features an exceptional lineup of talented musicians, including Gary Bartz, Hubert Laws, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, and Grady Tate. This limited edition reissue is pressed on splatter-colored vinyl.

Albert Ayler
Europe 1966
ORG Music

Several recordings of Albert Ayler's 1966 European tour have been released over the years. This four-album set, however, captures some of the most significant moments from this legendary tour, including performances from Berlin, Lörrach, Stockholm, and Paris. The album features Ayler on tenor saxophone, Donald Ayler on trumpet, Michel Samson on violin,William Folwell on double bass, and Beaver Harris on drums. The recordings have been remastered, and the package also includes a fold-out insert, featuring liner notes and photos from the tour.

Chet Baker
Craft Recordings

The 2023 RSD drop features two Chet Baker releases, the first of which is a mono reissue of his 1959 Riverside album, Chet. This all-instrumental release features Baker in his prime and is often regarded as one of the essential albums in his catalog. The recording features an impressive lineup of musicians, including Bill Evans, Pepper Adams, Herbie Mann, Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, Connie Kay, and Philly Joe Jones. Craft Recordings has an impressive lineup of past RSD reissues, and this should be no exception.

Chet Baker
Blue Room: The 1979 VARA Studio Sessions in Holland
Jazz Detective/Elemental Music

Blue Room: The 1979 VARA Studio Sessions in Holland is a two-LP set from Chet Baker sessions recorded at the VARA Studio 2 in the Netherlands. The session from April 10, 1979 features pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, and drummer Charles Rice. The session from November 9 features pianist Frans Elsen, bassist Victor Kaihatu, and drummer Eric Ineke. The set includes an extensive booklet with photos, liner notes, essays, and interviews.

Walter Bishop, Jr.
Bish at the Bank: Live in Baltimore
Reel to Real

Certain record labels have a reputation for producing excellent albums, and Reel to Real is certainly one of the best. Specializing in previously unreleased live recordings, past RSD drops have featured excellent releases by artists such as George Coleman, and Pepper Adams. If the trend continues, Bish at the Bank should be an album to be on the lookout for.

Often described as an unsung hero of bebop, Walter Bishop, Jr. was an amazing pianist who got his start playing with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and went on to record with jazz greats such as Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Hank Mobley, and many others.

This two-LP set includes previously unreleased recordings from 1966 and 1967. Bishop is featured on piano along with Harold Vick on saxophone, Lou McIntosh on bass, and Dick Berk on drums. The album features a gatefold sleeve, an informative booklet with several essays, and some of Bishop's original poetry.

Hal Blaine
Psychedelic Percussion
Jackpot Records

During the late 1960s, it seemed as if everybody was jumping on the psychedelic bandwagon. While most of the forays into psychedelia came from pop artists, a few jazz musicians tapped into the scene as well. An example of this is the 1966 album Raga Rock (World Pacific), which featured Howard Roberts and Herb Ellis on guitar along with Hal Blaine on drums.

Blaine came to prominence during the sixties as part of the Wrecking Crew, and he appeared on countless recordings during his time as a session man. He also recorded his own albums as well, but the 1967 release Psychedelic Percussion (Dunhill) has to be the most unusual. This all-instrumental psychedelic free jazz recording is heavy on percussion instruments and electronics. In fact, this is one of the earliest recordings to feature the Moog synthesizer. This reissue is mastered from the original tapes and includes an inner sleeve with session notes and photos. Also, not surprisingly, it is being released on colored vinyl.

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
Live at the Jazz Workshop 1970
Gearbox Records

Gearbox Records, in collaboration with the Blakey estate, is releasing this album, featuring previously unreleased recordings from legendary drummer Art Blakey. According to the press release, this is the only known recording with this Jazz Messengers line-up, which includes Blakey on drums along with Andy Bey on piano, Ramon Morris on tenor saxophone, Isao Suzuki on bass, and Junior Cook on soprano saxophone. The album also comes with a QR code that links to almost five hours of additional content.

Larry Coryell
Introducing the Eleventh House with Larry Coryell
Culture Factory

Introducing the Eleventh House marks the fifth RSD release for guitarist Larry Coryell. This album, which originally came out on Vanguard Records in 1974, provides evidence for Coryell's title of the godfather of fusion. There are plenty of tight grooves and superb playing from the first incarnation of The Eleventh House. Coryell is joined here by Randy Brecker on trumpet, Mike Mandel on keyboards, Danny Trifan on bass, and Alphonse Mouzon on drums and percussion. This will be issued with a gatefold album cover and original record labels. It also comes on colored vinyl.

