Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What, no Paul Chambers?

Playing right now: you mean in my head? I think it's Jimmy Giuffre.......one of those trio things. But not Free Fall. I bought that recently and that stuff is cah-ray-zee.
But seriously, folks the room is silent, save for the thump that Donovan just made in his crib. (Is that a hint, boy?)

Last week I bought a pile of records from a woman who had yard sale a few weeks back. At that time, she said there were a bunch of records in her house and that if I left my number she'd get back in touch with me. That usually never works, but this time not only did it work, but she also had a bunch of jazz. Good stuff too - lotta Blue Note that dated to the late '60s/early '70s, judging by the record labels.

For the uninitiated, Blue Note's labels changed slightly as the years went by: first they had a Lexington Avenue address on them, then the address changed to W. 63rd Street, then it simply said "New York, NY." Liberty Records later purchased the label so it said "a division of Liberty Records," and later it was a division of United Artists.
Lest I be neglectful: some of those early records had the coveted (and I'm not kidding) deep groove, which is the groove/impression underneath the label, just below the "33 1/3 Microgroove" on the label artwork.
These things get collector's slobbering. When I see one on eBay, it's more a case of "Wow, it'd be nice to have that, but oh well," during auctions. That mood changes to "People are crazy," when you see how much the winner bid on it.

I think I've talked about that in earlier posts, so let's get back to our story.

She took me up to the room where seven overstuffed boxes of records sat and yes, there was much jazz. The Blue Notes were folks like Stanley Turrentine and Duke Pearson, who I'm curious to hear. Mosaic Select reissued his albums in one mini box but some of the descriptions gave me pause. Now I can see for sure what he's all about. But I did find a nice copy of Lee Morgan's Delightfulee too.
I found a copy of the Fugs second, and best, album with the rare cover, the red shield with their bodies superimposed on it. And a mono copy of the Mothers' Freak Out.
All in all, I got a little over 100 pieces. That ought to hold me for awhile.
When I got home that day I was looking at the Mosaic catalog in my bathroom and saw the Paul Chambers set they have and it reminded me that I had been dreaming of finding a copy of his Blue Note album Whims of Chambers. Aw mannnnnnnnnn, I thought. And how about some Larry Young? A nice copy of Unity would've blown my mind. That came out around that time.

I can't be satisfied.

Friday, September 07, 2007

They Only Come Out at Night - Here's why

Playing right now: "Little Melonae" from the Miles Davis/John Coltrane box....

The following post was started almost a month ago, before the Max Roach post. I fell asleep while writing it, saved it as a draft and didn't get back to it till now....

Playing right now: Cecil Taylor - Indent (solo LP for Arista Freedom)
I've been getting back into Cecil a little bit lately. I got this record from that guy w/the massive LP collection, plus there's a '70s live album and the duets w/Max Roach that I all just bought recently.


A few weeks ago at work, they were playing the cool AM hits of the '70s satellite station and all of a sudden "Hangin' Around" by the Edgar Winter Group came on. That was surprising because, as good as that song is, I figured it was too deep a cut, following in the footsteps of "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride." ("Frankenstein" was played a few hours later, and two more times over the next couple days.)

That night I had to pull out They Only Come Out At Night, the EWG album that includes all over those songs. And it made me wonder why that album isn't held in higher regard. What a band -- for starters, you have Edgar, but his cowriting and singing partner was none other than Dan "Several years before 'I Can Dream about You'" Hartman. On top of that, guitar duties were handled by none other than Ronnie Montrose, who sounds like a killer axeman who never got much credit (aside from this album) except for being the guy who had Sammy Hagar is his band before Sammy went solo and later hit it big in Van Hagar. Just goes to show you how your career will tank when you call your album Jump On It and you put a picture of a woman's crotch on the cover.

But I digress....

Chuck Ruff was the drummer on They Only Come out and while he never went on to fame and fortune (as far as I know) he did have the long hair and dreamy eyes that could make a '70s girl swoon. With Rick Derringer producing, this album can't miss! And it really doesn't. Even Dan's sappy songs are pretty good. In "Autumn" the way they all chime in with the bridge does give it some degree of pathos: "Well I lost my looooover/ and my summer too." Kinda like when the Turtles sing a dumb lyric and those harmonies make it sound like poetry. You can hear the roots of "I Can Dream About You" if you listen hard, but the big really kicks it up.

Music geek tidbit: The mix of "Free Ride" on the album is different than the single. The latter has more wah-wah and a better guitar solo. I think the percussive, whacka-whackas have inspired some of my lead bass playing moments over the years.

So you need to own They Only Come Out At Night. It's great. Edgar's been trying to recapture that ever since and he's still trying. My friend Mike said he saw him at a Rib Cookout or some such event and it was really awful.