A jazz and blues lover’s guide to Record Store Day 2019

Record Store Day is upon us again for its 12th year celebrating independently owned record stores around the world.

Of course, that means plenty more special-edition releases to mark the occasion. For record collectors still looking to fill their shelves with rarities, reissues and box sets, this is your day.

Here’s a list of 21 jazz and blues releases coming out specially for Record Store Day this Saturday, April 13. Just be sure to call your local shop to see if they have the one you want.

Bill Evans – Evans in England

This newly discovered, previously unreleased recording captured the Bill Evans Trio performing live at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s club in London in December, 1969. Accompanying the lyrical master of piano is bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Marty Morell. Released by Resonance Records in collaboration with the Evans estate, this 180-gram double-LP features an 18-song set by the brilliant trio that played together from 1968 to 1974. The record comes with an abundance of liner notes, including essays by producer Zev Feldman and acclaimed jazz writer Marc Meyers; interviews with Gomez, Morell, and filmmaker Leon Terjanian; and rare photographs by Chuck Stewart, Jean-Pierre Leloir and Jan Persson. Copies: 2,000

Louis Armstrong – Disney Songs the Satchmo Way

First released in 1968, this record marks Louis Armstrong’s final trumpet recordings before his death three years later. The album features the jazz great’s own takes on Disney favourites such as Heigh-Ho, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, The Bare Necessities and one of Armstrong’s personal favourites, When You Wish Upon a Star. Produced by Tutti Camarata, the record was made upon a personal request from Walt Disney, though Armstrong did not complete it until after Disney’s death in 1966. Copies: 4,200

Wes Montgomery – Back on Indiana Avenue: The Carroll DeCamp Recordings

In the mid to late 1950s, renowned arranger Carroll DeCamp spent plenty of time playing and hanging around with jazz guitar legend Wes Montgomery. During that time, he captured a couple dozen live and studio recordings in their home of Indianapolis. This double album pressed on 180-gram vinyl collects those previously unreleased recordings into one deluxe set, complete with rare photos, essays by Feldman and jazz scholar Lewis Porter and interviews with iconic guitarists John Scofield and George Benson. Copies: 1,500

Fela Kuti and Roy Ayers – Music of Many Colours

After funk, soul and jazz composer Roy Ayers spent three weeks as the opening act for multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti on a tour of Nigeria in 1979, the two artists decided to cap it off by doing a joint album — the result was Music of Many Colours, released in 1980. It has been out of print since 1989, but has now been given a limited reissue some 30 years later. The record features one song by each artist — Ayers’s 2000 Blacks Got to Be Free and Kuti’s Africa Centre of the World — each of which are both an empowerment of Africa and its people and a call for people around the world to educate themselves about the continent and its history. Copies: 2,000

Albert King – Born Under a Bad Sign

One of the most influential blues albums of the late 1960s is getting an all-analogue reissue, mastered from the original mono tapes for the first time since its original 1967 release. Albert King’s second record and first for Stax Records not only put him on the map but cemented his legacy in blues guitar, thanks in large part to his chemistry with Booker T. & The MGs and the Memphis Horns as his backing band. Born Under a Bad Sign has since been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and was included on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Copies: 2,250

José James – The Dreamer

Jazz vocalist José James made his provocative debut in 2008 with a sound that honoured the classic jazz style while blending it with modern hip-hop elements. This limited, 10th-anniversary picture-disc edition of The Dreamer arrives via Rainbow Blonde, the independent record label founded by James and Talia Billig. Copies: 1,000

Herbie Hancock – Dedication

The 13th album by Herbie Hancock lingered in Japan for decades before it was ever released elsewhere. Hancock recorded it during a Tokyo show in 1974, performing the set completely alone with a piano and several keyboard synthesizers. Dedication wasn’t released outside of Japan until 2013, when it was included in the 34-disc box set The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972–1988, and got a proper individual reissue a year later. Now, it’s getting its very first vinyl reissue outside of Japan. Copies: 2,000

