Aug 022015
 

I like to bring my Mom & Dad over to visit on the weekend, fix them a nice dinner, and spend some time catching up. They’ve been through a hard time the last few years, starting with when my Dad took a bad fall at home, ended up in the hospital, then a skilled nursing facility, and finally assisted living.

Dad was never able to go home again, and that was rough for both of them, as Dad helped Mom a lot at home, and with his absence she wasn’t doing well on her own at home, and Dad wasn’t happy alone in assisted living. A bad situation all around.

Mom & Dad

Mom & Dad at Jeff’s Place

At the time I was doing the long drive every weekend from Washington State to Idaho, trying to figure out how best help them out in what was a very dire situation. It was a rough time for all of us, and we finally decided the best thing for everyone was for Mom & Dad to move from their beloved long-time home in Idaho into assisted living near me, so I could help out.

With a little help from my friends Chad, Bob, and Cindy, and Mom & Dad’s friends & neighbors, Matilda and Chuck, and a great realtor, Crissy,  I was able to get their house sold, and get Mom & Dad moved from Idaho to an assisted living center just around the block from where I live.

It was a rough go for all of us the last few years, and at ages 90 and 92 (respectively), Mom and Dad are doing better now, and it is really nice having them close by so we can spend time together, and I can make sure things are going well for them on a day-by-day basis.

Mom & Dad 2

Mom listening to Gene Ammons’ Nice An’ Cool from the best seat in the house!

Yesterday, after dinner, we settled in for a little listening session (hey, it’s Jeff’s Place, after all). I put on a test pressing of a 45RPM version of Gene Ammons’ Nice An’ Cool, and Mom said, “Those speakers really sound fantastic, and the saxophone playing is just beautiful, and sounds so real.”

Mom’s got good ears, and she was right, the big Westminsters were sounding mighty fine playing Nice An’ Cool, and thanks to Mr. Yazaki-san’s combination of Western Electric cabling, Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects, and his ‘real sound’ modifications to my vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers, it really did sound real just as Mom said. 

We also put on Rickie Lee Jones’ Pop Pop and had a ball listening to those old standards, some of which Mom, Dad, and I used to sing together on road trips in the car when I was a kid.

Nice An' Cool

45RPM test pressing of Gene Ammons’ Nice An’ Cool.

We reminisced about when, in 1965, Mom took me to a Louis Armstrong parking lot concert as a wee lad, at the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland, Oregon, and how Richard had just made a comment here at Jeff’s Place about how they were going to do a 50 year celebration of that event this coming August 15th, a Saturday afternoon.

Louis Armstrong

It sure would have been fun if we could have both gone to that event to celebrate with them, but I’m thinking we’ll do our own little 50 year celebration of that concert we went to, here at Jeff’s Place, listening to some Louis Armstrong records, eating a good meal, and popping a bottle of champagne!

Ella & Louis Again love mom

I just read Jim Smith’s latest edition of Quarter Notesand I was sorry to read that Jim and his wife Pam have been going through some rough times on the health front, first with Jim, with Pam being the caregiver, and now with Pam, and Jim being the caregiver. That’s rough on everyone when one person is having health issues, and the other is being the caregiver, and I want to wish both of them the best during this difficult time, and I hope Pam has a speedy recovery to better health.

Jim Smith

Jim Smith and his beautiful Canterbury SE based system.

Jim’s discussion in this issue of Quarter Notes made me decide to fess up and let you know that yours truly has also been going through the wringer on the health front, and it’s not over yet. A certain tumor has been causing me some problems, and it appears (at least for the moment) that it is inoperable, but the docs are doing their part to help me make the best of it until they know if there’s something that can be done to improve my situation. So it’s been a bit of a rough go for me on the health front, being a caregiver for Mom & Dad, working full time, and trying to keep up with things here at Jeff’s Place. As such I’ve had to suspend the major reviews I had planned for Positive Feedback for a little while, and I am doing blog posts to bridge the gap until I can get back in the saddle. So if I don’t answer emails or comments right away like usual, you now know why, but I’ll do my best to write back as soon as I can.

Mingus Ah Um

My buddy Leo stopped by on Friday and we listened to the ORG 45RPM reissue of Mingus Ah Um and it’s fantastic, I’m going to get a copy of it for myself, and if you love jazz, you should too – you won’t be sorry!

WE16GA

Spool of Western Electric WE16GA.

Mr. Yazaki-san was able to find a spool of Western Electric WE16GA that Ron, Leo, and I went in on. Thank you Mr. Yazaki-san!

Ron has already rewired his hot-rodded Klipsch Klipschorns with the Western Electric WE16GA, so I’ll be really interested to hear Ron’s thoughts on the results. More to come on that front.

