Monday, January 15, 2007

Jack's Music Shoppe in Red Bank is really feast or famine when it comes to music collecting. On one level it's a too-hip music store made semi famous by occasional visits from big-name rockers who live on the Jersey shore, in a town that too hip for its own good. But on the other hand, they offer records in big bins below the pop CDs and the records are dirt cheap running around $1.99. As you can imagine, most of the records are dreck, basically every album that Herb Albert or Kenny Rogers ever made, but every once in a while, like an old prospector in Treasure of the Sierra Madre you can really strike gold. Yesterday was one of those days, when I took a ride there to whittle away a rainy morning before an afternoon of playoff football on the telly. I've gotten to know a few people who work there, I think they've gotten used to a strange, nerdy man always pawing through the records. I found a couple of nice pieces while sitting on the floor in the lotus position before the vinyl bins – some of us worship strange gods indeed. I found nice copies of Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi and Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Blacknuss along with some Clark Terry and James Moody. I was getting ready to check out when one of the guys that works there, ironically named Tim also, said “Hey, we just got a bunch of new records in with a lot of jazz, wanna check them out?” Feeling like Indiana Jones heading for the crown jewel, I was led into the garbage strewn inner sanctum and found the motherlode. Some very good records including Danny Zietlin's Columbia debut, and live Ben Webster from the 1970's in Copenhagen, but the most exciting things were a mint copy of Andrew Hill's Blue Note gem Compulsion which I had only heard a bit of previously when a cut was posted on the Destination Out blog. Even more exciting that that was finding a copy of Cecil Taylor's collaboration with The Jazz Composer's Orchestra, Michael Mantler and Carla Bley's short lived creative music label. I was thrilled to say the least. And unlike Indy, I didn't have to face gigantic rolling boulders and blowdarts on my way out. Wow... queue that John Williams theme music!

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