Big Beat Steve

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Everything posted by Big Beat Steve

  1. A Preemptive Eulogy for the Cassette Adapter

    Funny .. only the other day I got to thinking abut that adapter and wondered whether it was still marketed at all. I remember a friend had one of these adapters in his car in the late 90s, and of course at the time this was quite impressive being able to play your CDs through the cassette system. But this was about the only time I ever saw anyone use these. And somehow the connecting cable running to the CD player stuck away under the passenger seat did not make for a relaly tidy setup. The reason I remembered it now was that I 've had cassette players in my late 50s collectible cars since the very early 90s but now, with them being more than a quarter of a century old, increasingly murky sound (despite cleaning) and wobbliness indicate their day has come. These players are cassette units only (no radio) so they are rather compact and fit nicely into a corner of the glove box. As the glove boxes of these cars aren't exactly large I hung on to them not only for my very personal mix tapes but also for reasons of space. But some convenient and space-saving upgrade is due now. Even if this means I'd have to burn the track lists of my mix tapes onto CD (not totally easy yet as I do not have a turntable with PC connection yet so for the time being it is a matter of burning from CDs only - yeah, old hat, I know ...) As I am not into IPods etc. some front-loader CD player is the way to go but I am wondering what the most space-saving item wold be. So I've wondered if something as compact as the CD part of that adapter setup of the late 90s would be the thing to go for. Maybe I'll get around to checking the market THIS year ...
  2. What music did you buy today?

    Except Bird & The Herd, right? That is a great album.
  3. What vinyl are you spinning right now??

    Those different covers of 50s UK (and French) releases of US jazz records would be worth an entire record cover art book all of its own ...
  4. I cannot recall the Alamacs were available at our (often very well-stocked) record shops in the late 70s or early 80s. However, I found out later that the compilations of quite a few Alamacs had also appeared on the French Musidisc jazz series LPs which were plentiful (and very affordable) here. So the contents of these budget labels must have circulated between various record companies. The Alamacs must have been available in Europe, though, as I bought them secondhand in the 90s over in London (and there were more of them than could have been imported privately). Being U.S. imports, they probably (as Gheorghe rightly said) were rather expensive and therefore too expensive for what they were. "Bird with the Herd -1951" is a gem indeed.
  5. Another relatively early purchase , triggered not least of all by the (possibly somewhat embellished) description of that Christmas broadcast scene in Ross Russell's "Bird Lives".
  6. The Echoes of an Era series was a TERRIBLE mess. Whatever I have seen from that series was just a hodgepodge of senseless combinations of various incomplete sessions that left you scrambling for other releases to find the missing session tracks. Good for starters at that time (I picked up the Stan Getz twofer in my starting years) but a pain in the butt if you were after the full sessions. Charlie Parker Records all in all releasesd three LPs' worth of Dial material by Bird but these were odd assemblies. For some reason (cashing in??) they took several of the quintet tracks that been reissued on "Bird Is Free" and reissued them again under Miles Davis' name on "Many Miles of Davis". The duplicates even showed up on the C.P. Records box set of a few years ago. Oddly those C.P. Records LPs seem to have remained on the market for quite some time. I remember buying "BIrd Symobls" (my first Bird Dials) and "Bird is Free" at a local record shop (not usually known for a huge import section) in 1976/77.
  7. You are right. It was on the "Dig" twofer. (BTW, the "fan" that you alluded to in the Don Lanphere episode was scribe Doug Ramsey) Re- the Miles Paris Jazz Festival LP, indeed it was my first Miles LP (the Birth of the Cool recordings were not in print at the time I bought this one) and was quite an ear opener. As for the starting introduction, maybe you ought to have had a glance at the liner notes too. Fidelity is so-so but the atmosphere is excellent. It also might make for interesting listening if those interested in that festival also check out the one below featuring the swdish all star band of 1949 that made a HUGE splash at that festival and sort of put Sweden on the international post-war jazz map.
  8. No, that was in the Prestige twofer "First Sessions 1949/50". (Great late 40s bebop compilation, BTW )
  9. That's a selection of the DIAL dates recorded by McGhee in 1946. I have his entire Dial output on Spotlite LP SPJ131 - "Trumpet at Tempo" from their "The Dial Masters" mini-series (yes, the good old trusty Spotlight label ). That Jazztone LP (J-1026) was a direct reissue of French Vogue LD.062 which had the same tracks. P.S. Excellent idea for a new thread!
  10. Now reading...

