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. Charlie Parker Records • New Japanese Reissues

    As far as their domestic market is concerned - agreed. There seems to be an element of utter collecting geekness at work there that probably defies assessment most anywhere else in the world (even in collecting circles - beyond an automatic "japanese reissues = holy grail" attitude, of course ). But for worldwide marketing it just seems of relatively minor interest AFAIAC.
  2. Paying import duties on Ebay?

    I have seen this (a few years ago, though) with various eBay items I bought (only antique printed matter, though) and it seemed to me that this only occurred when the shipping and customs processing side was handled upfront by a third-party agency (forgot the name - some international shipper) on behalf of the seller and eBay. In all of the cases I have experienced the fee (including customs and shipping) they charged on top of the item price was rather accurate as far as customs went and actually shipping was not all that expensive (even less expensive than with some USPS prices seen and paid for elsewhere) so I proceeded accordingly. I don't know if there would have been a different and significantly cheaper shipping option anywhere that I would have been able to get through at all with the seller (remember some US eBay sellers are exceedingly stubborn when it comes to overseas shipments and they really couldn't be bothered any less than with a pre-set routine, no matter how cost-ineffective to the buyer, so not much point arguing at all) but one advantage with this shipping option was that the items (with bulletproof repackaging of the actual parcel by the shipping agency) always arrived almost lightning-fast here. Your case may have been one of these but if you find that the customs rate they charged for the Netherlands was above what you would normally have to pay even in the worst case then of course this a valid reason to cancel the order IMO.
  3. Charlie Parker Records • New Japanese Reissues

    Exactly. That box set has been a rather good deal. As it happens I spun quite a few CDs of this set 1-2 months ago, and fidelity actually isn't that bad throughout, at least for the studio dates. Little of the non-Bird material is really essential (and most of the Bird material has been around elsewhere in various guises too) but it is nice to have and makes for a nice change (and in some cases for an interesting addition of otherwise overlooked items to the leader discographies). As for why the Japanese would want to jump on that bandwagon again now, all I can say is - POINTLESS.
  4. What 78 are you spinning right now ?

    Exactly! I have this reissue version of the "Classic Tenors" album: And that's not nearly all: And a lot of the Coleman Hawkins tunes along with lots of the Signatures from the mid-40s were reissued by French RCA in the below 3-CD box So these sessions, in particular, have really been all over the place on vinyl. (Wonder how RCA got into the act after EMI/Stateside has licensed the stuff too - and other Signature recordings from that period had been reissued on Coral - i.e. Decca - in 1957. The rights to the Signature sessions must have made the rounds ...)
  5. Harlequin CD issues

    I did - sort of ... in the vinyl days. Their "Jazz and Hot Dance" series, for example, was very impressive. Krazy Kat and it subsidiaries almost always were a safe bet their reissues would be right up my alley. I kept buying Harlequins here and there in the CD era and would have bought more (if only to get a taster ... particularly the Latin reissues), just like I bought a LOT of CDs from the Krazy Kat mother label and its Country Routes offshoot. However - the Harlequin CDs seemed to have been badly distributed and most cannot have been in print very long. I have had a bookmark of the Krazy Kat website for a VERY long time and checked it regularly through the years. And through all this period the Harlequin listing contained only a small fraction of the listing above. Most of these must have gone OOP very, very long ago.
  6. Aerosmith - Honkin on Bobo

    That's what you call a "shtick", Kevin ...
  7. Remembering my Dad on Veterans Day with a Song He Wrote

    Well, I was just going by what's written on the 78 label. A case of Josea, Taub, Ling on Modern Records or Alan Freed and Russ Fratto for Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" (to name just two examples), then?
  8. Remembering my Dad on Veterans Day with a Song He Wrote

    Some fine credentials. Hats off! I'll tip off a friend about this - he DJs for the Lindy Hoppers here and there. Say, so that's Gordon, McNeely or Farmer, your dad?
  9. Get Rid of the Mona Lisa!

