|Mingus during his insurance salesman period. Actually, the Baron was recording for Fantasy at the time – the early 1960s – and the garb was most likely a hedge against San Francisco's famous fog. Photo by William Claxton|
Well, gang, I'm pleased to announce that I have come across the Holy Grail of record collecting – at least, to me. Ironically, this Gem comes from eBay, a place where I rarely spend more than a buck for a record. But a very nice fellow was selling a couple hundred LPs for a nominal price, and buried within them was this EP from 1952 (the year of my birth). I just happened to notice it as I was killing time at work going through the cheapo listings on the auction site.
|The last photo in the posting had the gold,|
including "Stings and Keys." Lots of other nice
The seller seemed to know very little about jazz, and I was curious about the collection, because much of it was Mancini, Bert Keampfert, Les Brown and other easy-listening stuff. But mixed in were some pretty heavy and rare jazz recordings, mostly by bass players. There were also several bass instruction records. It seemed like an odd mix.
When I met up with the seller to make the buy, he told me the collection had been his grandfather's. He said the old gent had been a swing bass player and that he'd played in bands most of his life. He lived in the Corning, NY, area and worked most often with an big band called, curiously enough, the Mohicans. I found listings for them in old newspapers in my newspaper's morgue. Judging by the collection, the bassist started out playing bebop but later switched to the more conventional swing style, probably in an effort to make a little money. Not much call back in the 1950s for "Ooh Bop Sha'bam" in upstate New York, I'm guessing. He bought the easy-listening stuff so that he could practice the popular tunes that dancers wanted to hear.
|Marian McPartland and the trio from a decade |
or so before this recording was waxed. Joe
Morello on drums with Vinnie Burke on bass.
So here's an extremely rare Mingus recording and another rarity that we offer as a tribute to Ms. McPartland. As always, these files were dubbed from the original vinyl. The Mingus tunes have a lot of hiss to them, but I suspect that's how they sounded when the record was new (the vinyl is visually pristine). The notation on the cover was made by the previous owner – and I left it there as a tribute to him. Dig!
Strings and Keys
Charles Mingus and Spaulding Givens
Spaulding Givens, p; Charles Mingus, b.
New York, NY; April 1952; Debut DLP 1
1. What Is This Thing Called Love
2. Darn That Dream
4. Body and Soul
5. Blue Moon
6. Blue Tide
Marian McPartland, p; Phil Bodner, fl; Harry lookofsy, Leo Kruczek, vi; Harold Coletta, viola; Alan Shulman, cello; Barry Galbraith, g; George Duvivier, b; Dave Bailey, d; Frank Hunter, arr.
New York, NY; June 1964; Sesac AD 92
1. The Magpie
2. Y'know What I Mean
3. Warmin' Up
4. Don't Panic
Find them here: https://www.mediafire.com/?h657ef6qvccn36l