About LJC

Personal communications to:  londonjazzcollector (at) outlook (dot) com

WELCOME TO LONDONJAZZCOLLECTOR, NOT LIKE MOST OTHER SITES

This is a vinyl jazz-lover’s education and opinion sharing site. Every week or so a new post features a vintage modern jazz record from the Fifties and Sixties, including one or two tracks from the original vinyl ripped to MP3 at 160 or more recently 320 kbps, clicks and all, streamed in real-time to illustrate the music written about. All record photos enlarge to full screen up to 1800 px. Its all high resolution so not very phone-friendly, sorry. If you love modern jazz on vinyl, grab some floor space and make yourself at home, you are in good company, with an average two thousand page-viewers every day.

What LJC is not

LJC is a unique information resource for record collectors and sellers, it is not a record trading or file sharing site. I delete posts from people looking to sell records – that is what Ebay and Discogs is for. I do not personally buy records from unsolicited offers. I do not earn any advertising revenue ( the ads here are placed by Wordpress), nor can I accept adverts, even for good causes. I do not promote up and coming artists.  I do not offer downloads or support piracy. I do not give platform to any political viewpoint, though I do believe, passionately, that Black Vinyl Matters.

LJC blog, website, and forum

In addition to the blog, you will find permanent pages of information about modern jazz, vintage vinyl, record labels, hi fi improvement, eBay bidding tips, and plain whimsy – click on the headings under the top banner picture. Its not just a blog, its a website.

All previous posts for a particular artist or record label  are found by clicking on the topic list in the sidebar, or use the search box by the banner.

You get mostly original writing here, and mostly intelligent comments. Please see Comments Policy before posting. Personally, I find comments here a useful return on effort. I already know what I think, so other people’s comments expand my knowledge and viewpoint. Otherwise, writing is like talking to an empty room. Have your say, all comments welcome.

Here are some of the hipster “alter-egos” who appear occasionally in my blog ,with a little help from Photoshop. None are me.

Plus, exclusive to LJC – occasional guest posters who give you some personal stories.

 

Subscribe! Free! You can sign up to have notification of each new post sent direct to your mailbox, never miss a post. Your email is never shared, you can quit any time, no offence taken. But don’t forget, there are some 800 posts all waiting to be read, and there are some bloody good ones out there,looking back over the last five years

ABOUT LONDONJAZZCOLLECTOR

Pictured right, my avatar, the character  “Louis Balfour“, host of TV spoof “Jazz Cub” running sketch played by comic actor John ThompsonGreat!”. It’s not meI have a striped blazer and rollneck, but I just can’t seem to find the right medallion.

After forty years of wearing a suit and tie, I found myself with a wardrobe well stocked only with T-shirts, time on my hands and no interest in the usual retirement “timewasters” – golf, cruises, or a second career in consultancy. Possessed of a liberal education, forty years working at a senior level in both private industry and public sector – realising a modest pension, a life-long passion for music and good hi-fi, a love of photography and computer technology, part-time philosopher (no previous convictions), humourist and observer of the human condition: blogging seems a natural next step. Amazingly, you get all that in just one blog here at LondonJazzCollector.

Asked occasionally “What to you do?” I describe myself as full time self-unemployed. My interest in jazz and vinyl is recent – just the last six years, unlike some, whose collection and knowledge has been built up over a lifetime. Making up for lost time, this blog features the fruits of  “panning for gold” in London’s remaining record stores, bidding on eBay, and inspiration from other jazz collectors. If it’s of any interest, here is a photo archive of some of my 100 plus Blue Note originals acquired in that short time.

Starting with an interest mainly in original Blue Note, the holy grail in audiophile and musical performance, you will also find here original Prestige, Impulse!, Contemporary, Riverside and other labels, some West Coast, a bit of Free, and European including a smidgin of British Jazz and UK release of US recordings. A few Japanese pressings are including, and being in the UK, inevitably some UK releases of US recordings. All records here are from my personal vinyl collection. When not much is coming in, I look on my shelves for something of interest to write about. Failing that,  I make something up.

You can expect the big boys of Bop and Modern Jazz: Bird, Monk, Mingus, Powell, Coltrane, Rollins, Davis, McLean, Mobley, Blakey, Golson, Woods, Dorham, Shihab, Sims, Henderson, Green, Hayes, Hill, Evans, Pepper, the list is long. But also some lesser players you may not be au fait with (we often do a little French in passing). Many other bloggers of the DJ tendancy already cover funk, soul,  dance, psych, so you will not find much of that here, and you won’t find the attribute “new” has much traction here either. Of all the music produced in the last fifty years, how likely is it that something is worthy of attention just because it is “new” ? Everything was new once.