Miles Davis
Turnaround: Unreleased Rare Vinyl from On The Corner

Miles Davis' 1972 album On The Corner (Columbia) is a hallmark of fusion and funk. Since its release, it has inspired artists in several genres of music, including jazz, rock, funk, hip-hop, and punk. 2007 saw the CD release of the The Complete On The Corner Sessions (Columbia Legacy), and Turnaround presents a vinyl edition featuring some of the prime cuts from this set. The album features an all-star lineup including Herbie Hancock on keyboards, Michael Henderson on bass, Al Foster on drums, James Mtume on percussion, Dave Liebman on saxophone, and Bennie Maupin on bass clarinet. The album cover features a variation on the original cover art, and it will be released with original label art on blue vinyl.

Eric Dolphy
Musical Prophet: The Expanded N.Y. Studio Sessions

Most of the RSD albums only receive one limited release on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the album is sold out, buyers don't get a second chance. There are some albums, however, that get reissued due to the high demand, and Eric Dolphy's Musical Prophet is one such case. Originally released for the 2018 Black Friday drop, Musical Prophet is making another appearance in 2023. The album features different album cover photos from the previous release and includes a 20-page insert with previously unpublished photos, essays, and interviews. This three-album set contains the full Conversations (FM 1963) and Iron Man (Douglas International 1963) albums plus nearly 85 minutes of additional material. The album features Dolphy on bass clarinet, flute, and alto saxophone along with Clifford Jordan on soprano saxophone, Sonny Simmons on alto saxophone, Woody Shaw on trumpet, Richard Davis on bass, and BBobby Hutcherson on vibraphone.

Bill Evans
Treasures: Solo, Trio and Orchestra Recordings from Denmark (1965-1969)
Anagram Music

Bill Evans has become something of a Record Store Day staple. Practically every RSD drop since 2016 has featured albums by Bill Evans, and 2023 is no exception. Treasures is a set of previously unreleased recordings of Evans in Denmark during the 1960s. These are all taken from either live concerts or television performances, and the sound quality is excellent. This three-album set features a beautifully-designed package, which includes previously unpublished photos, in-depth liner notes, and interviews.

Jazz Artist Guild
Newport Rebels

The 1960 Newport Jazz Festival was a legendary event, but not for the reasons George Wein, its organizer, had in mind. First of all, there was a violent riot from people who were unable to attend the festival. The National Guard had to be called in and numerous people were arrested. Also, there was a backlash from some jazz musicians concerning the festival's growing popularity and commercialization. Charles Mingus, for example, was particularly upset. As George Wein wrote in his autobiography, Mingus "decided that Newport embodied everything he detested about the jazz world." As a result, Mingus, along with drummer Max Roach, organized The Jazz Artist Guild, billed as the "anti-Newport festival."

Newport Rebels, the resulting album, was originally released in 1961 on Candid Records and featured Mingus and Roach along with several other jazz greats, including Eric Dolphy, Tommy Flanagan, Jo Jones, and Abbey Lincoln. The album will be released on colored vinyl.

Medeski Martin & Wood
It's a Jungle in Here
Real Gone Music

The trio of John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood epitomizes the jazz element of jam bands. The trio gained popularity in jazz circles after their collaboration with John Scofield on A Go Go (1998 Verve). In spite of their jazz roots, the trio also has been featured on projects with artists such as Phish, Robert Randolph, and The North Mississippi Allstars. This 30th-anniversary edition of It's a Jungle in Here is the first vinyl release of the album, which includes original compositions along with covers of songs by artists such as John Coltrane, King Sunny Ade, Bob Marley, and Thelonious Monk. The album is being released on blue vinyl and is limited to 2500 copies.

