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Tom Wilson and the Transition Records Story


ghost of miles
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An early chapter in music biz D.I.Y.: Tom Wilson, a young African-American Harvard graduate who'd go on to produce some of the 1960s' most landmark albums, working with Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground, and Frank Zappa, started out in the 1950s by running his own label, Transition Records.

Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Herb Pomeroy, Donald Byrd, Paul Chambers/John Coltrane, Louis Smith and Herb Pomeroy were some the jazz artists who recorded for Transition--some of them making their debut on wax. The music of all of these artists, plus more of the backstory on Wilson, this week on Night Lights:

Before Rock, There Was Jazz: Tom Wilson And Transition Records

 

Broadcast times around the U.S.

 

Next week: "Sweet Smell of Success."

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has much of this been issued on CD?

All the Transition Jazz LPs have been issued on CD except for:

TRLPJ-2 Jazz At Columbia Avenue by John Windhurst; TRLP-23 Chiefly Jazz by The Dartmouth Indian Chiefs and TRLP-27 Piano Reflections by Fran Thorne. Additionally most of the LPs did not have notes on the back of the LP covers- instead the LPs came with a booklet enclosed in the cover. Most of the CDs do not include a copy of the booklet. These booklets are very rare, even more than the LPs.

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I assume the non-jazz titles , the Sam Gary , the Russell Woollen and the Eleanor "Lovey" Powell have not been on CD either . The masters for these are listed as being held by Phoenix . However , according to an interview with Tom Wilson that appeared in the August 1956 issue of Metronome , Phoenix was to be a subsidiary label focusing largely on earlier jazz styles as opposed to folk or classical . The first issue was to be a recording by Wallerite trumpeter Herman Autrey .

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  • 1 year later...
  • 6 years later...
  • 8 months later...

Picked up four of these Transition titles last week at a Half Price Books:

  • Donald Byrd - Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill
  • Lucky Thompson - Lucky Strikes
  • Sun Ra - Jazz By Sun Ra, Vol. 1
  • Doug Watkins - Watkins at Large

They all have the booklets. Records look NM, though the Watkins has a split spine and the Sun Ra has some spine and seam splitting.

The Sun Ra booklet is a TRIP

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4 hours ago, WD45 said:

Picked up four of these Transition titles last week at a Half Price Books:

  • Donald Byrd - Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill
  • Lucky Thompson - Lucky Strikes
  • Sun Ra - Jazz By Sun Ra, Vol. 1
  • Doug Watkins - Watkins at Large

They all have the booklets. Records look NM, though the Watkins has a split spine and the Sun Ra has some spine and seam splitting.

The Sun Ra booklet is a TRIP

Original Transition LPs??? If true, just that Watkins LP with inserts alone is worth about $1,000, especially if the labels are somehow still attached to the plastic record.

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On 8/3/2018 at 11:01 AM, WD45 said:

Picked up four of these Transition titles last week at a Half Price Books:

  • Donald Byrd - Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill
  • Lucky Thompson - Lucky Strikes
  • Sun Ra - Jazz By Sun Ra, Vol. 1
  • Doug Watkins - Watkins at Large    

They all have the booklets. Records look NM, though the Watkins has a split spine and the Sun Ra has some spine and seam splitting.

The Sun Ra booklet is a TRIP

GET OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YOU DID NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:o:o:o:o

Image result for cry emoji

you know i am noticing Byrds eye view was recorded at Harvard Square-- does that make that a live recording, i dont seem to recall it being live.  cause lee konitz at harvard squares a live recording, no?

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