Charlie Parker – Charlie Parker with Strings: The Alternate Takes

The pair of original Charlie Parker with Strings albums released in 1950 are the saxophonist’s most popular recordings, in which he took a collection of jazz standards and surrounded himself with a classical string section rather than his usual bebop quintet. The albums’ creation and subsequent commercial success were a landmark moment for jazz’s place in the pop pantheon, and they went on to enter the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988. To mark the 70th anniversary of those sessions, this collection features the rarest alternate takes discovered deep in the Verve Records archives. The blue vinyl edition is exclusive to Record Store Day. Copies: 2,500

Various Artists – Malcolm X: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

The soundtrack to Spike Lee’s acclaimed 1992 biopic about activist Malcolm X was curated to capture “the distinct sound of the African-American experience,” according to a note from the director on the record’s inner sleeve. Among the artists featured are Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Erskine Hawkins and Big Joe Turner. “The songs gathered here … all in some way reflect what it means to live, breathe, die and love as the descendants of slaves,” Lee wrote. This Record Store Day-first vinyl reissue comes via Quincy Jones’s Warner Bros. imprint, Qwest Records. Copies: 1,500

Wynton Marsalis – Bolden (Original Soundtrack)

The upcoming film Bolden tells the story of New Orleans cornetist Buddy Bolden. While he’s widely considered to be one of the fathers of jazz, Bolden never record any music because he was diagnosed with acute alcoholic psychosis at the age of 30 and spent the rest of his life in the Louisiana State Insane Asylum. The musical drama is the first film by director Daniel Pritzker and features original music written, arranged and performed by Wynton Marsalis. This 12″ single contains two songs: Timelessness (Duet) imagines “what it would sound like if both Louis Armstrong and Buddy Bolden showed up at the same recording session,” while Phantasmagoric Bordello Ballet puts a modern touch on Bolden’s brassy NOLA sound. The film itself hits theatres in May. Copies: 1,000

John Cage and Sun Ra – John Cage Meets Sun Ra

The recording of this historic collaboration between avant-garde legends John Cage and Sun Ra was released in full for the first time three decades after it was captured in Coney Island in 1986. This year, the never-before-seen video documentation of the performance is being released on DVD, using the original VHS footage combined with the audio master (which, worth noting, contains some silent sections and mic issues that occurred during its production). The package also includes a new 7″ single of Cage performing verses from his Empty Words writings, accompanied by Ra; the B-side features one of the “Silent Duets” they performed together. Copies: 1,350

Aretha Franklin – The Atlantic Singles 1967

The world mourned Aretha Franklin following her passing last year, but her music keeps on giving. This box set includes the Queen of Soul’s five massive hit singles released in 1967 by Atlantic Records: I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), Respect, Baby I Love You, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Chain of Fools. Copies: 4,500

Little Walter – The Best of Little Walter

Primarily a singles musician, Little Walter released only one album during his life time: a greatest hits compilation called The Best of Little Walter, first released in 1958. The revolutionary blues harmonica player was a highly in-demand sideman in Chicago; then he recorded his first single Juke, which launched his own successful and innovative career — every song on this record was a top-10 hit. Originally printed by Checker Records, the album has been reissued a number of times, with this one coming via Sundazed Music. Copies: 700

Al Green – The Hi Records Singles

One of soul’s greatest singers, Al Green cemented his legacy with the hit singles he recorded throughout the 1970s, such as Tired of Being Alone, I’m Still In Love with You, Love & Happiness and his signature song, Let’s Stay Together. They’re among the 26 singles compiled for the first time in this 7″ box set, which also includes a 56-page hardcover book and liner notes by Robert Gordon, Bob Mehr and Geoffrey Himes. Copies: 1,500

