Track Selection: Spiritus Parkus
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Dizzy Reece, trumpet; Joe Farrell, tenor sax, flute; Cecil Payne, baritone sax, Hank Jones, piano; Ron Carter, bass; Charlie Persip, drums; recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, March 13, 1962
Fantastic line up including Cecil Payne on Baritone and Joe Farrell on tenor complementing Reeces bright trumpet, not to mention a powerhouse engine of Ron Carter on bass and Charlie Persip on drums.This is probably one of the most exciting records I own, and the texture derived from a combination of trumpet, baritone and tenor is electrifying. This is the cheapest Dizzy Reece you can get, so I hope for collectors sake the more expensive ones are better, though I doubt it. Cracked record, most expensive is not necessarily musically best.
Vinyl: UK Esquire 32-185 first release of Prestige New Jazz NJLP 8274
Asia Minor was among the last of the Esquire releases of Prestige recordings in the UK around 1962-3. The 12″ 32-000 series petered out before reaching catalogue number 32-200, and by 1964 the Esquire label had folded . (Release of Prestige in the UK was subsequently taken up by a new UK label Transatlantic, who broke with the Esquire practice of pressing from original US stampers, but are great pressings in their own right and seriously undervalued)
The metalwork on the Esquire bears the VAN GELDER machine stamp rather than RVG initials, the first I have seen on an Esquire, which confirms its early Sixties provenance, dating from around the time RVG was replaced by VAN GELDER
It also sidesteps the problem of hissy vinyl found on some Prestige releases in the early to mid Sixties. Esquire never economised on vinyl, so this may be the better copy to own.
Source: Ebay. grading: vinyl Ex, cover Good
Always a delight to find a record fifty years old which has almost never been played. The spindle holes show no wear(click image for full screen forensic view), which means it was thankfully preserved from the perils of Sixties record playing practices like mine – stored in piles not returned to jackets, taken to parties, lent to friends who took even less care, and scratched by careless playing.
This one really earns the “Super Rare! soubriquet in my book. First Esquire copy I have seen come to market, and it was definitely “I gotta gotta gotta have it!” moment. Though quite a few bidders waded in, but for some reason TokyoJazzCollector must have been asleep on the job.
Reece’s Blue Note releases and Tempos are hugely collectible, fetching many thousands of dollars, but apparently not Asia Minor which maxes at around $300. It’s his “Progress Report” on Tempo which register on the collector’s Super-Rare!!! Richter scale, according to Popsike maxing at $4,260 closely followed by his Blue Notes Star Bright and Blues in Trinity (with Tubby Hayes) which are only fairly or slightly rare.
Perhaps this is another case where price = scarcity not music quality. Reece’s playing had not changed that significantly, and Asia Minor is a great record. Just not a rare one.