Record Store Day 2021: A list of jazz records for vinyl collectors

The 14th edition of Record Store Day will take place in two different “drops” in June and July, featuring more than 400 special releases combined.

Taking place annually since 2008, Record Store Day sees collectors flock to indie record stores across the globe to scope out a lineup of special vinyl releases, including rarities, reissues and box sets.

Here’s a curated list of some of the special releases that jazz enthusiasts and collectors can find in the 2021 edition of Record Store Day. Your local shop can tell you if they have the one you want.


Roy Hargrove & Mulgrew Miller – In Harmony

Available June 12

This is the first previously unissued recording of Roy Hargrove since the trumpeter’s passing in 2018. These live performances with pianist Mulgrew Miller were captured on Jan. 15, 2006, at Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York and on Nov. 9, 2007, at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. In Harmony is an intimate showcase of two masters at the top of their games. The limited-edition, 180-gram double-LP is being released in cooperation with the Roy Hargrove and Mulgrew Miller estates and will include an elaborate booklet with rare photos, an essay by acclaimed writer Ted Panken, and interviews and statements by Sonny Rollins, Christian McBride, Ron Carter, Jon Batiste, Ambrose Akinmusire, Robert Glasper and others. Copies: 3,000


Peggy Lee – World Broadcast Recordings 1955, Vol. 1

Available June 12

Peggy Lee was in top form in 1955. As a vocalist, she was at her peak. In film, she had just given her best acting performance in Pete Kelly’s Blues and had co-written six songs and voiced four characters for Lady and the Tramp. That year, she also recorded 49 selections for the World Program Service, which were not released to the public but used by radio stations with unexpected time to fill. The music is more jazz-oriented than many of her Decca recordings of the time, and Lee is joined by frequent collaborators including pianist Gene DiNovi, guitarist Bill Pitman, bassists Bob Whitlock and Don Prell, drummer Larry Bunker and trumpeter Pete Candoli. Part of a slew of special releases celebrating Lee’s centennial last year, this series compiles the best of those 1955 recordings, 14 of which are included in this first volume released exclusively for Record Store Day. Copies: 1,500


Thelonious Monk – Palo Alto: The Custodian’s Mix

Available June 12

Last year, this newly unearthed 1968 recording caused quite a stir among jazz enthusiasts. Captured at a Palo Alto high school, one of the biggest points of interest has been the identity of the unnamed janitor who recorded it. Palo Alto: The Custodian’s Mix uses the audio from the original tape to let you feel what it was like to be in that auditorium that day. Additionally, Thelonious Monk’s signature is etched into the runout groove. Copies: 4,400


Ella Fitzgerald – Original Grooves: Ella in Berlin

Available June 12

Exclusively on Record Store Day, Verve is launching a new vinyl series called Original Grooves. It showcases the vinyl cutting technique known as “parallel grooves,” with which grooves are cut side by side instead of one after another, allowing for a different listening experience depending on where the needle is dropped. Ella in Berlin is the second in the series and features live versions of Mack the Knife and Summertime from Ella Fitzgerald’s legendary performance in Germany in 1960 — along with the 1962 versions from The Lost Berlin Tapes “hidden” on the neighbouring grooves. Copies: 4,000


Nubya Garcia – SOURCE = OUR DANCE

Available June 12

U.K. saxophonist Nubya Garcia’s breakout record SOURCE was one of the best jazz albums of 2020. This remix collection reimagines four of those tunes in collaboration with cutting-edge artists Makaya McCraven, DJ Tahira, Mark de Clive-Lowe and Shy One. Copies: 1,500


Kenny Dorham – Quiet Kenny

Available June 12

This classic Kenny Dorham album was originally released in 1959 on New Jazz. Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder and featuring an all-star lineup including Tommy Flanagan, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor, Quiet Kenny has now been reissued with all-analog mastering from the original mono tapes and pressed on 180-gram vinyl. Copies: 2,500


Various Artists – Jazz Dispensary: The Dank D-Funk Blend, Vol. 2

Available June 12

Curated by Doyle Davis of the Nashville record shop Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music, this set of deep grooves and funky jazz features tunes by Ray Barretto, Leon Spencer, Esther Marrow, Charles Earland and more. All tracks are remastered from the original analog tapes and pressed on fiery orange vinyl. Copies: 2,500


The Blind Boys of Alabama – I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free

Available June 12

The Blind Boys of Alabama and Béla Fleck make a high-calibre and heavily decorated team for this special 7-inch vinyl release. On the A-side, they cover I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free, the Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas classic made famous by Nina Simone as a civil-rights anthem. On the B-side, the Blind Boys sing See By Faith — a Bob Dylan song that was included as a bonus track on the Blind Boys’ acclaimed album Almost Home — bringing it to a physical format for the first time. Copies: 2,000


Larry Coryell – At the Village Gate

Available June 12

At the Village Gate is a live album by jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, sometimes known as the “Godfather of Fusion.” Recorded on Jan. 21 and 22, 1971, in New York, it had only a limited release by Vanguard Records, and the long out-of-print LP has been a rare find on the second-hand market. Now, it’s been reissued as a deluxe package that collectors are bound to enjoy. Copies: 1,500


