jazz news rock n roll years vinyl

When I Was 4

Here’s the next year of the Rock And Roll Years series. I better confess now that I don’t have all of these. In fact I’m missing some of the ones that I would most like to have in particular those that cover the period when British bands first made their extraordinary impact. In addition some of the episodes I have aren’t complete. This one pretty much is except I’m missing the closing credits. I’m sure you can live without those. In fact you can probably live without the final act. I would hope so anyway.

For 1957 I went through some of the films released that year. This time I’m going to cover some of the albums released in the year in question. I’m taking my information from the 1958 albums category page in wikipedia. Not a definitive list no doubt but an interesting and thorough enough work in progress. My aim is to concentrate on those albums which I have in vinyl. I’m sure I could dig through my collection and find albums missing from the list in my collection, but I must say I would be happy to get hold of any of the albums that are covered in the list, pretty expensive items some of them must be.

Firstly there are 2 great Miles Davis albums, Milestones and Porgy and Bess. I’m discounting 1958 Miles because that shouldn’t be on the page as it wasn’t released in 1958.

Then Miles crops up again on the brilliant Cannonball Adderley album Somethin’ Else.

None of those 3 do I have on original releases from the 50s, but the next 2 I do.

Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk. The title sort of says it all. The other musicians playing on the session are Bill Hardman on trumpet, Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone and Jimmy “Spanky” DeBrest on double bass.

Finally there is The Modern Jazz Quartet at Music Inn Volume 2 which has Sonny Rollins as guest artist. My copy of this is not pristine, there’s a chunk of the front cover missing. Anyway this one shouldn’t really be there because although recorded in 1958 it wasn’t released until 1959. Well I suppose the whole premise is rather arbitrary. Really does it matter?

Just enjoy the programme.

micromuseum vinyl

micromuseum 11

Further to my last post it’s time for another vinyl chapter to the micromuseum saga. And this time I’ve chosen 10″ items. I’m about to produce/manufacture/conjure up my first vinyl product which is taking me a little bit of time because I’m quite hesitant being careful to get it right if possible. This is going to be a 7″ item but if all goes well and I want to repeat the experience I’m certainly tempted to go for a 10″.

For example what could be better than Isn’t It Romantic from Ray Martin and his concert orchestra. Probably a few things but even so have a heart.


The next is a record I bought just for the cover. Not that I don’t like Borodin or Mussorgsky, in particular the former, but I just feel that straight away I am that Tatar giant on the steppes, all I need is one of those funny chin beards and thin droopy moustache, a cool hat and a big black smear over my nose and middle cheeks.


In my last micromuseum post which I’m afraid I can’t be bothered to track back to as I assume you’re all responsible indivduals who can use a search box, I covered to a certain extent Picasso’s vieux guitariste aveugle. Please compare the cover of Tal Farlow‘s Columbia disc.


And then there’s Paris in the springtime. A French singer but not a record for a French market. There’s a story in there somewhere – perhaps you can piece it together from Genevieve’s obituary.


Finally simply the world’s greatest rumbas. All on one 10″ record. And it’s a very nice shade of blue.


micromuseum vinyl

micromuseum 5

The vast majority of my vinyl collection consists of LPs but I have a small number of singles. Some of them have great covers. Here is a selection.

This is a re-packaging of music probably about 30 or 40 years old at the time of release. Being a child of the time I particularly love the late 50s early 60s design style.

This one’s not so tasteful though. It’s from 1958 and possibly shows that UK design standards were behind US at this time. Still it’s colourful and is not totally without charm. And another example of the then booming market in 45 inch singles. Here’s the liner notes.

Yes, indeed it’s Party Time – and there’s nothing like a good old sing-song to get YOUR party under way. The drinks may be flowing nicely, the cigarette smoke curling up to the ceiling… and here’s the record to get even that non-drinker non-smoker sitting over there in the corner, to join in the fun.

