Roy Haynes: Modern Group (1954) Vogue 10″



Selection: Minor Escamp (Jordan)

.  .  .

Now the somewhat surface-challenged Dillon (Roy Haynes Trio)

.  .  .


Barney Wilen, tenor saxophone,  Jay Cameron, baritone saxophone; Henri Renaud, piano; Jimmy Gourley, guitar;  Joe Benjamin, bass;  Roy Haynes, drums; recorded Paris, France, October 26, 1954

Year: 1954

1954In 1954, RCA launched the first color TV set. Sporting a 12-inch screen, it cost today’s equivalent of $8,000. Today, $8,000 will buy you a 70″ 4K Ultra HD TV with a six-speaker audio system, while  Amazon has new 12″ colour portables for under $100.

However, a decent  collection of 1,000 vintage records, possibly including some records dating back as far as 1954, will cost today in the region of $50,000. A high-end vinyl system on which to play them, as much again.

This demonstrates conclusively that, while the cost of home entertainment technology has fallen dramatically, the cost of owning any content worth attending to has risen by considerably more. Or that you can prove anything with numbers. Which, I’m not sure.

As you get older you appreciate the amount of time you have  is limited, and sadly, dwindling. Time is too precious to waste on escapism. You don’t need television, especially not soaps, in which highly-paid actors pretend to be common poor people. Your time is better spent listening to music, the summit of human creativity, through your record collection, twenty minutes per side (no playlist jumping) and for the sole purpose of listening, not background music  to something else. Great art demands and rewards your full attention.


Roy Haynes is great, and the young Barney Wilen equally so. One of the earliest recordings of both, recorded in Paris, it has a cachet in place and time that is hard to beat, even if recorded with earlier generation equipment, it still has a sense of presence. Wilen is caught here a couple of years before Miles Davis drafted him in for his European Tour and the Lift to the Scaffold jazz film score. The other artists are unfamiliar to me, but the whole ensemble swings.

The cover captures Haynes concentrating on that swing. His hands are on the snare but he’s not looking at them. He doesn’t need to, because the propulsion comes from within. No musician needs to look at the instrument.


Musical instruments are extensions of the body. The saxophone is breath turned into voice. The piano extends the fingers, the bass is the feet in which the music walks, and the drums are the living pulse. Put them together, music is human form, in sound. Good music, that is.

OK LJC, if you’re so smart, which body-part is the electric guitar?

You mean as in rock ‘n’ roll?  A little below the waistband, I guess. Rather proves my point.

Vinyl: Vogue LDE 130 10″ UK release, pressed by Decca.



Collector’s Corner

Source: Ebay

As a rule I don’t do 10″ – life’s complicated enough collecting 12″ LPs. Opening  the door to 10″ drags you back in time to poorer recording technology, greater vinyl damage from Frankenstein record players with a worn stylus, and a scarcity premium not necessarily worth paying for. That is the way I saw it but as a fan of both Roy Haynes and Barney Wilen, this incredibly rare 10″ was an irresistible attraction.

The seller warned the condition was not great, and that turned out an understatement. Scuffed and scratched, the level of surface noise is at the limits of the tolerable. It was still fairly expensive, due to many bidders, and with hindsight I should have passed it up, but you don’t always make the right choices at the time. If I think of it as a retro sound track, in which clicks are part of the period charm, it works quite well.

It is also a good test of the way some system components are more tolerant of vinyl surface imperfections, whilst others give them greater prominence. The music should ride on top and any surface damage sounds are just in passing. It certainly seems to work that way, as it sounds a whole lot more acceptable on the big system, with its tenatious grip on the groove, than on the more flimsy USB turntable.

Guitarist Jimmy Gourley was a stalwart of the Americans in Paris scene of the Fifties. Here he is reunited with Barney Wilen, recorded over 40 years later, in 1987. Autumn Leaves, sweep them away…


LJC’s SPAM Post of the Day


Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 01:59

Thanks for a marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you can be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.

I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have a nice holiday weekend!

No no really, thanks, it’s nothing. Well, not completely nothing…quite a bit actually…lots, and some. Shame it’s just spam, around thirty of these a day, some days fifty, mostly jammed with online pharmacy hyperlinks.

14 thoughts on “Roy Haynes: Modern Group (1954) Vogue 10″

  1. Sometimes we need reminding to listen to more records and watch less tv. I might add that reading reviews like this are also essential. Thanks

  2. The cover is great, and the first audio sample is phenomenal (though would be better in mono HINT HINT 😉 As for collecting 10″s in general, I don’t have any, but it makes sense that the “record players” in the 10″ era (before “hi-fi”) were much more likely to do permanent damage to vinyl. I do, however, enjoy that “smokey” sound of early 50’s recordings, which I believe mostly results from the limited frequency response of the tape and *maybe* the microphones. I was reading an RVG interview the other day where he said this lack in fidelity in the early 50’s was due to the limitations of early tape machines.

    Thanks for sharing LJC!

      • The noise is not that bad. The excellence of the music more than makes up for the surface noise.

        FYI, Henri Renaud played on many of tracks from the Clifford Brown in Paris “Lionel Hampton doesn’t know we’ve all sneaked out of the hotel” records.

    • The actual sound quality is so good that I can’t help thinking that a good RCM would achieve a huge improvement in terms of the rice crispies, as would a mono cartridge as already metioned.

  3. 10″ can be a pain in the proverbial, needing accessories on my Moth RCM, but well worth the effort. Mono cartridges of appropriate gauge, and a phonostage with a selection of EQ curves (RIAA is probably not appropriate for 1954 Vogue) will also be hugely effective. See recent correspondence in Hi-fi World involving George Hulme – who has a collection of pristine transcription discs – and Hayden Boardman. See GSP (Graham Slee) website for very good, reasonably priced phonostages with selectable EQ, or if you are better off than I am, AR or (very much better off than I am) Zanden.
    The great Roy Haynes. Still playing and very probably our last active link with Charlie Parker.

  4. Two thoughts: A decent hifi system can be had a fraction of the amount you mention and old mono records should be played with a mono stylus. Greatly reduces the surface noise

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