Afternoon Listening: Some Cuban vibes with Kenny Dorham

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Afternoon Listening: Some Cuban vibes with Kenny Dorham

Cuban vibes on an Autumn's day...

Today I took the day off of work. All alone in the apartment. That means I got some time for myself to listen to some jazz. I decided to put on Jackie McLeans 4, 5 & 6 first. Listened to the whole album. And what an album that is. McLean is one of my favorite jazz artists. And speaking of him, I have an album by him which is the next on the purchase list. The deal is confirmed and I'm aiming to get it secured at the end of the month.

Next I put on Side A of "Afro-Cuban" by Kenny Dorham on Blue Note 5065. This is an album I haven't listen to for a while... it's a beautiful album for sure. Those Cuban vibes... filling my room here in good ol' Stockholm where the Autumn breezes are blowing outside. Speaking of 10 inch albums, I just won an auction on eBay the other day. I never buy anything from eBay or very, very seldom anyway. It was a 10 inch album. I'm super excited about this album, because it's one that I've been after for a long time. This particular album is extremely rare. It's very difficult to find in any condition. I had a copy of this title borrowed home from a dealer in Stockholm a few years back, to see if it was up to scratch condition-wise. It didn't make the grade unfortunately. But now at last I've found another copy which should be tip-top. We'll see when it arrives. I'm very hopeful. So, look out for that one here on the site...

Looking to post more beautiful albums from my collection very soon, stay tuned everyone. Have a great Wednesday! Cheers...

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Afternoon Listening: "A Blowing Session" & "Undercurrent"

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Afternoon Listening: "A Blowing Session" & "Undercurrent"

An afternoon listening session with "A Blowing Session"...

October 1st... Autumn's here for sure. I've had some quality time this weekend to get some listening done. Yesterday I listened to a newly acquired album, which is the one I've been mentioning, a real rare piece and one of the most coveted of jazz collectibles. It feels amazing to put that one on the turntable. I thought it would take quite a while to get that one, but I managed to secure it a couple of weeks ago. I will of course post that one soon. I also listened to Side A of the wonderful LP above, Johnny Griffin's "A Blowing Session" on Blue Note 1559. Now this is a true masterpiece. The copy I have is in superb shape and it just sounds wonderful. Today I'm listening to Side B. I'm amazed how good it sounds and there is zero noise. How can an album of this vintage sound like new? These things still amaze me.

Now, I'm putting on Side B of Kenny Drew's "Undercurrent" on Blue Note 4059. Another masterpiece. Just dropped the needle... the sound on this one is beautiful as well. The brillance and clarity of the sound is simply breathtaking. It really is hard to believe that these albums are so old and so rare and still sounds so awesome. It's like putting a brand new album on the turntable. Still, these old Blue Notes in this kind of condition probably sounds much better than any brand new recent pressings. It's an absolute joy to experience this and that's why I'm collecting these old, vintage, original 1st pressing jazz LP's.

Ok, time to relax with a glass of Jim Beam on the rocks and just enjoy the moment... oh, "Groovin' The Blues" just started... got to go... cheers guys and enjoy the rest of your weekend! Stay tuned...

 

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Freddie Hubbard's "Open Sesame" on Blue Note 4040

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Freddie Hubbard's "Open Sesame" on Blue Note 4040

A truly wonderful piece of music...

Allright... what to say about this album... Well, it's in my top 10 jazz albums of all time... it has to be. The tunes, the clarity of the sound and the overall mix, the virtuosity of Hubbard, the brilliance of Tina Brooks. It really doesn't get any better than this if you're looking for a great hard bop recording. This particular album has been on the want list for a very long time. I have probably had the opportunity to buy it at some point earlier, but as you all know, there's so many great albums out there and for some reason I've bought other albums. But I'm glad I have waited for this copy cause it's in absolute pristine condition. M- for the vinyl and M- for the jacket. It's very, very difficult to get your hands on pieces that are this clean from the 50's and 60's. I'm extremely happy to have been able to add this wonderful album to my collection. It's a beautiful thing when you take a vintage album like this, in this kind of shape, off of your shelf and put it on the turntable. It's hard to describe the satisfaction you get when the needle drops and you just marvel over how an album this old can sound so damn good. And that you have been able to get a 1st pressing copy of it... it's like I said, a beautiful thing...

All the tunes are top notch and you just have to sit back and enjoy the moment. It's amazing how mature Hubbard sounds here considering it's his debut. He just blows everything away, it's quite astonishing. I love Tina Brooks, his playing is so soulful. So to have these two cats together is a recipe for greatness. Just like on Brooks' "True Blue" on Blue Note 4041 which was recorded less than one week after this album. Both of these albums are absolutely superb. The drummer Clifford Jarvis I haven't heard much of before. I really dig his style here and I need to check out more of his stuff.