    In a way it's a "cult" item. "Cult" that has become an end in itself - as a "must have seen" that you can boast with afterwards. Much like certain world-famous objects in other fields of art, including recordings in anyone's preferred style of music (including jazz where I'd venture a guess not all of those recordings claimed by some as "must have heard by all means" aural Mona Lisas are THAT mandatory by OBJECTIVE yardsticks of appreciation of the music at large).
  10. Can't be very common. I routinely check these Opera records at fleamarkets, etc. (because they do feature interesting stuff here and there) but I cannot recall having EVER seen that one (not even on eBay at the time I stil kept an eye on Eurojazz listings). BTW, Bruyninckx doesn't even list it (neither does he list Opera 4363 - which I have - feat. Albert's brother Emil Mangeldorff with a recording from the same festival).
  11. I had to undergo one in 2012 and IIRC the music in the backgroud was some sort of elevator music. I certainly would not have cared for my favorite music (even that of the after-hours variety) at that moment as I was there for a slipped disc (no, the BG record was out of the question too ) and it required enough of an effort to remain totally immobile for the duration of the MRI despite the excruciating pain in my lower spine. But I will tell my better half about that dentist thing. She works in the "trade".
  12. I must admit I don't get this "qualification" approach. Isn't that a bit formalistic or formulaic? And while I fully understand his stance on Jacke McLean (and it does make sense according to HIS approach as it becomes clearer to me now), I still am not overly enamored by this "series of biographies of individual musicans to describe a whole STYLE - and period - of jazz". It's the "pars pro toto" approach I mentioned before that left me somewhat dissatisfied with the "Giant Steps" book. If I am to buy a book on the definite, comprehensive history of bebop, for example, I'd expect it not to be just a bio of Bird and Diz and that's that (to put it bluntly and exaggeratedly). Like I tried to explain before, a historically comprehensive and in-depth book IMHO would require a different approach that goes into all the links between the different strains of development (or evolution) that existed, geographical and stylistic differences and nuances under one common roof, and of course covers, analyzes and outs into perspective not just the biggest names but also (more than just in passing) most of the others too, including those who at the time were relatively big names but for whatever reason may have disappeared under the radar later on and have been outright forgotten or given short shrift by historians (which happened at all times). Good historians and writers can present subjects like this without this becoming just a series of rattling off names, dates, recordings and places. But of course if it is so (according, I think, to the review I linked earlier) that Mathieson is another "Johnny-come-lately" among writers on the subject who relies (according to what that reviewer said) a bit too much on what previous historians wrote before him then such a comprehensive approach is exceedingly difficult to sustain unless you really go back to primary, FIRST-hand PERIOD sources instead of risking having your assessments clouded by what interpretations other historians have come up with before you. These historians' inputs can come into the picture too to complete things but IMHO they ought to be secondary to first-generation, primary sources at all times. (But again, that's only me ... ) I may actually get Cookin'" too but then for what it is - an assortment of individual biographies with limited sideways excursions, but I still find its title wildly misleading.
  13. This is the one I went to first for that part of jazz history as well (some 20 years ago). Been quite a while since I read it and I need to pull it out again to refresh (and maybe update) my impressions but I do remember that back then I found its contents a bit slim compared to what e.g. Ted Gioia did in his book on West Coast Jazz .
  14. Very true, but much as I like and collect Wardell Gray, isn't his connection with Hard Bop and Soul Jazz rather tenuous? Same (as far as his major stylistic importance is concerned) for Howard McGhee. Not to mention the MJQ. I wouldn't even be sure Wardell Gray can be considered a trailblazer and forefather of hard bop. So I wonder how the author tackles his overall subject in full. I did see your above remark re- this being the second in a series covering what started with Giant Steps. I had seen this in various online comments on the Cookin' book too but understood this - maybe incorrectly - to be the CHRONOLOGICALY second and follow-up in that series (as the dates in the subtitle seem to indicate too). What strikes me as odd too is that I read somewhere in an online review (and comment by the author) that he decidedly followed a subjective approach and made no excuses for omitting Jackie McLean, for example (one I would rather have seen as an important Hard Bop figure - but that's only me ... ) Like I said, I may be off the mark but instinctively I would have preferred a different approach to cover the subject IN FULL and not as a rundown of major names in a sort of "pars pro toto" approach (that might work - but just as well might not, depending on what you are looking for). But again - YMMV
  15. I did (sort of - see below). I bought it when it was fairly new as it covers a period that I am rather interested in too, and this was at a time when I must have been in a "read anything about it" mood. The book is made up of chapters on the major names, much like the "Jazz Masters of the 50s" book. You can get an idea here: What he has to say about those major acts is interesting but focusing on these big names really leaves too much on other musicians unsaid and all too much falls between the gaps IMHO instead of providing a real-depth picture of the era, musicians and stylistic nuances you are covering. I would have preferred an approach like the "Jazz Masters of the 40s" (where from starting with the major ones you go on to cover the "others" who deserve mentioning too) or in fact like "West Coast Jazz" by Ted Gioia and similar books. YMMV, of course. Actually, pulling out my copy now I see that I never got around to reading the final quarter of the book yet. So - no, considering the other books I've bought of post-1945 jazz this one is nice to have but I would not consider it essential. This review nails it in a balanced way, I think: The "Cookin'" book would be a tempting one for me too (to complement the "Soul Jazz" book by Bob Porter which left more unsaid than I would have thought at first) but if this one is handled like "Giant Steps" then I am just a little bit wary for now.