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    Vinyl Releases of the Week: September 28, 2011

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    There are oodles and oodles of audiophile reissues out this week— titles that belong in every collector’s stacks—plus new albums from Wilco, Johnny Winter, and the hard-rock supergroup Chickenfoot! So without further ado:

    Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon reissue (Capitol)
    Rock albums don’t get much more iconic than Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Therefore it’s fitting that this title kicks off the massive “Why Pink Floyd…?” reissue series as a special, re-mastered “Discovery Edition.” What better time to rediscover this 1973 classic from the legendary British art-rock band?

    Speaking of classics, check out these essential jazz reissues from Wax Time Records! Easily some of the greatest jazz albums ever recorded, they are all available as limited-edition 180-gram audiophile imports.

    Thelonious MonkBrilliant Corners (Wax Time Import)
    The unconventional pianist’s 1957 album oozes with vitality and features the assembled quartet of Max Roach (percussion), Sonny Rollins (tenor sax), Oscar Pettiford (bass), and Ernie Henry (alto sax). Its title track goes down in history as one of Monk’s most ambitious compositions, requiring  25 takes to accomplish.

    Louis ArmstrongLouis and the Good Book (Wax Time Import)
    A collection of gospel songs and spirituals, this 1958 classic is the only album by the famed New Orleans trumpeter specifically devoted to religious songs.

    Count Basie and his OrchestraApril in Paris (Wax Time Import)
    Among the most enduring big-band recordings of the ’50s, this 1956 album is known as the high-water mark for Count Basie’s legendary orchestra. It features the most famous version of “April in Paris,” a performance that was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

    Marty PaichI Get a Boot out of You (Wax Time Import)
    The West Coast jazz icon showcases some of his most brilliant arrangements on this 1959 album. He leads a 13-piece ensemble featuring such West Coast greats as trumpeters Jack Sheldon and Conte Candoli, saxophonists Art Pepper and Bill Perkins, vibraphonist Victor Feldman, and pianist Russ Freeman through fresh reinterpretations of jazz standards.

    Charlie MingusBlues & Roots (Wax Time Import)
    Bassist Charles Mingus’ response to critics who said he didn’t swing enough. Along with a nine-piece ensemble, Mingus plays some seriously spirited blues, gospel, and Dixieland jazz here. Originally released in 1959, Blues & Roots is a key album in Mingus’ career and easily his most soulful.

    The Dave Brubeck QuartetGone with the Wind (Wax Time Import)
    A concept album paying tribute to Georgia, this 1959 record was full of improvisation, resulting in two versions of “Camptown Races.”

    Ella Fitzgerald Ella Swings Lightly (Wax Time Import)
    This 1958 album won Ella Fitzgerald the 1960 Grammy for Best Improvised Jazz Solo and features Ella singing jazz standards backed by the Marty Paich Dek-tette group. (File under: Essential Jazz Classics.)

    Oscar PetersonPlays the Richard Rodgers Song Book (Wax Time Import)
    1959 classic featuring renowned jazz pianist Oscar Peterson performing the compositions of Richard Rodgers.

    Ben Webster-Johnny Hodges Sextet The Complete 1960 Jazz Cellar Session (Wax Time Import)
    This November 1960 session was recorded in a studio-like setting at the Jazz Cellar in San Francisco and is notable for being the only album to feature the two sax greats as the only horn players.

    Chickenfoot Chickenfoot III (Entertainment One)
    The second album from the hard-rock supergroup featuring guitar god Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, and ex-Van Halen members Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony. Hagar claims it’s the best record he’s ever been a part of.

    Mitch RyderAll Mitch Ryder Hits! (Friday Music)
    “Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Too Many Fish in the Sea,” “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Sock It to Me – Baby!” “In the Midnight Hour” – they’re all here in their single mixes on this first-time 180-gram audiophile pressing.

    Tony Allen & Africa 70Jealousy, No Accommodation for Lagos  (Kindred Spirits)
    Vinyl reissue of two solo recordings from the great Afro-beat drummer: 1975’s Jealousy, produced by Fela Kuti and featuring the Afro-beat gems “Jealousy” and “Hustler,” and 1979’s highly political No Accommodation for Lagos. Essential Afro-beat albums.