This is really essential jazz to have in your collection. I'm sure you've all heard this album and it's truly one of those records you can listen to all of the time and not get tired of it one bit. Like I've mentioned, this year has been a very good year in record collecting for me. I have acquired more albums this year, some great collectibles, than any other year. I still have a few more to post before the turn of the year. One of the albums is one of the most coveted of the jazz collectibles and an amazing album. I doubted I would be able to purchase it and add it to the collection this soon, but I have been very fortunate to accomplish it and I couldn't be happier. Look out for that one!

I hope you guys will have a great rest of the weekend and stay tuned for more great stuff from my collection. Cheers!

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Jenkins, Jordan & Timmons on New Jazz 8232

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Jenkins, Jordan & Timmons on New Jazz 8232

A great session that will not disappoint...

Here's a very enjoyable album from 1957 with a great line-up, featuring John Jenkins on alto sax, Cliff Jordan on tenor sax, Bobby Timmons on piano, Wilbur Ware on bass and Dannie Richmond on drums. It's excellent hard bop with a nice set of tunes, composed of originals and standards. It's an album which I've been after for some time. It's quite rare and doesn't pop up that often in great shape. My copy is in very nice shape, the vinyl plays as new and the jacket is nice but has some yellowing and a large preview copy stamp on the back slick.

This is truly a great set and the tunes are all very nice. Favorite tune is probably "Soft Talk". "Tenderly" is a nice ballad with superb piano solo work from Bobby Timmons. It's a perfect album to put on for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Just sit back with a cup of coffee and relax to the wonderful music. I really dig the work of the three leaders. I've been looking at buying Jenkins effort as a leader on Blue Note 1573 for example. A great album. Cliff Jordan is a favorite and I have his superb effort "Cliff Craft" on Blue Note 1582. His tone is round and strong much like a nice cup of coffee. Bobby Timmons plays on a few of the albums I have and he is a pianist who's style I really like a lot. He just flows effortlessly through the tunes with extremely nice rhythmic lines. I would love to hear him more in a trio setting. I know he recorded several trio albums during the 60's. I have a lot to explore there. The other two cats in the rhythm section plays wonderfully as well.

All in all a great album which you should definitely seek out if you are unfamiliar with it. The deep ocean of jazz is truly amazing in the sense that there are so many great albums to explore and enjoy. It feels like it will take me a lifetime to fully explore the art of jazz and it's large treasure of artists and their music.

I have been really fortunate this year to been able to add some albums I've been wanting for a long time. I have probably bought more albums this year than any other year. And it's all top notch stuff. I have some very nice titles to post here in the coming months and I'm really looking forward to that. One title is probably in my top 10 jazz albums list of all time and it's in absolutely amazing shape. Another one is a superb album on the Riverside label. But one particular title stands out a little, as one of the most coveted of jazz collectibles out there. It's a beautiful album. It will all be revealed in the fall... stay tuned!

Have a great Sunday everyone, and please leave a comment if you want. Maybe you have some thoughts on the Jenkins, Jordan & Timmons album? Have you got a tip for me regarding your favorite Bobby Timmons trio album? Have you scored a great album lately which you would like to share? Maybe you have seen some live jazz that moved you? I love the comments and discussions you guys provide, so feel free... Cheers!

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Presenting Ernie Henry on Riverside 12-222

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Presenting Ernie Henry on Riverside 12-222

Ernie Henry's debut as a leader is a real treat...

Ahh, these old white label Riversides are a real treat... there's something truly genuine about them. I still get amazed over how an LP from the 50's can be in such superb shape and sound so good. It's hard to describe the feeling when you put a NM copy of a record from the 50's on the turntable and drop the needle and hear the sounds coming out of the speakers... Oh, I got two words for it; complete bliss.

Ernie Henry was an altoist of great talent and huge potential. His life was cut short by a heroin overdose at the age of only 31. Influenced by Bird he went on to create in his own personal direction. He recorded three albums as a leader for Riverside, and this is the first. When you hear Henry play you can't help but wonder how many other great albums he could have recorded if he didn't die so young. But the first two Riverside dates as a leader, alone, are enough to enjoy for a very long time. These two albums are very high up on my favorite albums list. Both are quite difficult to get your hands on as original 1st pressings. I've been looking for the 12-222 for a long time, and now finally I've been able to add it to the collection. I'm of course delighted to now own this great album.

I'm pretty sure this one and the other one on Riverside 12-248, are quite underrated and maybe not so well known to many jazz collectors. I could be wrong, but nevertheless, they are superb and should be found in every jazz collection. I strongly recommend you seek out these gems and find out for yourselves how great they are.

Apart from Henry, this session is also graced by some other top notch players, such as Kenny Dorham, Kenny Drew, Wilbur Ware and Art Taylor. Pretty much a dream line-up for me. All tunes except two are penned by Ernie Henry. They are all truly great.

There, now go and seek out some Ernie Henry... Cheers guys!

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"A Blowing Session" by Johnny Griffin on Blue Note 1559

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"A Blowing Session" by Johnny Griffin on Blue Note 1559

One of the truly great Blue Note sessions.

One of the truly great Blue Note sessions.

