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Riverside

Bill Evans Trio "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" on RLP 376

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Bill Evans Trio "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" on RLP 376

Jazz trio bliss…

So, I found a beautiful copy of this masterpiece to replace my white label promo copy in lesser condition sooner than I was expecting. I couldn’t be happier with this copy. It’s in very nice shape, both the vinyl and the jacket. This album, together with “Waltz for Debby” on RLP 399, are my favorite jazz trio albums by far. There are of course other very nice trio sessions, but these two, for me, are a level or two above everything else I’ve come across. The empathic chemistry between Evans, LaFaro and Motian is something I haven’t heard anywhere else. And LaFaro’s double bass work is the best I’ve heard as well. The whole concept of letting the double bass take center stage on these albums is something I absolutely love. And LaFaro makes it so interesting with his technical and lyrical brilliance. I believe his playing is one of the main reasons this trio was so special.

Just put this record on the turntable, lean back and soak in the magic that happened live at the Village Vanguard in New York City on June 25th, 1961. Close your eyes and pretend you’re there in the club, sipping on a drink and just relaxing.

I have quite a few other Bill Evans albums on the want list such as “Explorations” on RLP 351 by the same trio. Also, his later trios with bassists Chuck Israels and Joe Gomez are great. There are many Evans albums worth seeking out.

At the moment I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family over Christmas. We have a vacation overseas coming up then and every penny will go to that, as well as a summer vacation. So, I will find it hard to purchase a lot of expensive albums for a while. Let’s see if any albums that are more moderately priced, like many of the Impulse! titles, shows up and maybe I will be able to squeeze one or two in before the summer.

In the mean time I have my little treasure of superb albums to enjoy. I was thinking of that actually this morning, when I saw an image of a huge collection, that my collection is small compared to many other collectors, but very nice indeed. And the amount of albums I have is enough for me to enjoy at the moment. I won’t ever find the time to listen to a 1000, 2000, 3000+ albums. There are just so many hours in a day. And I believe that keeping a massive collection with thousands of titles, many which are just collecting dust, is not for me. Also, all the albums I puchase has to be top notch music-wise to me, otherwise I don’t buy them. I’m never going to buy albums just to complete a series of a label for example. There are probably several titles in a series that I can do without, you know? I pick the titles I really enjoy and that’s that.

What do you consider a good number of albums in a collection, that you actually listen to and can enjoy? Would you consider to try and complete a series of a label? Maybe collect a whole discography of an artist? How do you collect is the question.. :-)

Enjoy the weekend folks. It’s cold, dark and damp here in Stockholm right now. Maybe I’ll crack open a nice porter or stout this evening… stay tuned for more vintage jazz albums.

Cheers!

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Waltz for Debby by the Bill Evans Trio on Riverside 399

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Waltz for Debby by the Bill Evans Trio on Riverside 399

In my humble opinion this is the best jazz piano trio album of all time, together with RLP 376.

It's been a while since the last post. Sorry about that. A summer vacation and life in general got in the way. But now I'm back after a long hot summer. Sitting here at home with a sore throat and aching muscles; the first cold of the season. But I'm keeping my spirits up with the album on display here. This has got to be the greatest piano trio album of all time, together with Sunday at the Village Vanguard on Riverside 376, which I've also acquired recently. There are really no other piano trio albums that can match these live sessions from 1961, recorded superbly by Riverside. They are in a league of their own. It feels like you are there in that club, relaxing at a table with a drink, when you listen to these albums. They really captured the live feeling amazingly well.

Much of the magic bassist Scott LaFaro brings to the table. His playing on these albums is truly one of a kind. Probably the best double bass I've ever heard. So what does that make him, the best jazz double bassist of all time? Despite his very short career? For me, the answer is yes. This trio had such an amazing feeling and flow. LaFaro was given a lot of space and could really express himself. I believe LaFaro made this trio so magical. Bill Evans is superb and Paul Motian plays great and has a sweet touch. But the star is LaFaro. Without him it wouldn't be the same. The concept of this trio though, where the double bass gets so much room and where the interplay between all three members is so profound, is pure genius.

