Monday, May 23, 2011

Out-of-print LP rips: some finds

Here are some exciting drummer-led things I found while paying a visit to the thriving community of record-collecting bloggers dedicated to ripping out-of-print LPs and making them available for download. Apparently no one wants to sell you this music any more, and this is the only way you can get it, short of dedicating your life to scouring the used bins and getting really lucky. This does raise some ethical questions, which I've addressed after the break.

Download links for the albums are usually located in the comments section; Mediafire links are quick and easy, Rapidshare links are a pain.

Bob Moses - Bittersuite in the Ozone
A famous record, and extremely rare- I've never seen it in close to 30 years of trolling the used bins. Features Billy Hart, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Howard Johnson, Eddie Gomez, and more.

Roy Haynes Hip Ensemble
Haynes' "jazz-rock" band from the 70's. I've only seen one other record by this group, and I own the only copy of it I've ever seen in the wild. Recorded in Rome in 1975 for the Horo label. With Don Pate, Bill Saxton, John Mosley, and Mark Fiorillo.

Jack DeJohnette - Have You Heard?
I have not, in fact, ever heard of this great, very free Milestone release. Features Bennie Maupin, Gary Peacock, Hideo Ichikawa.

Elvin Jones - The Town Hall
Smoking John Coltrane memorial concert from 1971. One of the first Elvin LPs I bought, used, in '86 or so. With Frank Foster, Chick Corea, Joe Farrell.

Buddy Rich - A Different Drummer
Burning 70's big band.

Since most of the artists are still living, and the recordings are still under copyright, the ethics of downloading these are suspect; it may also be just plain illegal. The records are, however, out of print, and the economics are such that no one has an interest in reissuing them. Certain records may be in ownership limbo after the label goes out of business, and original masters may be lost. Since they were only printed in small runs to begin with, you could scour the used LP bins for years or decades and never find a copy. My view is that these albums are a part of musical history, and need to be heard by artists, and this seems to be the only way that's going to happen. Music circulating only among collectors is dead to the culture.

To support the artists, you should be purchasing new their currently-issued CDs (I don't think you're doing anyone any favors by buying their stuff through iTunes), and attending their performances whenever possible.

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