Man, this album is truly one of the great Blue Note sessions. I feel very happy to have been able to add this gem to my collection. The album boasts a magnificent line-up, and they are: Griffin, Mobley, Coltrane on tenor saxes, Morgan on trumpet, Kelly on piano, Chambers on bass and Blakey on drums. I mean, it's a dream line-up and a dream session. The music is so full of energy, joy, technical and lyrical brilliance. If one would choose to own only one Blue Note, this album wouldn't be a bad choice let me tell you. I just marvel over this session and I wonder to myself why I haven't made this album the number one, top priority to acquire over the last few years. I've been adding some wonderful, beautiful albums of course... but right at this moment I feel this beats them all. I guess you could say this album has broken into maybe my top 10 jazz albums of all time. It's that good.

All of the tunes from this historical session are superb. Played with fire, passion and unwavering energy and love for the art of jazz. This is a very difficult album to get as an original 1st pressing, but I've managed to find it and I didn't hesitate to jump at the opportunity to add this Blue Note to my collection. Three of the top tenor saxophone players of modern jazz are featured here together. One of them is Coltrane. He's only part of a few Blue Note sessions and he's always a joy to listen to.

On the drums is Blakey, who I've historically not rated as one of my favorite jazz drummers. I always thought his playing was too forceful, unrefined and without much finesse. He was always 'good' to my mind, but wasn't even close to, for example; Art Taylor, 'Philly' Joe Jones, Charlie Persip or Louis Hayes. The last year though, I've come to love him. For his own style, his energy. And, of course he has finesse, but in a different way than the rest. He's a force of nature and his style fits perfectly on this record, together with these players and these tunes. He also plays on the wonderful 'Soul Station' by Mobley and on that album he shows a more laid back style with lots of finesse and class. He's a truly great drummer. I rate him very highly now. As a drummer myself, you have maybe a different perspective than the average jazz listener when it comes to the drums specifically. I don't know. You just love certain nuances, the touch with which the sticks or brushes are used on the skins, the sound of the drums and cymbals in general, the fills and rolls which are used and how the drummer swings. Anyway, Blakey is one of the favorites now and he smokes on this record.

Lee Morgan is on this as well, which is a treat, cause he's my favorite jazz trumpeter. Mobley is always great and Griffin, the leader, is superb. I dig Kelly as well. A great pianist. All in all this album is an absolute must. So many albums are it seems, but this is essential modern jazz. It belongs on every jazz lovers shelf. Add this album to your collection as soon as possible if you haven't got it already. It's a masterpiece.

It's Saturday and summer is here in Stockholm. I've just received a note that I've won an album from an overseas auction, not eBay, and this album is fantastic and one that I've been looking for for a long time. It's extremely difficult to find and I'm really looking forward to receiving it before my summer vacation. This auction is not like eBay, cause you put in a max bid and that's what you pay, even if the second highest bid was way lower. For example, if you put in a bid of $3000 and the second highest bid is $2000 you still pay $3000. So, you really need to think hard about what your max bid is cause, for sure, that's what your paying. And you need to think about what other collectors are willing to pay for a record, and what you need to put in to be 100% sure of securing it. This kind of auction has maybe made me pay more for the records than if they were put on eBay. But when will that specific record in that condition come along again? And how many other collectors are willing to go higher than me on that day? You never know, and this non-eBay auction always delivers amazing stuff, so I know what I'm getting. And there are needle drops of every record in the auction, both sides all the way through, in great quality. This makes it much easier to decide if the record is for you. In the end, what is it worth to own the LP and cherish it in your collection for the rest of your life? And when will you have the chance to purchase it again? Ok, enough rambling... I will post the record later here on the site, for your viewing pleasure.

So folks, two questions: what's you thoughts on the Griffin LP and have you had any experience with the kind of auction I'm mentioning above? Stay tuned for more superb, original 1st pressings from my collection. Have a great weekend! Cheers...

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Thad Jones "Detroit - New York Junction" on Blue Note 1513

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Thad Jones "Detroit - New York Junction" on Blue Note 1513

Thad Jones, with his unique style and approach, is always a treat to listen to...

Thad Jones, with his unique style and approach, is always a treat to listen to...

Up to this point this is the earliest Blue Note in the 1500 series I have on vinyl as an original 1st pressing. I love Thad Jones. He has a special tone and style. It's a brilliant album, with a old-timey feel. The mix is a bit laid back, not in your face sharp and crystal clear, which I like. It feels very 1950's. One of the few jazz albums I have which features a guitar player. In this case it's Kenny Burrell. I'm not a huge fan of jazz guitar but it's nice from time to time. Burrell is a great jazz guitarist. The drummer is a cat I haven't heard on any other album I have. His name is Rossiere "Shadow" Wilson. According to what I've read his nickname came from "his beautiful light touch with brushes", in the words of bassist Peter Ind. The music is very nice and smooth on this one. A very relaxing album, even on the more up-tempo stuff. It just flows nice from tune to tune, with a nice mix of tempos throughout. You know right from the start of the first tune and the first few bars that this album is going to be a sweet experience. Favorite tunes are "Blue Room", "Tariff" and "Scratch". For me, very smooth and soothing jazz, despite the tunes not all being ballads.