My copy of this masterpiece on RLP 399 is in wonderful shape and sounds excellent. One of my absolute favorite albums for sure. Like I mentioned, I've acquired Sunday at the Village Vanguard on RLP 376 as well. Recorded live the same day as RLP 399. A white label promo copy which should have been in better condition than it was when I received it. I can listen to it, but it has far too much pops and tics for my taste. I couldn't return it, which was a bummer. But my mission now is to not buy another album until I find another copy of RLP 376 in much better, satisfactory condition. I think that's a healthy approach. Very cool though to have a promo copy of that title.

I thought it would be interesting what you guys think of these Vanguard recordings and if you, like me, think they are the best piano trio recordings ever made. Also, in your opinion, is Scott LaFaro one of the best if not THE best jazz double bassists of all time? If not, do you have another favorite? Love to hear what you guys think regarding these matters.

Autumn will soon be here for real and the time for candles, stouts and jazz piano trios that comes with it. And what better jazz piano trio to put on the turntable than the Bill Evans Trio live from the Village Vanguard. Stay tuned for more jazz vinyl from the collection and have a great weekend. Cheers...!

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Ernie Henry "Seven Standards and a Blues" on Riverside 12-248

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Ernie Henry "Seven Standards and a Blues" on Riverside 12-248

Another Ernie Henry masterpiece... he had a sound of his own.

Delightful album by Ernie Henry on the wonderful Riverside label. As far as Ernie Henry albums go, I have this and his debut as a leader, also on Riverside (12-222). He had a special approach to the alto saxophone. An amazing player in my opinion with a truly personal style of playing. Very melodic and lyrical.

The Riverside label is a great source of superb jazz recordings during the second half of the 1950's. I've found that the quality of the pressings and the sound is very nice. The mixes by recording engineer Jack Higgins are fantastic. Like this one. I really like crisp and smooth sound of his work. It's a pleasure to listen to and it's a very relaxed sound that he created. I really like the drum sound for example on this recording. It's just so organic, relaxed and smooth.

This album is quite rare in it's original form with the large blue label with deep groove and no INC. Both this and the other Henry on Riverside that I own are rare. Both of them are very pleasurable. I always take them off the shelf with a smile on my face. I looked for these records for quite a while and owning them now is a great feeling.

This is the first post of 2018. I've maintained this version of the site since the beginning of 2015. Prior to that I had another site about my jazz vinyl collecting. I started that in the summer of 2012. So, a 3 year anniversary of this version of the site has now passed. I'm hoping to add many more nice collectibles here for many years to come. And I'm hoping to keep getting such distinguished guests visiting as well...

I have already acquired the first LP of 2018 a week ago. I will receive it tomorrow. It's a fabulous album. Very rare and in outstanding condition. I'm thrilled to have been able to find it as it has eluded me for many years. To me, the cover is one of the coolest in modern jazz. Stay tuned for that one. I'm looking forward to the rest of 2018 and to see what other rare pieces will make their way into my collection.

Have a great day/evening folks... and remember to check out Ernie Henry if you haven't already. 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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"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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Afternoon listening: The Sound of Sonny

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Afternoon listening: The Sound of Sonny

The soundtrack to a lazy afternoon.

My son took an afternoon nap today, so I decided to seize the moment and listen to some jazz vinyl. I flipped through the collection, and in the end picked Sonny Rollins - The Sound of Sonny on Riverside. I haven't listened to this in a while, and boy is it good. My original 1st pressing sounds absolutely superb. It's quite a relaxing album. I only listened to Side 1, and I enjoyed it very much. A great choice for a lazy Sunday afternoon. I love Sonny Rollins, and he is one of the main reasons I started listening to jazz for real. I have some very nice albums with him, but there's an ocean of stuff I'm missing still. I need to try and secure some more great Rollins LP's soon. It's just that those albums need to become available at the right time, when the funds are there. Also, there are so many albums that I want, I don't always go for a particular artist next, it's more like; I check what's available and go with something I can't resist at that moment. Anyway, a new Rollins album will surely be high on the wishlist after being reminded once more, that he's one of the very best.

Have a great Sunday!

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Chet Baker in New York on Riverside 281

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Chet Baker in New York on Riverside 281

Chet in the big apple.

Back from a great vacation to Mexico and Florida. Back to posting nice jazz vinyl rarities. I think I promised to post some stuff when I was away, but I never got around to it. But now I'm back. Sorry for the delay, but I guess I needed a total vacation away from everything.

