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HutchFan

Your Music Collector Idiosyncrasies

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If I get an album by an artist -- and I enjoy it -- then I feel like there should be at least two albums by the artist in my collection. 

One just isn't enough.  Two is a much more acceptable stopping point.

This is especially true if I get an album that's in a sequence.  If I get Volume 1, I'm almost obligated to get Volume 2.  Not the entire series necessarily.  But one just isn't sufficient. 

 

 

Yeah, I know it's strange.  I suppose I could have titled this thread "Irrational Habits"!  But at least they're harmless irrational habits.  And I think just about every collector has these sorts of odd foibles.

Anyone else care to share yours?

 

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I have unfiled stuff that is filed, and unfiled stuff that is not filed.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, HutchFan said:

If I get an album by an artist -- and I enjoy it -- then I feel like there should be at least two albums by the artist in my collection.

I used to feel sort of the same way. Or at least when it came to paring down my collection about 12 years ago (from 8,500 CD’s down to about 4,500 — when I moved from KC to DC).

If I had two CD’s by the same artist, I had the damnedest time getting rid of one of them. It was relatively easier to go from 5 titles by the same leader down to just two.  But if I had only two to start with, I felt obligated to keep both.

Then I said, this is silly!! — and I did manage to cull things down from 2 to just 1 in about a dozen instances. But it was like an artificial roadblock I just couldn’t get past, until I just decided I simply wouldn’t be bound by that arbitrary rule.

And yeah, usually if I own one volume of something, I either feel obligated to get the other one — or else get rid of the first one — there’s no logical way to just be ‘halfway’ about only owning one and not the other (since presumably the missing volume is just as good as the one I already have).

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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57 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I have unfiled stuff that is filed, and unfiled stuff that is not filed.

Same. And filed stuff that is not filed.

I have various artists mixed in by title, as though the title of the record was the artist name, rather than having a various artists section. So like the Complete Keynote Collection is filed in jazz "K." It's easy for me because I know what I have and where it is. For someone else... it might be a challenge.

I have Mosaics, ESPs, and Actuels filed by catalog number in a separate section in the non-jazz record room (I have two rooms for records). I used to separate out my Blue Notes as well but they have been interfiled, primarily because a lot of them are 70s pressings or Japanese. Yet my ICP releases (have all the vinyl except for the flexi-disc set) are filed as Instant Composers Pool amid jazz artists/groups "I" and not by artist -- Breuker, Bennink, Lacy, etc.. 

All of my ethnographic and related field recordings (hundreds of them) are filed by region/tribe and then kind of "best I can" within that, moving from Americas eastward through Africa and Europe to Asia and ending with Korea. 

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This thread is making me feel better already...

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10 minutes ago, mjazzg said:

This thread is making me feel better already...

LOL !!!  :D  

 

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Can’t tell you how many discs I have filed under the name of the person (sideman) on the the date that’s the entire reason I bought it. No, not every date Joe Henderson is on as a sideman is filed under “Henderson”.  But you can be darned sure all the sideman work he did in the 70’s and later — all that’s filed with the rest of Joe’s leader-dates (cuz that’s 90% of why I bought that stuff).

My basic rule is I file stuff where I think I’ll find it later. AND, when I’m looking for some more obscure stuff with someone on it, then it’s nice to be able to peruse all those obscure dates with Joe (cuz I’ll never remember half of them by their own leader).

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2 hours ago, HutchFan said:

If I get an album by an artist -- and I enjoy it -- then I feel like there should be at least two albums by the artist in my collection. 

One just isn't enough.  Two is a much more acceptable stopping point.

I am the opposite. I try to have only one record by an artist. I will stretch if the artist clearly has periods or if the records are stylistically different enough. So for example I have two Stanley Turrentine records, one from CTI (Salt Song) and one Blue Note (Never Let Me Go), and I own several Miles Davis records, since he worked in different styles, but only one Dexter Gordon. I also "collect" a few artists: Lee Konitz, Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton, for which I allow a dispensation, and enjoy buying on sight. But otherwise, I get anxious if I have more than one, and will sell a record if I buy a new one by the same artist. The test is whether each record is sufficiently separate conceptually that I don't think that I am just duplicating.

I should add that this is from the last ten years. When I was younger I wanted all "classic" works by an artist on CD. But now in the era of YouTube I prefer to go as light as possible, and an more subjective in the record that I chose per artist and less interested in the "classic".