WE16GA 2

Western Electric WEa6GA spool top view.

The Good Doctor, Leo, is going to use the Western Electric WE16GA to make a set of speaker cables and ground lines for his Tannoy Westminster Royal SEs, and if all goes well, then I volunteered to give him a hand rewiring the big Westmonsters internally, so stay tuned, as we’ll document all the fun. It will be interesting to find out what the WE16GA will bring to the WRSE game!

system photo with WE16GA

Garrard Project and Western Electric WE16GA.

As another exciting note, Leo is building a Garrard Project of his own after seeing mine, and Ray has built him the nicest version of his Classic 301 that’s ever been done, and Christopher is, as we speak, crafting a custom Artisan Fidelity plinth to wrap around it. When it is all said and done I’ll tell you all about Leo’s Garrard Project and shoot a bunch of photos of it so you can see the result. It’s going to be a beauty!

Garrard Project with WE16GA

Closeup of Garrard Project with Western Electric WE16GA.

The plan for me right now is to keep the blog posts coming, then as strength allows, write-up all the work we’ve been doing with the Western Electric WE16GA, the Belden 8402 microphone cable interconnects, and the real sound modifications to the vintage McIntosh MC30 amps, as an article for Positive Feedback. If all goes well then I’ll try to resume some audio reviews for Positive Feedback.

77 life is good – feet up & SPEC

Until next time, may the music playing make you smile – cheers!

There’s lots of exciting things to look forward to and the plan is to tell you all about them. Until next time, from my home to yours, may the music playing on your hi-fi make you smile.

Thanks for stopping by!

 Posted by at 9:13 am

  26 Responses to “Saturday Afternoon Jazz … and other stuff”

  1. Jeff, first of course is to wish you well with the health issues. As we get older they can surprise us. I had emergency surgery this spring which meant a week in hospital – first time I’d been in overnight since 65 years ago when I had my tonsils out! All seems to be well now and I hope you can say the same soon.

    Now about that 50 year Satchmo concert anniversary. He made lots of great albums but I might suggest picking up a copy of “Ambassador Satch” to include that day if you don’t already have it. As I suggested to you before I’m grateful for my appreciation of his music from exposure to my dad’s records as I was growing up.

    Tim

    • Howdie Tim,

      Thanks for the well wishes – appreciated. 🙂

      Thanks for the tip on Ambassador Satch, I’ll be looking for it now. I just checked Acoustic Sounds, but no luck there.

      Cheers,

      Jeff

      • Jeff, I don’t know if “Ambassador Satch” has been reissued or not. My copy is a clean original Columbia I picked up used. Amazon lists several LP offerings with a wide range of pricing. One of those states 45 RPM but does not offer any other details.

        I do believe the Audio Fidelity LP from which the 45 single of “St. James Infirmary” was taken has been reissued. If you don’t have that you should.

        Anyway, be well and have fun with the anniversary celebration.

        Tim

  2. Jeff, I would like to add my wishes for good health and a speedy recovery as well. I always appreciate your articles and advice. I’ll pray for you.

    Hans

  3. Jeff,
    Just a line to wish you well with your health concerns and hope for a good outcome.
    My Tannoy WR with Duelund components is sounding great – the silver auto transformer had taken a time to bed in as with all Duelund components – well worth the wait!
    Best Wishes
    Howard

    • Hi Howard,

      Thanks so much for the well wishes, very much appreciated. 🙂

      I am delighted to hear that you’ve got your WRSEs up and running with the Duelund CAST components, it truly is a remarkable transformation!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  4. Hi Jeff,
    As a faceless unknown faithful reader of your blog I want to add another wish for good health and the best outcome possible for you. I also want to express to you my heartfelt appreciation for all your audio writing here and in other publications. It is personal, engaging, friendly, open. Your writing topics have opened my eyes as well as ears. It has greatly enhanced my musical experience; but more importantly, you have introduced us, the readers of your blog, to ”kindred spirits” such as Yazaki-san, Ron-san, and all the rest of kindred spirits who gather at Jeff’s Place. The last time I read your blog, a day or two ago I had an epiphany: I saw in my mind the Frankenstein movie where Frankenstein meets the blind hermit, attracted by the sound of the Hermit’s sweet violin playing. With tears in Frankenstein eyes, he exclaims that ”music good”, “wine good”, “friend good”. For a brief moment in time he understands what in life is good. When I read your blog I feel that way too. Best, Rob

    • Hi Rob,

      I really appreciate the well wishes, thank you so much.

