I should say, off the bat, that it’s hard to feel like I’ve been digging without visiting a flea market or thrift store—used book/music stores just don’t feel dirty enough to have been “dug”—there is no dirt, no smell, no threat of illness. That said, I had a brief dig today at a used book store and came out very pleased, despite failing my intentions to not purchase anything today.
Two CDs, Two records, and one CD set:
The Jazz Messengers—The Jazz Messengers at the Cafe Bohemia, Volume One, Blue Note 1507 (RVG Edition CD)
The Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook Collection
Demons and Angels, Rev. Gary Davis, the Ultimate Collection (3-CD box set with booklet)
Jimmy Smith, The Cat
Jimmy Smith, Monster
I had every intention to purchase nothing during this visit, but I’m a sucker for new Jimmy Smith tunes, and the price was right. Knowing that I’d be spending some money, I broke down and picked up some selections I’d seen earlier in the night (the Jazz Messengers and Demons and Angels) and then later found the Fatboy Slim CD. Even thought I haven’t listened to the Smith albums yet, I’m very pleased with the purchases made tonight (again, despite the fact that the purchase itself is against my original intentions).
First, the odd album out—Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook was an album I onwed and enjoyed in college and have in the years past somehow lost. Even though the music was long imported into iTunes and available on my hard drives, I’m one of those odd people who enjoys owning music in some physical form—.mp3s and .wav files have great advantages, but I want something left over when the hard drive fails. And I love the packaging—the liner notes, the images, the disk itself—it’s all a package, and it’s worth the cost of admission. When my grandkids look through all my old music someday, they’ll have something in their hands to hold, not a file list to review. I like that thought. I may never listen to this copy, but I’m so glad to have the physical copy again.
Second, I can’t pass up the Jazz Messengers or many RVG editions on Blue Note. Ever since Art Blakey’s Moanin’, I’ve enjoyed these guys. After that album, I learned about the RVG editions. And, since I’m far from shelling out the cash to own the original issue LP of Blue Note 1507, I’m very happy to have the recording in hand. I won’t pass up the lp if I find it, but I’m not going to hunt it down just to sit on a shelf. In this circumstance (having been hereto unfamiliar with the recording) I find CDs very convenient. Praise Blue Note for these reissues. I hope they’ve been profitable.
Jimmy Smith? The Cat? Monster? Never heard of them, and at $3.98 apiece I was up for the risk. If only because Jimmy was one of the gateways into jazz on vinyl for me, I’ll pick him up where’ere I find him. Interesting tidbit—one of his albums is also my only 1500-series Blue Note—unfortunately in rough shape and without a sleeve, having been piggybacked with a Verve album I purchased in Omaha last Fall.
Rev. Gary Davis? He takes the cake this evening. I was cautious to pick up the set because (1) I didn’t want to spend money tonight and (2) it was the top-priced item in my findings. I weighed the deal/dud argument in my mind and decided that, in the worst of circumstances, I’d simply return the set (one of the few advantages to not digging in thrift stores/flea markets). I’ve tonight only listend to disk one, but am very satisfied and feel fortunate to have learned of his skill and (from reading online and in the included booklet) his life. Marvelous. And this is the best of digging—the discovery of something before unknown—some pleasure that meets your expectation of music and satisfies a part of your ear in a way nothing else could.