new old music

Sold some box sets I don’t listen to – Steely Dan, a Beatles set, Hendrix (over many years, I’ve decided I’m just not drawn to Hendrix) and got another copy of Van Morrison’s “Astral Weeks,” (haven’t been able to find mine), John Fahey’s “Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes,” a Jimmie Rodgers sampler, a Stereolab album I didn’t think I owned but do, McCoy Tyner’s “Extensions” and a collection of Coleman Hawkins on the Keynote label.

Also, the Criterion “Battle of Algiers,” which I’ve bought and sold once, and wanted to see again. I seldom revisit movies, but bits and pieces of this one have stuck with me and I want to give it another look.

At first, the Hawkins looked less than promising; even though it’s Hawkins and Roy Eldridge and Teddy Wilson, all the takes of a given song are grouped together – so right now, for instance, I’m hearing “I Only Have Eyes For You” three times in a row. Usually, that bothers me – I like it better when the alternates are put at the end of the main album, though given the age of the recordings there probably isn’t a main album to work from; these started life as 78s, and were not collected into what we think of as an “album” until much later. In this case, hearing multiple takes in a row doesn’t throw me – it’s a pleasure to hear Hawkins, Eldridge and Wilson fit together just so.

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