    Would you perhaps like to put your post in the What Jazz Book Are You Reading section? It might get some more attention there and would not be out of place there at all.
  11. Which Jazz box set are you grooving to right now?

    The difference in experience is that with box sets like this you get to experience the music quite a bit more the way it was experienced by listeners BACK THEN. This can be very instructive. If you investigate (any) one's (Sun) artist's output at a time you get a very different set of music because the ratio of tracks not issued at the time is INORDINATELY high (often way more than 50%, and all this was issued for the first time only from the 70s onwards when the first relatively comprehensive avalanche of 50s Sun music was pressed by Charly). Great as a lot this previously unreleased music is, of course the 50s audience never got to hear it, so what we listen to as the "Sun sound" is not quite what it actually was at the time. This colors our perception and appreciation (and as with many jazz artists where every note committed to tape or wax has since been dug up this can be a dangerous thing if the unissueds are underhandedly or unwittingly included when we today figure out what the PUBLIC awareness and appreciation of the artist was back then or - worse still - ought to have been).
  12. What vinyl are you spinning right now??

    Still a cult record for me. The VERY first modern jazz record I ever bought in the mid-70s at the age of 15 (maybe going on 16) about a year after I had started buying and "collecting" jazz records. I had read about Bird and Diz (notably in Berendt's "Jazz Book") and was rather curious but preferred to ease my way chronologically into this (for me) "new territory". Regardless of what everyone had written by then about this revolutionary (and revolting) upheaval in 40s jazz, my initial listening impressions were that all this was quite a logical extension and continuation of swing (at least of whatever I had been familiar with in early 40s-style swing at that time). Intense music (not just "Things to Come") but certainly not disturbing or unsettling and quite accessible. (Eventually I even picked up a spare copy of this twofer when a clean and cheap copy came up at a fleamarket.) So the path for further explorations was set (I think one of my next bebop acquisitions were the Dial recordings by Dexter Gordon reissued on Storyville). And @Gheorge - never mind if Diz never was a Prestige artist (well, almost ... check out that final session of 1950 on side 4. It was actually first released on Prestige): Blind Lemon Jefferson was no Milestone artist either. And yes - those twofers were a godsend at the time (and I still look out for them).
  13. Album Covers in BLUE

    Surprising that this one hasn't come up yet:
  14. Not really my cuppa nor field of interest, but I find this approach excellent and worthy of every bit of support by those even vaguely interested. These bits of history need to be documented to flesh out the overall picture (which did not happen in the capital of the country only) and they certainly are not for the "locals" only. Not least of all because this kind of club/live gig scene happened in similar ways in other cities too (and many of those probably will never be documented). (FWIW, and in a similar - jazz - vein, I do not regret one bit having bought Bill Birch's "Keeper of the Flame" though I have no particular connection to Manchester. But it does complete the history of UK jazz in a well-done way.)
  15. Twilight Zone Jazz

    I am not so sure about that. In the end I will of course bow to the judgment of TTK, the expert in this field , but while my original of the Dr. Kildare LP has a few pops and crackles the music comes through well enough for me to feel this is yet another "westcoast jazzy mood theme and soundtrack" LPs. Look at it - you will see that quite a few of the tracks there are not exactly supposed to be set to a "Twilight Zone" mood (starting with the Shirley Temple Show - which of course as such doesn't mean anything to you or me over here but still we do know who Shirley Temple was - even in later years, right? ) In fact I find that LP even less "crime-y" or "twilight zone-y" than the "The Wild One" (Leith Stevens) or "Hot Rod Rumble" soundtrack LPs (two of few LPs in that genre I have here), for example. Even the Aaron Bell "77 Sunset Strip" LP would fit that category better in comparison, I think.
  16. Sam Donahue

