Big Beat Steve

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About Big Beat Steve

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    Dr. Funkenstein

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  • Location Southern Germany

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  1. Have you ever bought someone's record collection?

    I've once bought a collection (or, realistically speaking, the remainder of it). In 2005 I scored a few jazz 78s on eBay, missed a couple of others, and then the seller (living about 130 miles from me) asked me if I'd be interested in buying the entire remaining stock. It was approx. 500 78s, largely from the 40s and virtually all of them US pressings (judging by some boxes the records came in the orignal owner must have bought a lot from Ray Avery and similar sellers in the 70s and 80s), about half of it jazz (swing and early modern, and many items on indie labels, one quarter R&B and one quarter 40s U.S. pop, most of which still sits in a fleamarket crate ) So I took the plunge and bought the entire lot at close to 3 euros per 78 after inspection on site and after I had figured out that the items I considered of interest alone would work out at a fair price per item for me. But really it was sheer madness and probably only happened because the offer came along at a moment when I was in a "buying mood". I've also bought armloads of records from collections that were being sold off by the heirs of the original owners on a couple of occasions (in one case the collection occupied the walls of several rooms, although it had already been picked over at an earlier sales date ) but these won't count here ... Seeing the kind of collections a local secondhand record store still gets in from time to time there still must be interesting estate finds out there and I've sometimes wondered what it would be like if you'd be able to scoop up such collections at a "collector purchase" price which very likely would be higher for the seller than what a "dealer purchase" price is. But common sense prevails (particularly now that I have passed the 60 mark ) and I am running out of shelf space again anyway ... So now I am glad I never followed up the lead given to me by a local record dealer about 15-20 years ago about a 12,000-LP jazz record collection (described as "oldtime jazz", which judging by the jazz interests of that dealer might have meant "oldtime and swing"). But since that collection was for sale some 400-500 miles from here I thought it better not wanting to find out ...
  2. Kudos - and hats off (once again) - to Bill Gottlieb on how he handled the preservation of HIS photo archive for posterity.
  3. Tony Williams of Spotlite Records dies at 80

    The contributions of Tony Williams and Spotlilte to making bebop recordings available went WAAAY beyond Bird. His recordings by Dexter Gordon, Gray/Hasselgard, the Billy Eckstine big band, the "Master Saxes" LPs, obscurities like Afro-Cuban bebop and Gene Roland and many others in that vein filled a lot of gaps on the reissue market. R.I.P.
  4. Chubby Jackson in "The Psychedelic Priest"

    Promised - NO! (Wouldn't have, anyway ...)
  5. RIP, Sidney Poitier.

    Same here about "Paris Blues". As I remember reading in a series of articles of jazz in the movies that ran in the early 60s, "Jazz Hot" severely blasted the movie for the stereotypes it perpetuated, but probably France (and Paris, in particular) was well ahead of what would have been possible and feasible in a movie for a U.S. audience back at that time. At any rate, in those of his movies that I remember it always seemed to me that Sidney Poitier always tried to push the boundaries as far he could within the constraints that just were there, like it or not.
  6. Chubby Jackson in "The Psychedelic Priest"

    He is on recordings with Woody Herman's Herd up to May, 1946, and then again in August and October, 1948 (which matches the details in his bio entry in John Chilton's Who's Who of Jazz). He also played and recorded with Woody Herman for several monthse during his "Mars" period in 1952/53 and is on the "The Herd Rides Again" album for Everest in 1958. John Chilton's bio also says (referring to the mid-50s) he "was a resident compere on a childrens' TV programme". That should be something to watch too ... (anyone seen anything on Youtube?).
  7. Chubby Jackson in "The Psychedelic Priest"

