(Photos updated March 21, 2019)
Track Selection: “Bijou the Poodle”
Art Pepper (as, ts) Conte Candoli (t) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Jimmy Cobb (d) February 29, 1960 (leap-year special)
Sequel to Meet the Rhythm Section, one of Pepper’s most east coast records, due no doubt to the presence of its top east coast rhythm section. To my mind, Pepper lacks the fire in his belly of the best New York saxophonists, he somehow seems to hold back, but its a pleasing outing, and the combination of east and west coast sensibilities makes for good listening..
Pepper had become a heroin addict in the 1940s, and his career was interrupted by four two-year drug-related prison sentences in the decade 1954- 65, illustrating the effectiveness of imprisoning musician drug addicts. Perhaps the warden of Rikers was blog-host of JazzMusicianCollector.com. “Let’s see, who we have got in the Cell Block 13 Quintet this month?”
Vinyl: Vogue LAC 12262 UK release of Contemporary M7573 – mono
Deep Groove on Contemporary Vogue labels – UK first release from the Fifties. These are usually first class pressings that rarely disappoint. Rich bass, punchy mid-range, sizzling top end.
Little unexpected bonus, the record appears to have been a factory sample pressing, or a DJ promo. No guarantee of anything but often turn out in better condition due to sitting on a shelf for several years, unplayed more than once
Original machine stamp matrix code, with the 1B” suffix. – Decca convention “B” identifying the engineer.
Original release came a little expensive due to being a “buy it now or make an offer”. These are rarely as good a price as by auction, and I usually ignore them for the same reason, but on this occasion I was feeling depressed after losing a series of bids to “high rollers”. These were auctions where you think you are making a realistic bid at £150 and they close at £350. Whereas my better half would console herself by buying three pairs of shoes, I treated myself instead to a record with no auction hassle ( I already have one pair of shoes to go with my one pair of feet, but I can always make room for another record) .
The Contemporary catalogue has long been bulk reissued by the digital-to-vinyl transfer pressing plants, immediately identifiable by a large handwritten Contemporary catalogue number Cxxxx in place of proper machine stamp matrix code in the run-out, and usually on ultra-thin “wobble-board” vinyl. The covers however look deceptively period thick card, with no indication of being a reissue. Always check the vinyl visually before reaching for a credit card, and on ebay, ask a specific question what is written in the run-out, as sellers often don’t know or prefer not to know!
Nice condition, original pressing, one happy new owner, slightly out of pocket.