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About ejp626

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    Dr. Funkenstein

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  1. Greatest LPs to never make it to CD

    Not sure this is a greatest album, but it is frustrating - The Fourmost Guitars compiles three different guitar-led sessions: Chuck Wayne, Jimmy Raney and then Joe Puma/Dick Garcia (a 2 guitar session). The Raney and Puma/Garcia tracks have come out in various other formats, including on CD, I think. But not the 3 Chuck Wayne tracks. Since Dave Schildkraut plays alto on 2 of them, this is particularly tantalizing. Apparently the whole album was even on iTunes, but no longer. It may still be on Amazon music (in the US only) and Spotify (listed under Jimmy Raney only), but it is still a bit odd this never came out on CD as a single unit.
  2. This does sound pretty horrible. I'm not quite sure where they got the chutzpah to claim this was based off of de Quincy's book, more like coincidentally they both discuss opium addiction, though de Quincy tries to deglamourize addiction (and while my memory is foggy, I think he claims there are positive uses of opium when used in moderation, though enabling one to kidnap young women didn't make the list for some reason).
  3. emusic.com

    Was incredibly annoyed to find that my account was suspended and they were supposed to notify me before restarting it, but they did not. So I am a member again. Took a look around and basically there are no labels of interest - Black Saint and Soul Note were dropped, as well as Hatology (as noted above). I think ECM may have been on eMusic at one point, but definitely not now. It looks like Rivebea is still there and ESP-Disk, but otherwise the rest of the jazz offerings are limited to pretty junky PD labels. This time around I am going to quit and make it stick!
  4. Now reading...

    In yet another example of how tastes change, I am somewhat more interested in Toni Morrison's Sula (than I remember being as a callow youth), but I am not enjoying Tar Baby at all. She introduces a lot of minor characters, who clutter up the main plot, and the main incident that allows the plot to continue strikes me as so outlandishly improbable that it has put a huge damper on the book. I'm very doubtful I'll actually manage to finish this. It would be one thing if this was supposed to be read as a fable (or even fairy tale, like much of Angela Carter's work), but Tar Baby is predominantly in the realist mode. I'm skipping around in Wendell Berry's The World-Ending Fire (a compilation of selected essays). While there is much that is interesting and admirable, I am more in tune with Loren Eiseley's world view and preoccupations. Also reading through Teju Cole's Known and Strange Things, which is interesting so far.
  5. It did appear to be a guest drummer (in baseball cap), but definitely five others. I've seen a slightly larger configuration, and I think one time (in Chicago) they had joined up with female vocalists/dancers but that is quite rare.
  6. Tinariwen was in Toronto last night. I think this is a slightly smaller touring ensemble than I've seen in the past, only 6 members including a dancer (who at one point in the middle of the set did play 2 guitar pieces). It was a good show. This actually makes the 4th time I've seen them over the years -- twice in Chicago and twice in Toronto.
  7. Now reading...

    About 1/3 through Dawn Powell's A Time to Be Born. Still quite entertaining, though I think Turn, Magic Wheel is a bit tighter overall. Should wrap up Morrison's Sula fairly soon as well. I'm reading Eiseley's books in a somewhat random order. Finished The Immense Journey yesterday and will launch into The Night Country probably in a week or so. Also, put a few Wendell Berry essay collections on hold at the library.
  8. Harold Mabern R.I.P.

    RIP I believe I saw him twice in Chicago, both times backing Eric Alexander. It's vaguely possible I saw him a third time, but I don't remember the context. I know that he came to Vancouver fairly recently for a show in support of the Kirk MacDonald CD Ted mentions above, but when Kirk played Toronto, Harold wasn't with the group unfortunately.
  9. It looks like VLC Media Player will also play that format. You should be able to download it for free. I don't use VLC that often any more, but it still comes in handy for some files.
  10. Now reading...

    I think she actually wrote 15 novels, but the very, very early novels are all completely out of print. A while back, she came back into vogue and the publisher that published her diaries and short stories also published 10 of her novels (the best of the bunch). LOA reprints 9 of them, with only The Happy Island left out. The Happy Island is set in New York, so you might want to see if your library has it if you enjoy your deeper dive into Powell. It's also one of the first novels to feature homosexual characters without invoking "gay panic" (I mean leaving aside The Satyricon).
  11. Now reading...

    Dawn Powell's Turn, Magic Wheel. This is one of her earlier novels and perhaps her first pure satire. I enjoyed it. It sets me up to read A Time to Be Born, which I'll probably start towards the end of the week. I'm about a quarter of the way through A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers. This is one of the relatively rare cases where I saw the movie (starring Tom Hanks) first. I can't even remember why I saw the movie in the first place, as I am not a huge Tom Hanks fan or anything. The theme of the US losing its way, along with its manufacturing base, is pervasive in the novel, even more than in the movie. I'm also reading some Loren Eiseley - first The Invisible Pyramid and now The Immense Journey.
  12. These are really neat sets and the booklets are quite nice. I don't listen to the music enough, but that's the story of my life...
  13. No value?

    I don't think the Toronto Library is likely to stop its book sale model of donated items any time soon, though I don't think they accept CDs. I might be wrong. The University of Toronto and associated college libraries also have annual book sales of slightly higher end materials, but again no CDs, as far as I know. There are fewer and fewer places that will take CDs and give you any value for them. The one place I knew that had some interest in jazz and classical shut down. Most of the used book stores have shut down, with two more going out of business in the last year (and Elliot's Books on Yonge shutting down the year previously, which was a major loss). There is probably a 3 year window remaining to get anything, even $0.50 for used CDs at a store, and, after that, it will be all be strictly donated. I know my collection will more or less end up in the landfill unless my son bothers to schlep them over to Goodwill or Value Village. By the time I shuffle off, I'm pretty sure even Mosaics will be valueless. I don't know about books. They'll likely retain some value longer, but the days of estate sales where the store would come out and grab all the books are over. So I suspect realistically the books will also end up in a landfill.
  14. Robert Frank (1924 - 2019)

    I had no idea he was still alive. RIP Definitely a major figure who really changed the way the art world thought about photographs. I saw an exhibit with the original prints from the The Americans and then some of the images that didn't make the collection, along with several pages of negatives.
  15. No value?

    There are two overlapping issues. First, the fact that relatively few people borrow CDs and most libraries do prefer to invest in streaming services - Hoopla, Naxos, etc. That said, the library here does get a very few new CD releases and even has a few new vinyl additions to the catalogue. The second issue is that it is fairly expensive to catalogue a bunch of random CDs (or even books), and if one is looking at a big stack of MOR rock/pop records in who knows what kind of condition, then it is a lot easier to just say no. I've found it all but impossible to donate targeted books (i.e. ones not in the collection that would fit with the theme of the collection). The real problem for me is that most used bookstores and used CD stores are going out of business, so there is almost nowhere to get rid of this stuff. As the boomers and Gen Xers shuffle off this mortal coil, most of the stuff they accumulated is just going into the dump unfortunately...