    First of all, thanks to JSangrey for the explanation of THIS meaning of "wired". As if he was on some sort of speed, then. Next, I am a bit baffled by some of this discussion of Chubby Jackson. I am certainly no Chubby Jackson completist or expert and had not really been aware of his presence in the entertainment media outside music but so what? Clearly he was ... for a long time ... Cf. the 1957 Down Beat review of his "Chubby's Back" LP on Argo which was given a 4 1/2 star rating (and it IS a fine and enjoyable record), and referring to the leader, reviewer Dom Cerulli said "Leader-bassist-TV personality Chubby sounds as big and moving as ever. It's a welcome return, and more of same would be welcomed, too." So his talking role in that Psychedelic Priest cult B-movie fits the picture (regardless of whether people find his rant all that funny or not, the scene needs to be viewed in the context of its times anyway). Nothing totally strange about that, then, once you look at his activities ... And his slightly unhinged laughter at the end of his rant did remind me, for one, of his frenzied yell at the end of his scatting in "Mom Jackson" (one of the tracks on the Prestige reissue of his 1947 and 1949 recordings for MGM and New Jazz - anybody else listened in to THOSE?) Don't minute details like that make it sound like we're dealing with the same Chubby all the time after all ...? So ... Gheorghe, don't you think you are narrowing down things a bit too much in what makes someone "big" or not in the history of an instrument? Soloing isn't everything as a yardstick. Jazz at all times needed its competent "keepers of the pulse", and Chubby Jackson did have his merits there. In addition to his qualities as an "enabler". Not every musician (way beyond what a full-time bandleader does) was able to get things up and going for his fellow musicians. Like Howard Rumsey who certainly would not have considered himself one of the heavyweights among bassists of 50s jazz either. But as a vital part of the rhythm section AND organizer of matters jazz at the Lighthouse he did make things happen. Like Chubby Jackson did in his realm - e.g. with the 1947 European tour that gave vital exposure to the "new" jazz from America in Europe (and to the musicians - both ways). Though according to period reports Chubby Jackson's stage personality even then did leave unprepared European listeners somewhat puzzled at first. (A cultural clash between ebullience/extrovertness and lofty high-art expectations, maybe? ) After all, tours like that could just as easily have turned sour. As with the 1956 Swedish tour by Rolf Ericson with a group of U.S. jazzmen who, except for poor Ernestine Anderson, turned out to be undisciplined, unreliable, uncontrollable dopeheads to the extent of having to be sent home halfway through the tour (names withheld to protect the not so innocent but easily searchable) and having to be replaced by more reliable U.S. jazzmen who completed the tour without further fuss. So some credit to jazzmen who provided the foundation that also allowed those to fly who for all their artistry might evenl have been essentially dysfunctional in everyday off-stage life isn't totally amiss, I feel ...
  8. Chubby Jackson in "The Psychedelic Priest"

    Wired for ...? Something about his attitude? (When? Where?) Please define.
  9. Chubby Jackson in "The Psychedelic Priest"

    W-i-r-e-d or W-e-i-r-d? I think "ebullient" describes Chubby Jackson rather well. And comparisons of his solo (or not) ability with the likes of Ray Brown or the much-lkamented Oscar Pettiford are FAR beside the point if you want to get the gist of person(alitie)s like him IMO. Apart from the fact that jazz of that era always needed solid bassists as "purveyors of the poulse" (or swing - to use a much nicer phrase than just plain "timekeepper"), Chubby Jackson was more of an "enabler" in the music he got together and got going. Which I think is no mean feat either. And given his ebullience I find that bar scene in that B movie not all that out of tune (and his laughter at the end of his rant - when he is pulled away from the other guy at the bar - somehow sounds familiar ... almost like some of his recorded exhortations ...)
  10. Kenton Presents Mosaic

    Considering the date of their initial release (and the period when multi-disc EP sets were current at all), this was really "New VERY OLD Stock" for this kind of items by the late 70s.
  11. Kenton Presents Mosaic

    Missed this thread the first time around ... Does anyone have any background info on the rationale behind the limitations of what went into this "Kenton Presents" set? Choice of primary "name artists" from a sales point? Limitation of max. no. of CDs? Because on the one hand the "Great Big Band" LP by Bill Holman never was part of the "Kenton Presents" series (though it was reissued later on Kenton's Ceative World label). On the other hand the "Kenton Presents" LPs by Claude Williamson, Sal Salvador, Serge Chaloff and Boots Mussulli are not there. Was there ever another Kenton Presents Mosaic featuring these artists? I could not find any indication on Discogs. If there never was one they probably felt Serge Chaloff's "Boston Blow-Up" had already been reissued often enough (but did that keep them back in other cases? ) and those leader dates of the others would probably have been too "special-interest-like", I guess (a pity, really ...)? Not to mention the "Kenton Presents" releases that were part of the original series (Ken Hanna and Al Belletto) but seem to have been consistently overlooked by the reissue market (except for one obscure Japanese CD of the Ken Hanna LP). Though they really are worth a listen for those interested in the broader scope of this branch of 50s jazz.
  12. Monk "Les Liasons Dangereus"

    I was referring to his "Exclusively for my friends" set of recordings which I think are his best-known MPS recordings. But it is a minor detail, of course ...
  13. Monk "Les Liasons Dangereus"