You couldn’t have better guests than the Embassy Singers and Players, champion ice-breakers when you want things to go with a swing. They’ve brought along a dozen of the most popular songs of the century – so gather round your record-player, turn up the volume control (if all your neighbours are present) and let it rip. All together now…

I love this portrait of Los Llopis. It’s obvious that the outer pair are brothers (presumably Manuel & Francisco Llopis). But I like to think that the two in the middle are brothers too. All I can find is that the other two musicians are called Manolo Vegas (vocals) and Leandro (saxophone). So Leandro could have been a Vegas too. Maybe he didn’t use his surname so people wouldn’t know.

Finally a younger single – from 1967 this one. I bought it a few years ago from a charity shop. Not much to say about its design qualities. Not too much to it other than choosing between a couple of fonts and matching colours, but it’s an interesting enough photograph of what looks to be a press conference promoting Chaplin‘s last ever film. Sitting alongside the director is the film’s female star, Sophia Loren,while the male lead, Marlon Brando, is behind on the left. I’ve never seen this film, which pretty much bombed apparently on first release. I’d like to see it some time, because it strikes me that Chaplin wasn’t capable of making a bad film.

micromuseum quotations vinyl

Not Lear But Lehrer

When I was about 8 or 9 my dad bought a record and encouraged everyone in the family to listen to it. I was the youngest. We all enjoyed it and to me then it was sort of a breakthrough into what you could find funny. It was sick but it was also very clever and made you think about things. The songs on the record were copyrighted in 1952 and 1953. Lynch’s Blue Velvet is like an 80s remake. Samuel Franklin George Dwight Gloop, son of Mayor Gloop, turns into Frank Booth

I still have the 10″ record which I guess didn’t hit the British market until the early 60s about the time my dad bought it. Here’s the front cover.

Below I’ve embedded a clip of Lehrer performing 2 songs the 2nd of which is from this album. But before that here’s a few quotations from the great man from an interview he gave about 10 years ago.

Laughter is involuntary. If it’s funny you laugh. But you can easily clap just to say ‘A ha, that’s funny, I think that’s funny.’ Sometimes they cut to the audience and you can see they are applauding madly. But they’re not laughing.

I have become, you might call it mature I would call it senile and I can see both sides. But you can’t write a satirical song with ‘but on the other hand’ in it, or ‘however’. It’s got to be one-sided.

The people who go to comedy shows are kids that don’t know anything, I think, and so you have to make jokes about your girlfriend or your family or that kind of thing only, make them as vulgar as possible.

The audience usually has to be with you, I’m afraid. I always regarded myself as not even preaching to the converted, I was titillating the converted.

micromuseum music vinyl

micromuseum 4

The bulkiest category within the micromuseum is vinyl. About 800 items. This is the first one I actually bought back in the summer of 1971 while I was visiting my sister in London. I bought it from HMV on Oxford Street. It was something I wouldn’t have been able to get in the North-East where I lived at the time.

Most of the music I listened to at that time was on the radio or something I had taped from the radio. The piece of Ligeti‘s I’d taped was Lux Aeterna and I thought it was about the best music ever at that time. I might have had some more of his stuff but that one stood out. Somehow I’ve never actually seen the film 2001: A Space Odyssey so I didn’t know that Lux Aeterna and Atmospheres were some of the most heard pieces of contemporary classical music (for want of a better description) ever. I’m always interested in the fact that people can accept certain types of music as soundtrack to a film which they wouldn’t care to listen to without the visual element (especially if they have no memory even of the visual element).

Ok that’s the first one I bought, but the oldest member of the archive is this.

That’s not necessarily the oldest item in that I might have bought something older second-hand since then. In fact, it’s just the oldest survivor. I had more vinyl given to me before then, but it’s all now gone. I remember in the mid-sixties, my father bought a new turntable and it was the first he had which could no longer play 78″ records. To celebrate he joined in with my brother and sister and I and we smashed up the whole collection of 78s. In retrospect a mistake although I’m glad I haven’t been carrying them round with me all those years since then. I wonder how far they have regressed to natural mineral elements in some landfill somewhere in North Yorkshire. Probably hardly at all.

Actually Ligeti means a lot more to me than Rossini, but those are great overtures. La Gazza Ladra in particular means a lot to me. I can almost feel another Tintin post coming on.