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Jazz Fans’ Shopping Guide to RSD Black Friday

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    Posted: 20 Nov 2018 at 6:09am
By DownBeat   I  Nov. 19, 2018

One of the highly anticipated LP releases for Record Store Day Black Friday (Nov. 23) is Eric Dolphy’s Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions, from Resonance Records.

(Photo: Chuck Stewart, ©Chuck Stewart Photography LLC)

Vinyl collectors should set their alarm clocks and prepare their coffee makers for the morning of Nov. 23. Independent music retailers once again will offer dozens of special LP releases as part of the Record Store Day Black Friday shopping event. Many record shops will host in-store events with live bands, contests, snacks and more.

Among the artists represented are Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon, Herbie Hancock and Sun Ra.

The releases are part of a campaign to encourage music buyers to visit independent brick-and-mortar retailers on the biggest shopping day of the year. Record Store Day Black Friday is similar to the annual Record Store Day (RSD) shopping event that takes place at indie retailers each April.

Black Friday titles are divided into three categories: RSD exclusive releases, RSD small-run/regional focus releases and “RSD First” releases.

RSD exclusive releases are available on Black Friday exclusively at participating stores. Among those titles is Eric Dolphy’s Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions, released by Resonance. It’s a three-LP set on 180-gram vinyl with a gatefold sleeve. The program includes 85 minutes of previously unreleased material, as well as the studio tracks that appeared on the albums Conversations and Iron Man.

The producer for those 1963 sessions was Alan Douglas, known for his work with Jimi Hendrix. Musical Prophet is being released in partnership with the Eric Dolphy Trust and the Alan Douglas Estate, with remastered high-resolution monoaural audio transferred directly from the original tapes.

The vinyl version of Musical Prophet is limited to 3,000 copies. (A digital and CD version will be released on Jan. 25, 2019. See the January 2019 issue of DownBeat for a cover story on Dolphy and an in-depth analysis of Musical Prophet.)

Another sought-after title on Black Friday will be Cannonball Adderley’s Swingin’ In Seattle: Live At The Penthouse (1966–1967). It is a double-LP of previously unissued recordings by the saxophonist’s sextet. Limited to 1,800 copies, this release from the Reel To Real Recordings label features Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone, Nat Adderley on cornet, Joe Zawinul on piano and keyboards, Victor Gaskin on bass and Roy McCurdy on drums.

Coltrane fans also have a reason to get up early on Black Friday. On March 6, 1963, Coltrane, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones recorded an entire studio album at the legendary Van Gelder Studios. This music, which features unheard originals, was finally released in June of this year as the album Both Directions At Once (Impulse). Two tracks from that album appear in a collectable die-cut package, on orange 12-inch vinyl, exclusively for Record Store Day Black Friday. The release is limited to 5,000 copies.

The most rare titles sold on Black Friday are the small-run/regional focus releases, which typically have a production run of less than 1,000 copies.

Among the regional titles this year is the LP A Soulful Sunday: Live At The Left Bank by jazz vocalist Etta Jones. Recorded on Feb. 27, 1972, at the Famous Ballroom in Baltimore, Maryland, Jones was accompanied by Cedar Walton (piano), Sam Jones (bass) and Billy Higgins (drums). A Soulful Sunday is limited to 900 copies.

In contrast, the most plentiful titles on Black Friday are the “RSD First” releases, which will be sold at participating indie stores for a limited amount of time before they become widely available at other outlets.

Among the “RSD First” titles is Muddy Waters & Friends’ Goin’ Way Back, from the Justin Time label. Thisall-acoustic set was recorded in a single afternoon in a Montreal rooming house during a 1967 Canadian tour. The program’s 11 tracks include “Little Anna Mae,” “My Home Is On The Delta” and “Take A Little Walk.”

This year’s post-Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza also will feature titles from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Roy Buchanan, the Grateful Dead, the Jerry Garcia Band and Phish.

This year, the organizers of Record Store Day are participating in Small Business Saturday (Nov. 24). Select businesses will offer a 10-inch single that includes two versions of “Fascinating Rhythm.” On one side is Tony Bennett’s rendition from 1949, when he used the stage name Joe Bari. The other side has the version that appears on Bennett’s 2018 duo collaboration with Diana Krall, Love Is Here To Stay (Verve/Columbia), a project examined in a feature by Phillip Lutz in the October issue of DownBeat.

For more information on RSD Black Friday events, as well as a full list of LP titles and participating stores, visit the Record Store Day websiteDB

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