Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Buried Treasure at $7.77 a Pop

I love used CD stores. They're especially great for jazz fans, because you can always find some really obscure stuff--sometimes even things that you had no idea were even out on CD yet. It's a fairly recent phenomenon, of course; sure, people have done well with used vinyl stores, but vinyl tends to depreciate much more, and much earlier, than a CD. (Speaking of that, whatever happened to that prediction people were making in the early '90s that CDs would eventually just lose all their digital information? Not so far...) CDs can be bought used--maybe even several times over--and still sound virtually like new.

The best stores for jazz in the Metroplex, at least in my opinion, are CD Source in Old Town, Forever Young Records in Arlington (Grand Prairie? Not sure where the border is...) and Recycled Records in Denton. Halfling and I went to Recycled on Sunday night after the Soul Station concert, and I came up with a few treasures, for the low, low price of $7.77 each:

JOHN COLTRANE: Impressions (Impulse! 314 513 416-2) . I bought a low-budget live version of most of this program during a trip to CD Source last spring, but now I finally own the real thing. What can I say, it's a classic, especially the title track, where Trane takes the chord changes (all two of them!) from the Miles classic "So What," crafts a new head, puts the tempo in hyperdrive, and plays some of the most meaningful stuff you'll ever hear on two chords. Joined by Eric Dolphy on alto sax and bass clarinet, McCoy Tyner on piano, and either Jimmy Garrison or Reggie Workman on bass and Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones on drums.

BOB MINTZER/JOHN ABERCROMBIE/MARC JOHNSON/PETER ERSKINE: Hymn (OWL R2 79250). I got to hear most of this group (with John Patitucci replacing Johnson) a few years ago for free at Guitar Center--very cool stuff. On this earlier recording (1990), the quartet goes through a collection of Mintzer originals plus one collective improvisation. The group meshes better than many all-star collectives, and Mintzer is his usual amazing self, both on tenor and a generous helping of bass clarinet, on which he sounds better than nearly anyone else. What can I say--it's Mintzer; gotta have it. If I'd only had $7.77 going in there, this would've been my acquisition for the day.

Needless to say, stores like this can be pretty dangerous for me in the wallet area, so I have to buy in moderation...but they're a real treat for the ears. Anytime I uncover a real gem, I'll usually post about it, and suffice it to say, it'll be playing that week in the Kevmobile.

QUOTE OF THE (YESTER)DAY: "If you don't know the name of that song, ask a neighbor whose hair has been touched by the winds of time."--John Murphy, at last night's Rep Ensemble concert, after the group played "Honeysuckle Rose." It was indeed a varied audience; as the arts council director said in his introduction, it included "people in their twenties, as well as people who remember the Twenties." The group did a fine job of recreating some standards from that era, and guest pianist Steve Harlos was dazzling on "Rhapsody in Blue."


Eric Grubbs said...

I often find myself at CD World (either location) on an almost weekly basis. Used record stores are like museums to music junkies.

Anonymous said...

Actually, what I said was, "ask someone whose hair has been brushed by the wings of time." Lovely phrase, isn't it? I read it in a book by W.G. Sebald, as I would have told anyone who asked about it at that concert. I didn't cite the source at the time because I didn't want to sound too professorial.

Kev said...

That's an even better phrase, John. Now I'm wondering if I mis-heard you on Tuesday night or mis-remembered the quote by the time I got to the computer; "brushed" and "touched" could easily be mistaken for each other in a big room.

At any rate, it was a fine concert, as was Soul Station. That was quite a week for you, and I trust that the Wednesday Rep performance at the Sammons went equally as well.