The Jazz Rundown: Record Store Day


So, it’s Record Store Day, an annual event created to celebrate the local music stores.  It’s grown quite a bit over the last few years, and it’s gotten to where it’s something of a big deal.  PR executives time releases to it, and labels make special offerings only for RSD.

Here’s a link to the Record Store Day site.

Mostly it’s oriented to the Rock and Indie crowds, but not to be overlooked, there are some decent jazz releases for Record Store Day, all of them vinyl releases.  A few of them are only offered in certain regions and availability may vary, but you get the idea.  I’m here to give you a brief rundown of them.

Let’s begin…


Dave Brubeck Octet – Distinctive Rhythm Instrumentals (Fantasy, 1952)
-Classic west coast cool jazz. Brubeck on piano is always a good thing. Includes line-up or Bill Smith, Paul Desmond, David Van Kriedt, Dick Collins, Bob Collins, Ron Crotty, and Cal Tjader.

Bill Evans – Selections for Live at Art D’Lugoff’s (Resonance Records, 2012)
-A recently unearthed trio date with jazz legend Evans on piano, Eddie Gomez on bass, and Marty Morrell on drums. Always a reason to celebrate when lost footage of jazz musicians is discovered. When it’s a giant like the cerebral Evans, even better.

Tortoise – Mosquito/Lonesome Sound (Torsion Music, 1993/Thrill Jockey 1993)
-Release of the first singles of the post-rock/jazz-influenced ensemble. Heavier on the former than the latter. Also, this was before Jeff Parker joined the group (in case that matters to you). While you can argue their jazz ancestry all day long, the quality of the musicianship through the ensemble’s existence and the footprints various members have left through the music is inarguable. That, and it’s damn fine music.

Esperanza Spalding – Radio Music Society (Head’s Up, 2012)
-Jazz bassist/vocalist’s highly acclaimed jazz neo-soul release. If you don’t get caught up on genre classification and walk through the door with open ears, plenty of music here to enjoy.

Miles Davis – Forever Miles (Columbia, 2012 compilation)
Miles Davis compilation albums that spans the decades and the respective sounds Davis adopted during those times. Includes releases from “Dear Old Stockholm,” an alternate take from the Miles and John Coltrane box set; “Blues For Pablo,” Take 1 from the Miles and Gil Evans box set; “Hand Jive,” an alternate take from the Miles Quintet box set; “Early Minor,” a new mix from the In A Silent Way box set; and “Directions,” an unreleased version from Live at the Fillmore East 1970.

Larry Coryell – Spaces (Vanguard, 1974)
-Jazz-Rock Fusion release, back before jazz fusion got all light and smooth and fluffy. This has edge. It also has a stellar line-up of Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin on guitar, Billy Cobham on drums, Chick Corea on keys, and Miroslav Vitous on bass. Lots of improvisation, some quality meandering, plenty of rock influences, and intriguing enough to have some supporters call it the greatest fusion of all time. Personally, don’t agree, but it’s very cool to see this among the offerings on Record Store Day. Very cool.

Marco Benevento – This is How It Goes (Megaforce, 2012)
-More than anyone out there, brings Indie-pop into the jazz genre. Catchy, poppy, and on the fringes of jazz.

Branford Marsalis Quartet – Three MFs Playin’ Tunes (Marsalis Music, 2012)
-Straight-ahead jazz from straight-ahead guys. First release on the Marsalis Music label, which is a promising development. I know the Marsalis name brings some baggage to the table in some people’s minds, but screw that noise. Nothing but quality jazz from these quarters, and to ignore jazz with the Marsalis name attached to it is to rob yourself of the experience of great music. Your album personnel: Branford Marsalis (saxophones), Joey Calderazzo (piano), Eric Revis (bass), and Justin Faulkner (drums).

Matt Chamberlain – Company 23 (Fast Atmosphere, 2012)
-Probably not jazz at all, listed as electro-Kraut Rock and Electro-Acoustic (and some other subgenres). But he’s the drummer from Floratone and a Bill Frisell collaborator, and it’s a good idea to keep your ear attuned to what this talented drummer is doing.


Good luck and good searching. Cheers.