Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TVD and The Concord Music Group Celebrate Vinyl Record Day (Today -8/12!)

It'd be a mistake to think that we here at TVD are pining away for the day when vinyl makes a glorious return as the format of choice for recorded music by the music industry at large. We're realistic - it ain't gonna happen. And you know what? We're FINE with it and here's why...as I wrote a a while back, these days vinyl is being lovingly pressed and manufactured for an audience that APPRECIATES it, not for mass(es) consumption, but for the few blankety-blanks like me (and perhaps you) who know a bit better. Or appreciate the warmth and care. Or who just don't mind getting up from the couch to turn the thing over. It's a joy.

So, imagine my joy when the Concord Music Group came calling--would TVD like to listen to and preview their new and ever-expanding collection of vinyl that they're making available for the blankety-blanks who are the card-carrying and attend-all-the-meetings vinyl fans? How could we say no?

I have a confession however, despite my years of jazz drum lessons with Drum Master Don (whooo, do I have stories...) I always found jazz recordings to be somewhat dense and muddy--somewhat unfulfilling to my ears. Nothing seemed to better the live jazz club experience for me. But to be fair, I'd never pulled the shrink wrap off of a new jazz LP. They were always the well-worn (or is that well loved?) LPs from my dad's library or heard elsewhere. But hoping I'd do a review, Concord sent me a box of five...and honestly, what a revelation. Clarity and warmth without pop or hiss. Dynamic highs and subtle lows. Did I say a revelation? I typed my Concord contact back, "Say, I have an idea..."

This year as with every year, Vinyl Record Day falls on August 12, and in conjunction with that day The Concord Music Group and TVD are giving away the five LPs sent to TVD HQ. They are: Sonny Rollins - "Saxophone Colossus", Bill Evans - "Waltz For Debby", Yusef Lateef - "Eastern Sounds", John Coltrane - "Soultrane" and Theolonius Monk with John Coltrane--all brand new, sealed, heavy weight vinyl mailed right to your door.

Now, here's what we need you to do to win this glorious 5-pack--in the comments section we invite you to sing the praises of all things vinyl, be they your memories, Vinyl Record Day-related, the vinyl marketplace as it stands today...or, simply whatever you're inspired to write. We want to hear it. We'll choose one winner for the 5 LPs ON Vinyl Record Day, August 12th, so there's plenty of time for a thoughtful comment or thirteen. Also, as an added bonus, the winner needn't be in the continental US, so all of you no matter where you plug into TVD have a shot a winning. So, get to pontificating! (And remember to leave us some contact info too!)

Many thanks to the Concord Music Group for sponsoring this TVD giveaway. Go check 'em out too...you'll find plenty to read at their site and plenty to pine away for.


Doug said...

First post? Unfortunately this confirms my suspicion that no one listens to Jazz these days. To clarify I mean the real deal not the easy listening crap with Kenny F'ing G or some in-studio manufactured duet with a master long since departed. The audience has changed because the lineup has changed. I long for the days of seeing Art Blakey or Dizzy play in the Village. I've seen Sonny Rollins in lots of venues from Carnegie Hall to a small DC club but (festivals excluded) the venues keep getting smaller. It's a shame. Everyone should listen to "Saxophone Colossus" or "Soultrane" on vinyl, disc, 8-track or however you can get your hands on it. Even the Verve remixed project (I think they're on volume 4 now) might get you to check out the original versions.

Matthew said...

Hi, my name is Matthew and I am a vinyl addict. I first started listening to music on vinyl in 2000. I bought Radiohead's Kid A on CD and vinyl (the vinyl copy originally intended more as a collector's artifact). At first I listened to the CD most frequently. However, once I finally equipped myself with a pair of good headphones and sat down and listened to the album on vinyl - I felt like I was hearing the album the way it was really meant to be heard for the first time. Before long I was buying all of my favorite records on vinyl: Miles Davis' Live Evil, Aretha Franklin's Greatest Hits, Jeff Buckley's Grace, and Charlie Parker. Perhaps unsurprisingly, as my love for vinyl records grew, so did my love for Jazz. Anyways, this is a great contest - I'd love to have a chance to listen to "Good Bait" or the amazing solo on "Blue 7" on vinyl too!

xtianDC said...

Another vinyl obsessive here, and of course that makes me a regular reader and fan of TVD. There are lots of reasons why I prefer vinyl to any other format and certainly at the heart of them is the fact that the right record on the right turntable through the right speakers, etc sounds better than anything else. It's not even close.

