Mar 132016

This has been a busy weekend for me, and I’m finally getting a chance to just sit down this evening and listen to music and relax, just for the fun of it.

At this moment I have no reviews I’m thinking about, no listening impressions to record, no other duties of any kind, I’m just listening to music for the sheer joy of it, marveling at how terrifically good the big system is sounding at this moment, with a bourbon on the rocks in hand to soothe my soul!

Intercontinental by Joe Pass on MPS.

Intercontinental by Joe Pass on MPS.

I’ve been listening to some jazz records that I can recommend to you, if you don’t have them already.

The first is Joe Pass’ Intercontinental on the MPS label, who incidentally also did the stunning box set of Exclusively for My Friends by Oscar Peterson, that I told you about in a past post.

Intercontinental by Joe Pass on MPS, gatefold.

Intercontinental by Joe Pass on MPS, gatefold.

In true MPS fashion, the recording is fantastic, and it just blows me away the emotional impact MPS captures with their recordings.

This music was recorded in 1970, and features the trio of Joe Pass on guitar, Eberhard Weber on bass, and Kenny Clare on drums.

Intercontinental by Joe Pass on MPS, back cover.

Intercontinental by Joe Pass on MPS, back cover.

This album played over the Duelund-ized Westminsters with my ‘Real Sound’ modified vintage McIntosh MX110Z tuner-preamplifier and vintage McIntosh MC30 monaural amplifiers is just freaking me out right now it sounds so good.

I’ve got the volume set at a realistically live level and it feels like the trio is in the room with me, infusing the room in a visceral and emotive presentation that is just spellbinding.

Get a copy of this record if you can find one, you won’t be sorry. I got mine at Acoustic Sounds.

Duke Ellington's The Great Paris Concert, front cover.

Duke Ellington’s The Great Paris Concert, front cover.

Duke Ellington’s The Great Paris Concert by Pure Pleasure Records is … well … a true pleasure to listen to!

It’s a double LP set recorded in 1963 at The Olympia Theatre in Paris, France, and in this live performance the audience and the band are really getting into the music.

Duke Ellington's The Great Paris Concert, gatefold. Pure Pleasure Records.

Duke Ellington’s The Great Paris Concert, gatefold. Pure Pleasure Records.

There’s astonishing clarity to the recording as well, especially considering it’s a live performance.

Pure Pleasure Records did a bang up job on the remaster, and it’s like being present at the Olympia Theatre for the live performance!

Duke Ellington's The Great Paris Concert, back cover.

Duke Ellington’s The Great Paris Concert, back cover.

The brass has bite and power in this live performance, and pretty much wowed me with its splendor. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to Duke Ellington & His Orchestra, they’re just amazing.

If you enjoy the music of Duke Ellington, I think you’ll love this album.

Chet Baker Sings.

Chet Baker Sings.

I was over at my buddy Leo’s house last weekend, and Ron and I were helping him get his new turntable setup.

If Leo’s turntable looks familiar to you, it should, it’s very similar to my Garrard Project 2015, except that it includes the deluxe solid brass chassis for the CTC 301, painted in a tasteful Hammertone, along with Ray’s impressive new heavy-duty bearing, and outboard power supply. Drool.

Ray says it’s the nicest CTC 301 he’s ever done, and sitting in one of Christopher Thornton’s gorgeous statement plinths, I wouldn’t disagree!

Leo put a couple of 12-inch Ortofon tonearms (they’re nice) on it along with stereo & mono Ortofon SPU cartridges, and yes, it sounds every bit as good as it looks!

Leo's Garrard Project 2016.

Leo’s Garrard Project 2016.

Like Ron and me, Leo’s got the hi-fi bug bad, and he’s got some great systems setup in every room, both vintage and modern. One of these day’s we’ll do a road trip to Leo’s place and I’ll tell you all about them!

Leo's Garrard Project 2016 in his WRSE system.

Leo’s Garrard Project 2016 in his WRSE system.

But I digress, now back to the music.

Leo said, “Hey Jeff, I found a Chet Baker album in the used bin, and I know you like Chet Baker, so I grabbed it for you.”

Leo’s a great guy, and he’s always finding nice old jazz treasures  in the used bins and bringing them by for me to listen to.

Chet Baker Sings, back cover.

Chet Baker Sings, back cover. Pacific Jazz PJ-1222.

I say, “Wow! Thanks, Leo, I really appreciate it. Man I love Chet Baker, except for when he sings.”

There was a moment of silence, then Leo says, “Ah … well … its the 1956 Chet Baker Sings mono album on Pacific Jazz.”

Oops. After an awkward moment while I opened my mouth wide enough to insert my foot, we moved on to listening to some more music, like the excellent Playboys by Chet Baker & Art Pepper.

Chet Baker & Art Pepper's Playboys.

Chet Baker & Art Pepper’s Playboys.

Well it turned out that Leo’s old 1956 Chet Baker Sings mono album score is a great listen, and I actually listened to it two times through after I got home before I came up for air!

Chet Baker Sings.

Chet Baker Sings.

Chet is accompanied by Russ Freeman on piano & celeste, James Bond on bass (really!), and Peter Littman & Lawrence Marable on drums. The music was recorded on July 23rd & 30th, 1956, at the Forum Theatre in Los Angeles, on an Ampex using custom made microphones with Western Electric 640AA condenser heads.

Chet Baker looks like a little kid on the album cover, but he’s in great form, both vocally and as a trumpet player. Mono, Western Electric, Ampex, fantastic jazz, and James Bond on bass. What’s not to like?

If you can find a copy of this old chestnut, grab it, it’s a truly enjoyable album!

Many thanks to Leo for grabbing this terrific album for his ding-a-ling friend, Jeff.

Well that’s all for tonight, it’s time to put a little more bourbon in the glass and spin a little more jazz!

From my home to yours, may the music playing make you happy!

 Posted by at 7:21 pm

  4 Responses to “Jazz to sip bourbon by …”

  1. And maybe a big fatty, truth be known? I like your taste in music. Staring with Joe Pass got me. I saw him solo in Chicago. Him guitar and amp. God! He was so cool. He played in that timeless insane melodic way, and then he was so hip a human. It’s hard to express…. and he was wearing silver shows. Really….. they were silver.
    Duke…. and then Chet with Art Pepper and that LA smack jazz sound, so smooth, tasty, and chill…..with a deep sadness.
    I’m listening to that stuff now thanks to you, and with some nice cables that feel like free, it’s a nice moment….. thank you.
    It’s so cool to see folks like you up in Seattle. I was born and raised in Puyallup, but left the day before St Helens blew and Mt Rainer began to fade into the smog.
    all the best….

  2. Leo’s setup is beautiful!


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