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Essential Records: The Tony Williams Lifetime, "Emergency!"

Posted by Rick Frystak, November 23, 2014 02:57pm | Post a Comment

They say music can be life-changing. I’ll buy that. Probably the most important and profound post-Beatles record in my Jazz life, or even my musical, personal and business life (you’ll see), was Emergency! by the The Tony Willams Lifetime. That’s a big sentence for an LP fiend like me. ONE record led by a drummer did all that? To me, Jazz is a huge, beautiful expression of the American Classical music, no small accomplishment in the last 100 years with everything out there. And I remember as if was yesterday how this record came to change my life.

In high school and later I was in a bluesy, Procol Harum-meets-Jefferson Airplane-style outfit called Moonfleet, after the film. We had the town and the era by the ear, so naturally we were asked to play our own Senior Picnic close to graduation at Westchester High School (still there), near the beach in L.A. I had played drums at another Senior picnic and I knew the picnics were free-for–all's in those days. We were excited to blow our fellow student’s minds, with coffins and dancers and fiery  entertainment, with myself on guitar then.

As per our gig deal, the school had hired a PA system for our show. The day came and we pulled in for a sound check with our equipment. What the hell? It’s a flat bed truck set up on the Jr. Varsity lawn!! With nice club-PA speakers! Loud!! With audio guys that knew what they were doing!! We had a big stage with good sound. But, hey, that music, coming over the system?

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Huge Jazz Vinyl Collection Hits Amoeba SF This Saturday, 10/11

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 8, 2014 06:57pm | Post a Comment

Jazz Vinyl Collection at Amoeba San Francisco

Calling all Jazz vinyl hounds! A fantastically huge and choice used LP collection pressed in the late 1950s to the late 1960s hits the floor here at Amoeba SF this Saturday, October 11th. Expect true gems on Impulse, Blue Note, Verve, and Prestige from artists like John Coltrane, Shirley Scott, Donald Byrd, Stanley Turrentine, Red Garland, Lee Morgan, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, and so many more.

The LPs are in excellent condition and they won't last long! Come early for the best selection.
 

Composer Carl Stone's Personal Record Collection For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 3, 2014 01:01am | Post a Comment

Carl Stone LP Collection

Amoeba Hollywood has purchased one of the finest record collections that I have ever set eyes upon in my record store days (and that's about 13,870 days)!! Here we have obscure gems aplenty, many I've only seen perhaps once in my life, but here they are, side by side with records I've never ever seen before, and ones previously only legendary. In other words, a wonderful, rare collection!!!

Yes friends, I have negotiated a mutually satisfactory agreement that has allowed Amoeba to obtain the personal record collection of Mr. Carl Stone himself. Yes, THAT Carl Stone, composer and electronic sound artist extraordinaire, 21st-Century cultural icon, and truly a connoisseur of recorded sound in the left-of-center areas of many genres, and they are all here in the collection for sale in Amoeba's Hollywood store beginning the weekend of October 11 & 12: Avant Garde, Electronic, Musique Concrete, Experimental, Renaissance, Baroque, Medieval, Classical, New Music, World music, Jazz, No Wave, New Wave, Power Pop, Punk rock, Post-Punk, Industrial, and various "roots" musics.  All are original 1st pressings of mostly small, independent labels with loads of private pressings and imports.

Just, like, two words: mind blowing!!

This array of breathtaking LPs reflect Carl's usual pattern of being dead-center, ground zero, really at the apex of "what's happening" in music, never more true than in the pre-CD days of  this collection...a forward-thinking and quite wide-minded person's...one that doesn't come along very often. Don't think for a second that Professor Stone hasn't been feeding a constant, perhaps life-sustaining hunger to hear for himself the latest, most creatively interesting and challenging music (and in his case, even the sound of a big-piped sports car or machinery), from all over the world and across all genres. I presume he always has, and this collection of vinyl reveals that fact in every liner note and cover spine. Collectors like this are searchers, never quite satisfied with what is, what was, or even what "shall" be, barely trusting word of mouth and the writing on the walls. We collectors shake down anything that could offer that special chord combination, the emotional rush, the personal spirituality button pushed, or a memory bubbling over God-knows-how and why. Often these elusive platters make just a brief appearance in our airspace, only to become a faded memory, "Yeah, I saw that once at Amoeba…", or more likely, a 3 a.m.-tossing-and-turning-I'm-going-back-first-thing-in-the-morning-I-hope-it's-still-there angst-filled moment. Carl looked high, low, in, out and around for significant records. Carl got beaucoup promos sent to him. Carl had people hold things for him. Artists sent Carl their records out of the blue. Carl impulse-bought. Good record labels covered Carl. Carl special ordered records. Carl travelled the world and bought records as meals for his soul.

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10 Essential Albums From Blue Note Records

Posted by Billy Gil, September 29, 2014 06:35pm | Post a Comment

10 Essential Blue Note AlbumsSome of our staff have picked out essential albums from Blue Note Records that should satisfy both the purist and the newcomer to go along with Sonos Studio’s brilliant exhibition celebrating the label's 75th anniversary.

A bit about Blue Note’s history: The label was in 1939 by Alfred Lion and Max Margulis, getting its name from the “blue notes” of blues and jazz, or notes sung a bit lower than the major scale for expressive purposes. Moving from traditional jazz to some bebop (including artists like Thelonious Monk) in the 1940s and hard bop (artists such as Horace Silver) in the 1950s, Blue Note distinguished itself by paying musicians for rehearsals as well as recordings, in order to ensure a better final product. With iconic album artwork by Esquire designer Reid Miles (using photographs of the musician in session, taken by Blue Note’s Francis Wolff), Blue Note made its name as one of the most influential labels in jazz music, later issuing records by free jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman and popular musicians like Herbie Hancock, having records sampled in hip-hop records by the likes of Madlib and, now, seeing massive success with mainstream artists like Norah Jones.

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Sunday at the Monterey Jazz Festival: Jon Batiste & Stay Human, Marcus Miller, Charles Lloyd, and More

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, September 23, 2014 05:03pm | Post a Comment

The 2014 Monterey Jazz Festival came to a close on Sunday at 11pm, but the music and fun lives on in our memories and newly-expanded music collections! Besides getting to experience our jazz superheroes play live, the greatest thing about the Monterey Jazz Fest is discovering new favorites. Sunday at the Mini-Amoeba tent, we had a wonderful mix of legends and soon-to-be legends signing for fans.

Jon Batiste & Stay Human brought their inspiring high-energy and humor to the Amoeba tent directly jon batiste & stay human monterey jazz festfrom playing the Jimmy Lyons Stage (and San Francisco's Great American Music Hall just two days prior). Peerless artistry combined with old fashioned showmanship is at the heart of Jon Batiste's musical vision, which he calls Social Music. Social Music is also the title of his full-length debut with his musical collective, Stay Human. Both the title of the album and the name of the band are telling. Virtuosic pianist Batiste transcends music genres with his modern take on American music, reviving the roots of jazz, blues and so much more yet playing it in a way that is fresh, accessible and engaging. Check out Jon Batiste & Stay Human at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass on Saturday, October 4th in San Francisco.

Two-time GRAMMY-winner Marcus Miller joined us after playing the Jimmy Lyons Stage to sign his latest album, Renaissance. Miller is a multi-instrumentalist, but is primarily a world-renowned electric bassist who has worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Kathleen Battle to Billy Idol. Always gracious with his fans, Miller even signed one fan's bass with visible joy.

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