Cecil Taylor – The Great Paris Concert

One of the pioneers of free jazz, pianist Cecil Taylor was a complex and daring improviser and a radical avant-garde composer and bandleader. The Great Paris Concert, initially released in 1973 under the title Student Studies, captured the historic live performance of four original compositions with his quartet of Jimmy Lyons, Alan Silva and Andrew Cyrille. “This is the sound of an artist at a creative peak of his improvisational and authoritative power to lead a band through the maze of sonic architecture and come out with something that was truly new and different,” music critic Thom Jurek wrote. The album has long been out of print on vinyl, but now arrives as a remastered double-LP complete with photos and liner notes. Copies: 1,500

Bob Dorough – Multiplication Rock

The famously adventurous bebop and cool jazz vocalist Bob Dorough worked with major names like Miles Davis and Blossom Dearie, but he’s perhaps most widely known for his songs for the Schoolhouse Rock! series of animated educational short films for ABC between 1972 and 1996. Released by Capitol Records as a standalone album in 1972, Multiplication Rock was made to help children remember their — you guessed it —  multiplication tables. The album turned out to be a big success, earning a Grammy nomination for best children’s recording. This limited release comes on coloured vinyl from the original master tapes, with the same artwork as the original tape box. Copies: 1,500

Steve Gadd Band – Steve Gadd Band

One of the most well-known and admired session and studio drummers in the music industry, Steve Gadd has backed up way too many albums to count. But he also has a hefty list of original jazz records to call his own. This eponymous release as the Steve Gadd Band won this year’s Grammy Award for best contemporary instrumental album, following up his Grammy-nominated 2016 album Way Back Home. It features a groovy set of tracks written by the band (Walt Fowler on trumpet and flugelhorn, Kevin Hays on keyboard, Jimmy Johnson on bass and Michael Landau on guitar) and produced by Gadd himself. Copies: 500

Lightnin’ Hopkins – Strums the Blues

Country-blues artist Lightnin’ Hopkins has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and described by musicologist Robert “Mack” McCormick as “the embodiment of the jazz-and-poetry spirit.” Originally released in 1958, Strums the Blues is a compilation of the 10-inch, 78-rpm singles he recorded for Aladdin Records between 1946 and 1948. It was one of the first LP collections of Hopkins’s material to be released, and is now being reissued for the first time. The tunes have been remastered and the cover art has been re-imagined by contemporary folk artist Tim Kerr. Copies: N/A

Otis Redding with Booker T. & The M.G.’s and The Mar-Keys – Just Do It One More Time!

The title might be a mouthful, but this release is a must-have for Otis Redding collectors. Pressed on vinyl for the first time, this remastered record features the King of Soul’s defining performance at the 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival. It was the show that made him a superstar — shortly before he died in a plane crash later that year. The record also includes the show’s opening sets by Booker T. & The M.G.’s and The Mar-Keys. Copies: 2,500

Sidiku Buari – Buari

Here’s a more obscure record that’s a surefire conversation-starter among friends and acquaintances who are steeped in music history. Afrobeat pioneer Sidiku Buari is described as a luminary in his home country of Ghana, and his 1975 debut album was one of the first mainstream afro-funk albums to be sold in the U.S. Released after his temporary move to New York City and backed by influential funk drummer Bernard Purdie, the album melds American funk sounds with heavy African rhythms. As it happens, Buari is also a fairly accomplished athlete back in Ghana. This one’s a unique treasure for collectors. Copies: 1,000

Various Artists – Stax Does the Beatles

Southern soul meets British rock in this instance of Beatlemania taking over at Stax Records. Booker T. & The M.G.’s take on several tunes including Eleanor Rigby and Got to Get You Into My LifeOtis Redding gives his take on Day Tripper, Carla Thomas covers Yesterday, The Mar-Keys play Let It Be and many more feature in this compilation of Stax artists paying tribute to the boys from Liverpool. This is the first vinyl reissue of Stax Does the Beatles and highlights not only how powerful of a phenomenon the band was in the ’60s, but also how capable these soul artists were at reinterpreting these types of tunes that originated outside of their own world. Copies: 2,500