    Seth MacFarlaneMusic Is Better Than Words (Universal Republic)
    You know him as the man behind the hilarious television show Family Guy, but Seth MacFarlane is also an accomplished singer and live performer. On his new album, he sings some big-band gems from the ’40s and ’50s and even duets with Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles. Also of note, the album was arranged, conducted, and produced by television and film composer Joel McNeely.

    Johnny WinterRoots (Megaforce)
    The first new studio album from the veteran blues guitarist/torchbearer in over seven years finds him returning to his roots in order to pay homage to the music that influenced him. Along with a host of guests including ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and Conan bandleader Jimmy Vivino, he covers material by Robert Johnson, Son House, Elmore James, Bobby Blue Bland, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed, Walter Davis, and of course Muddy Waters.

    Gene ClarkRoadmaster, White Light, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (Sundazed Music Inc.)
    Re-mastered reissues of three Gene Clark post-Byrds releases. His debut as a duo with virtuoso banjo-player Doug Dillard, The Fantastic Expedition of Dillard & Clark (1968) is a bluegrass-inspired country-rock masterpiece that paved the way for the alt-country, Americana, and roots-rock movements of the ’90s. Inspired by the tranquility of his new home on the Northern California coast, Clark’s solo album White Light (1971) is a primarily acoustic album and one of Clark’s finest. Initially only released in Holland, Roadmaster (1973) is a pure country-rock album assembled from unreleased tracks Clark had recorded with the original members of the Byrds prior to their 1973 reunion, another unused track that he had recorded with the Flying Burrito Brothers, and tracks from an abandoned 1972 recording session that paired Clark with some of the best country-rock musicians of the time.

    WilcoThe Whole Love (dBpm)
    Experience pays off on The Whole Love, the highly anticipated eighth studio album from Wilco and the third to feature the band’s present lineup of Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, Patrick Sansone, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, and Mikael Jorgensen. The first release on Wilco’s own label, The Whole Love is appropriately adventurous and, according to Tweedy, much more natural than the band’s last two albums. 180-gram double LP gatefold includes a CD and a bonus track not included on the regular album.

    LeAnn Rimes Lady & Gentlemen (Curb Records)
    A concept album of classic country standards sung from a modern female’s perspective. Produced by Rimes along with country superstar Vince Gill and writer Darrell Brown, Lady & Gentlemen features the Grammy-nominated “Swingin.”

    Randy TravisStorm of Life (Warner Bros.)
    200-gram virgin vinyl reissue of Randy Travis’ 1986 multi-platinum debut. This country music masterpiece features the Top-10 hits “Diggin’ Up Bones,” “1982,” “On the Other Hand,” and “No Place Like Home.”

    Sebastian BachKicking and Screaming (Frontier Records)
    The new album from the former Skid Row frontman was recorded with Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Atreyu, Filter) and is a brutal, high-octane hard-rock record.

    John CaleEP: Extra Playful (Domino)
    The new EP from the former Velvet Underground member invites listeners to have some fun in its whimsical take on art rock. It’s definitely a more pop-oriented album in the artist’s avant-garde canon.

    Primal Scream and MC5 – Back to Comm (Easy Action)
    This limited-edition LP features both bands performing live onstage together at the 2008 Meltdown Festival at The Royal Festival Hall in London. The album artwork is a painting by MC5 bassist Mike Davis derived from a 1967 sketch. An appetizer for the forthcoming CD/DVD release of the whole show.

    Echo & The BunnymenOcean Rain (1972 Records)
    Vinyl reissue of this 1984 album from the Liverpudlian quartet. A departure from the band’s more rock-oriented previous albums, Ocean Rain employs a 35-piece orchestra to create a sound that is “windswept; dark and stormy” according to member Will Sergeant.

    The VibratorsPure Mania, “Baby Baby” single (Cleopatra)
    A 1977 punk relic from the iconic London rockers. Its single “Baby Baby” is also available as a 7-inch record.

    The MekonsAncient & Modern: 1911-2011 (Bloodshot Records)
    The 26th album from one of the longest running and most prolific of the first-wave British punk bands is an antique folk and gothic country journey through the past century.

    Southern Culture on the SkidsZombified (Kudzu Records)
    When it was first released in 1998, this EP was an Australia-only release. Remastered here as an expanded double-LP with an additional five tracks, this reissue marks the album’s first U.S. release and is available on blood-red vinyl.

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