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Blue Note Records BST-84132/B0033488-01
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****½
Sound Quality: ****½
Overall Enjoyment: ***½

I became a fan of jazz guitarist Grant Green in the early 1990s, but copies of his recordings on vinyl were hard to find at that time. I tracked down nearly all his Blue Note sessions on CD, including his outings as a sideman, but for a long time I only had a handful on LP. Over the last several years, Blue Note has done a fine job of bringing Green’s recordings back into circulation on vinyl through its 75th Anniversary, Tone Poet, and Classic Vinyl series.

Impulse! Records B0036068-01
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ***½
Overall Enjoyment: ****

The saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings has played with a number of bands and musicians, including the Sun Ra Arkestra, Polar Bear, and The Heliocentrics. Those bands are genre-bending—Sun Ra, after all, stretched the definition of jazz—so it’s not surprising that Hutchings is currently part of a musical trio that has hints of jazz but defies categorization. The Comet Is Coming was formed in London, England, in 2015, and the members of the band appear under pseudonyms. Hutchings is King Shabaka, keyboardist Dan Leavers is Danalogue, and drummer Max Hallett is Betamax.

Blue Note Records BST-84221 / Ume 4579754
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****½
Sound Quality: ****½
Overall Enjoyment: ****½

Jazz organist Larry Young died too soon—in 1978, at the age of 37—but he had played on many notable sessions throughout the ’60s and ’70s, both as sideman and leader. He appeared on Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew and John McLaughlin’s second album, Devotion, both in 1970. He was a member of the Tony Williams Lifetime from 1969 to 1971, alongside McLaughlin and Jack Bruce. Young recorded as a leader for a number of labels, but his best-known album under his own name was Unity (1966), his fifth album and his second for Blue Note Records.

Pacific Jazz Records ST-61 / Blue Note Records B0033487-01
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****½
Sound Quality: ****½
Overall Enjoyment: ****½

When jazz trumpeter, arranger, and composer Gerald Wilson died in 2014, at the age of 96, he was celebrated as a great and important American musician. He had received many accolades throughout his later years. In 1990, the National Endowment for the Arts named Wilson an NEA Jazz Master, and various other awards came to him in the years that followed. Over his long career, a number of his recordings were nominated for Grammy Awards.

Verve Records / Acoustic Sounds / UMe V6-8613/B0033124-01
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ****½
Overall Enjoyment: ****½

When Verve Records and Acoustic Sounds reissued Bill Evans’s Trio 64 on vinyl in July 2021, it was originally intended to be released simultaneously with a second Evans title on Verve, Trio ’65. Supply chain issues, along with increased demand at pressing plants, caused schedule changes for many labels, and Verve was no exception. Trio ’65 was delayed, and finally made its appearance as part of the Verve / Acoustic Sounds reissue program on July 1, 2022, a year later than planned.

Virgin Records/UMC RMLP 3
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ****
Overall Enjoyment: ****

Stranded was Roxy Music’s third album in less than 18 months. Its second album, For Your Pleasure, had been released just eight months earlier, in March 1973. Brian Eno, a cofounder of the group, left soon after For Your Pleasure, to be replaced by Eddie Jobson on keyboards, synthesizers, and violin. Bassist John Gustafson also joined the group, and the lineup on Stranded, which included Bryan Ferry on vocals, Phil Manzanera on guitar, Andy Mackay on sax, and Paul Thompson on drums, would remain fixed for two more albums.

Ernest Jenning Record Co. EJRC181, Geenger Records GNGR108, Peculiar Works PW009
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ****
Overall Enjoyment: ****

Brooklyn-based indie band Savak has released five albums since 2016, including its newest, Human Error / Human Delight. The album was developed and recorded during the pandemic, and the band wrote and arranged the songs on Zoom. Currently, Savak consists of Sohrab Habibion and Michael Jaworski on guitars and vocals, with Matt Schulz on drums, so the trio pulled in a number of bass players to fill out the band.

Lazy Eye Records America/Compass Records 7 4781 1
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ****½
Overall Enjoyment: ****

Colin Hay, lead vocalist and guitarist of the Australian band Men at Work, has released a series of albums under his own name since 1987, all well received by fans and critics. I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself, his 14th release, features the UK-born singer-songwriter’s interpretations of songs made famous by others. He coproduced the album with producer and multi-instrumentalist Chad Fischer, who provided the arrangements and much of the instrumentation.

Blue Note Records B0033158-01/Pacific Jazz ST-85
Format: LP

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ***½
Overall Enjoyment: ****½

By the time Joe Pass began his recording career in 1962, he was 33 years old. A heroin addict through much of the 1950s, he had kicked the drug with the help of the controversial Synanon rehab program. His debut LP for Pacific Jazz Records, Sounds of Synanon, featured musicians who were fellow clients. During the five years that Pass was associated with Pacific Jazz, he appeared on recordings by other artists on the label, including Les McCann and Gerald Wilson.

Blue Note Records BN 2801/B003372801
Format: 2 LPs

Musical Performance: ****
Sound Quality: ***
Overall Enjoyment: ***½

Don Was, president of Blue Note Records, penned the short introductory essay for the booklet that accompanies First Flight to Tokyo: The Lost 1961 Recordings, a newly released set of live recordings by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. Was describes Blakey’s importance to Blue Note, both as band leader and accompanist, and goes on to praise his focus and inspiration, which drove the musicians he played with to do their best.