This particular album is quite hard to find with all the right attributes, on especially the jacket, with Thad facing the right way and the frame construction. I love these old Lexington Ave. pressings. I only have a few so I'm looking for a lot more of them. I hope I can add a few more before long. Anyway, the BLP 1513 is a great addition to any jazz collection. Highly recommended.

Right now I'm in a pleasant situation with a nice dilemma on my hands. Cause I have some money to spend on one or two gems. But I have several different options to buy some amazing original LP's, and I'm not sure which I should buy first. A luxury problem, I know. I think it's important that I choose the right stuff though, cause who knows how long these LP's will be within my reach, and who knows how long I will be in the position to save up for them. I need to focus on the one's that are essential for me. I think I have an idea, but I need to cement that thought and get to work.

So, it would be great to hear what you guys think of this Thad album, and maybe which Lexington Ave. era album is your favorite? Stay tuned for more original 1st pressings from my collection. Have a great rest of the weekend folks. Cheerio.

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Afternoon listening: Some Informal Jazz on a sunny Friday

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Afternoon listening: Some Informal Jazz on a sunny Friday

Informal Jazz sounds great on this Friday afternoon...

I have taken the day off of work. Sitting here enjoying "Informal Jazz" by The Elmo Hope Sextet on Prestige 7043. It's a nice album. My boy is taking a nap, which he doesn't do much anymore, but I'm seizing the moment and getting some listening done. I'm grabbing every opportunity I can, cause these days it's hard to find the time.

I have some thoughts on what albums I will purchase next. Like I've mentioned, I'm getting hooked on the Bill Evans Trio albums on Riverside. So I'm hoping to add a few more to the collection before long. I only have "Portrait In Jazz", which is fantastic. Fingers crossed..

I'm wondering a bit how much you guys are listening to jazz on vinyl, in let's say a week? How many times, hours? I probably get a couple of hours per week worth of listening to my albums at the moment. Almost exclusively on the weekends. That's bound to change at some point, when the children grow up. Then I'll probably listen almost every day.

Looking forward to posting the next album here before long, stay tuned for that... have a great weekend folks. Cheers!

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Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper on Tampa TP 28

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Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper on Tampa TP 28

This was Art Pepper's personal copy...

Of all the rare records I have in my collection, this is for me probably the rarest and most beloved. This is because it belonged to Art Pepper. It was his personal copy, which the guy I bought it from acquired from his widow Laurie Pepper. To think that Art held this record in his hands and maybe put it on the turntable... now that's pretty cool isn't it? Just a cool as the music on this wonderful album, which is chock full of smooth cool jazz, played to perfection by one of the masters of that kind of music, Art Pepper. The whole album is just so free flowing, smooth and cool. It's a very rare piece, even the copys not from Art's collection of course. It should be considered a holy grail if you will. My original 1st pressing is in great condition, or just about as good as it gets with a red vinyl Tampa. This title should have the red vinyl to be a first pressing, and it just looks so great in that red color. The cover design is a bit special as well. I dig it. The problem with these original Tampa covers is that they are very fragile. Very difficult to find in top condition.

This is one of those records that I've been looking, and looking and looking for. It's not easy to find. But the satisfaction to finally have secured it is nothing short of magical. Besides the rarity it's such a great album all the way through. One of my favorite albums. Readers that have been following me for a while have most certainly picked up that I love Art Pepper and that he is one of my favorite jazz musicians. This LP almost makes my Art Pepper collection complete. There's just one 10" on Discovery that's missing. I don't need more than these early albums. Maybe I will try and find a few more though. A few on Contemporary that I haven't got as well, we'll see. But I'm quite satisfied with what I have now. I think I've got his best work.

I feel there's no point really to pick favorite tunes from this album, they are all top notch. Just put it on the turntable and sit back and enjoy the album back to back. You'll feel relaxed, refreshed and happy when it's finished. A great album to listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon like this. The wife and kids are baking a cake together downstairs and I'm upstairs enjoying some jazz.

If you're unfamiliar with this record, for your own sake, look it up. You won't be disappointed. It's beautiful west coast jazz that you don't wanna miss. It should be in every jazz lovers' collection.

Lately I've been getting more and more into Bill Evans and his trio work. I already have "Portrait in Jazz" on Riverside but I will try and get some other of his albums on Riverside as well. Like "Waltz for Debby", "Sunday at the Village Vanguard", "Explorations", "How my Heart Sings!", "Everybody Digs..." and "New Jazz Conceptions". It's absolutely superb music. The trio with LaFaro and Motian is maybe the greatest jazz group ever. LaFaro is so damn amazing and inventive on the double bass. I also enjoy the later bassists in Evans' trio groups like Chuck Israels and Eddie Gomez. Hearing these cats play, I feel that I almost have to reevaluate my opinion on which instrument my favorite in jazz is. Shifting a bit from trumpet being my favorite to lifting up the double bass to top spot. I have some leads on buying a couple of these Evans albums soon, so let's hope it works out. Stay tuned for that.

