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  1. Hello everyone! My wife suprised me with tickets to the Highlands Jazz Festival in Abingdon, VA April 29-30th. The headliner is the Artie Shaw Orchestra. I've had the Self Portrait box for a long time and had started listening to it a lot again after Artie Shaw passed away. From what I've read, when the band was reformed by Artie Shaw in the early 80's and he chose clarinetist Dick Johnson to take his place he said, "Dick's clarinet playing, as of this time, is the best I've heard, bar nobody, and you can quote me on that anywhere, anytime!" I was just wondering if anyone has seen the band recently and if they care to opine about the experience. I've never heard a jazz big band live before. Actually, the only live jazz show I've ever attended was a night of the Charlie Parker Festival featuring Greg Osby at Birdland a couple of years ago. That show left me with a grin on my face for days. I guess that brings me to my most important question. Does this "new" Artie Shaw Orchestra swing? Thanks!
  2. I love jazz featuring flute, and Herbie Mann's Flute Souffle is one of my favorite jazz recordings in general. I'd like to explore some more Mann albums, as well as some from other jazz flute players (flautists?). The Mann albums I currently have are: Herbie Mann Plays Jazz Souffle Sultry Serenade Do The Bossa Nova/My Kinda Groove Memphis Underground Rahsaan Roland Kirk Albums I have: Domino Kirk in Copenhagen Introducing Roland Kirk I Talk to the Spirits Oliver Nelson's Blues and the Abstract Truth I have a CTI album that Hubert Laws plays flute on...either Straight Life or Red Clay, I can't remember which. I don't have any albums with Laws as leader, though. Anyway, I appreciate album suggestions for any of these guys, as well as some from jazz flautists I might not be aware of. Thanks!
  3. Happy Birthday Lester Young

    Weird...Yesterday I had the urge to watch "Jammin' the Blues", which I had taped off of TCM a couple of years ago. I had practically forgotten about the tape and had to do a lot of rummaging around to find it. I love watching Lester play in "Jammin' the Blues". The porkpie hat, the way he held the sax, all the cigarette all looks so cool on film. And knowing that his cool outward demeanor hid so much inner pain, it's all so sad. I had no idea it was Lester Young's birthday while I was watching.
  4. Top Ten Little Known Facts About Charlie Parker

    Speaking of Massey Hall, not only was Bird's saxophone plastic, it was manufactured by Fisher-Price as part of their "My First Gobble-Pipe" line. It was such a hit that the "My 'Lil Pawnshop Playset" soon that toddlers would have a convenient place to put it in hock.
  5. Good SACD Player for $500

    Try browsing , you can find a lot of helpful info there. I would imagine most forum members there will tell you that you will get better redbook CD playback from the NAD you currently own than you would from a stock SACD player in the $500 range. Also, having a quality CD player already may mean that you won't notice a huge difference between CD and SACD playback (unless you're interested in multichannel, that is). I myself would like to recommend the Philips DVD 963SA, which can be purchased online at J&R and B&H Photo for around $250.00 (sadly, I paid $400.00 for mine a year ago). A lot of folks at head-fi say that getting the player modded (which will run you at least 400 bucks) turns the 963SA into a high-end audio powerhouse. I don't have any audiophile gear to compare the 963SA to, so my stock unit sounds fine to me. It has 192kHz upsampling and excellent DVD playback if those are of any interest. The unit does tend to run hot, and some people say Philips quality control is lacking, but I haven't experienced any problems in the year that I've owned my player. The unfortunate thing about the audiophile world is that grading CD/SACD players in a similar price range is extremely subjective. Read lots of reviews about a lot of different players (try, and after your head finally quits hurting make the proper decision. Hope this helps!
  6. Wow! So many replies! I have only a few of the albums mentioned, and I'm definitely going to check out the Ike Quebec. I've been listening to jazz for nearly three years, and each album opens up new roads to different artists, genres, means of expression, etc. After several years of being disenchanted with my rock/pop collection, it's great to "feel" what I'm listening to... I'm having so much fun listening and learning. Thanks everyone!
  7. I've been playing Midnight Blue a lot lately...I love blues, and I think the congas make the recording stand out. Anyone know of any recordings (not necessarily Kenny Burrell albums) that are similar in instrumentation and style?
  8. Sun Ra: "SPACE IS THE PLACE" - 30th Anniversary

    I've never heard any Sun-Ra before, and renting this DVD sounds enticing. As far as the music is concerned, would this DVD be too extreme as an introduction? I'm guessing it would be more appropriate to start with earlier albums like Supersonic Jazz and Jazz in Silhouette and work my up to later material, right? As far as the visuals and Sun-Ra's philosophy is concerned, I think that would be fun to watch....just wondering about the music, though.
  9. Hello everyone. I can't decide if I should splurge and get the Complete Ella Songbook set or buy the invidual CDs in remastered form. Anyone know if there's much difference in sound quality between the box set and the individual CD releases? Thanks!
  10. Need recs for entry-level headphone setup

    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I spent a lot of time researching the subject of audiophile headphones over at and completely forgot about this thread! I think I'm going to go with Beyerdynamic DT880 headphones, a Corda HA-1 MkII amp (with crossfeed), and eventually a Philips 963A SACD/DVD player. Anyone here own the Philips 963A?
  11. Need recs for entry-level headphone setup

    Thanks for all the replies, everyone! Now I have another dilemma. After looking around the web at various kinds of headpones and amps, I have really taken a liking to the Grado RS1's and the RA1 amp. But even with all the glowing reviews I've read about these phones performance-wise, I'm rather embarrassed to admit that I think I'm want this phone/amp setup just because they look so cool! Buying this Grado setup (even if I opt instead for the RS2's) will be quite expensive. Does anyone else think I'm better off picking some Sennheisers or lower-end Grados and a much cheaper amp like a Creek model? I welcome more suggestions, but no "Mahogany is Murder" arguments, please.
  12. Hello everyone. I have to do most of my jazz listening via headphones, so I'm interested in investing in an entry-level audiophile setup consisting of an SACD player, headphones, and headphone amp. I'm considering some Sennheiser HD 580's as my headphone choice. As for headphone amps, HeadRoom was a brand I keep coming across, but I wouldn't know which model would best suit my needs and budget. And for an SACD player, I already own a DVD player, so I'm looking for a single-disc SACD/CD-only player. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated!
  13. The future of jazz cds

    It's sad when music stores get rid of their jazz sections, but what's even worse is when management/employees don't take a well-stocked jazz section seriously. I'm sure
  14. My two biggest "D'ohs!", which caused me much embarassment as a jazz newbie, now make me laugh. The first one was thinking that Tina Brooks was a woman after first encountering an album with him on it. My second "D'oh!" occurred when I purchased the Coltrane Village Vanguard set. I was wondering who the bass clarinet player was, and I was disappointed that it was some guy named Harold Land, because I had thought it was Eric Dolphy!
  15. The Oscars

    Now that Rush Limbaugh has lost weight, it appears that Michael Moore is the world's most annoying politically biased fat man...