Friday, August 10, 2007

Vinyl Record Day, August 12th

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I recently learned that Sunday, August 12th is Vinyl Record Day. It marks the anniversary of Edison's invention of the phonograph, and a number of blogs are participating in the celebration of records. I thought it would be a good time to move outside of my usual 45-specific posts and talk about last year when I finally awoke to jazz LPs. I have been a jazz 45 fan and collector for a number of years, very much into the cut-to-the-chase nature of jazz tunes when on the format. No need for all the solos, just give me something uptempo to dance to, preferably on the Prestige label. Yes, this is perhaps heresy to some, but that was my stance, 45s only.

One Sunday at a flea market, when there were no 45s around, I picked up a number of jazz LPs for $2 each. Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder", Miles Davis' "E.S.P.", Donald Byrd's "A New Perspective", some Willie Bobo titles, and others. When I got home, I cleaned a number of them, and the first title that made it onto the decks was Lee Morgan's "Sidewinder". I put on the headphones, and, being familiar with the title track, I went to "Totem Pole", and the interplay of Lee Morgan's trumpet and Joe Henderson's sax at the intro just struck me. The solos made sense, the playing just knocked me out. My eyes lost focus as I was absorbed in the tune, and as the song was winding down and the trumpet and sax became intertwined again, I thought to myself "What was I thinking?". I continued through side 2 and concluded that I had been missing out.

After a month or so of playing this record several nights a week after my wife went to bed, I sat down and really listened to Miles' "E.S.P.", which, which, well, for lack of a better term, blows up my mind every time I listen to it. And right now is no exception.

I have slowly made my way through the titles I bought that day. My interest in jazz LPs has grown, much to the chagrin of my wife, who likes to remind me that when we met I told her "I am a 45 guy". I no longer make such a claim.

I went back to the flea market the following week and bought a handful more jazz titles. All in all I bought about 30 jazz LPs. This is the basis of my jazz collection, and when I want to listen to something after everyone is in bed, these records are what I usually turn to first. The record sellers told me that they bought the records off a 91 year old neighbor. He wrote a "C" in black marker on the bottom right of the back of the LP covers. Well, Mr. C, you have good taste in music, and I'm very much enjoying the records. They opened my eyes to something I had been missing.

Check out all the blogs participating in Vinyl Record Day over at The Hits Just Keep On Coming. There are a number of great blogs participating.