Curtis Fuller (tb) Tate Houston (bars) Sonny Clark (p) Paul Chambers (b) Art Taylor (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, August 4, 1957
Track Selection: Algonquin
Curtis Fuller emerged during the 1950s as one of the elite few hard bop trombonists. He is found here at his creative peak, recorded shortly after The Opener as leader and before going on to record Blue Trane with Coltrane. Fuller’s trombone is well attuned to hard-edged bop rather than big brass swing.The session is unique in its pairing of trombone with the baritone sax of Tate Houston, and the resulting front line sound is thick and rounded. The rhythm section of Sonny Clark, Paul Chambers and Art Taylor show lovely rapport with the front line.
Vinyl: BN 1572 mono remastered by Division of United Artists,1970-3. Being only around forty years old rather than the original’s fifty-five makes a difference in fewer year’s wear and tear on the vinyl. Many of these DivUAs are in near-mint condition, with probably few plays after their owners fell under the spell of the evil silver disk.
With the lesser 1975 series, the artist listing is replaced with a 1975 date and copyright warning.
No Van Gelder stamp or RVG, independently remastered, small handwritten catalogue number with sides named 1 & 2 instead of A & B. Not the variable quality later “P”1975 series, but the earlier 1970-3 better series.
Source: eBay Location: Canada
LP Grade : NM/NM- ; Cover Grade: Exc (cut out) *Note: londonjazzcollector.com
Many of these “Division of United Artists” reissues are exceptional quality pressings which, unexpectedly, do not bear an RVG stamp in the run-out, suggesting they were not pressed with legacy Blue Note stampers like later United Artists reissues. The origin of these pressings remains a mystery, and copies are underpriced by sellers who class them along with later reissues.There are suspicions they may have been pressed with metalwork derived from masters created for the Japanese market, which similarly have no Van Gelder hallmarks. Recommendation: BUY
Now where have I read this before? Seems awfully familiar but I just can’t place it…does it seem familiar to you?
The serpent who consumes his own tail: LondonJazzCollector recommends Division of United Artists on his blog. Canadian seller finds recommendation online and uses it to sell record on EBay. London Jazz Collector searches Ebay for his own recommended label, sees and buys the record on the strength of his own recommendation. Seller posts record to LondonJazzCollector, who adds the purchase to his blog, recommending it to others.
Heck, an original press of this record is rare. According to Popsike, only four copies ever sold, and one of those four confesses to not having the ear, and still fetched over $200.
In term of sales, an original is even rarer than Mobley 1568. I reckon at around £20 plus postage, a lovely mono DivUA NM is as close as I am going to get. And of course the pressing comes highly recommended by, by, umm…me! I know what you are thinking: cheapskate LJC, palming us off with a reissue. I’m off to find myself a proper blog, featuring proper original pressings. You know, you’re right. Hang on, I’ll get my hat…