Have a great rest of the weekend and please leave a comment if you want. Cheers!

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Jackie McLean "4, 5 and 6" on PRLP 7048

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Jackie McLean "4, 5 and 6" on PRLP 7048

One of my favorite jazz albums by one of my favorite alto sax players.

This one was quite hard to get my hands on. I went through some options, even bought another copy which wasn't up to scratch, before I acquired this great copy which I'm very pleased with. It is such a wonderful album that I had to find it, no matter what. One of my favorite albums that I have in my collection. I don't have that many Prestige LP's, but I'm aiming to get a lot more. There are so many great albums in their catalogue. Jackie McLean, on my top 3 alto players of all time list (the other cats being Bird and Art Pepper), recorded many great sessions for the label. This album, 4, 5 and 6 is probably one of the best. It's so good all the way through. It's made up of three different sessions, with a quartet, quintet and a sextet format therein. It contains standards mixed with originals. All the tunes are so pleasing to listen to. It's relaxing and at the same time exhilarating. There's the slow tempo first track "Sentimental Journey" in which I find some nice, loose and bluesy qualities. Not the typical harb bop tune. I like that. I often find that the bluesier jazz efforts are quite interesting and enjoyable to mix in with the standard bop format. Other stand-out tunes are the Kenny Drew original "Contour", Charlie Parker's superb, original classic "Confirmation" and the beautiful, lush take on the standard "When I Fall In Love". The last one probably being my favorite track on the album. It makes me happy and the theme really speaks to me.

The line-up is stellar with Jackie McLean flanked by the great and highly talented Mal Waldron on piano, Donald Byrd on trumpet, Hank Mobley on tenor, Doug Watkins, who plays a terrific double bass solo on "Sentimental Journey" and the always amazing Art Taylor handles the drums in such a tasteful way.

All in all, this LP is an absolute must in any jazz collection. I've waited a long time to be able to add this original 1st pressing to the collection. And it's been worth the wait. It's not an easy one to find in great condition. There are a lot of Prestige LP's on my want list. I will maybe go for another one before long. The Jackie McLean and Bill Hardman album on PRLP 7068 is very tempting for example. Let's see what happens.

Regarding the new additions department: I have just added two great LP's to the collection. One of them is an awesome and very rare album which I have been looking for for a long time. And the thing also with this particular copy is that it was owned by one of the cats playing on the record. The vinyl is red... can you guess which one it is?

Stay tuned for more great vintage original jazz LP treats. Have a nice weekend, and please leave a comment if you want. Maybe you own the PRLP 7048 yourself and would like to share your thoughts on it? Cheers!

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"The Cooker" by Lee Morgan on Blue Note 1578

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"The Cooker" by Lee Morgan on Blue Note 1578

It's great, it's Lee Morgan.

And so another year has begun. I'm celebrating 2 years maintaining this version of the site. I've posted many great albums so far and many more are coming. Let's start this year with a real gem, namely "The Cooker" by Lee Morgan. I have an original 1st pressing in amazing condition. It sounds phenomenal. The 1st track of the album is a wonderful rendition of the Dizzy Gillespie classic "A Night In Tunisia". Lee Morgan's trumpet is smokin' on this, not to mention the brisk, lively tones of Pepper Adams' baritone. Now this is a player I haven't yet explored much. He is a superb player, and the blend of Morgan's trumpet and his baritone really works great. There are not many albums with horns that only has a trumpet and a baritone which I can recall, besides from the famous, and beautiful Mulligan-Baker interplay. The combination is really interesting with the two miles apart register-wise, but still complements each other so smoothly. The rest of the album is a joy to listen through. It contains two original compositions by Lee Morgan. The highly enjoyable medium-tempo effort "Heavy Dipper" and the relaxing, slower paced and bluesy "New-Ma". The tune "Just One Of Those Things" by Cole Porter contains fantastic solos by Adams and Morgan played with lightning speed. A nice and crisp version of "Lover Man" is also included to make the package complete. On this album I also have to mention pianist Bobby Timmons who is growing into one of my favorite jazz pianists. A really talented player who died far too young, like so many other jazz greats.

As with all the early Lee Morgan albums, this one doesn't disappoint. It's from the sweet spot of his amazing body of work. It's one of my favorites, and one of the best Morgans released. Of all the albums in my collection, I have to say that the Lee Morgan albums stand out as records of supreme quality. The music is so full of life, joy, lyricism and total technical brilliance. I have a few early Morgan albums that I still need to get my hands on. I don't need all of his work, but there's a handful of albums that I really need to find to make the Lee Morgan part of my collection feel a bit more complete. In that sense I'm far from a completist. I just want what I consider the cream of my favorite artists' work to be fully satisfied.

It's always a pleasure to put an original 1st pressing Blue Note from the golden era on the turntable and be totally amazed at the sound and quality of the record. When it's in pristine shape, it's almost what I would call a religious experience.

