I said I wouldn’t do any year-end special posts. I lied. 2019 was a year. It was a full year. It was a stressful year. It was a great year. I passed my boards and was hired as a nurse in January, providing me with a way to obtain even more records than ever before. I was thrilled; my wallet was not. To close out the year and the decade, I thought I’d do a personal highlight reel, spotlighting important moments in my record-collecting career. Here we go!
My last year of high school. One of my best friends was getting into vinyl, so I went to the local record store in Redlands and bought two records, a Clifford Brown/Max Roach album and another one that I can’t remember.
My grandpa lets me have his old record player that doesn’t really work. I don’t know any better and I happily buy a few more records.
Searching for rare Brubeck recordings, I discover the wild reality that much of Brubeck’s rarest stuff is on vinyl in the form of bootlegs. The search for these records plus the desire to physically own music again results in me buying a record player and purchasing even more records. I buy on eBay for the first time and hate it. I end up moving from California to Alabama, where I quickly discover Vertical House Records, Huntsville’s local record store.
I get further and further sucked into the world of record-collecting and realize my turntable is but a glorified toy. I start to save the little money I have to buy a better turntable. I add many of the Brubeck rarities to my library, and my excitement over those and other records I’m finding makes me want to start writing about it. Boom- My blog College Jazz Collector is born!
I get the year started off with a bang by getting a fancy new turntable from the good folks at U-Turn Orbit, a “new” stereo receiver in the form of a Sansui 771, a pair of speakers, and a few Blue Note albums for cheap. One of those Blue Note albums is ‘Lee Morgan Volume 3’. By this point, I’m hooked. My record collection has ballooned from around 50 to well over 200.
The year I got a job and the year I began spending too much money on records. For the first time in my life, I spend more than $50 on a single record, paying well north of $200 for a copy of Cannonball’s ‘Somethin’ Else’ on Blue Note, advertised as an original copy in mint condition. Was it actually mint? Nope. Lesson learned. I traveled the country a few times, going to California, Washington State, Georgia, and Florida. In each state, I made sure to visit the record stores, which put a serious dent in my wallet (especially Florida…) but was worth it. So many records do I know have that I had to get one of those hip IKEA shelving units to put them on. Mama I made it.
I don’t know what’s in store for the next decade, but I know that I’ll be on the lookout for jazz on vinyl. As for this blog, I want to get back to writing about the jazz I love the most without regard for if others find it cool or desirable. That’s why I started this blog, after all. I’d love to hear if any of you have any record-collecting goals for next year. Before closing, I want to thank you all- the readers! It’s always flattering to see you all taking time out of your busy schedules to read and engage with me. From Canada to the UK to Brazil to Australia to Japan, thank you all and I hope you have a happy new year! I’ll see you in 2020.