The GREAT 78 Project!

Digital. It’s great and it’s awful. This time, it’s great.

It’s the Great 78 Project. And it’s just what it sounds like. The Internet Archive (in San Francisco, California) is a partner in the quest to transfer 78rpm records for anyone to download for free. OK, my site is about vinyl, but at least these digital files start out that way. Continue reading

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Found! Wes Montgomery’s One Night In Indy

montgomery-one-night-in-indy-wpIt’s hard to not like just about everything I’ve heard by jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery and One Night In Indy (Resonance Records HLP 9018, mono LP) is no exception. This is a 2015 release of a never before heard tape made in 1959 by photojournalist Duncan Schiedt.

I had one reservation about buying this LP new (on sale direct from Resonance)…I didn’t know what it sounded like. Was the original recording done with one crummy mic, too far away from the band? Continue reading

Visited! Groove Yard Records in Oakland, California!

I’ve been to most of the vinyl record stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. Today, I went to Groove Yard and if it wasn’t an hour from my home, I’d go all the time. If you’re looking for the best selection of used vinyl jazz in excellent condition (and very fair prices), it’s Groove Yard. Continue reading

Recorded! Bad Ass Bayou Blues Mind Bender & Mesmerizer Catfish Keith

2017-01-28-keith-catfish-008There are cats who can sing and play the Bayou and the blues…and then there is Chicago born & Iowa raised Catfish Keith.

Upon meeting him before a recent show (January 28, 2017) in Lafayette, California, he comes across like a regular guy. Nice, easy going. It’s when he hits the stage that the power of his voice and awe inspiring guitar work power through…like a musical tornado that knocks you on yer ass. And you’re glad to have ignored the storm warning. Continue reading

Recorded! Jazz Guitarist Sam Ahia in Maui

ahia-sam-02No, I’d never heard of Sam, either. He’s one of those gems, hiding on an island in the Pacific Ocean. Maui (Hawaii), to be specific. You might think of the local musicians as tourist attractions, but there are plenty of great performers there and Sam is one of them. Continue reading

Heard Live! Vince Lateano, Joshua Breakstone & Peter Barshay at Cafe Pinkhouse

2016-11-17-lateano-breakstone-barshay-006I’m lucky to live in Silicon Valley, there are several venues that play live jazz pretty often. One of the newest is Cafe Pinkhouse in Saratoga, Calif. The place holds maybe 50-60 people, all facing an oddly shaped stage that sort of measures 25 feet by 10 feet. In fact, the whole room is oddly shaped to begin with. There’s a piano squeezed into the front corner. Continue reading

See It! W. Eugene Smith and the Sound of New York Jazz

You don’t know W. Eugene Smith…but he is generally considered to be the greatest American photojournalist. From 1957-1965, he opened his New York city loft to the jazz musicians of the era and shot stills pictures, 40,000 of them!

Plus, he recorded 4000 hours of audio (not all of it is music). It was just released as a documentary movie called The Jazz Loft According To W. Eugene Smith.

Back when I was in photojournalism school in the late 1980s, my instructor at San Jose State University, Jim McNay, had me read a book about Smith.  McNay’s contention was that many of our greatest artists are essentially crazy. Smith could certainly be seen in that light. Continue reading