Track selection: (excerpt)
Don Cherry (pocket tp) Freddie Hubbard (tp) Eric Dolphy (bcl) Ornette Coleman (as) Charlie Haden, Scott LaFaro (b) Ed Blackwell, Billy Higgins (d) NYC, December 21, 1960
For Stereophiles, the positioning is:
- Ornette Coleman
- Don Cherry
- Scott La Faro
- Billy Higgins
- Eric Dolphy
- Freddie Hubbard
- Charlie Haden
- Ed Blackwell
(However this copy is mono)
Now I know there are people who will to complain I haven’t uploaded the full thirty-seven minutes of “Free Jazz”. Others will complain that the one minute sample here is a trifle long.I am not yet a fan of free jazz, but do believe you should never say never. I’ve been wrong about many things in the past, and no reason why this should be an exception (other than possibly the exception that proves the rule). Buying this record is an investment in future possibilities, not current tastes.All that remains is to don an invisible black beret and stroke an imaginary goatee, a trainee-Bohemian.
Now Beboppers, time to pass around the pipe of peace with the Jazz Bohemians ( just tobacco in mine, thanks.)
Vinyl: Atlantic 1364 US 1st release, plum/orange labels, mono.
The runout etchings offer a letter “W”, which initially I thought to be “LW” (Longwear Plating Company) but on closer examination it is a lone W, which is associated with the pressing plant HV Waddell, Burbank CA. Close to it a symbol I have seen on several occasions, made up of a cross with a V base and a circle top, like a mystic cult symbol from Black Sabbath, no idea who it indicates.
My initial mistake is that the copy is mono. As a rule I prefer mono, however the essence of the Double Quartet performance is that one quartet sits in the left channel and the other the right. Or in my case, both sit on each other, in the middle. You may wonder why issue it in mono in the first place, and you may ask the question “How come you always find out about these things after you have bought it and not before?” For some reason, the audiophile quality of the pressing seems less important with this style of music.
The cover is beautiful, and the adoption of 60’s drip-school oeuvre, in the form of Jackson Pollock’s “White Light” is a perfect metaphor for the symmetry between abstract music and abstract art. However I still like music to deploy rhythm, melody and harmony though not necessarily narrative – song.
A giveaway that distinguishes most reissue from the original, the Atlantic gatefold has a cut-out window, to display part of the Jackson Pollock painting inside. The mechanics of recreating the windowed cover construction is often skipped over by reissues I have seen, which simply incorporate a picture in the front cover.
Collector’s Corner – Update June 5, 2014
How time change. All photos updated to current working standard – true to life colour, tone, sharpness, natural paper-white background with drop shadow, runout detail and etchings as found around the label.