Hey LJC – original vinyl, remember? A DJ compilation reissue, have you taken leave of your senses?!
Quite possibly, but I’m gonna do it anyway. This one is different. The original recordings carefully curated here are simply impossible to find and entirely unaffordable if you do. The very finest pick of each of nine albums, on vinyl, and superlative transfers, this has hardly been off my turntable for weeks, Gilles Peterson has done something truly magical assembling this collection (we’ll get onto the packaging later, Peterson, my office, now)
Selection: Don Rendell Ian Carr Quintet – selection from EMI Columbia SCX6064 Dusk Fire (stereo). Headphones recommended.
. . .
Most of the copies surfacing at auction are mono (see below). Better? Hmmm.
On Dusk Fire (911/EIL Review):
“What a treat we have here. What you get is the very best, most stylistic & individual sounding players in British Jazz coming together for a kind of “supergroup”. And it works. The compositions are outstanding, there is inspiration drawn from the pioneering modal jazz coming from the States as well as a touch of Eastern exotica. The interplay between the individual members of the group was telepathic & rewards the listener with repeat enjoyment.”
Personally I’d say it is better than that: mesmerizing, transformational, utterly original. And British. We may have been knocked for six in the world cup, but this quintet wins five nil. Or something. Yeah.
Artists (selection: Dusk Fire)
Don Rendell, tenor and soprano saxophone; Ian Carr, trumpet and flugelhorn; Dave Green, bass; Michael Garrick, piano; Trevor Tomkin, drums, recorded Lansdowne Studios, Holland Park, London, 1966, engineer Adrian Kerridge.
Other artists include tracks from all the great names of later ’60s jazz – Tubby Hayes, Harry Beckett, Mike Westbrook, Graham Collier, Joe Harriott with Amancio da Silva, and a double helping of Don Rendell with Ian Carr, plus Michael Garrick in trio. Swinging London was not just Beatles and Stones.
Impressed Inner Sleeves – collage of ’60s Brit-jazz album covers. Nice, (but not all those are in the collection).
Expertly researched and documented, this should be readable at full screen, and describes in encyclopaedic depth what was happening to British jazz in that crucial decade 1962-72. Read for yourself.
Audio Mixing Console Optical Crossfaders eh? Technics, um.. mumble… The man himself. I have no idea what Gilles is doing here. I am one of the “it works better if you switch it on” school: button-pushing for beginners. If any of the DJ-Tendency out there can tell us what is happening here, any pro insider-insights, the deck, mixing equipment, the precise anti-skate setting on the tonearm, please chip in, I am keen to learn.
In passing, do you think my DJ-hat should be backward, forward or sideways? Just askin’.. Perhaps a pork pie is little more jazzy… I see Gilles isn’t wearing a hat at all. And he calls himself a DJ? Pah! Amateur Night.
Vinyl – Universal 064 750 double album.
Two dics, all four labels are identical aside from the number of record, 1 or 2, and which side – 1 or 2. Note, artist/title all lower-case, this is the era of the common man, no place for Upper Case. The absence of track listing led to another breaking of vinyl rules – writing on the label. Now no need for semaphore or smoke signals to communicate between the insert backwards and forwards, I hand-wrote the tracks on all four sides. The fastidious withholding of information important in practical use is I am told a common feature of modern vinyl pressings, part of the DJ power-play is my guess. “It’s for me to know and for you to find out“.
From extensive listening to vinyl pressings produced over the last sixty years, it has become clear that pressing skills and quality production methods have been fast disappearing. This copy, manufactured in 2002, is extremely clean, hails from era of ultralightweight tonearms, has been ultrasonically cleaned, yet suffers from random pops that originate in manufacture. Not highly obtrusive, but nevertheless present. Part of the process in manufacture was not as clean as it should be. (It should be said that the follow-up double album in 20014, Impressed 2 , has transfers by Art Yard, of Sun Ra reissue fame, and is of much better quality manufacture).
No indications on sources and methods, makes no claim to be audiophile, all analog, I may well be shot down, but sounds like original tapes well-preserved by EMI, and not a digital transfer. What matters is the original recording by Adrian Kerridge at Lansdowne Studios was a superb piece of engineering. As Michael Cuscuna once said of a Van Gelder recording reissue: “all you have to do is keep your hands behind your back, and not f+ck it up“. The quality of the original comes shining through, and the stereo soundstage has a terrific theatrical presentation.
(These paw-prints have not been authenticated.)
I own an original of only one of the nine records from which this collection is compiled. It holds up well in sound quality comparison, which is in itself surprising. Perhaps GP had access to original tapes, no source is declared. I’ve encountered just a couple of originals in the field in the last ten years of collecting. Rare and very expensive. Were it not for GP it would be all-but impossible to hear this music on original vinyl.
My attention was drawn to an Unofficial Release…..‘This release has been blocked from sale in the marketplace. It is not permitted to sell this item on Discogs‘. Bootleg copies not allowed. I have seen a genuine Japanese copy, good on our friends in Tokyo, you got the British Jazz Message. The world needs quality full reissues of all Lansdowne albums, but samplers is all that seems to exist. Much of this music is over 50 years old, c’mon, it’s fresh as yesterday. No, fresher.
Impressed is just sixteen year old vinyl. Just under the age of vinyl consent, and surprisingly hard to find, possibly harder still now, but I unreservedly recommend the effort. I am certainly Impressed.
Impressed 2 to follow, soon., Gilles on top form. Again!
(Any errors and omissions are my own, report anything amiss. No slight intended on our friends behind the mixing desks, well, mostly not. A plea to get this golden heritage back on quality vinyl onto our own turntables. It is who we are, or at least who we were, heritage matters)
LJC relaxin’ as Summer arrives, posts a little less frequent. Up next will be Impressed 2.
Breaking News (via email, from Sue Jones, 19 July 2018)
Peter Ind 90th birthday celebrations
We thought it was going to be a quiet time after Peter broke his hip
But always a surprise –
Some things to share with friends and fellow musicians
· Peter is 90 years of age on Friday 20th July 2018
· 26th July Steve Rubie has invited Peter to do a 90th birthday gig at the 606 club in Chelsea
· By the end of 2018 we plan to put out the CD Peter recorded with Martin Taylor just before his hip went
· Martin has already put out a film interview they did when we were staying with Martin and Liz – the link is:
· We are planning an ebook of the Bass Clef book by Summer 2019
· For 2019 a publisher has asked Peter to write a book about the NY Jazz scene in the 50s
· March 2019 Peter has a solo Painting Exhibition at the Grange Gallery Rottingdean
· All the way through this 90th year we want to ask all those who have known and worked with Peter to contribute reminiscences to be compiled as an electronic book by the end of this birthday year. (More details later)
For those likely to be in London 26th July 2018 we will be sending more details
Just thought you would like to know!