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Mac users have been experiencing problems in unpacking the WinRAR archives used on this blog. Two solutions have been suggested.

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Friday, 25 September 2009

Nat Cole Meets The Master Saxes (Lester Young, Illinois Jacquet and Dexter Gordon)

I’ve never really thought of myself as a “record collector”. I’m just a guy who happens to have a lot of records. I don’t pore over dealers’ lists or trawl round record fairs and I guess I’m also too canny to pay those ludicrous “collectors’ prices” that some of the sharks in the second hand market demand. However I like to think that I have some taste in music and also that I know a bargain when I see one!

Regular visitors to the blog will have realised that we’ve gone vinyl here at Bebopwino, just in time for my main sources of second hand vinyl to either start drying up or vanish completely. Yup, those interesting independent record stores are disappearing faster than snaw aff a dyke, certainly as far as Glasgow is concerned. There is a long established shop through in Edinburgh which literally has floor to ceiling vinyl but the prices just aren’t to my taste and as so many crates of LPs are crammed into the shop, customers aren’t allowed in for a casual browse.

Now before you all start panicking and running around yelling “Oh no, Bebopwino is running out of vintage sounds, and life just won’t be worth living once he’s uploaded his last record,” just breath a sigh of relief because there are plenty more LPs in my vinyl vault. And there have been a couple of unexpected reinforcements recently in the shape of a bunch of jazz LPs turning up in my local charity shop and then, thanks to a work colleague, another bunch of jazz LPs kind of fell into my lap. Meaning a jazz collector went to the great second hand record shop in the sky and his collection was possibly heading for the skip until my colleague stepped in and did a great rescue job by contacting people he knew who would be interested in this kind of stuff.

So courtesy of a deceased jazz fan and my co-worker here is the first LP from that batch: Nat “King” Cole with three of the best tenor sax men of the day, specifically 1942 – 1943.

The sides with Lester Young were recorded in July 1942 for Van and several years later surfaced as two singles on the new Philo label. The Illinois Jacquet sides were recorded around the same time and appeared on the obscure Disc label as 12 inch 78rpm singles. “Pro-Sky” is my favourite track on the album as Illinois really cuts loose on it. If I were compiling a collection of sides that illustrated the rise of the honking tenor sax, this track would be on it. And it pre-dates the famous Jazz At The Philharmonic recording of “Blues” by about two years. The Dexter Gordon sides were recorded for Clef and Mercury in late 1943.

This LP was probably the one in the worst condition out of the whole bunch, so despite the TLC which I have lavished on it, there is still substantial, hiss, crackle, and lordy knows what else. Audiophiles beware.

Ripped from rather distressed vinyl at 320 kbps. Password = greaseyspoon

Download from here:

Or here:

Nat “King” Cole plays piano on all tracks :

1. Indiana / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
2. I Can't Get Started / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
3. Tea For Two / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
4. Body And Soul / Nat "King" Cole Trio (with Lester Young)
5. Heads / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)
6. I Can't Give You Anything But Love / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)
7. I Found A New Baby / Dexter Gordon Quintet
8. Blowed And Gone / Dexter Gordon Quintet
9. Sweet Lorraine / Dexter Gordon Quintet
10. Rosetta / Dexter Gordon Quintet
11. Pro-Sky / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)
12. It Had To Be You / Nat "King" Cole Quintet (with Illinois Jacquet)


Anonymous said...

Hi! I just bought this record at a flee market for 1 euro. I'm very happy with it but I,m noticing the same thing that it cracks and makes a lot of noise. Maybe it's just not the best recording quality!? The outer ring and inner grooves are really silent but when the music starts the cracking starts. So I started searching the web for reviews on sound quality of this record but there's not much out there. So maybe our records aren't that bad after all because mine looks really nice actually.

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for the comment. I haven't listened to this record or the digitized version for a few years now. I must search around my disc drives for the mp3s. The LP I have looks as though it is in quite good condition with a few scuff marks on one side, so it probably is the recordings that are responsible for the noise.