    Getting back to an earlier point of the discussion (which apparently I never saw at the time - a long 15-16 years ago): I have the Donahue Hep LPs ( LP 2, 5, 25) with the Navy band plus capitol T-626 with various 1946-47 studio recordings. I had owned and loved the Heps for quite a while when I dug up the Capitol LP (and was smitten by that one too, admittedly in a somehow different way). Whenever listening to these albums I've always been wondering how these Capitols came about. To me many of them sounded very much like civilian reinterpretations of the Navy band charts, and whether you prefer one or the other depends on what you use them for IMO. The Capitols do sound a bit more straightforward and "cleaned up" (or "condensed" if you will) and the Navy recordings are looser, but the Capitols still are great for dancers (with enough stamina ) whereas the Navy band recordings might be even more challenging for their looseness - or even less suitable actually. "Pale" therefore is all rather relative, depending one's points of reference, and sometimes it pays to try to listen to recordings such as these with ears "in tune" with the ears of the listeners of the time (and not so much - at least not always - with the ears of latter-day listeners weaned on all sorts of later jazz). So ... It makes me wonder which commercially released recordings exactly the discussion was all about.
  17. Tell Me About Roland Kovac

    Recommended listening as a good example of Kovac's (no, not Kovacs' - that's somebody else - talk about the use of apostrophes, ha! ) Fifties recordings: His sessions for the MOD label of Cologne. Available in the HUGE MOD Records box here, for example (some copies are also avialable on Discogs): A somewhat more (but not quite) complete listing of his output is here, of course:
  18. Twilight Zone Jazz

    I have an original pressing of the LP - bought in decent condition for a decent price on eBay long ago. Must say I initially bought I mainly for the cover art, though it is intriguing to listen to. It is rather "far out"' for its time. And though I am no expert on the genre at all I do not find it "twilight zone"-like. FWIW, the DB review (2 1/2 stars) was rather lukewarm (which was warmer than the reviewer found the music to be).
  19. Never mind the blowback ... probably by people who are unable or unwilling to approach historical facts in the context of their times. I'll be looking forward to this opus that I have preordered.
  20. Two Cheap HRS Mosaics on eBay

    I doubt, though, that there are THAT many out there who ALL follow that path. Because Mosaic CD sets minus the large box and book really are common on the market. I wonder who long it will take for Savory sets amputated like that to appear on the market ...
  21. Two Cheap HRS Mosaics on eBay

    Assuming these are no (incomplete) sets that "fell off a truck", hasn't this been discussed before elsewhere? There seem to be a lot of orphaned sets around that may have been sent out as promo copies (where the contents may have been reduced to the actual music and bare-bones discographical details in the small booklets in the jewel cases) or that may have been sold off by Mosaic through special deals at one point (Wasn't there talk of a mismatch of the manufactured totals between produced books, huge outer boxes and discs?). The "Classic Capitol Jazz Sessions" set I bought on eBay several years ago (2-CD jewl cases withn the CDs and small inlay booklets with discographical info as well as small drilled hole in the upper corner of the jewel cases but no huge book and box) certainly loooked like a promo or sale item to me At any rate, it IS puzzling. One might almost be tempted to think Mosaic at a time wilfully tore sets apart in order to ship "missing", "damaged" or defective" parts of the sets to existing customers and then sold off the incomplete sets at a discount later on. Or else there is indeed a total mismatch in the number of produced individual items that go into making a full set.
  22. Trying to help out Mosaic by suggesting sets

    I think if they'd want to offer something relatively new to the reissue market they would have to include the run of the Will Bradley orchestra recordings for Signature from 1944-47, for example (beyond the joint session with Yank Lawson), but what's the risk that they would sneer at that and consider it too lowly - read: commercial (and too little of a pulling power for the buyers) - in the face of what else there is (but has been out and about often enough - such as the Prez and Hawk sessions and the Eddie Heywood all star sessions reissued on a zillion different labels under the name of Shelly Manne)? So if they'd consider that at all it would have to be a "Complete jazz on Signature" reissue - and where would you draw the line there? Because I cannot see them skip over the often-reissued "big names", but then wouldn#t it be pointless if it would boil down to the usual suspects and does not include those that have been consistently overlooked?
  23. Trying to help out Mosaic by suggesting sets

    That's good stuff but a lot of it (the "usual suspects") has been around the block in reissues on a million labels and variants soooo often that it certainly must be in the hands of many of the prospects of such a set.
  24. Adding one more here, maybe? Just thought I'd mention it in passing because a price reduced by close to 90% might make it worthwhile to some who ARE into his music.