I haven’t had the time to do transfers/photos/writing for the blog lately, but have still been listening. I’ve also been posting regularly on Instagram (@vinyltim) and it’s been fun. I’ve found people from all over the world posting vinyl of all kinds. It’s easy to snap a quick pic and post it up there. I’ve posted some of these below–mostly recent arrivals. I’m hoping to do some full posts on here soon. Stay tuned–thanks….
Here’s a random reissue that I picked up and sounds quite good on my system. It’s from June 1955 sessions featuring saxophonists Al Cohn, Bill Perkins, and Richie Kamuca.
It was advertised as a Japanese reissue–and it includes the OBI and such–but the label reads “Made in USA”, so I’m not sure what that means. Regardless, it sounds good to me and was only a few dollars.
Sioux Zan (mono) – Cohn/Perkins/Kamuca:
It’s been far too long I’ve posted, but I just got a few LPs photographed and audio transferred to get on here. Along with a bunch of listening over the last month, I caught up on my favorite record blogs. Over at London Jazz Collector (see link on the right of page) there have been some interesting “shootouts”. I only have a handful of comparable doubles, but one of them happened to be already on my shelf waiting to be posted here.
Unfortunately, they are not NM mono/stereo copies of the exact same vintage, but they’re pretty close and make for a decent comparison. The mono is somewhat worn, and the stereo is in slightly better condition.
MONO – 1st pressing – NY USA – no deepgroove – Van Gelder – “p”
STEREO – NY USA – no deepgroove – Van Gelder – no “p”
I figure that makes the stereo an early Liberty pressing…
What do you think? I prefer the stereo.
Recorded October 1965–great band featuring Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, and JJ Johnson. This was Shaw’s first Blue Note session, a couple months shy of this 21st birthday.
Horace Silver – The African Queen MONO:
Horace Silver – The African Queen STEREO:
(Details: Blue Note BLP 4220/BST 84220)
Here is what I think is a second pressing of Grant Green’s 1970 funk-jazz date Green Is Beautiful with the blue/black Liberty label. It was an online purchase–overgraded yet again–but still a reasonable deal for a cool LP that I haven’t seen in person at a shop.
In the 1990’s Blue Note reissued some of this stuff in the “Rare Groove” series, which is where I first heard Grant Green. I didn’t check out his straight ahead sessions until later, and have more recently dove in even deeper, acquiring the excellent Grant Green Retrospective box set along with several other CDs and LPs.
Although I’m currently enjoying his earlier Blue Note sessions a little more, Green’s funk records are some of the best in the genre. This is fun to hear in it’s original format after having those CDs for years.
(Details: Blue Note BST 84342 stereo/blue+black Liberty label)
Here’s a soulful 1964 Blue Note session from Stanley Turrentine. He’s joined by his wife Shirley Scott on organ and the excellent rhythm section of Kenny Burrell, Bob Cranshaw, and Otis Finch. This sort of stuff is equal parts jazz, blues, and soul and I can see how it may be less appealing to folks looking for more adventurous sounds, even for myself at times, but on most days this really delivers the goods for me. The playing is at a really high level and it feels great. Accessible and enjoyable jazz–what a concept!
This was one the first Blue Note LPs that I bought several years ago and it’s a good example of lessons learned. I had been researching the original pressings of records I liked, but had very little practical experience with it. I had learned the basics of what to look for with Blue Note LPs, so when I saw this in a local shop and with the “New York USA” on the classic blue and white label, I had to have it. It has the correct stereo label for this release, and even the Van Gelder stamp, but it’s missing the “p”, making it a Liberty pressing with an earlier label. I also misjudged the condition a bit, which I now realize never completely goes away. It’s not beat up by any stretch and has only light marks, but it does have a little groove wear–a concept I was only vaguely familiar with at the time and overlooked in the moment. All in all it’s still a nice copy and sounds pretty good, but I slightly overpaid. I only overshot it by a few dollars though and I enjoy the music a lot. You gotta start somewhere right?
