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Record Store Day 2021 Jazz Releases

Record Store Day 2021 Jazz Releases
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Since its inception in 2007, Record Store Day has become an important event for record collectors around the world. Every year, limited edition runs of albums from a variety of different genres hit the shelves, and jazz is no exception. There are two 2021 Record Store Day drops planned: one on June 12 and the other on July 17. Here is a list of some of the jazz titles scheduled for 2021.

June 12 Drop

Larry Coryell
At The Village Gate
Culture Factory

This album, originally released in 1971 on Vanguard Records, is the legendary guitarist's first live album, which has been long out of print on vinyl. Frequently referred to as “the godfather of fusion," Coryell had recently completed a tour with Jack Bruce at the time of this recording, and there are definitely a lot of rock influences here. Many past reviews mentioned the excellent sound quality of the album, and this release should be no exception. Also, the RSD copy is on blue vinyl.

Kenny Dorham
Quiet Kenny
Craft Recordings

This is a reissue of Kenny Dorham's classic 1960 album, originally released on the New Jazz label. Many collectors consider this to be a “holy grail" album, partially due to the limited availability of original copies. There wasn't a reissue on vinyl until the eighties, and original copies of this album (as of 2021) generally sell for prices ranging from $2000 to $5000. Quiet Kenny features an outstanding lineup, including Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor. The RSD reissue includes all analog mastering from the original mono tapes and is limited to 2500 copies.

Ella Fitzgerald
Original Grooves: Ella in Berlin
Verve

This release features four songs with two songs per side. While that might not seem so unusual, the album is pressed using a technique known as “parallel grooves," where grooves are cut side-by-side instead of following in a linear fashion. This allows listeners to hear a different version of each song depending on where the needle lands. This album features live versions of “Mack the Knife" and “Summertime" from the legendary 1960 Berlin performance. However, the same songs recorded in 1962 appear “hidden" in the parallel grooves.

Nubya Garcia
Source = Our Dance
Concord Jazz

Source = Our Dance is a selection of remixes from the London-based saxophonist Nubya Garcia on turquoise blue and black vinyl. This limited edition album follows Garcia's album Source (Concord Jazz), which many considered one of the best albums of 2020.


Harold Land
Westward Bound!
Reel to Real

The Reel to Reel label has issued some of the best RSD jazz releases to date. These albums generally feature previously unreleased live recordings, each with superb sound quality. While the vinyl releases are limited quantity pressings, CD and streaming formats are usually easy to find. Westward Bound! includes previously unissued live performances of tenor saxophonist Harold Land recorded at The Penthouse in Seattle during the early to mid-sixties. This recoding features Land along with Hampton Hawes on piano, Carmell Jones on trumpet, Monk Montgomery on bass, and Philly Joe Jones on drums.

M.T.B. (Mehldau/Turner/Bernstein)
Consenting Adults
Anagram Music

This album, which originally came out on CD in 2000, sees its first vinyl release. The album features Brad Mehldau on keyboards, Mark Turner on tenor saxophone, and Peter Bernstein on guitar. Larry Grenadier is also featured on bass and Leon Parker on drums. This release of Consenting Adults is remastered from the original tapes, and as Mehldau notes, it “captured all of us when we were right at the beginning of developing our own voices."

Thelonious Monk
Palo Alto: The Custodian's Mix
Verve

2020 saw the release of Thelonious Monk Palo Alto (Impulse!). Although this album was recorded in 1968, it wasn't officially released until 52 years later. The album received a great deal of critical acclaim and rightly so. The performance took place at Palo Alto High School after a student managed to get Monk and his band to perform a concert there. One of the janitors recorded the concert and handed the tape over to the student, who put it away in a box and essentially forgot about it. Fifty years later, he rediscovered the tape and gave it to Monk's son.

For the RSD release, GrandMixer DXT remixed the original recording. As the Record Store Day page describes it, “the Custodian's Mix uses the audio from the original tape to put you in that high school auditorium in October 1968 and lets you feel what it was like to be in the room." It will be interesting to see how different this mix is from the previous version.

Salah Ragab
Egyptian Jazz
Strut

RSD 2021 sees an extended reissue of Egyptian drummer Salah Ragab's 1974 album, Egypt Strut (Arab Republic of Egypt—Ministry of Culture). Original versions of the 1974 release are extremely rare, and this version features the original album with eight additional tracks recorded around the same time. It also includes the original artwork and a booklet describing each of the tracks.

