Monday, March 30, 2009

Of Pornographers and cheap reissues

Playing right now: My pal Erin on WYEP.
I'm listening online while blogging, and I was on Facebook while listening, moments ago. I'm so technologically savvy at long last [sarcasm]

I saw AC Newman at the Warhol on Saturday night. My full review of the evening will appear on the Blurt website, hopefully, by the end of the week. So I won't say too much here. Suffice to say, it was a good time. Carl had a six-piece band including a violinist and keyboard player who doubled on trumpet.

I used to be completely uninterested in those Charlie Parker budget-line live albums that seem to pop up all over the place. The sound quality is often dubious and since I'm no longer a scholar of the alto saxophone, I didn't think I needed another version of "Hot House." But everytime I go to Jerry's, that whole series of live Bird records on Everest are usually there in triplicate, all for about $4 or $5 each. So when I was on vacation in February I picked up a couple of them, and was glad I did. The sound is so-so but I'm used to lo-fi, so when Bird is having a good night, his playing makes up for the lack of technology.
Today I picked up an album called The Happy Bird on Charlie Parker Records. This one also looked like a knock-off cheapo. That is, until I saw who plays on it: Wardell Gray (an unsung tenor player with a very limited recorded output) and Richard Twardzik (who was the same to the piano, only his recordings are even smaller in number than Wardell's), besides Teddy Kotich and Roy Haynes. I haven't had time to play it yet, but maybe I will over breakfast tomorrow.
There was also a Mingus album on Everest, which looks like it was some of his Debut stuff. Normally the purist in me shies away from these reissues, thinking that I'll eventually get the original album. Whether on CD or an original pressing, I prefer to have the artwork and liner notes. But I've reached a point where there's a good chance that I won't hear it if I wait to get the original so I ought to buy something like this. I even bought 2 Prestige two-fers last year for that reason.

Now it's time to transcribe interviews for an article........

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