A little more on what this blog is about…

Why “Modern Jazz”? Think of it as “fine wine-tasting for the ears“: an infinite variety of sensuous tastes with no unpleasant after-effects that I know of. The Fifties and Sixties were an intensely creative period in all the arts, no less in Jazz, with the period 1956-66 the golden era.  After the Sixties, Modern Jazz fragmented, and many of its finest exponents became what doctors refer to as “dead” or followed the money, and who can blame them.

Why vinyl?  A (vintage) vinyl record stores analogue-recorded music in an analogue mediumGood modern equipment can retrieve that analogue information  and reproduce it much as it would have sounded when performed. At its best, the resulting sound offers a fresh, immersive and exciting musicians-in-the-room experience superior to any digital source  at any price, however modern.

Why vintage vinyl? Not all vinyl pressings are equally good – some are very bad, especially most reissues produced in the mid-Seventies and Eighties, and many modern so-called “audiophile” releases are little better. Over the years, digital equipment replaced analogue throughout the recording process, which, taken with production economies, resulted in many vinyl records of mediocre listening quality, including many made today. With a few exceptions, only original period vinyl captures music as close as possible in quality to the natural original performance. That means, for example, sitting directly in front of John Coltrane, in person, listening. “Hi, John, don’t mind me, carry on”

Any special kind of Hi Fi required?  Yes, I am afraid so.  Unlike “old vinyl”, unfortunately, with rare exceptions,  “old hi-fi” does not cut it. If it’s of any interest my set up is here, or see the “For Audiophiles” page in the blog header. Its constantly being upgraded.

I don’t have “golden ears”.  Any point in this hi-fi stuff?

LJC-listening-test-fastshow33Your ears are fine, no-one has golden ears. The problem is what they are wired to: the brain. As you will probably be aware, Hi Fi is a world of expensive equipment, strong and differing opinions, some of it salesmanship, some of it guesswork, some of it just plain wrong. The brain’s main purpose is helping you survive, so it will give lots of well-intentioned advice: expectation bias, confirmation bias, expert opinion, all that group-think stuff to protect your fragile self-esteem.  With a little practice you can learn to recognise and ignore its’ whinny little voice. Attend instead to your feelings and your emotional reaction to the music. Does it engage you, draw you in? Or does it leave you uninvolved, wondering what to play next?

Judge-LJCIn no time at all really, you will be able to say with confidence “I prefer this, it sounds better to me than that”, or no it doesn’t, or I can’t hear any difference. You will arrive at your own judgement, and not other peoples opinions. When you reach this point, you are in charge, and it gets a little easier.  To pick up on this theme graduate to the Zen and the Art of Active Listening page

A few last questions…

Are you now or have you ever been a DJ?  Nope

Do you like to go clubbing or hanging out at gigs, looking cool?  Nope

So would you describe yourself as a “square” then?  More sort of round. Well, oval, really…

That’s it. Feel free to make comments (see comments policy), offer corrections,  give advice, and make other recommendations from your own experience. It’s all good.

Note regarding Intellectual property and copyright.

”Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal “

Owners of intellectual property are quite rightly closing down piracy and theft of their work: Madonna needs still more money, she’s a Material Girl.

Music and pictures posted here are for personal education and  research, not for commercial gain, nor for the gratitude of file-sharers.  There are no whole albums here, the vinyl is long since deleted and accessible only through online auctions and  second hand stores. The “track selection”  is one or at most two tracks as 160 or 320 kbps MP3 files ripped from original vinyl and streamed, not  hi fi quality, no downloads. No-one loses revenue from anything posted here, and I make no revenue from it.

The small adverts on this blog are placed by WordPress to help keep blogging a free service. Files are not hosted on third party file sharing sites. You can be confident everything you click on here is spam and virus free, will still be here tomorrow, requires no toolbar add-in, and sorry lads, no teen dating introductions in your area.

I do not endorse copyright theft, though almost all of the recordings here are over 50 years old the musicians are long dead, or soon will be. If you think you are a copyright holder of any sounds or images here, please contact me directly at the email address below. If you think you may be one of the long dead musicians, get professional help, or leave a sign: a medium will get back to you soon as possible.

The content of this web-blog is for personal, non-commercial use only. In the event that there is a problem with copyrighted material, the copyright infringement is unintentional and non-commercial. Material will be removed upon request by the copyright owner.