      I have immensely enjoyed writing for all my friends, far and near, about all these fun audio topics. I would like to join in with Mr. F. and say “music good”, “wine good”, “friends good”. That pretty much sums it up doesn’t it. 🙂

      Thanks for the terrific comments!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  5. Hello Jeff, I am sure your parents must be very proud on you! Out of your writings comes a strong picture that you have a very warm and loving relationship with your lovely parents. It is very nice to read how good you take care of them! You earn my deepest respect for that! I is a sad reading that you have health problems. I wish you all the best and a quick recovery! My wife, Frederika and my daughter were shocked to hear this bad news from me about you. Although they do not read your blogs they are used to it that I inform them on regular basis about you! They wish you all the best health and a quick recovery!

    The best healthy wishes from the Netherlands, Sneek,

    Siedy

    • Hello Siedy!

      Thank you for your kind words, I really appreciate it.

      I am hoping for a good outcome, however, it may take some time to sort things out, as my situation turns out to be a little bit complicated.

      Fortunately, I have “good friends, good music, and good wine” to help things along, and I intend to enjoy the days ahead the best I can! 🙂

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  6. Hi Jeff
    As a avid follower of your web site , barely a day goes by without seeing what’s going on in your world , and thinking how lucky you are . Hopefully lady luck keeps shining at ” Jeff’s place ” all the best.

    cheers Lance

  7. Dear Jeff,
    Love your writings, your musings and your thoughtful posts. I can only echo all the sentiments expressed above and wish all you well for the future!!
    Best wishes from Beijing China.

  8. Hi, Jeff It’s easy to see that you are a jazz guitar enthusiast. I’ll keep this short. Are you familiar with a 1963 Chuck Wayne LP called “Tapestry”? I believe it’s on the Focus label FM333 for the Mono version which is the version to get IMO. If you’ve not heard it, you owe it to yourself to track it down. Leagues beyond anything Mr Wayne had recorded previously. If you have it, then you know what I’m talking about. Love your blog. Keep it up. Thanks. -Edward

    • Hi Edward,

      I don’t have any Chuck Wayne LPs, only on CD. After reading your comment I’ve added Tapestry to my list. Let the search begin!

      Thanks for the recommendation and for stopping by!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  9. Your writing is always an inspiration to me Jeff, as is your audio journey.

    I’m thrilled to see so many fresh posts on the blog and saddened to hear of your health issues.

    I, along with many others, wish you all the best in this fight.

    Looking forward to hearing much more about all the ‘Real Music’ changes in the system! My friend just ordered some of the WE16GA cable from Shirokazu-san, so I’m excited to hear the change it brings to his Shindo-based system.

    Take care my friend.

    –Rafe

    • Hi Rafe,

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, I really appreciate it.

      I suspect that the WE16GA will be a very nice match to your friend’s Shindo system. Be sure to let me know how it turns out.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  10. Jeff,

    Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your caring relationship with your family. Sharing your passion for music with your parents always bears special memories. My love for music started when I was six years old, and my dad would spin Ray Charles albums on the family’s Motorola tube console stereo in the family room. We would get up and dance with him.

    In trying times, we really find out who and what matters most in life. Along with others, I pray for you and your family.

    Rich

    • Hi Rich,

      Thanks for the kind words and prayers, my friend, very much appreciated. Those early music memories with the family are really special, and hanging out listening to music together is a wonderful experience. My Mom used to spin jazz on an old tube console when I was a youngster too (I forget which brand), and it was amazing how musical those old tube consoles were. Great stuff!

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  11. Hi Jeff,

    Great reading your posts about your Garrard project, being a recent new owner of an oil-bearing 301 after hearing one back home in NZ over the summer. I’m starting somewhat simpler with a home-made baltic birch plinch and go from there. Lovely to see you and your folks enjoying quality time over some great music, and wish you and your family all the best on the health front!

    Cheers,
    Owen

    • Hi Owen,

      That’s awesome on the ‘new’ Garrard 301, they’re wonderful, congrats! Your 301 will sound fantastic in your baltic birch plinth I bet.

      Thanks for the kind wishes, and be sure to let me know how your Garrard Proejct turns out.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

  12. Jeff – I neglected to mention I enjoyed listening to a great range of music with my folks as a kid, my Dad a particular fan of Louis and Ray, Mum with Bread and Carpenters – I wish they were both still around to enjoy such times, so pleased you treasure yours!

    • That’s awesome you were able to listen with your parents as a kid, Owen. Ray & Louis are pretty hard to beat, and I have a little Bread & Carpenters myself – great music!

      You’re so right, you have to treasure every moment, because you never know what tomorrow may hold.

      Kind regards,

      Jeff

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