You thought records were a dead issue, a relic of the distant past. I have been a collector since the mid-fifties and never for a moment thought vinyl was passé. And I have always believed records offered a warmer, deeper and more natural sound than did the compressed digital format. CDs, as it turns out are not a collectable. You can’t, in large measure give away CDs these days. Record stores on the other hand can do gangbusters business in the right location and on the Internet. In fact, Downbeat tells readers that Sonic Boom in Toronto has to restock its record bins with 200 units every day of the year.
17 Million Vinyl Records
Downbeat reports that vinyl sales hit nearly 17 million units last year, up from under 15 million the year earlier, and mentions jazz as a hot seller.
I play my huge jazz/50s/60s LP collection on the same Dyna/AR table and speaker system I bought back in the mid-60s. I own a recent vintage monster system, but my ancient Dyna/AR gear remains my mainstay.
I buy new 180 gram $50/LP remastered jazz as well as vintage jazz from decades ago. My Downbeat subscription has been a regular standby in my library since the late 50s. I have never missed the annual readers or critic’s poll, and used to participate in the reader’s poll annually. Today most of the wonderful musicians I used to support have passed on. I have never heard of most of today’s poll candidates and, for good or bad, do not plan to get to know the twenty-something set. I still enjoy Miles Davis’s ‘Round About Midnight, Hank Mobley’s Soul Station, and Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto’s Getz/Gilberto.
Aguste Clape, Syrah
I will continue to focus on collectable vinyl with exactly the same fervor I have come to reserve for Cornas and Cote Roti French Syrah. Auguste Clape, by example, my reference grower for Cornas, produces only 35,000 bottles/yr. (not cases). And you do not run out to your local wine shop for a bottle of Clape Cornas for dinner. Clape uses no new oak, and does not destem. They keep 100% of the stems. Such traditional wine making methods make for a wine that can be unapproachable when young. It is probably best to age your finest Clape for five years or so in a cool cellar. Hence no last-minute Clape Cornas wine runs for dinner. Clape Cornas is so special and rare that your favorite restaurant owner may be excused if they have never even heard of Cornas French Syrah, never mind grower Aguste Clape.