All original writing and pictures on this blog are my copyright. You are free to use them in any educational or personal context, without alteration,  though not in any commercial activity without my express prior agreement. Original material uploaded to other sites should be credited to this source. I take pride in my work, I don’t like finding it online under other people’s names, which does happen.

Note to buyers and sellers of jazz vinyl

If you are looking to dispose of a collection of jazz records, please note I am not a dealer or buyer. However I have been able to give some helpful advice on a couple of occasions recently, point people in the right direction, put them in touch with people who can help. No guarantees. I try to answer all emails personally  and promptly.

As an aside, hardly a week goes by without someone asking me where to find vintage vinyl jazz treasures in London. You might as well ask me which second-hand stalls you can pick up a Van Gogh, which riverbed it is that has the gold nuggets, or where exactly do I dig for diamonds? Good stuff is rare. You trawl, like whales sift drifting plankton. Every now and then, you get lucky. More often than not, you make do with something interesting, or maybe nothing at all.

Note to fellow record collectors

I am always happy to take questions, help identify provenance, make good a gap in my subject coverage, any missed point of detail, and for you to share any anomalies or interesting finds. It’s what collectors do.

Personal communications to:

LondonJazzCollector ( at ) outlook (dot) com

Next:¦ LJC before Jazz

28 thoughts on “About LJC

  1. Greetings from the colonies (Canada)! I’m really glad I came across your site. Lots of great information here. Look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    cheers,
    Norm

  2. Hi LJC,

    Is there an email I can catch you regarding an editorial piece for a website, if possible we I would like to discuss something with you.

    Many thanks.
    -T

    • Hi, see top and foot of the “ABOUT” page:

      Personal communications can be sent to: LondonJazzCollector (onewordwithnospaces) ( at ) outlook (dot) com

      Its written that way so the spam ‘bots don’t harvest it. I get 20-30 spam mailings a day as it is!

      That will get through to me if you address it as a proper email should be.. You’ve got my ineterest.

  3. Hi,
    Just found your site, I do like your writing style!
    I am a big jazz fan, I play in a jazz quintet in Glasgow, getting to play (among others) many numbers from the Blue Note collection which is a joy and a privilege.
    My jazz collection is all on CD, but I have always loved vinyl, I don’t have the money to contemplate converting my collection to vinyl but at least my ears are still getting their “fine wine”, even if the packaging is a little different!
    Enjoy your collection, and retirement and keep on blogging.

    All the best,
    Steve

  4. Hi from Austria! Afraid I don’t know anyone around here who is interested in modern jazz, but will keep my ears open! I found it interesting reading all the comments.

  5. I’m new to the original Blue Note vinyls and landed here looking for info on Blue Note labels to support my ebay quests. Your blog is simply brilliant. Very informative, educational and quite enjoyable to read. Thanks for your time and effort! Will be a regular visitor.

    Kostas
    Liege, Belgium

  6. I have several thousand vinyl records of mostly Jazz but there are is a lot of Ethno/World and Classical music. Lot them especially Jazz records are original USA Vinyls from the 50’s & 60’s. I am aware that some of them are worth a lot and I am looking for a fair dealer who would like to buy some of these records from my collection. It would be best if the dealer can send me which genre or sound is he after so I can continue talking with him and eventually sale them for a fair price.

    Kind Regards

    • Your best retun would be by dripping them into the market as an ebay seller yourself, or finding an ebay seller specialising in what you have to sell, who would either buy the whole lot or sell for you on commission. I have seen people advertise such services in Record Collector magazine small ads. I know only one ebay seller in (London, Battersea) peteandbarb01 who sold a similar very high end collection.
      If you have accesss to London shops, you wont get the same sort of value but I would go to Duncan at Revival records in Berwick St Soho or Rays Jazz 3rd Floor Foyles, Charing Cross Rd, or Tony at the Notting Hill Branch of Music and Video Exchange.
      Hope that helps

  7. Greetings!

    I came here looking for info on Blue Label pressings after a recent haul at a record show in the small mid-western city I dwell in. I really liked the informative and well researched posts you have here but particularly liked the high-res images that accompany the articles. Nicely done!

    I had been off collecting vinyl for a while (did it when I was in college in the early 90’s) but my interest in jazz recordings on the Blue Note label got me back to vinyl. I recently found an original pressing of Moanin’ for 2 bucks at a used record store and despite the scuff marks and dull surface, the sound just leapt off the recording!! Unbelievable! I’m hooked now and cannot go back to my RVG re-mastered CD’s in good conscience 🙂

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the good content!!