The 2017 collecting year has just begun and I'm looking forward to acquiring some beautiful historical pieces this year. I finally got my hands on a real Prestige gem back in December which I maybe will post next. It's an album which has eluded me for quite some time and I'm really happy to have secured it in amazing condition. Stay tuned for that.

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Afternoon listening: A beautiful day for some Hank Mobley

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Afternoon listening: A beautiful day for some Hank Mobley

Today I have some time by myself to listen to jazz. These are rare moments when I'm all alone, so I'm enjoying it to the full. I decided to put on Hank Mobley's "Hank" on Blue Note 1560. I haven't listened to this album on the new, updated system. It sounds phenomenal. The clarity of every possible detail when the band is playing is magical. It's a superb hard bop album. I've got a very clean copy which sounds as new. You could says it's a surreal feeling to put on this 50's original 1st pressing and having it sound as new. The jacket is also as new, just some beautiful patina giving away it's age.

Christmas will soon be here, with some days off work. Looking forward to that. This time of the year is actually one of my favorite times, cause I love Christmas. I love the food and the drinks and being with my family. I will try and find some quality time to relax with some more jazz then as well. A glass of some Christmas ale and a few candles and maybe some Chet Baker or something...

It's been a great moment to soak up some jazz on vinyl. Have a nice Sunday and stay tuned for more rare pieces.

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The Art Pepper Quartet on Tampa RS-1001

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The Art Pepper Quartet on Tampa RS-1001

One of the rarer Pepper titles.

This is a very rare Art Pepper album. I've seen it only a handful of times for sale during my time collecting jazz vinyl. All the early Pepper albums on the smaller labels are rare, but this one is probably one of the rarest, especially when it comes complete with the two music sheets. I dig that concept, as with Transition LP's with the booklets. And for me, the package is only complete with those little bonus pralines. I would actually hesitate to buy this album without the music sheets, and would wait for a copy with those included. I won't ever use them for practising my alto chops, but as the hardcore 1st pressing fundamentalist that I am I have to have those included, the same with the Transition booklets. It's pretty crazy isn't it? But how wonderfully crazy it is.

My copy of this record has a pretty beat up jacket, but almost all Tampa jackets of this particular title seems to have splits and so on. I don't mind, because the vinyl is pristine and it comes with the rare music sheets as mentioned. To me, it seems very difficult to find this title complete with music sheets. I know I've seen it a couple of times only. Can any of you guys recall seeing it more than a couple of times? It's a superb session as with all the early Art Pepper albums. He is, as I've probably mentioned before one of my most beloved jazz musicians. I now have almost all of his early titles that interest me the most. A couple are missing, but I'm on the case.

I highly recommend this LP. The music is beautifully executed. Art Pepper just seems to breeze through the tunes as he delivers one beautiful note after the other. He's such a natural player. Everything sounds so easy and pleasant when he plays. He can improvise with astonishing technical brilliance and lyricism from the first second to the end of time. All the tunes are a pleasure to listen and relax to. If you haven't got around to this album yet, don't linger. Try and seek it out as soon as possible. Don't miss this gem.

The current collecting status is as follows; I've been trying to get my hands on a particular Prestige title that is one of my favorites, a superb album. I bought a copy, but it didn't quite measure up to my high standards. It's in ok condition, but for what I paid for it, it didn't meet expectations. But I have just now, today, about an hour ago bought another copy, which should be in great condition. Can't wait for it to land on my doorstep. I will post that, if I'm happy with the condition, as soon as I can. I will also try and get my hands on one more collectible before the year is over. Stay tuned for those updates. Now, go and put some Art Pepper on the turntable. Have a great rest of the weekend. Cheers!

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Kenny Drew "Undercurrent" on Blue Note 4059

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Kenny Drew "Undercurrent" on Blue Note 4059

A smokin' session.

There are a lot of great Blue Notes sessions. For me, this is one of the best. A superb date. You get a great taste right from the get-go with the opening title tune. It's just so flowing and brilliantly executed by all of the players. The one that sticks out is Freddie Hubbard, who is a virtuoso, plain and simple. His improvisational brilliance and clear, beautiful tone is something else. Probably almost equal to Lee Morgan in my view. Great punch and technique. This is, for me, essential music to own in any form. My preferred form is of course a 1st pressing vinyl copy, which I show here, in fantastic condition. 

This is the first album post from the new apartment. 4059 sounds absolutely wonderful on the new, updated system. Every detail is present and audible. I've found for example that the cymbal and hi-hat work is coming through with such more clarity with the new stuff. Louis Hayes brings it to me with such style. I really dig his drum work. I'm over the moon to have this new setup and will not feel the need to upgrade anything ever again.

This album is truly one to set your sights on if you haven't got it yet in your collection. It's the latest released Blue Note which I have an original 1st pressing of, so far. My focus has been earlier releases first and foremost. I haven't really explored many titles post this release. There are so many titles I want released pre this one so I think this is as far as I'll go for a while now in the Blue Note catalogue and I will instead focus on some earlier titles. But the early 4000 series is absolutely amazing, no doubt. I have only a handful of titles from this series and I intend to get a few more. First though, I'm keen on adding a few more from the 1500 series.

