What I've Been Listening To Lately
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
As a continuing service to readers, I'm starting off the new year with another episode of "What I've Been Listening To Lately," which gives me a chance to highlight excellent music by formerly unknown (to me) artists that I've stumbled across in recent months. I generally learn about new artists either because they are playing as sidemen on albums by musicians that I already know and like, or because they are leading a session on a label that I trust and collect. Case in point, Muse Records, which in the 1970s, 80s, and early 90s released hundreds of excellent jazz albums by a stream of talen ..read more
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Nick Waterhouse And Dave Burns - Great New-To-Me Music
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
I grew up in the 1960s and 70s, and my musical taste remains firmly entrenched in those decades. At least 90% of the 8,000 rock, pop, and jazz LPs in my collection were released during those 20 years. In fact, I have more albums released in the 50s than the 80s, 90s, or 2000s. That's also why my car radio (infotainment unit?) is permanently tuned to Sirius XM Channel 26, a program known as "Classic Vinyl," whose tag line is "The most influential albums of the 60s and 70s." With only a handful of exceptions, I don't have much interest in artists or music from the last 40 years. That's not ..read more
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Organ Jazz, Soul Jazz, And The Black Jazz Record Label
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
Jimmy Smith, the king of the B-3 Hammond Organ In 1934, a Chicago clockmaker and inventor named Lauren Hammond filed a patent for "an electrical instrument" that "generated sound by creating an electric current from rotating metal tone wheels near an electromagnetic pickup." The Hammond Organ was a marvel of 1930s technology, requiring incredibly precise machine work, cutting-edge electronic design, and thousands of man hours to build.  A look at this promotional video will leave you wondering how in the world the thing ever worked. But clearly it did ..read more
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What Was The First Record You Ever Bought?
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
My favorite music magazine, the UK's Record Collector, has a monthly feature where they do interviews with famous and not so  famous musicians, asking them a series of 10-15 brief questions.  One question that often pops up is: "What was the first record you bought?"   The interviewees always seem to remember their first purchase with no difficulty, and invariably name some appropriately cool record by Cliff Richards, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Elvis Costello, Fine Young Cannibals, Nirvana, or the like, depending on their age.  All performers, in ..read more
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Treasures From The Vault - Live At The Penthouse In Seattle
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
Nearly four years ago, I did a roundup of new vinyl releases made from rediscovered recordings of performances by the likes of Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Wes Montgomery, Dexter Gordon, Woody Shaw, and others.  Many of these lost treasures were live recordings made for broadcast on radio and TV in Europe.  Once they were aired, they were filed away in the vaults of TV France or Radio Denmark or wherever, and gathered dust for the next 50 or 60 years. Of course, this isn't a new phenomenon.  But the financial rewards of marketing deluxe, limited-edition vinyl ..read more
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A Portrait Of Shorty
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
Last week I was trolling for LPs in one of my favorite antique malls and came across a superb copy of Portrait Of Shorty (left), the 1958 release by Shorty Rogers And His Giants on the RCA label.  Except for one light paper scuff, the vinyl appears unplayed.  And except for a small rub at the bottom, the jacket looks like it just came out of the shrink wrap.  It's a solid NM/EX copy. I'm always amazed to find albums that are almost as old as I am  in nearly new condition.  After I bought it and brought it home, I couldn't help but wonder where the album has been for t ..read more
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A Brief Classical Interlude
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
While it has become nearly impossible to find nice, clean copies of jazz and rock albums at thrift stores or in the dollar bins at used record stores, I regularly come across pristine copies of classical LPs selling for next to nothing.  Even though I don't listen to a lot of classical music these days, I often will pick up a few titles just because it's hard to resist like-new pressings on venerable labels like Deutsche Grammophon, Angel, Mercury Living Presence, ECM, or Harmonia Mundi.  One of my recent thrift shop finds In a recent trip to drop off some donation ..read more
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West Coast Jazz Record Shopping
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
We recently returned from a trip to California to visit friends and relatives.  While there, we spent a week driving down the coast from the Monterey Penninsula to San Diego.  The last time we had driven the Pacific Coast Highway was about 35 years ago (that time from south to north), and thought it was time to give it another go.  We stopped off in Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur, did some wine tasting in Paso Robles, and finally spent a few days exploring Santa Barbara and San Diego.  We had visited L.A. a few years ago, so just breezed through the city this time. Regular ..read more
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What I've Been Listening To Lately
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
It's time for another exciting episode in the series: "What I've Been Listening To Lately."  Though I routinely discover great music and artists that I'm not familiar with, over the summer it seems I have been finding amazing new (to me) artists, labels, and music just about every day.  Here are a few of my favorite discoveries from the last few months. First up is What Is This Thing Called Love? (right) by The Richie Beirach Trio.  This is a gorgeous, straight-ahead effort by pianist Beirach, backed by the veteran rhythm section of George Mraz on bass and Billy ..read more
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McCoy Tyner - He's The Cat
vinyldiscovery
by Tom Skipper
6M ago
Enlightenment, 1973 As an college student in the late 70s, I wasn't much of a jazz fan.  I didn't dislike jazz, I just didn't know anything about it and didn't listen to it.  My record collection at the time was probably less than 100 albums, and exactly none of them were jazz albums.   Instead, the records spinning in my dorm room were (among others) the Allman Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, The Band, Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello, David Bromberg, The Who, Devo, and Leon Russell.  And because my roommate was a fan, I also got a steady diet of Led Zeppelin.  ..read more
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