Sunday, 31 January 2010


Friday was quite a good day. Not only for me but also for my little friend the inner jazz fiend.
Found myself in the Record Shak - one of Edinburgh's better second hand CD shops, with quite a substantial and reasonably priced jazz section.

As I said before the jazz fiend was still upset at having to "choose" between running 13.1 miles round Inverness in March or going off to see Dan Berglund at the Queens Hall the night before. He needed cheering up.....

First thing to catch my beady little eye was an Alan Barnes CD "If You Could See Me Now". I can't get enough of Alan Barnes. One of the UK's most consistently good saxophonists I've yet to find one of his offerings that disappoints. This one sees him exclusively on alto sax (being a multi reeds man he often chops and changes within a single album). 11 tunes on this that are all covers but a personal favourite here is Bud Powell's "Bouncin' With Bud". A nice fast paced boppish number with a really good duet interlude with Barnes and piano player Jim Watson.

This CD is on the Zephyr label an independent from Portsmouth who appeared to be very active in the late 90's and first few years of the 2000's. Sadly, I can't seem to find any new releases from them (this one dates from 2002) or even find a web site for them. I fear they may have gone out of business. An all too familiar tale.

Anyway. I also saw an early "live" recording by Roy Hargrove ("Of Kindred Souls"). Well... I just couldn't let that go!

Much more mainstream than most of the other Hargrove albums I've got and certainly more so than when I saw him live last year. But you can still make out his "sound" on this album that dates from 93 and captures the quintet as they were starting off and finding their feet.

Came out of the Record Shack and went across the road into a nearby Oxfam shop.... Gerry Mulligan and his Concert Jazz Band on the splendid "Compact Jazz" series. Oh happy, happy day. The fiend was in his little element .... or so he thought.

Because, later, I was informed by my co-jazz-collector Mr Brown that Dan Berglund is playing in Newcastle a fortnight after the Edinburgh gig. On the Saturady, in the afternoon.

A quick look at train timetables informs me that a train down to Newcastle - a gig - then a train home should be achievable! :-)

Things are looking up!

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