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Maybe not quite the same thing but I struggle to get rid of duplicates of the same title if I have, say, a scruffy original pressing and a tidy Japanese reissue. I try and justify it to myself if one if stereo and one is mono but the truth is I can't choose so just keep them both. I have three copies of the New Thing At Newport (plus the CD somewhere..)

Stupid record fetishism but there are worse things to obsess over I guess.

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Posted (edited)

14 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

I am the opposite. I try to have only one record by an artist. I will stretch if the artist clearly has periods or if the records are stylistically different enough. So for example I have two Stanley Turrentine records, one from CTI (Salt Song) and one Blue Note (Never Let Me Go), and I own several Miles Davis records, since he worked in different styles, but only one Dexter Gordon. I also "collect" a few artists: Lee Konitz, Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton, for which I allow a dispensation, and enjoy buying on sight. But otherwise, I get anxious if I have more than one, and will sell a record if I buy a new one by the same artist. The test is whether each record is sufficiently separate conceptually that I don't think that I am just duplicating.

I should add that this is from the last ten years. When I was younger I wanted all "classic" works by an artist on CD. But now in the era of YouTube I prefer to go as light as possible, and an more subjective in the record that I chose per artist and less interested in the "classic".

Ohhh.  I like that.  Winnowing down to the bare essentials.  I don't think it wouldn't work for me -- because it requires a sort of discipline that I know I don't have -- but I can TOTALLY appreciate that approach.

OTOH, one thing we have in common: I no longer collect stuff because it's "classic."  The depth that I want to dive into any given artist's discography all depends on how much I dig the artist, regardless of their status among the cognoscenti.   These days, after years of collecting, the off-the-beaten-path places are often (usually?) most interesting. . . . I think this is probably true of a lot of us here.  

 

Edited by HutchFan

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13 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

I am the opposite. I try to have only one record by an artist. I will stretch if the artist clearly has periods or if the records are stylistically different enough. So for example I have two Stanley Turrentine records, one from CTI (Salt Song) and one Blue Note (Never Let Me Go), and I own several Miles Davis records, since he worked in different styles, but only one Dexter Gordon. I also "collect" a few artists: Lee Konitz, Roscoe Mitchell and Anthony Braxton, for which I allow a dispensation, and enjoy buying on sight. But otherwise, I get anxious if I have more than one, and will sell a record if I buy a new one by the same artist. The test is whether each record is sufficiently separate conceptually that I don't think that I am just duplicating.

I should add that this is from the last ten years. When I was younger I wanted all "classic" works by an artist on CD. But now in the era of YouTube I prefer to go as light as possible, and an more subjective in the record that I chose per artist and less interested in the "classic".

I admire this approach but honestly it gives me the collywobbles, I'm going to have to lie down.

I'm like Hutchfan, if I like one album by an artist I invariably just have to have more. I have a shelving section specifically for albums that they are the only title by an artist I own, it's quite a small section. This week I bought my first Charlie Mariano and loved it so much I immediately bought another. I'd not even got close to fully absorbing the first.

9 minutes ago, paulfromcamden said:

Maybe not quite the same thing but I struggle to get rid of duplicates of the same title if I have, say, a scruffy original pressing and a tidy Japanese reissue. I try and justify it to myself if one if stereo and one is mono but the truth is I can't choose so just keep them both. I have three copies of the New Thing At Newport (plus the CD somewhere..)

Stupid record fetishism but there are worse things to obsess over I guess.

Duplicates, twice the fun!

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35 minutes ago, HutchFan said:

I no longer collect stuff because it's "classic."  The depth that I want to dive into any given artist's discography all depends on how much I dig the artist, regardless of their status among the cognoscenti.

There are entire deep catalogs of artists that I barely have any of. Not because I specifically “dislike” the artist in question — but simply because the depth of my interest in them is simply much thinner (or in some cases - much, much thinner).

Thus I have about 5x as many discs by (and with) Terumasa Hino — as I do Monk (who I have very little of). And I have about 3x as many discs by (and with) Joe Henderson — as I do Coltrane.

But there’s only really two artists I’m almost a completists about collecting — Andrew Hill, and Woody Shaw.

I also have TONS of Miles from his main run with Columbia, from ‘56-75 (all the metal spine boxes, and more). But I don’t have much (if any) of his Prestige output, and only a smattering of his post-1980 output — both of which I used to have tons of too, but I traded off years ago.