A quite pleasing Chet album here where he is flanked by some great sidemen, namely Johnny Griffin on tenor, Al Haig on piano, Paul Chambers on double bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums. The album comes with some relaxed and smooth soundin' trumpet playing as you'd expect of a Chet album. This really is a must if you're a Chet fan, like I am. I love Chet and he was one of my first loves when I started listening to jazz for real. I named my baby boy Chesney after him as well. There is a extremely nice mix of tunes here. All you want really, slow to medium, medium to up-tempo. Favorites at this moment are perhaps "Hotel 49" and "Solar". The ballad "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" is a sweet tune as well. There are quite a few early Chet albums I haven't got, especially on Pacific Jazz. I'm going to try and get a few of those soon. From Chet's golden era.

I don't have that many Riverside albums to date, but I have my eye on a few that would make nice additions to the collection. There's a lot on the label that's really worth having. I tend to build my collection slowly but surely. I'm trying to get a lot of high-end stuff as soon as possible, cause the way prices are going they are only going to get more expensive in the coming years I believe. So that means some hefty price tags which in turn means not so many albums per year. I have a couple of really nice albums which I'm going to finalize deals for in the coming days.

Stay tuned everyone for more selections from the collection, and thanks for hanging in there while I was away. Cheers!

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The Sound of Sonny on Riverside 241

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The Sound of Sonny on Riverside 241

The Sound of Sonny sure sounds great.

A great Sonny Rollins album. Nice laid back mood throughout. And the sound of this original, 1st pressing Sonny LP is superb. Jack Higgins is the engineer. Very nice recording by him. This is truly a must in any jazz collection. One of my favorite Rollins albums so far. I have far too few Riverside albums to date. There's so many great albums on this label. Can't wait to acquire another one. I love these early, white label pressings. They always seem well recorded and well presented.

The personnel on this album are: Rollins (tenor sax), Sonny Clark (piano), Percy Heath and Paul Chambers (double bass) and Roy Haynes (drums). Being a drummer myself, I always listen careful to the drums, and I think Roy Haynes is great. Not my absolute favorite, but he has a nice approach to the drums. Actually, the way jazz drummers play, and the raw acoustic sound of the drums on these recordings from the 50's was one of the reasons I really got into jazz for real. And Sonny Rollins was one of the main reasons I got hooked on jazz. When I saw a concert on Swedish television with him, Henry Grimes and Joe Harris from 1959 recorded in Sweden, I thought it was superb and then I started listening to jazz more and more, to the point where I only listened to jazz. And here I am now, collecting jazz vinyl and loving every minute of it.

If you haven't got this LP in your collection, make amends. It should have it's rightful place on your shelves. Preferably the 1st pressing of course. Stay tuned for more nice stuff!

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Chet - ballads by Chet Baker on Riverside 299

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Chet - ballads by Chet Baker on Riverside 299

A relaxing, moody and romantic Chet album.

Very relaxing LP by Chet Baker. Chet is one of my first loves in jazz. This record is one of his best. It consists of nice ballads played beautifully by the following personnel: Baker (trumpet), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Herbie Mann (flute), Bill Evans (piano), Kenny Burrell (guitar), Paul Chambers (double bass), Connie Kay and Philly Joe Jones (drums).

Chet's lyrical, smooth, romantic approach to the trumpet is flourishing here. He's a ballad master, and really captures a nice feeling on all the tunes. I love his style of playing, all the way through his entire career. He plays with feeling. Pepper Adams on the baritone sax is truly great on this LP. I absolutely love his playing as well. I have far too little material by him in the collection. His playing is robust, yet lyrical. His tone is warm and takes a lot of space. I have some other records which he's on, but I need to explore him further for sure. He's really enjoyable and makes the baritone a really pleasant instrument to listen to.

The other cats are top notch as well, of course, with such names as Bill Evans, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones and Kenny Burrell, how could you go wrong? Even the concept of jazz flute, which I haven't been the greatest fan of, Herbie Mann makes me a believer of. At least on this album.

If you're looking to collect a few Baker albums and want to pin point some of the very best material, this album is a very nice start. It's Baker at his best, playing lyrical, with a lot of feeling and it puts you in a very relaxing mood, perfect for a late, lazy Sunday afternoon.

Stay tuned for more nice jazz...

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