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Johnny Griffin

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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"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 are your 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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