Track Selection: “Stolen Moments” (8:45) I>
Read the line-up and weep: Oliver Nelson (as,ts) Eric Dolphy (as,f) George Barrow (bar/s) Freddie Hubbard (t) Bill Evans (p) Paul Chambers (b) Roy Haynes (d) recorded February 1961. I ask, why haven’t I heard of this record before now?
Wiki offers this penetrating technical analysis: “Of the pieces on Nelson’s album, “Stolen Moments” is the most famous; it is a sixteen-bar piece (in an eight-six-two pattern), though the solos are on a conventional 12-bar minor-key blues structure in C minor” There you have it in a nutshell. Like a list of chemicals which make up the human body, minus the all important ingredient, “life”.
The big picture occupies the inner gatefold, that would usually have been the liner notes on the back of the flipback cover. But you get the bonus of a strange sculpture photographed performing to a microphone. Musician meets technology, I can go with that.
Labels, Run-out and Liner Notes
Original US Impulse labels I believe, made in USA, (though I am in no way an authority on Impulse!) They look right and more importantly sound right to me.
Well Lah-di-Dah, if its not the RVG machine stamp, Van Gelder moonlighting for Impulse. I thought the recording sounded better than some other Impulses I have.
Auditioning this record over the shop music system nearly put me off buying it – prominent clicks and pops, and what sounded like a long repeating scratch at the beginning. The run-out here shows what filthy condition the surface was in. Without the benefit of a record cleaning machine, that is what your record will sound like each time you play it.
After a good cleaning cycle (wash and rinse colourfast cotton, gas mark 4) , everything is virtually pristine. Few if any clicks and pops remain, restored lustre, and that scratch at the start was sticky goo, probably from someone in 1965 eating a jam sandwich while handling the record. Goo disappeared without trace, like the sandwich. And people tell me record cleaning machines are an expensive luxury.
Fruits of a visit to a suburban London record store, open only three days a week, surviving on ageing rock and pop enthusiasts trying to recover the best years of their youth. Every five minutes some hopeful middle-aged couple would struggle in with a box of records from an attic clearance session – the entire Cliff Richard discography, Mantovani pop classics, embarassing Eighties heartthrobs, superficial fads and fancies, not a collectible item among them. After a cursory inspection the owner would tactfully point towards the nearby recycling centre (previously known as “the municipal dump”). Crestfallen, couple exits shop with same box in arms. To be replaced five minutes later by another hopeful couple clutching a couple of carrier bags of – Cliff Richard LPs, Mantovani…
In a small corner is his stock of collectible jazz, and among them, some gems which have gathered dust for years in the absence of well, someone like LondonJazzCollector. One look at the line up – Bill Evans!!, Eric Dolphy!!, Paul Chambers!! Freddie Hubbard!! – woa – Why don’t I know this record? I must have this.
£20 changed hands, and the bus journey home was uplifted by reading the sleeve notes. Its a beautiful cover too. And a good clean later, the rich full tones of an original Impulse US press woke up the street.