Charlie Parker
¡The Long Lost Afro-CuBop Recordings!
Liberation Hall

Charlie Parker is another artist who has been featured in several recent RSD drops, and ¡The Long Lost Afro-CuBop Recordings! Should be a worthwhile addition to anyone's jazz collection. Although some of the music included here has been released previously, this double-album vinyl set is the first time the recordings have been collected in a single package. All the recordings date from the late '40s and early '50s. There are plenty of strong performances here, and the recordings feature Parker on alto saxophone along with numerous jazz greats, such as Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown,Art Blakey, Woody Herman,Stan Kenton, and Red Rodney. This album also includes an essay by the late [[m: Keith Emerson}} of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer fame.

Max Roach Archie Shepp
Force—Sweet Mao—Suid Afrika 76

Legendary drummer Max Roach teamed up with saxophonist Archie Shepp to help raise awareness of the brutality and injustice South Africa was experiencing during the seventies. The album features Roach and Shepp performing together as a duet, and there is plenty of avant-garde improvisation going on here. This two-LP album reissue features deluxe packaging, which includes original record labels and colored vinyl.

Shirley Scott
Queen Talk: Live at the Left Bank
Reel to Real

Shirley Scott often gets overlooked; however, she was one of the finest organists in jazz. She came to prominence during the late 1950s and recorded several noteworthy albums during her career. She also worked with artists such as Stanley Turrentine, Oliver Nelson, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, and Kenny Burrell.

This live recording features Scott along with George Coleman on tenor saxophone and Bobby Durham on drums. Vocalist Ernie Andrews also appears on three tracks. This limited edition 2-LP set was sourced from the original tape reels, and it is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with an extensive booklet featuring an interview with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco, who performed with Scott and cited her as one of his major influences.

Archie Shepp
Live at Massy

This 1975 recording from a concert in Massy, France features saxophonist Shepp playing some excellent free jazz. The album has Shepp performing with Cameron Brown on bass, Beaver Harris on drums, Charles Greenlee on trombone, and Dave Burrell on piano. This double album reissue includes a gatefold jacket, original record labels, and colored vinyl.

Sonny Stitt
The Bubba's Sessions
Who's Who In Jazz

This live recording from Bubba's Jazz Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida was recorded in 1981 and released on vinyl in 1983. The album features Stitt on alto saxophone along with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis on tenor saxophone, Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet, Eddie Higgins on piano, Duffy Jackson on drums, and Donn Mast on bass. These were Stitt's last live recordings, and this RSD version marks the first vinyl reissue, which will be pressed on colored vinyl.

Sonny Stitt
Boppin' In Baltimore: Live at the Left Bank
Jazz Detective/Elemental Music

This double album set of previously-unreleased material features Stitt recorded live from Baltimore, Maryland in 1973. The set features Stitt on saxophone along with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Sam Jones, and drummer Louis Hayes. The set includes an extensive booklet with photos, liner notes, and interviews. Judging from the samples released so far, this should be an excellent title.

Sun Ra
Haverford College January 25, 1980
Modern Harmonic

This is a Sun Ra solo piano performance recorded at Haverford College. The story behind this concert is worth noting. The college was presenting a concert featuring solo performances by jazz artists. They originally contacted Ra, but he canceled. They replaced him with bassist Jymie Merritt. Since Ra canceled, they did not bother bringing a piano to the concert venue. On the morning of the show, however, Merritt received news that his father had died. The organizers were disheartened, to say the least, and they tried to come up with a backup plan in order for the concert to go on. Shortly before the show was supposed to begin, Sun Ra appeared. He originally canceled because he had another gig that was offering more money, but when he heard about Merritt's father, he changed his plans.

The only problem was that he didn't have a piano, so he managed to borrow a Fender Rhodes from a student at Haverford. Fortunately, the performance was recorded and copies have been circulating since then. Although these recordings are fairly common, this is the first vinyl release. The release is limited to 1400 copies and is coming out on colored vinyl.

Various Artists
Bossa Nova at Carnegie Hall
Liberation Hall

Before Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd recorded their landmark album, Jazz Samba (Verve 1962), bossa nova was not an overly familiar musical genre. This recording, however, ignited the bossa nova craze. By the end of 1962, it was in high demand, and promoters scheduled a concert at Carnegie Hall showcasing some of bossa nova's greatest performers. The lineup includes Sergio Mendes, Carmen Costa, Bola Sete, José Paulo, Luiz Bonfá, João Gilberto, Oscar Castro-Neves, and many others. The original album has been out of print for years, but it is making its return in a limited edition 180g vinyl pressing.

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