But going beyond that, the reasons why I prefer vinyl have more to do with the manner in which I prefer to enjoy and collect music. You can't really take an LP with you, so that means that the ritual of playing an LP demands a certain amount of attention and commitment to the listening process. It becomes a more meaningful thing and deepens the experience. You have to SLOOOOW down and simply *listen*. It's something that I think is getting lost in today's everything-at-once-better-faster-now climate.

As far as collecting records goes, nothing beats walking into a dusty old record store and flipping through the racks simply because there is an element of surprise. You don't know what you might find or come across. Anyone can hop on a computer and find just about any record ever released and possibly even have it downloaded within minutes. But where is the fun in that?

Vinyl rules. Case closed.

Urban Gypsy said...

Hey TVD, I'm afraid as a young twenty-something who missed the heyday of vinyl, I don't have all that much to contribute to this discussion, but I'll give it my best shot! To me, jazz means two things: my dead father and beat writers. Growing up, my father always forced us to listen to Ray Charles and Benny Goodman in the car on long drives. I hated it then and would have much preferred to listen to Top 40 bubblegum pop. Now that he's been gone for three years (as of next month) I seek out those old albums he loved, and they make me feel a little less like everything has ended. Also, I am trying to write a book with the same life and verve and energy of Kerouac and Ginsberg. After studying how their writing tries to imitate the breath and rhythym of the jazz saxophone, I try to listen to Charlie Parker and Thelonius Monk every chance I get, hoping that the jazz will become absorbed into my blood by osmosis somehow and maybe one day I can write like them. So, in short, I understand nothing of jazz, but I hope that by embracing it and living with it day by day, perhaps at some later date it will open itself up to me, and I will "get it." Thanks for the tunes, TVD. I promise to use them well.

Diz said...

I'm not much of an audiophile, I'm sorry to say, but I've been a jazz lover for half a century now. I can take vinyl or leave it. If I have an album on vinyl in good shape, I don't go out of my way to replace it with a CD. I even own about a thousand 78s, which predate vinyl.

By the way, Saxophone Colossus includes the best version of Mack the Knife (Moritat) ever recorded.

James! said...

I can't say that I've grown up with vinyl. But I do have a specific memory related to the stuff that I wanted to share.

I was home alone one afternoon shortly after I got a new needle for my mom's record player which had been sitting dormant in our living room for probably ten years. I was flipping through her records when my gaze fell upon a record sleeve that looked like it was made of denim. It was B.B. King's Live at Cook County Jail. I put it on and the popping and crackling led into my favorite blues record of all time. I've since gotten the album on CD, but it's not the same. The warmth of Lucille just doesn't convey to CD.

3-Pin said...

I grew up and matured with music such that music is and always has been a big part of my life. My grandmother was a classical pianist, my grandfather a hoofer on the old Springfield-Hartford-New York circuit and my dad followed the Big Bands and later the jazz scene on 52nd street. I started out with all this music plus the surf instros, British invasion and psychedelia and beyond of my “Wonder Years.” Connecting all of this was the river of vinyl flowing through time. 78s, LPs, 45s, and 33s. Albums that were really albums with individual wrappers that eventually morphed into the twin layers of cardboard and then into gatefolds. From the stacks of shellac of my grandmother’s Beethoven piano concerti and operas; my dad’s Goodman quartets and Dorsey and Miller sides, to his LPs of Sidney Bechet, Miles, Trane and Bill Evans; and my 45s and 33s covering the sixties and then into jazz from late high school and beyond.

Vinyl commands your attention. There was none of this push play and forget about things for hours as music became background. There is something exciting about dropping a needle into the groove, hearing those first pops and crackles before the sound comes pouring out of the speakers and you hear (and feel) the sonics washing over you. The large format is also a boon to the musically curious. Many of the details were on the back of the album so you could learn who was playing, who wrote the music, sidemen, arrangers, producers, all the details you needed to internally conceptualize a musical family tree and its roots and branches. Reading the album liner notes while listening for the first time or else spending hours in record stores reading the backs of albums, often means getting lost in a wonderful musical library.

Scotland celebrates 12 August as the “Glorious Twelfth” the start of the shooting season for grouse. But we have a different reason for proclaiming tomorrow as the Glorious Twelfth. So TGFV (Thank God for Vinyl) – those that still manufacture and distribute it like Concord Music Group, those that preserve and share it like The Vinyl District, and all of us who still listen.

Contact - boydallen75 AT gmail.com

JON said...

Many thanks to everyone who wrote in for this contest. We have chosen a winner, but if it wasn't you, don't fret! We have another giveaway coming up - this very week! Stay tuned...