I was back in Southern California for another wedding, and of course I had to hit up the local record store again. It was extremely productive the last time I was there, so a return trip was necessary. I ended up grabbing a lot of records, only to discover an unpriced stack of 10-inch albums on the sales counter. Long story short, I walked away with lots of fantastic stuff and the record store walked away with lots of my money.
The Record Store
- Redlands Vinyl
- Redlands, CA
I was staying with my grandpa while in California, and since he’s a jazz fan himself, I showed him the albums I bought. Many of his remarks were amusing, unbelievable, and humorous, so I included some of them after my own comments. There’s quite a few records here (20), so grab some snacks and settle down in your easy chair!
Konitz // Lee Konitz
(Storyville LP 313)
I grabbed this record because while I have a few albums with Mr. Konitz on them, I don’t have any with him as a leader. That and I didn’t have any albums from George Wein’s Storyville record label, and 10-inch LPs are pretty cool relics of the early-50’s.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Who was Lee Konitz again?”
Gerry Mulligan Quartet // Gerry Mulligan
It’s an early Mulligan Quartet album with Chet Baker, the album art is pretty cool, and the album has all of my favorite Mulligan originals (“Limelight”!), along with “My Funny Valentine”, Chet Baker’s future anthem. Plus it’s always great finding and buying Fantasy records in California.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Gerry Mulligan! He played with Chet Baker in LA in the early 50’s.”
*sees that Baker is on the album*
“See, I told you.”
Gerry Mulligan Quartet/Lee Konitz Plays with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet // Gerry Mulligan & Lee Konitz
(Pacific Jazz PJLP-2)
One of the many incredible finds in the stack of unpriced 10-in albums, I was surprised to find this in the flesh. I had heard of it but never actually heard the music. I also thought the interesting packaging of the record, with four tracks dedicated to Gerry Mulligan’s regular group and four tracks dedicated to the collaboration with Lee Konitz, was intriguing. This’ll be a good record to listen to, for sure. It’s also Pacific Jazz’s second record in its catalog, which is neat.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Another Mulligan album! With that Lee Konitz again? Hmm…”
Jazz At The College of the Pacific // Dave Brubeck
This album has a lot of personal meaning to me. I got it digitally back in high school because of the tune “Lullaby In Rhythm”. At the time it was my favorite song, with the version appearing on this album being my favorite. It’s truly the meatiest, most intense version I’ve ever heard. Another reason I quickly grabbed this record is because this 10-inch record of ‘Jazz At The College of the Pacific’ is the only way to hear the full track of “All The Things You Are”. Paul Desmond’s solo was edited for the 12-inch LP reissue and all subsequent formats of the album have this edited track. Also, Arnold Roth’s cover art is priceless.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Of course you found a Brubeck album.”
Time Out // Dave Brubeck
(Columbia CS 8192)
Despite the lack of excitement I have towards this album, I do like it. I bought a used and abused copy of this album in mono a few years ago, so I figured I chance it and grab a used and abused-looking copy in stereo to compare and contrast. Both are from the early 1960’s. The artwork is hip, regardless of what I personally think of the music itself.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Take Five! I had this album years ago; don’t know what happened to it.”
Midnight Special // The Incredible Jimmy Smith
(Blue Note BLP 4078)
It’s a classic Blue Note with a classic cover. The guys on the record are all known for smoldering music, and taking a look at the vinyl itself, the record looked remarkably clean. This was a no-brainer.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Jimmy Smith! I liked him, but there was another organ player I used to like and see in LA. We used to hang out. I can’t remember his name… Richard something.”
*me, in disbelief* “Groove Holmes?”
Grandpa: “Yeah that’s the one!”
Shirley’s Sounds // Shirley Scott
I’ve been picking up quite a few Shirley Scott albums lately, and she’s quickly becoming my favorite organ player. The album jacket looked great, the vinyl looked great, and this being a trio album means that she has plenty of room to stretch out. I’ll take it.
Sweet Smell of Success // Chico Hamilton
(Brunswick LAT 8225)
I have yet to see the actual movie, but I’ve always thought the album cover was cool. The album jacket is battered and almost completely missing in the back, but the record looked good. I like Chico’s ultra hipster chic band of the 1950’s (no piano, guitar AND cello?) It was priced at $10 so I asked if, considering the condition it be lowered to like $5. The guy behind the counter agreed.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Chico used to be in LA a lot in the ’50’s in the clubs down there. Funny guy. Never saw that movie, though.”
