For the second edition of this year's pandemic-altered Record Store Day celebrations, there are fewer headlines for jazz fans. A new collection of previously unheard, edgy hard bop from cornet player Don Cherry tops the list.
Cherry is best known for working with Ornette Coleman's early free jazz bands. He also recorded cutting edge jazz in the early 60s with sax greats John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Albert Ayler.
In 1966, Don Cherry recorded his debut as a bandleader, Complete Communion. It's been lauded as an important innovation in free jazz of the time, featuring a young Gato Barbieri on sax in a pianoless quartet.
That same year, Cherry took his cornet to Europe and recorded a few songs with a quartet of local musicians. The three Cherry originals and one standard ("You Took Advantage of Me") will finally be available for Record Store Day Saturday in the collection Cherry Jam from London's Gearbox Records.
Pianist Atli Bjørn was featured on Dexter Gordon's late 70s album Cry Me a River, and he's the main foil for Cherry's cornet on this new release. Saxophonist Morgens Bollerup takes a couple solos, but is largely playing in unison with Cherry.
Driving, edgy hardbop is the mode for this session. Cherry would move into world music fusion in the second half of the 60s, this relatively short (32 minutes) European jam is a fine document of his more mainstream inclinations. Don't be slow, just 1,100 copies have been pressed.
Other jazz releases of interest coming Saturday have been previously released, but all deserve further exposure.
New York Concerts: The Jimmy Giuffre 3 & 4 were recorded in 1965 and debuted on two CDs in 2014. Thrilling improvisations on tenor and clarinet from Giuffre at Judson Hall in trio and quartet lineups mark this vinyl debut.
The previously "lost" German sessions from 1968 recordings from pianist Bill Evans, Some Other Time, first hit record shelves in 2016, but the 4,000 vinyl copies quickly sold out. Bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette make this collection a must for fans of all three legendary musicians.
A straight reissue of the 1969 hit salsa album Cosa Nuestra from trombonist Willie Colon, featuring singer Héctor Lavoe, will excite Latin jazz lovers and fans of Robin Lloyd's show Jazz Caliente. It was the first album from the pair to reach gold record status, and gets a fresh 180 gram vinyl treatment from Craft Recordings.
Vibraphonist Dave Pike's unusual mid-60s album Jazz for the Jet Set features incredibly goofy album art, and Herbie Hancock in rare form on the organ. Pike plays marimba throughout this set of high-end lounge jazz, perfect for all your bachelor pad needs. Often reissued, this pressing from the Nature Sounds label is limited to 1,000.
Finally, the 1995 debut from swing revival stars The Squirrel Nut Zippers returns on vinyl for the first time with a limited run of 1,500 pressings. The Inevitable... was a breath of fresh air upon it's release, excitable young musicians diving into jump blues and early jazz favorites, without a hint of irony. A new generation of lindy hoppers and swing dancers was weaned on this modern/vintage classic.
If you're headed to your local record store this Saturday to celebrate RSD Drops No. 2, the same rules of social distancing apply as the August drop. Plan ahead, and feel free to stay safely at home to shop online — just be sure to buy from independent record stores!