Music on Vinyl Commentary

I grew up in a musical household. My dad was a jazz drummer, although not by trade. All my friends and myself at one time or another dreamed of a satisfying musical career. Although not in my inner circle, others in our larger Detroit clique have “made it” to some degree and I’ll bet some of you reading this are familiar with their accomplishments. Naturally, an extension of this passion has been the attempt to record and reproduce music as accurately as possible.

My first symptoms of the audiophile affliction were manifested when I took the majority (all?) of my high school graduation loot and bought what, at that time, I thought was a pretty sweet system: Technics linear tracking turntable, Akai tape deck, EPI speakers, and…I can’t remember the receiver. At that time, 1985, I was really enjoying my new albums by Pat Metheny, Steve Smith (drummer from Journey), Jeff Lorber, Al Dimeola, Leo Kotke, Maynard Ferguson, Joe Pass, and all my Dad’s 50’s & 60’s Jazz.

As I grew older, and my equipment died, I neglected to replace it. I focused on career and family. During that time, my audiophile “pilot light” remained lit. I occasionally picked up an issue of Stereophile and, when walking past the local Hi-Fi shop in Chicago, made time to stop and re-calibrate.

Then, a few years ago, when our Sony receiver died, I decided that I had deserved and had the means to embrace the hobby and passion that been dormant for some time. After buying the local fare (Marantz integated amplifier & SACD, Linn monitors) from my dealer, I was hooked. Not only did I re-kindle my desire to learn about the technical nature of the hobby but, began to re-unite with old artists and new by way of new CDs and SACDs.

To make a short story long, I’ve since committed myself to the Vinyl => SET => Single Driver “philosophy” and, here’s the point of the thread:

In the last year, I must’ve bought over one hundred used albums, mostly from the 70’s and early 80’s, primarily jazz and some extensions like New Grass (pre & post Bela Fleck), fusion, Sting, etc. Not only have I been blown away by the analog version of the album I had been used to hearing on CD but, I HAVE FOUND MANY ALBUMS THAT I DON’T THINK HAVE EVEN BEEN RELEASED ON CD.

Isn’t it amazing that there is a large portion of GOOD musical history that so many will never be able to hear and that a few of us will be privileged to? As I peruse Ebay, local record shops etc. I’m amazed to find so much great music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that I can only assume have not been released on CD.

I think it would pretty cool if there was a source (Fremer’s Music Angle, Audiogon Thread, TAS, etc.) that would review albums in many Genre’s of releases NOT available on any format but vinyl. I would like the treasure hunt aspect of finding such an album and being able to hear something rather unique.
If you like New Grass, try to find a copy of David Grisman's Hot Dawg. Great music and outstanding musicianship. I've always felt that Grisman is where Fleck wants to be.
I think that you have distilled the central argument for vinyl in the 21st century. To not own an LP replay system is to cut oneself off from a good portion of the rich musical heritage of recorded music. The "what sounds better" arguments are really moot in this context. But then this is an equiptment centric site so that, inevetable, argument usually comes into play.

BTW, I concur with the Grisman recommendation, my favorite is the very first album, "The Dave Grisman Quintet", Kaleidoscope F-5 (interestingly, F-5 is the model number of Grisman's 1927 Gibson mandolin). This is my favorite of the Grisman bands, chiefly due to the early appearance of Tony Rice on guitar, arguably, the best flat picker on the planet.
I agree with your desire to have Vinyl records that are out of print reviewed. Unfortunately it would drive up the prices of those LP's that were considered exceptional. I have not had good results when purchasing CD's or LP's recommended by Stereophile or Absolute Sound. The sound quality review is accurate but my taste in music differs. Maybe you should start one.
Hamburg, I have considered reviewing some. However, I would need to know if an album I'm listening too has evern been released on a digital medium. Can anyone tell me if there's a way to figure that out?

On the flip side, has anyone heard a CD and wished it would be released on vinyl? Pat Metheny & Charlie Haden, "Beyond the Missouri Sky"
Beyond the Missouri Sky is not on LP, I've looked for it ever since I bought the CD. I agree with you, I wish it were on vinyl.

Since you love Jazz, search out the "Closeness Duets" LP with Charlie Haden teamed with pianist Keith Jarrett, altoist Ornette Coleman and percussion by Paul Motian.

This was released on CD, but the A&M Horizon LP is easy to find and is a wonderful piece of music and beautifully recorded.

I would own the album if only for a couple of the cuts with Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden working off each other. Truly superb in my opinion.
Awww you guys'.... Grisman can't lick Sam Bush's feet;) New Grass all the way.... BUSH HAWG!!!!

Seriously though (I am actually), I borrowed a very expensive CD player (can you say 10k) from my dealer to listen to this weekend. Two hours later..... You guessed it...... Listening to my records...... Oh Well.

Cmo, I had that happen with two different digital review samples.

A one box player that retailed for $10K and a twin box rig at $14K. I did not write a review on either I was so disappointed.

I will say the new McCormack UDP-1 Deluxe at $4000.00 is better than either of these two more expensive units. I bought the McCormack for my own system.

I didn't expect it to do anything because it was so much less money. You might give it a shot since the expensive one did not work for you.

No, it still won't match the best LP, but it's extremely good and there are great artists that have no releases on LP.

I have an old (by crazy audio guy's who update all the time standards) Theta Miles. I listen mostly to vinyl and love the physical interaction (and sound) that it provides over digital.... Kind of like grinding my own coffee beans in the morning.

I keep borrowing digital players from my local guy's around Austin, thinking there must be something out there that kills my Theta for 10k..... Right???? I sure don't claim to have heard close to everything, but the only player I have had in house that has given me pause was the Ayre universal....

It was real nice, but when I had a little extra coin I ended up keeping my Theta and spending money on my TT. I have a feeling you can relate ;)

Yes indeed.

Should travel bring you through Dallas, look me up. I have thousands of LP's, and promise to spin only the titles you want (at least for one evening :^).
Albert; thanx for the recommendations (Closeness Duets) that'll be my next purchase should I be able to find it.

Cmo/Dan_ed; So, which is it Sam Bush or Dave Grisman?
SAM BUSH DAMNIT! (not to be confused with Gumby damnit!)..... ;-)