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I purged all my ESP cover variations when I moved back east. I probably still have some dupes -- I know I have Edition I and Edition II of Ascension filed, and those aren't dupes. And certain favorite CDs with extra material along with the LPs of same (Machine Gun for example).

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8 minutes ago, paulfromcamden said:

Maybe not quite the same thing but I struggle to get rid of duplicates of the same title if I have, say, a scruffy original pressing and a tidy Japanese reissue. I try and justify it to myself if one if stereo and one is mono but the truth is I can't choose so just keep them both. I have three copies of the New Thing At Newport (plus the CD somewhere..)

Stupid record fetishism but there are worse things to obsess over I guess.

I know a guy who owns a record store who has multiple versions -- as many as 6, 7, or 8 copies, all slight variations -- of many, many albums in his collection.  And lots of them are very, VERY valuable.  He could easily sell them in his store.  But he can't reconcile himself to the idea of parting with them.

Sounds like your duplication is VERY minor compared to his.  So I wouldn't sweat it.

. . . At least that's what I tell myself when I find myself keeping more than one copy of the same album!  :P 

 

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, HutchFan said:

Ohhh.  I like that.  Winnowing down to the bare essentials.

It's not a Mary Kondou thing so much as a reflection of listening habits and space. I tend to see an artist as representing a sound or, for more multifaceted artists, sounds, and then just try to own the record that I enjoy the most that most represents that sound. If I want to listen to Dexter Gordon over breakfast then owning one Dexter Gordon record is the same as owning a shelf of Dexter Gordon records. On the other hand, I own a few Coltrane records because Johnny Hartman versus Ascension over breakfast is a bit more of an either / or situation.

Edited by Rabshakeh

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Sorry, but for Dexter, Our Man In Paris and Manhattan Symphonie are noticeably different expressions. Not saying you need them all, you don't (among other things, a few BNs and many of the Prestige sides are non-essential, to put it mildly, and Steeplechase is just an embarrassment of riches), but there's no one Dexter Gordon record that neatly sums it all up, unless, of course, that's all you want to know about Dexter Gordon.

If I want to luxuriate in the Dexter Gordon Story with a minimum of inventory, I'm having to do it with no fewer than these:

  • GO!
  • Our Man In Paris
  • Any one Steeplechase studio small group record
  • Manhattan Symphonie

I have quite a few more than that (and some that are really not particularly necessary), but if forced to cull with an eye towards on any given day wanting to hear one chapter of Dexter, I think I'd be cheating myself if I didn't have those four on hand..

Which begs the question - what is your one Dexter Gordon album, and why is that all there is to it for you?

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Posted (edited)

30 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Sorry, but for Dexter, Our Man In Paris and Manhattan Symphonie are noticeably different expressions. Not saying you need them all, you don't (among other things, a few BNs and many of the Prestige sides are non-essential, to put it mildly, and Steeplechase is just an embarrassment of riches), but there's no one Dexter Gordon record that neatly sums it all up, unless, of course, that's all you want to know about Dexter Gordon.

If I want to luxuriate in the Dexter Gordon Story with a minimum of inventory, I'm having to do it with no fewer than these:

  • GO!
  • Our Man In Paris
  • Any one Steeplechase studio small group record
  • Manhattan Symphonie

I have quite a few more than that (and some that are really not particularly necessary), but if forced to cull with an eye towards on any given day wanting to hear one chapter of Dexter, I think I'd be cheating myself if I didn't have those four on hand..

Which begs the question - what is your one Dexter Gordon album, and why is that all there is to it for you?

I certainly agree that Its not all there is. I listen to Gordon a lot on Spotify. I just no longer own many of his records. Those are a great four records. I know the first two records you named pretty much by heart, and love the Steeplechases. If it had more space I certainly would own Our Man In Paris, which is a great favourite of mine. 

But with Gordon, style-wise, I think that there’s the earlier bop sides, his long middle period, and then the later records that stand out partly due to Woody Shaw’s involvement (my own opinion only). I’m not sure that Our Man In Paris is so different to e.g. Swiss Nights that I need to own both. I take the point that Manhattan Symphonie is different to those two records, but I don’t love it enough to want to own it.

My Gordon choice is slightly idiosyncratic, to the point of being silly, and probably not helping the point. My favourite Gordon record is Tower of Power, which no doubt isn’t his best but which for some reason hits everything I like about Gordon in the strongest possible way. I’ve never found it in the wild though (I generally prefer to buy second hand and from shops), so the Gordon I still own is its sister record More Power. That record has the benefit of James Moody, plus interesting programming due to the presence of a bossa on the second track. On top of that, I think that the Schlitten / Prestige cover design suits Dexter’s style. Basically though it is the one that puts the biggest smile on my face.