Barney Wilen
La Note Bleue
Elemental Music

The 2020 Black Friday RSD drop featured an excellent previously-unreleased recording by French tenor saxophonist Barney Wilen with pianist Tete Montoliu. Wilen's music makes a return in 2021 with the reissue of La Note Bleue, which originally came out in 1968. This album was hailed as one of the best French jazz albums of that year. The RSD version is an extensive reissue, featuring plenty of extras. This is a limited edition, numbered album, which was remastered from the original tapes. This release also features an 88-page English edition of the comic strip “Barney Et La Note Bleue," a 40-page booklet, and a bonus CD with a previously unreleased 1989 broadcast.

July 17 Drop

Roy Brooks
Understanding
Reel to Real

Understanding is a previously unreleased live recording of drummer Roy Brooks from 1970. Brooks is joined with Woody Shaw, Harold Mabern, Cecil McBee and Carlos Garnett. Mastered from the original tapes, the limited-edition three-album set includes an extensive booklet with photos and interviews with some of the musicians. If the recording is comparable to the previous Reel to Real releases, this should be worth checking out.

Miles Davis
Champions-Rare Miles from the Complete Jack Johnson Sessions
Legacy

Miles Davis is something of an RSD favorite, and several recent drops have included rare Miles recordings. Among these are 2019's Early Minor (Legacy), featuring outtakes from In A Silent Way (Columbia) and 2020's Double Vision (Legacy), a superb double album of outtakes from the Bitches Brew (Columbia) sessions. 2021 sees the release of Champions , which is a collection of recordings from the Jack Johnson (Columbia) sessions, featuring Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette, and Billy Cobham. As an added bonus, this album will be issued on yellow vinyl.

Bill Evans
Behind the Dikes: The 1969 Netherlands Recordings
Anagram Music

Bill Evans has been another Record Store Day staple. Five albums of previously-unreleased recordings have come out since 2016, and the 2021 July drop includes the release of Behind the Dikes: The 1969 Netherlands Recordings, featuring Evans along with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell. According to co-producer Zev Feldman, “these recordings capture Evans at his very best." This limited-edition 3-LP set includes a booklet with photos, articles, and interviews.

Roy Hargrove and Mulgrew Miller
In Harmony
Resonance Records

In Harmony is trumpeter Roy Hargrove's first posthumous release. This album was recorded live in 2006 in New York City and November 9, 2007 in Easton, PA, where Hargove is joined by legendary pianist Mulgrew Miller. The album will include a booklet with photos, essays, and interviews.


Charles Lloyd
Manhattan Stories
Resonance

The 2014 Record Store Day included Live at Slugs (Resonance) by tenor saxophone legend Charles Lloyd. This 1965 performance, recorded at Slugs Saloon in Manhattan, is available again with additional material. This double album features guitarist Gabor Szabo, Ron Carter on bass, and drummer Pete La Roca. Manhattan Stories also includes an extensive booklet with essays and rare photos.

Christian McBride
Out Here
Mack Avenue

Out Here is the first vinyl release of bassist Christian McBride's 2013 Grammy-nominated album. McBride's trio includes pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr.. As McBride mentioned in an interview, “It's a pretty diversified trio. The real core foundation is hardcore swingin,' blues and the American songbook." This limited edition, numbered two-album set will be released on purple vinyl.

Charlie Parker
Bird in LA
Verve

This four-LP set includes previously unreleased historic recordings from Charlie Parker's legendary trips to Los Angeles during the late 1940s and early1950s. These recordings have been restored to ensure the best possible audio fidelity. Bird in LA also includes an essay by producer John Burton describing details of the recordings accompanied by rare photographs.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Live at Ronnie Scott's, London 1963
Gearbox

Rahsaan Roland Kirk was one of the most unique performers in jazz, whose music has influenced artists from practically every genre of music. Jimi Hendrix, for example, loved his music, and Jethro Tull even recorded one of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's songs. Live at Ronnie Scott's, London 1963, recorded at Ronnie Scott's legendary jazz club in London, is a previously unreleased performance, limited to 1100 copies on vinyl.

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