At this moment I'm waiting on a new album. It's a sweet one for sure. It's a Prestige this time. Stay tuned, and you'll find out which one. Right now, it's about 9 P.M. here in Stockholm and I have just put The Return Of Art Pepper on Jazz:West on the turntable. Have a great, jazzy rest of the weekend. I know I will.

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New apartment, new equipment

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New apartment, new equipment

We have now settled in the new place, at last. All the hard work is done and I have been able to set up my turntable today and brought my records home from storage. Today I've also had the pleasure to finally upgrade my speakers, mono cartridge, amplifier and tube box. I already have a top notch turntable, but the other stuff was ok but now, everything is top of the line. Which is the right way to go of course to get the most out of all of my wonderful albums. I have tested the setup a couple of hours ago with several albums and the sound is nothing short of magical. What a difference compared to the last setup! The clarity and the details are phenomenal. The speakers are superb, made in Sweden from Ino Audio, and the new mono cartridge is one of the best in the world, handmade in Japan from Miyajima Lab. My old cartridge is also a Miyajima Lab which is called "Kotetu" (0.7 mil), but this new one is their top of the line and it's called "Zero" and has a 1.0 mil stylus which rides perfectly in the 1.0 mil grooves of my old records. Like I said, the details and clarity it produces together with the rest of the new stuff is amazing. I've added images under the equipment post in the menu.

Here are the details:

Turntable: Modified Lenco L75 with oak plinth, Cartridge: Miyajima Lab "Zero" mono 1.0 mil conical pure diamond, Tonearm: Newly constructed Ortofon RF297, Speakers: Ino Audio piP in oak, Amplifier: Dynavox VR-307BT, Tube phono preamplifier: Pro-Ject Tube Box DS.

Stay tuned for some great, rare jazz LP's very soon.

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The Gerry Mulligan Quartet on Pacific Jazz (PJLP-1)

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The Gerry Mulligan Quartet on Pacific Jazz (PJLP-1)

As cool as it gets.

Just look at the cover, one of my absolute favorites. Chet Baker looks so young and untainted. The very first 10" that Pacific Jazz released. A classic line-up with Mulligan and Baker together with Bob Whitlock and Chico Hamilton. This album is truly a piece of jazz history. An important album, cause it represents the beginning of two great artists' careers. For me, especially Bakers as he is one of my all time favorites. This music is very special, it sounds like nothing else. Together, Mulligan and Baker created magic. They play off each other with such precision, ease and feeling. A cool version of jazz that sounds as fresh today as it did then. This album was recorded in 1952 and released in 1952 or 1953. It is therefore probably one of the earliest record I have.

It's cool, it's smooth, it's melancholy, it sets an old-timey vibe. It makes you wanna sit there at The Haig in L.A. at a small table with a drink and a cigarette and just relax to this splendid, ground-breaking quartet that is truly one of a kind. The first tune "Bernie's Tune" lays the foundation to a superb little ten-incher. It's smooth, moody and sweet. I can just touch upon the feeling and reason why I listen to jazz and love it so much. The sound is warm and very pleasant when the LP continues with the tune "Walkin' Shoes", and it just continues this way, tune after tune. Great, calming cool jazz with a distinct originality. My favorite song on the whole album is got to be the beautiful ballad "Lullaby Of The Leaves" where Chet plays the way only he can.

This is a wonderful album which is not that hard to get your hands on at a fair price. Many of the Pacific Jazz albums can be found at a reasonable price. Which is great news for once, but maybe these little 10" gems will rise in price as the years go by, so get them while you can.

The weather is turning autumnish here in Stockholm, and I'm looking forward to the fall with great excitement because I have some nice albums on the purchase list which will be dropping by in the coming months. One of them is already on it's way and should be here in the beginning of next week. It's a great album, very rare and in pristine shape. Hold your breath...

Cheers!

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"Portrait in Jazz" by the Bill Evans Trio on Riverside 315

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"Portrait in Jazz" by the Bill Evans Trio on Riverside 315

A top jazz piano trio album, perhaps my favorite to date.

I started this morning with a dose of Art Pepper. Side 2 of Modern Art on Intro. A nice way to get this beautiful Saturday afternoon on track. A bit of interesting information; the alto intro on the tune "Stompin' at the Savoy" is a bit longer on this original 1st pressing than on other issues or formats I believe. Don't know about the Score issue. On other issues, it seems that the unaccompanied alto solo in the beginning of "Stompin'..." has been cut shorter. That's pretty cool, to think that you actually need the original pressing to get to hear that, as it was supposed to be. Just another reason to stick to 1st pressings.

It's been a while since I posted last. I've been on vacation to California with the family. But let's get things going here again...

