Expect quarantine limitations to continue for the Record Store Day celebrations at your local store Saturday. Jazz and blues fans will once again find several new jazz and blues releases to encourage your support of independent record stores. Jazz host Abe Beeson has a look at some of the highlights.
Record Store Day continues to focus on bringing revenue to record stores, as well as the artists, labels, distributors and all the people behind the scenes who've continued to struggle during the pandemic. Special releases are arriving in your local record stores Saturday, and again July 17.
Harold Land - Westward Bound: Another entry from Jim Wilke's live broadcast recordings at the Penthouse in 1960s Seattle, saxophonist Harold Land's quintet lineup should have jazz fans lining up at record stores Saturday morning. Trumpeter Carmell Jones joins Land on the frontline across two LPs from three visits to Seattle with Hampton Hawes, Buddy and Monk Montgomery, and drummer Philly Joe Jones.
Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller - In Harmony: Coming July 17, these never-before-released performances from these two late, great jazz masters in New York City (2006) and Easton, Pa., (2007) are improvisational master classes from Hargrove and Miller at their creative peaks.
Bill Evans - Behind the Dikes, 1969 Netherlands Recordings: The piano legend's live recordings continue to be unearthed, and these three LPs (due July 17) of trio concerts include Evans' only recorded version of Duke Ellington's "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" and more rarities with bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morrell.
Roland Kirk - Live at Ronnie Scott's: July 17 also brings a collection of previously unavailable recordings of multi-instrumentalist (often at the same time!) Rahsaan Roland Kirk in 1963 London concerts. There are just four songs on this single-disc collection, but Kirk packs every second with passion and exuberance.
Dinner Party - Dessert: The modern jazz all-star quartet of Robert Glasper, Kamasi Washington, Terrace Martin and 9th Wonder follow their Dinner Party album with a hip-hop jazz-fusion treat July 17, featuring a number of special guests. There's always room for Snoop Dogg, Rapsody, Bilal and ... Herbie Hancock, too! (Also July 17, Glasper offers a 7-inch single of live collaborations with Denzel Curry.)
High Pulp - Mutual Attraction Vol. 2: Seattle's jazz fusion collective has another EP of covers dropping Saturday, in progressive jazz mode on the music of Brazil's Arthur Verocai, Cortex from France and Japanese group Casiopea. Green vinyl available as an import with black copies for the U.S. market.
Peggy Lee - World Broadcast Recordings 1955: July's release of Lee singing jazz standards for radio broadcasts arrives on limited colored vinyl, with the singer at the top of her game during her string of hits for the Decca label.
Charlie Parker - Bird in L.A.: Spread over four albums (two CDs) are mostly unreleased studio and live sessions from the Yardbird in four trips to the West Coast between 1946 and 1952, including three rare jams stretching past the 12-minute mark. Look for these July 17 as well.
Some hard-to-find classics will be reissued for Record Store Day. Some of the most interesting include Larry Coryell's Live at the Village Gate, Kenny Dorham's Quiet Kenny, Barney Wilen's La Note Bleue, and the Miles Davis collection Champions, outtakes from the Jack Johnson album in 1970.
Oddly, the Thelonious Monk album Palo Alto 1963, beautifully remastered for its first-ever release last year, will return in a "Custodian's Mix." This un-remastered audio gives the listener the original, low-fidelity sound of the original recordings made by the jazz-loving custodian at Palo Alto High School and seems like a gimmick to me.
Blues fans should look for the three-disc compilation Chicago! The Blues! Today! from 1966, featuring Otis Rush, Junior Wells, Jimmy Cotton, Otis Spann and more. Other blues reissues of interest come from Aretha Franklin (Oh Me, Oh My: Aretha Live in Philly 1972), Albert Collins (With the Barrellhouse Live), Precious Bryant (Fool Me Good), The Blind Boys of Alabama (I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free), and three new compilations from World Music Network's Rough Guide series.