    Actually the Oscar Peterson sessions at the home/studio of HGBS were recorded between 1963 and 1968 but could only be released from 1968 onwards after Oscar Peterson's contract with Verve had run out.
  14. New Jazz Festival Balver Hohle 11-CD Set

    The label IS a mixed bag. But you need to distinguish between what is in the Public Domain in the EU (recordings up to 1962) and therefore is perfectly legal for reissue and repackaging and what is not because it is not in the public domain so would need clearance of rights etc. If he releases/reissues recordings that were made way later than 1962 then it does reek of bootlegging if he has not obtained the rights to the music. The suspicions certainly are there and I would not dispel them (not least of all because for reasons that are outside the concern of this forum I have no incentive to endorse his products unconditionally ). But do we know for sure in each case? But older (pre-mid-1962) recordings? Those that I have seen and bought (not many but some - both from the Be!Jazz subsidiary and from the Be!Sharp rockabilly reissue label) have been very well done both in contents and presentation (annotations, etc.) The first of his box sets I ever bought was the "The Texas Box - 1950s & 1960s Oddball Labels" rockabilly 10-CD box set right when it hit the market, and I'd easily believe the words of the seller who sold me the box set (that had everyone baffled who set eyes on it at the time): "When Bear Family saw that set they just cried!" Easy to see from the accompanying 200-page LP-sized book alone ... And too much of a good thing, really (I refrained from ever looking closer at his subsequent box sets in that vein ) The MOD Records box set was a labor of love too (I understand the same goes for the Jutta Hipp set) - on a "cult" niche subject (to German jazz collectors) that no one seems to have tackled anywhere near as comprehensively through the decades. And it speaks in the favor of the producer that he did manage to obtain the support and endorsement of various key jazz archive persons relevant to this subject, including a German jazz expert who had reissued items from the MOD catalog (piecemeal and in a much sparser way) earlier on. And then the facsimile excerpts from the German "Jazz Podium" magazine that he used for the set and must have cleared in SOME way because the mag and publisher is still around ... All this does not sound like bootlegging to me. Same for some of the individual Be!Jazz CDs and LPs that feature previously unissued RADIO sessions. I think this is no stuff that you release underhandedly without some sort of okaying by the radio. Or else you'll have them breathe down your neck. Particularly in the current situation where other (e.g. German and Swiss) radio stations have started releasing some of their tapes from way back in a coordinated manner - with the attendant media exposure. So in all fairness and beyond the doubtful practices with some of his releases (as some who seem to know said on Discogs) it must be handed to Micha Gottschalk that overall he goes where VERY few others dared to tread before, particularly in the area of European modern jazz. Even though many of these items have been in the P.D. before and these reissues remain one of the nichier of the niche markets in jazz. I can't and won't explain or condone his actions under the copyright angle (to the extent that they need to be explained or excused or condoned or damned or whatever ...) - but overall you just cannot generalize about whether everythign is a bootleg or not and it takes some hardcore fan dedication anyway to go way out THERE with that many extreme niche projects ... P.S: Just for the record (literally ): The subject of THIS thread in the starting post should read "Balver Höhle". It' is neither "Hohle" (oh those umlauts! ) and certainly not "Hole". "Höhle" means "cave" and refers to the setting where the festival took place.
  15. What vinyl are you spinning right now??

    An interesting (and worrying) experience ... Particularly if the risk is higher with brand-new sleeves? I am not quite sure which of my clear plastic record sleeves (which i only use for originals or very early pressings of LPs) are PVC or polythene because I usually reuse used ones that end up with me. Mostly PVC I guess ... But I have recently had one observation that had me baffled. About 10 years ago or so I bought an original European pressing of the Maynard Ferguson "Message From Newport" LP (pressing on Danish Sonet) and, the record being an original, filed it in a (used) clear plastic sleeve with the record inside the jacket, as usual. A couple of weeks ago I pulled it out for the first time in years and horror - both sides of the record were spotted with pimples and blobs and splotches and the remaining area had wavy streaks across larger parts of the surface. That LP had been "priced to sell" and as far as I can remember very likely had quite a few pimples and blobs in the surface (something I have observed with several late 50s/early 60s Sonet EPs through the years - the worst Crown LPs have better-looking surfaces than these ...) but it really cannot have been that bad when I bought and first played it. With the wavy streaks on the surface it now looks as if the vinyl consists of several layers that are slowly coming apart ... (Strangely enough the record does play through and there are virtually no skips, but with an underlying rumble and grumble underneath the music listening is more than bizarre, not to mention the strain this must place on the styles ... I have obtained a clean 70s reissue of the record since). I really am wondering if the plastic record sleeve is part of the cause?