My relation to piano trios in jazz has grown very strong in the last couple of years. I truly dig that format, even though if I would choose one record to take with me to a desert island, it would probably have a horn or two on it. One of the best jazz piano trio albums I've heard to date is the one on display, Bill Evan's "Portrait in Jazz" on Riverside 315. It's a 1st pressing in nice shape. The cover is a bit worn but the vinyl is in M- condition. Sounds phenomenal. The drum sound for example is some of the best I've heard. Every detail is clear. You really need these kind of delicate, quieter albums to have the vinyl in top condition, so nothing distracts from the smooth tones of, in this case, the piano master Bill Evans. To be honest I haven't dug deep into his catalogue as of yet, but this album is a perfect way to start. I've listened to some other early stuff as well, and it's very good indeed.

This is just the first of many Bill Evans records to find their way into my collection I would think. The rhythm section is one of the best I've heard with Scott LaFaro on double bass and Paul Motian on drums. They gel unbelievably well together and also gel and compliments Bill Evans with 100% feeling and accuracy. I would say, if you're just starting to appreciate jazz piano in trio form, then this is the album to pick up. It's so smooth and flowing, and with a superb sound mix. Jack Higgins was the engineer on this. What a great job he did, flawless. Right now, as I write this, I've just put on Side 2, and what a smokin' tune, it's "What is This Thing Called Love?". I really feel that I want to invest in some other piano trio albums. This LP just makes you forget about horns of all kinds. It's that good. I have a few on the list that comes to mind, for example Tommy Flanagan's "Overseas" on Prestige and the Sonny Clark Trio on Blue Note. Also, some more early Bill Evans on Riverside is really appealing.

I'll look forward to the autumn with great joy, cause I have some real gems waiting for me. I will soon be able to purchase the first one. It's a wonderful, rare album. Tune in for that. But I will put up some other stuff from the collection in the mean time. Stay cool in the shade, sip on a cold one and listen to some jazz. Enjoy your weekend. Cheers.

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"Byrd's Eye View" by Donald Byrd on Transition 4

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"Byrd's Eye View" by Donald Byrd on Transition 4

One of the titles the small, charming Transition label put out.

Here's a nice copy of Donald Byrd's early album "Byrd's Eye View" on the Transition label. It comes complete with the booklet. This is the only Transition record I have to date. I will aim for some other ones later as well. The problem though with these Transition records is that they are made of styrene instead of vinyl. This material is lighter than vinyl and supposedly wears out much quicker. This means I will play this record a bit less than the others I have, because I want it to be relatively fresh for a long time. I have it on the turntable as I write this, and it sounds quite good. It's been a while since I played it last. A great set of tunes played by a sextet consisting of Byrd and Joe Gordon on trumpets, Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Horace Silver on piano, Doug Watkins on bass and Art Blakey on the drums.

The Transition label had the policy of recording with a "Live Concert Fidelity", meaning this; and I quote from the booklet... "We at Transition believe that the best jazz results from an optimum combination of musicianly skills and ethusiastic audience response. Each recording is made under the most authentic conditions: in the jazz club, at jazz concerts, or in the studio with a live audience in attendance. Few retakes are made, even at studio sessions, in order to preserve the freshness and spontaneity of the jazz improvisations"...pretty damn cool I'd say.

This is for me, a must for any Donald Byrd fan. It's great example of his early work and a highly enjoyable session. The recorded sound isn't really comparable to the Blue Note albums of the same era, but this more primitive sound adds to the charm of the albums on this short-lived label. As well, the styrene compound maybe wasn't the best material for producing great sounding records. The labels on these styrene records are glued on and will eventually fall off. On my copy the labels are, amazingly, still attached. On one side the label has started to lift a bit but that's the way it goes. I'm happy with my copy of this very rare piece of jazz history. I'd like to get my hands on the highly desirable "Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill", also on Transition (17) at a later stage. I love these smaller jazz labels with rare records. The logotype of the Transition label is very cool, together with the special artwork of the front cover and the blank blue back. The booklet is a very nice feature as well, to make the package complete. To me, this record has to have the booklet with it. Amazing that my booklet is in such astonishing condition still, after all these years.

If you come across this album don't hesitate to add it to your collection. It's a piece worth having for sure. Just don't play it too much... stay tuned for other great records from my beloved collection. The sun is shining here in Stockholm today, have a great Sunday!

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An evening with Art

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An evening with Art

A special album by a special artist.

Friday evening, at last. Sitting here and listening to side 2 of Art Pepper Meets The Rhythm Section on Contemporary. What an album. One of my absolute favorites and in my top 5 jazz albums of all time. A nice album to relax with after a long working week. Aiming to post another collectible this weekend, stay tuned. Enjoy your evening folks.

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A painted wall and the music room got a new lease on life...

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A painted wall and the music room got a new lease on life...

My trusted, handbuilt modified Lenco.

... but I have only 3 months to enjoy it now, as we're moving apartments after the summer. But it's light, bright and crisp now. The ugly green paint is gone. Later, it will be fun to set it all up in the new apartment. But that's gonna take a while as we're renovating it all before we move in. Looking forward to the move and to put the first album on the turntable at the new place.

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