Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Estate Sale Booty

Playing right now: Vandermark 5 - A Discontinuous Line
I bought this and the new Art Ensemble of Chicago album last week. I haven't gotten through the whole V5 disc yet, so it's kind of out of character for me to put it on as background music while I'm writing, but I figured it's so rare to have time to just sit and listen to it with no distractions, so I might as well spin it now to get a feel for it.

Upon perusing some old entries, I realized that it's been awhile since I listed my finds from the weekend's estate sales. The past two weekends yielded some interesting discoveries. Last weekend I drove all over hell's half acre to a total of three different estate sales. The final stop on the morning's excursion brought me to a house that had boxes of reel-to-reel tapes in the basement along with 78s. I usually ignore the 78s because it's always the same things: Guy Lombardo, Tommy Dorsey, "The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" by the Ames Bros. (come to think of it, my copy of that song is busted last time I looked, so if I see this one, maybe I should pick it up), and worse.....but since the morning had been disappointed, I decided to check out the small stack. First I came across some Jazz at the Philharmonic 78s. One tune typically stretched over at least two and maybe three records because there were so many solos. Unfortunately, all these records were cracked.

But then I started finding all these homemade 78s made, presumably, with a record cutter. They all featured a pianist who I'm assuming was the owner of the house, and he was sitting in with bands or playing with what looks like an army or navy band. (Honestly I haven't played them yet.) And there were a few with labels from George Heid Studios with "Transcription" being the only information on them. George Heid owned a studio downtown in the '40s and '50s (I think my timing is right) and I know his son, who has a studio with all of the antiquated equipment needed to play these records (he's also a good jazz drummer). I bought about seven or eight of these records. Maybe tomorrow during my day off, I'll try to play a few on my victrola.

The big find came after I paid for the records and a few reel-to-reel tapes that I fished out of a box. The seller pointed to three more boxes of reel to reel tapes and I decided to check them out. The ones I sort through consisted mainly of 78s transferred onto tapes, but now I was finding recordings of the Silhouettes (a local jazz group that put out an album on Segue Records) playing on WQED-TV; there was also a tape of Walt Harper playing on WQED. The seller told me I could take everything for $10 and I went back and forth in my mind about five times before I finally decided to just go with a total of five tapes instead of stacks of tapes that I'll never listen to.

On my day off last week, I listened to the Silhouettes tape. The sound is really good. I thought it might have come from a microphone stuck in front of a tv set, but it sounds like a direct copy from the original tapes. They hadn't been joined by the female vocalist who's on their album. It was just vibes/flute or sax/bass/drums. They sounded good, playing Charlie Parker's "Au Privave" and some tunes that might have been originals. The other side had a pretty good Woody Herman big band performance. The writing on the box says it came from WQED, but it had to be a national show since Ralph Gleason was the host.

So nothing for resale, but some nice treasures nonetheless.


This past Saturday, I finally got back in the Estate Sale Booty Saddle. It's been quite a while since I've come home with either an armload of records or one wild find.

Jimmy Smith - Respect
Jimmy Smith - Got My Mojo Workin'
The Impressions - People Get Ready
The Impressions - The Never Ending
The Modern Jazz Quartet - Blues at Carnegie Hall
Modern Jazz Quartet- Jazz Dialogue
Temptations - Temptin' Temptations
Drifters - I'll Take You Where the Music's Playing
Drifters- Up On the Roof
Brother Jack McDuff- Walk On By
Ahmad Jamal - Heat Wave
Ahmad Jamal - Standard-Eyes
Ahmad Jamal - Rhapsody
Carla Thomas- Comfort Me
Carla Thomas - s/t
Gerry Mulligan- Gerry's Time
Cannonball Adderley - Mercy Mercy Mercy
Fontella Bass- The New Look

All for $1 each. Some, or maybe most, of the covers have some water damage, but a lot of the vinyl is in really good shape. All the albums on Atlantic are original pressings, I think. No mono albums, but I thnk these are the types of albums where stereo albums are the more rare of the two. The Cannonball album is a UK pressing, as is the Jimmy Smith Mojo album. I told myself about three years ago that I didn't need any more Jimmy Smith albums, but for $1 each, I would've been a fool to pass them by. Besides I don't have any of his stuff on Verve, which released both of these albums.

There was more Ahmad Jamal too, but they were too beat. Plus there was a Jackie Wilson album with the wrong record in it. FIE!


Anonymous said...

Mike! Finally made it to your blog. Found the hand-written address on a notebook I was going thru. Enjoying.
-- Julie M

shanleymusic said...

Glad you found it. Thanks for writing. Nice to know people are looking at it.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mike... George Heid here.

I hope you will call me before you play those transcription records with an old victrola... the weight of the tone arm and the steel stylus is like putting a chisel through the record grooves. I have an all speeds turntable and the correct cartridge... call me or drop by and we will transfer those the right way. OK... Phone: 412-781-4343

shanleymusic said...

George, you're timing is good. (Of course, you're a drummer, so that should be a given.) I was thinking that I should give you a call about these records anyway. I'll be in touch. Thanks for writing.

Anonymous said...

You're welcome Mike. I look forward to showing you the progress here. I've finally finished downstairs and can't get over having a real home (especially a kitchen)

Call my good man.

George Heid