Salah Ragab – Egyptian Jazz

Available June 12

This 1974 release by Salah Ragab and the Cairo Jazz Band gets an expanded edition featuring eight extra tracks recorded during the album’s sessions. Re-released with its original artwork for the first time, the new package includes an original mini-booklet describing the tracks and an over-sized booklet featuring rare photos and new liner notes by Francis Gooding. Copies: 1,300


Daniel Lanois – Heavy Sun

Available June 12

Heavy Sun is the soulful debut from Daniel Lanois and his invigorating new all-star band. Recorded in Los Angeles and Toronto, the album fuses classic gospel and modern electronics, mixing gritty, human textures with crisp, digital accents and lush, swirling atmospherics to create a sound that’s at once warmly familiar and boldly unexpected. Copies: 3,500


Bill Evans – Behind The Dikes: The 1969 Netherlands Recordings

Available July 17

Behind the Dikes: The 1969 Netherlands Recordings is the first official release of pianist Bill Evans with Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell captured live in Hilversum and Amsterdam in 1969. It features Evans’s only known version of Duke Ellington’s I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart, along with two rare tracks of the trio backed by the Metropole Orchestra. Remastered from the original tape reels housed at the Nederlands Jazz Archief in cooperation with the Bill Evans Estate, this limited-edition, 180-gram, triple-LP set includes an extensive booklet with rare photos; an essay by Dutch jazz scholar Bert Vuijsje and co-producers Zev Feldman and Frank Jochemsen; and new interviews with Jan Huydts, Eddie Gomez, Marty Morell and more. The record was mastered by the legendary Bernie Grundman and pressed at Standard Vinyl in Canada. Copies: 3,500


Charles Lloyd – Manhattan Stories

Available July 17

Back by popular demand, the critically acclaimed release by iconic tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd is available once again as a deluxe, limited-edition, 180-gram double-LP. Newly remastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, Manhattan Stories features guitarist Gábor Szábo, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Pete La Roca captured live in 1965 in New York. The booklet includes essays and rare photos. Copies: 2,000


Various Artists – A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield

Available July 17

Seventeen distinguished artists come together in tribute to one of the most influential soul singers of all time. This compilation features covers of Curtis Mayfield classics by artists including Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, B.B. King and Branford Marsalis. Copies: 3,000


Dominique Fils-Aimé – Three Little Words

Available July 17

Dominique Fils-Aimé’s latest record concludes the vocalist’s trilogy exploring the roots of Black musical culture. Following her bluesy debut Nameless and Juno-winning jazz record Stay Tuned!Three Little Words embraces the “emotional lushness” of soul, from the past, present and future. The vinyl edition arrives exclusively in Canada on the second “drop” of this year’s Record Store Day. Copies: TBD


Christian McBride – Out Here

Available July 17

Christian McBride earned a Grammy nomination for this 2013 album Out Here, which features two original compositions along with a number of standards such as My Favorite Things and East of the Sun (And West of the Moon). This year, the album gets a limited-edition, double-LP release on purple vinyl. Copies: 2,000


Charlie Parker – Bird in LA

Available July 17

Following last year’s centennial celebrations that included lots of new material on Charlie Parker’s journey to bring bebop to the West Coast, this new collection features previously unreleased recordings from Bird’s legendary and highly eventful visits to Los Angeles. Copies: 1,800


Miles Davis – CHAMPIONS: Rare Miles from the Complete Jack Johnson Sessions

Available July 17

Miles Davis had a deep love and respect for boxing, seeing deep parallels between “the sweet science” and his own relationship with music. One of Miles’s personal favourite recordings of his was the 1971 soundtrack to the Bill Cayton documentary about Jack Johnson, and he was inspired by the political and racial subtext of the legendary boxer’s saga. Culled from the celebrated expanded project The Complete Jack Johnson Sessions released in 2003 and name-checking a number of pugilistic legends (Ali, Sugar Ray, Duran and Johnny Bratton), these funk-infused recordings rock harder than anything else that Miles put to tape. Featuring a sterling lineup of musicians (Wayne Shorter, John McLaughlin, Dave Holland, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Jack DeJohnette and Billy Cobham) and a legendary cover photo of Miles in the ring captured by Jim Marshall, CHAMPIONS finds this music widely issued on vinyl for the first time. Copies: 7,500


Vince Guaraldi Trio – Baseball Theme

Available July 17

The Vince Guaraldi Trio were beloved for their musical contributions to the Peanuts TV specials, especially A Charlie Brown Christmas. Taken from the trio’s sixth studio album Jazz Impressions of “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”, the classic Baseball Theme now gets its own special 7-inch edition. This record includes the original 1964 soundtrack version along with an alternate studio take, pressed on white vinyl and housed in a jacket featuring baseball images of Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Copies: 3,000


Dinner Party – Dinner Party: Dessert

Available July 17

Dinner Party is the supergroup of Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, 9th Wonder and Kamasi Washington, a collection of some of the finest in contemporary jazz and hip-hop. Following the highly acclaimed release of their self-titled album, they now share the followup, Dinner Party: Dessert. The album builds on the mostly instrumental tracks of the original, this time with vocal features from Snoop Dogg, Cordae, Buddy, Reuben Vincent, Herbie Hancock, Rapsody, Bilal and Tarriona Tank Ball. Copies: 2,000