(Details: Blue Note BST 84162 stereo/NY USA/Van Gelder stamp/no DG and no “p”)
As record collector on a limited budget I’m always looking for reasonably priced versions of the classic jazz, blues, and soul records I’d like to own. As far as the Blue Note label goes, that means early Liberty pressings, 1970’s pressings, nice modern reissues, and even (gasp) a clean CD copy. Every now and then I go on our favorite auction site and specifically search for Japanese reissues of these classics. I have several in my collection and they generally sound quite good, although I find the early Liberty’s as much or more enjoyable.
A while back I found a seller with a bunch of clean (more recent?) Toshiba reissues and I bid away. As usual I was outbid on most of them but I did snag Jackie McLean’s 1960 session Capuchin Swing. In addition to checking out the music, I was looking forward to comparing this to the nice sounding King-era Japanese reissues I have. I like the music quite a bit, but I can’t say this measures up sonically. It sounds ok for sure, but doesn’t have the life or dimension to it that I was hoping for. I’d say it’s comparable to a good CD, but not a great deal for the $20 I have in it.
Prior to getting this I had only heard McLean’s excellent Destination Out. Capuchin Swing is decidedly more in the hard-bop style, with Blue Mitchell (tp), Walter Bishop Jr. (p), Paul Chambers (bs), and Art Taylor (dr) in tow. He takes a long solo on the opening cut, which is included below, with his aggressive tone and some adventureous phrases in the latin sections giving a nod to the direction he was heading.
(Details: Blue Note BST 84038 stereo/Toshiba Japanese reissue)
In the last couple years it has come to my attention that I enjoy the baritone saxophone quite a bit. I didn’t realize this until I was fortunate to end up with several Serge Chaloff and Pepper Adams LPs. The latter leads this 1957 session for the Mode label with some top left coast players: Stu Williamson (tp), Carl Perkins (p), Leroy Vinnegar (bs), and Mel Lewis (dr). He plays the large horn beautifully and fluidly throughout, and his reading of the ballad “My One and Only Love” is included below.
(Details: Mode MOD-LP 112/mono)
As a fan of organ groups and soul jazz I’m always looking for nicer copies of Jimmy Smith LPs, but this session was one of particular interest to me because of Grant Green’s presence in the guitar chair. It’s a can’t lose combination that doesn’t disappoint. It delivered exactly what I expected with no surprises, which in this case anyway, is just fine with me.
With no luck in the bins, I turned online for this copy. As usual it was graded somewhat optimistically, but is still a solid copy for the price I paid. It looks to be an original early Liberty pressing with the blue and white label and no “p” in the deadwax. Unfortunately someone scribbled on the front with marker, marring an otherwise nice cover.
(Details: Blue Note BLP 4255 mono/Liberty/Van Gelder/no “p”)
I’d heard a couple snippets from this album, but never seen it in person. Clips from it have traveled around a bit in the musician community. There is little music other than some funky interludes, it’s all between song banter–essentially a comedy LP. I like Eddie Harris and like comedy, so I decided to find a copy online. I snagged a copy easily and cheaply, and while some parts are funnier than others, it gives a look into what sitting in the audience of a mid-70’s Eddie Harris show was like. Two of my favorites are included below.
(Details: Atlantic SD 18165)
I picked this up a couple years ago at a record shop. I was optimistic in judging the condition and slightly overpaid, but I’m glad I picked it up–I don’t see mono Rolling Stones LPs in stores with any regularity. I’ve seen some conflicting information, but it looks like this “unboxed”, maroon deepgroove label could be the first USA pressing for this release.
1965’s Now! has been a nice addition to the collection. I’ve always liked Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street era Stones, and that’s what I know the best, but it’s been great digging into this early stuff with the R&B and Blues covers.
(Details: London LL 3420 mono/deepgroove/1D-1B matrix)