    • Well don’t start with a beret, you may think it’s all bebop and Gillespie, but rest assured everyone else will think you like Frank Spencer!

        • The Don Draper look is good, but he lacks the ubiquitous button-downs which rest assured he would have been wearing and buying from Brooks Brothers during the early 60s. It will be interesting to watch the sartorial decline into the bell bottomed hippy era as the series progresses.

  8. I first came across this site whilst researching the Vogue label, and I must say, I keep on coming back as Andrew is passionate, informed and his musings are a delight to read. I thoroughly concur and endorse everything he has posted so far.

    It’s interesting that you consider the decade 1956-1966 as the golden era of Modern Jazz, as this is also the boom period of the Ivy League style for men, as sported by Miles Davis and the rest of the jazz cats on Blue Note and other jazz labels. The two are both uniquely democratic and American modernist forms, forged together in that brief period of extreme optimism post-Korean war. I dig modern jazz and I also dress in Ivy style for today.

    Perchance Andrew is no stranger to Bass Weejuns and a Brooks Brother oxford cloth button down shirt?

  9. Well, not only do you have great musical taste sir, but you write wonderfully well, tight, lucid and witty. Not an once of flab. Surely a book must be in the offing? Being a self-unemployed painter living up a mountain in the pyrenees my wallet can not stretch to collectable vinyl. Or indeed, cd’s. But I receive much hand-me-down pleasure from this blog.

    I salute you and your credit card. Long may you both continue.

    • Blush, kind words, thank you.. You must have a wonderful view from your window each morning. Many would envy that. Plus be of good heart, the painting and decorating business is sure to pick up soon.

  10. Great site, when I read your description I thought that’s me (well apart from the retired bit) Looking to buy jazz on vinyl in London can be a challenge but at least in North London where I live there are still a good few shops with good jazz sections & due to the competition between them the prices are generally lower than the rest of the UK.

  11. What a great blog!! I sold my Blue Note vinyl and my few thousand other records over twenty years ago. Although they were 70’s pressings, I don’t think digital is anywhere close to analogue. In fact it’s the very reason I moved to digital I believe is the problem – everything is just too sterile. When I heard my first CD it was the lack of noise that suckered me in. MP3 – ok for casual listening.

    Over the past few years I’ve re-discoverd Blue Note and have now accumulated around 200 CDs, as sadly even CDs are being deleted from the catalogue. Many of the rarer Blue Note CDs that were deleted some years back are fetching silly prices as well. EMI (who I think owns Blue Note) seem to have a random policy for which CDs should remain in the catalogue.

    Companies such as Mosaic (www.mosaicrecords.com) and at the budget end Real Gone Jazz (http://www.musicmelon.co.uk) at least provide an alternative way to get some of the rarer discs.

    If anyone wants a great book on the amazing Blue Note covers, then the The Cover Art of Blue Note Records book is simply amazing. I was lucky enough to get this as a present at Christmas from my three daughters.

    • Blue Note! The world would be a much poorer place but for the passion of Alfred Lion, Rudy van Gelder, Francis Wolff, and Reid Miles, four men who have enriched my life immeasurably. Come home to vinyl, all is forgiven.

  12. Your site is fantastic. As a relative newcomer to Jazz, I am quickly realizing that some of the finest examples of the art are to be found on vinyl, and the archive you are creating here is a testament to the crackling wonders of both the medium and the form.

  13. Nice site LondonJazzCollector. Takes me back to my days of making occasional trips down to the smoke from the grim north in the 80’s and 90’s to buy up anything interesting from Soho 2nd hand shops, Ray’s etc..
    Now living in Italy and not much chance to go back these days. Last time I was in town I couldn’t find Mole. Where’s it gone?
    Keep up the good work!

    • Thanks Marco. Ah Italy – “Nice country, I’ll take it”
      Sadly, Mole has gone down the hole…along with many others. Remember Cheapo Cheapo in Rupert Street? That’s long gone too. But Rays Jazz is still live and kicking in Foyles, unlike Ray, who departed just a couple of months back.
      The American who ran Mole Jazz for some time, Andy,is still around, running the jazz basement in Harold Moores Records, Gt Marlborough St W1, just around the corner from Berwick St.
      As long as the market interest in 60’s Rock and Pop vinyl continues, viable outlets will too.

    • Cool Michel. Allow me to link you on my blogroll. We need more blogs on jazz, as jazz is unknown except to the few. I love to read and write about it – but where can you read – nothing in the media except celebrity pop music.
      You have some lovely records there, I will take time to go through them.
      Andrew

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