Edit: I should add that my interest in Dexter Gordon is perhaps not super strong, and even with more space I would not necessarily have a large Dexter Gordon collection. For whatever reason I never had a huge bond with him that would make me want to own his LPs physically (although I did own them on CD). 

Edited by Rabshakeh

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1 hour ago, Rabshakeh said:

I’m not sure that Our Man In Paris is so different to e.g. Swiss Nights that I need to own both.

Remind me again which one has an invigorated Bud Powell, an uber-keen Kenny Clarke, and a damn near goofy Dexter? :g

But if you're looking at this from a space/storage issue, then you are definitely ahead of the curve here, and on that point I envy you to no end.

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I no longer have the space constraints I did in a Brooklyn apartment but honestly, if I feel like I need to limit myself to one representative recording by an artist who has done multiple works, I might as well just not have any by that person. At least not in physical formats.

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12 hours ago, Rabshakeh said:

I listen to Gordon a lot on Spotify. I just no longer own many of his records.

Streaming has changed my music listening and collecting habits immensely. I've got a lot of physical media that I'm going through to purge at this point. If the rights are ultimately owned by a major, then chances are it'll be on a streaming platform in perpetuity (unless that major is Sony who for some reason can be weird), so there's no real reason to hold onto el cheapo CD versions. 

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One of the things that drives me crazy is when two artists record together often as co-leaders, but top billing is alternated from one to the next. I tend to want all of them in one place, so I pick my favorite and file them all together under that artist.

If I keep up my collecting ways, I may end up as one of those old men who leaves an estate that includes a few thousand factory sealed CDs and LPs that I never got around to hearing…

 

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I got tired of not being able to find any of 100 discs of obscure 70’s stuff, by leaders I can never remember the names of. Practically all of it is arguably ‘weird’ — blind purchases I’ve made from Dusty Groove (usually not totally blind, as one can often find at least a couple tracks on YouTube at least).

So I pulled all that stuff out and made it its own section, so I can just browse through that kind of stuff when I’m in the mood. I also put Sun Ra’s brief ‘disco’ phase (Lanquidity, and such) in that section too. But 85% of the section is no-names, that I can usually only remember specifically by what the cover looks like.

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13 minutes ago, Rooster_Ties said:

I got tired of not being able to find any of 100 discs of obscure 70’s stuff, by leaders I can never remember the names of. Practically all of it is arguably ‘weird’

But 85% of the section is no-names, that I can usually only remember specifically by what the cover looks like.

Like what? Sounds interesting

33 minutes ago, Ken Dryden said:

One of the things that drives me crazy is when two artists record together often as co-leaders, but top billing is alternated from one to the next. I tend to want all of them in one place, so I pick my favorite and file them all together under that artist.

If I keep up my collecting ways, I may end up as one of those old men who leaves an estate that includes a few thousand factory sealed CDs and LPs that I never got around to hearing…

I think that this is an issue for jazz as a whole. Dual leader dates and records by named groups appear to have a substantially lower presence than records by single leaders. (Some obvious exceptions like AEC, Massey Hall, etc., excluded).

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14 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

Like what? Sounds interesting

I think that this is an issue for jazz as a whole. Dual leader dates and records by named groups appear to have a substantially lower presence than records by single leaders. (Some obvious exceptions like AEC, Massey Hall, etc., excluded).

When there isn’t a definite leader in a one time all star ensemble, I usually file them in with the various artist anthologies, but there are exceptions that I make for no particular reason.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Rooster_Ties said:

I got tired of not being able to find any of 100 discs of obscure 70’s stuff, by leaders I can never remember the names of. Practically all of it is arguably ‘weird’ — blind purchases I’ve made from Dusty Groove (usually not totally blind, as one can often find at least a couple tracks on YouTube at least).

So I pulled all that stuff out and made it its own section, so I can just browse through that kind of stuff when I’m in the mood. I also put Sun Ra’s brief ‘disco’ phase (Lanquidity, and such) in that section too. But 85% of the section is no-names, that I can usually only remember specifically by what the cover looks like.

 

1 hour ago, Rabshakeh said:

Like what? Sounds interesting

 

Indeed. Rooster Ties’ collection of obscure 70s jazz by no names sounds like it could make a helluva comp. 

Edited by Dub Modal
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