Here Comes Cal // Cal Tjader
It’s like a tradition. When I go to record stores in California, I try to find records on Fantasy and records by Cal Tjader. I succeeded last month when I was in California, and I managed to find another Tjader album this time. I wasn’t familiar with the album, but the psychedelic cover art told me it was from the latter end of the 1960’s. The album art was awesome and the vinyl looked good (recorded by Rudy Van Gelder), so home it went.
Grandpa’s Comments: “Cal Tjader! Cal was really popular back in the day. I liked his music. He came to LA a few times. Always pretty and exotic women around when he played.”
The Cannonball Adderley Quintet in San Francisco // Cannonball Adderley, featuring Nat Adderley
I’ve loved this album for years and have unofficially kept this on my vinyl wish list for years, hoping to find it in the wild. I was quite excited to find it not just in the wild, but still in shrinkwrap, and the vinyl pristine looking with deep groove on both sides! This was one of the first albums I played when I finally got home, and it sounds just as clean as it looks! Amen and amen.
Grandpa’s Comments: “CANnonBALL ADDerley!!!” (I really enjoyed the way he said his name, that’s all)
Them Dirty Blues // Cannonball Adderley, feat. Nat Adderley
I wasn’t familiar with this album before seeing it in the store, but looking at the tunes, my heart quickened when I saw this album had “Work Song” on it, as well as Duke Pearson’s hip tune “Jeannine”. The lack of an inner sleeve to protect the record gave me pause, but I grabbed it anyhow. Glad I did, as it sounds just fine.
‘Round About Midnight // Miles Davis
(Columbia CL 949)
I mean, do I even need to explain why I snatched this album? I didn’t think so.
Grandpa’s Comments: “I didn’t like Miles Davis. He was arrogant and a prima-donna”.
*Asks if he ever saw Miles live*
“Yes, and it wasn’t anything special.”
Miles Davis At Carnegie Hall // Miles Davis
(Columbia CS 8612)
Funny story: Back in high school when the record store was owned by another guy and named Kat’s Alley, I found this record but decided not to get it. I’ve regretted that dumb decision for years, but the vinyl gods decided to give me a second chance.
Grandpa’s Comments: “They let him in Carnegie Hall?”
Breezin’ // George Benson
(Warner Brothers BSK 3111)
Another instance of grabbing an album for sentimental reasons. This time, it’s because this song came on the local smooth jazz radio station a lot back in the late 1990’s. My grandpa listened to that station a lot in his car when he picked me up after school as a kid. Living in Southern California, we drove on the freeways all the time, and his car was a convertible, so we would literally be breezin’ down the road while the title tune from this album was playing. Good good times.
Grandpa’s Comments: “I’ve got lots of his CDs”
*Tells him why I bought it*
“It’s a wonder you could remember that but you couldn’t remember to do your homework back then.”
Ellington At Newport // Duke Ellington
(Columbia CL 934)
It’s a jazz classic. Even if the background of the recording itself is a little shady, the music is jammin’.
The Giants of Jazz // Various Artists
(Columbia CS 8770)
I’m always keen on sampler albums, as there’s always the possibility of finding tracks by artists that appeared nowhere else. Which is why I grabbed this album. I assume the ‘short version’ of Brubeck’s “Waltz Limp” is the single version, but I don’t actually know. The “Devil May Care” from Miles Davis allegedly appears nowhere else, and there’s other interesting goodies on this album.
A Day In Copenhagen // Dexter Gordon & Slide Hampton
I grabbed this mostly because of the stellar lineup (Kenny Drew, Art Taylor, Dizzy Reece, and Niels-Henning Orsted-Pedersen) but also because I know MPS recorded their albums beautifully.
Grandpa’s Comments: “I use to hang out with Dexter when he was in LA in the ’50’s. He was a funny guy, really tall. I used to see him and all the other guys in all the clubs down there, back when I danced with a group that toured with Red Foxx. That was before I married your grandmother, though.”
Jingle Bell Jazz // Various Artists
(Columbia PC 36803)
A reissue of a reissue, this album has been on my radar for a while due to three performances in particular. I saw an old clip of Paul Horn playing “We Three Kings” on a TV show from the early 1960’s and really liked his version. The TV host was apprehensive of the album as a whole, but praised Horn’s track, which was followed by a steaming live performance from Horn’s group. Dave Brubeck has a cut (“Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”) that has some nice Paul Desmond sax, and Miles Davis’ unexpected appearance on a Bob Dorough novelty tune was all incentive enough to grab this album when I saw it.
Prelude // Eumir Deodato
I didn’t really know who Deodato was, but his name sounded familiar, and his being on a CTI record piqued my interest. Checking the track listing, I saw that he included a beautiful composition from my favorite classical artist, Debussy. I was sold after that.
Well, that’s enough records for me. Now, back to writing about my favorite finds!