Freddie Hubbard (tp) Curtis Fuller (tb) Wayne Shorter (ts) Cedar Walton (p) Jymie Merritt (b) Art Blakey (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, October 2, 1961
Music: BN 4090
a fabulous sounding record. Fresh and bright, and Blakey’s workout on the drumkit sounds awesome. And its a great line up and the laminated cover in excellent condition, looks beautiful.
Experience is the best teacher. Some times it is a lesson you would rather not have, but most lessons are valuable – not always recognised at the time, as their payback is probably at some time in the future. This was a fairly inexpensive lesson.
This nice Art Blakey Blue Note looked in very good condition, and I had wanted an original for some time, as my Liberty reissue sounded absolutely horrible: dull and hollow, probably last off the worn stamper.We all examine vinyl for damage – usually scratches across the surface left by heavy record playing arms of the Fifties and Sixties. Pretty easy to tell which will sound with the fingernail test so it was a surprise to find a needle sticking point, in the middle of a really great track.
First learning point: it’s the best tracks that were played most often, and therefore most at risk of damage.The cause? What a dealer tells me are called in the trade a “tramline” – a scratch that runs in the direction of the groove. He confessed he had been caught more than once by one of these. An nasty fault, as the stylus often can’t skip over the scratch and sticks, in permanent repetition. And very hard to detect by inspection.
It is not like you can take it back and change it for a new one. It’s nearly fifty years old. So this Blakey requires little mild excercise at one point to lift the tonearm over the scratch whenever you play it. A nuisance, but not fatal.
What causes a tramline?. Probably pressure applied to the cartridge to force it through a prior needle stick, who knows. How to spot one in advance? Difficult, but expect the unexpected, always check for scratches with the groove as well as across the grooves, especially on an expensive record. You know, like you always check to see the record isn’t warped?