Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bronco Billy Dolan and Primitive Sound System at D.C.'s Tavern Thurs Dec 2 from 9PM to Closing

Hello Y'all,

I have spent countless hours looking through records over the years. Unfortunately due to price or condition not every record you want makes it onto your shelves. Of course this means even if you see a record you would love to bring home and listen to non stop it doesn't always come to pass. And that is what keeps collecting interesting, the thrill of the hunt. For me condition is everything and a major deciding factor to whether or not I will buy a record. If I think the condition of the vinyl will damage my needle in anyway I'd rather pass it up than risk the damage. I rarely do trades with other collectors for this exact reason and have been burned in the past. Other DJ's and collectors don't necessarily share the importance I put on condition so it is an impossible topic to get passed it when trading. The records I have passed up through the years would have made a collection equally as great as the one I enjoy on a daily basis (great because it is mine not because I think the records I own are better than the ones you have). This has meant that thousands of records that I would possibly only see that one time were placed back in a bin or put back up on a store's wall for someone less concerned with condition to have and enjoy.

About 20 years ago I became obsessed with Sonny Clark, the Jazz piano player best known for his Blue Note sessions. Along with Horace Silver and Booby Timmons, Sonny Clark is one of the players I feel is most responsible for bringing genuinely Soulful sounds to late 50's and early 60's Jazz. There were others, but to me it was obvious these musicians were combining 50's Hardbop with the current Soul sounds more than most and creating Soul-Jazz in the process. Over the years you develop an affinity with the stores (now online as well as off) that can satisfy your tastes as well as your quirks (condition being my fetish). One such store for me is the Jazz Record Center in NYC. For me walking into the Jazz Record Center is like entering a temple. This is one of the most focused collections of records for sale you will ever find and condition is everything to them so each record is meticulously graded. I have been a regular customer of the Jazz Record Center for more years than I can accurately remember (I know it was before they moved to the building on 26th Street). Every time I enter the open area where the LP's are, and before flipping through the "New Arrivals" I stare for a moment at the Sonny Clark Trio (on Time Records) LP cover that hangs from bull clips above the last row of records to the left. The cover has hung there for as long as I can remember. Sadly it is just the front cover panel of the LP's sleeve. The LP was obviously in such bad shape that not even the whole jacket was worth saving. Still, I would see it and it was a painful reminder of an LP I would never own or at least not for the price it commanded in any condition. At one point I did score a near mint stereo copy as well as a stereo copy of the Bennie Green session on Time that includes Sonny Clark on piano. But, still every time I went into the back room of the Jazz Record Center there it was, that reminder of the elusive OG Mono with the giant HIGH-FIDELITY printed along the bottom. Occasionally I would ask the owner if he had gotten a copy in and he would just smile and say, "No."

The other day we all decided we needed a day of rest. My son had a bit of a cold so we decided activity levels should be as close to zero as possible if we were going to be healthy for the upcoming Holiday season. Nothing relaxes me more than flipping through someone else's records so I figured an hour at Iris Records in Downtown Jersey City would be the best medicine. The store is housed in an old pharmacy so maybe there is something to its medicinal qualities. The always amazing little shop never fails to satisfy. After closing to the public for a few months they are back open Thursday through Saturday, cleaned up and the bins are full of new records. I went through the new arrivals and pulled out a Sandy Nelson record I don't have called "Soul Drums!" There are some really good versions of Soul covers ("I'll Go Crazy," "Groovin'" and "What'd I Say" are standouts) plus an amazing little instrumental called "Swap Beat" which isn't even listed among the featured songs on the cover since it is an original. This was an oversight on their part because it is easily one of the best tracks and how can you go wrong with a sound that is reminiscent of "Secret Agent Man." Not far behind that was Jack Costanzo's "Naked City" LP. There are no bad Jack Costanzo records, or at least I have never heard one. "Naked City" includes some fantastic Spy and Movie themes all done in Mr Bongos aggressive style. This is one of those records I wish I would have stumbled across years ago but I am just as happy to take it home today. After the new arrivals I always hit the Soul boxes and then the Jazz. There were definitely some choice gems in the Soul section and my pile began to grow. As I hit the Jazz boxes it became very obvious that all the priced bins were filled with newly found items and all were in great shape. About five records into the second box I saw the top of the "Sonny Clark Trio" Lp on Time. That cover is burned into my memory so I recognized it immediately. I know the record had been reissued a few times; the stereo copy I own, a Japanese pressing and recently, I assume, through Scorpio Records out of Trenton, New Jersey. As I pulled it from the box just the weight alone told me it was either the Japanese pressing or an original. As it cleared the other records I smiled from ear to ear. I pulled the record from the sleeve and inspected the vinyl. This was as close to NM as I was every going to get. The price… $15. MINE! Not only does flipping through records make me feel right but a find like this gives you that Christmas morning feeling when you were six. I am not exactly sure what the current value of this LP is but I know they have traded hands at over a thousand dollars.

Iris Records is located at 114 Brunswick Street, between 1st and 2nd Streets. Hours are Thursday and Friday 3-8PM and Saturday Noon-7PM. Gritzan is always seeking out record and cd collections and can be reached on 609-468-0885 or at Learn more about Iris and their upcoming Jersey City Record Riot (December 4th) at

Since the recent acquisition of some drummer records and the loss of some fine drummers in 2010 (Ed Thigpen, (Gentleman) Albert "June" Gardner, Steve Reid (who was a regular at Finyl Vinyl), Richie Hayward of Little Feat and of course The Bedbugs (the Beatles-like band playing on the back of a wagon in an episode of F-Troop), the drummer from The Jaggerz - Jim Pugliano and Brian Damage of Misfits last show fame) I will be playing music featuring drummers drummers, some Christmas music because I figure why not and a ton of stuff I haven't gotten to spin this year.

- pat.

Primitive Sound System
"Audio Visual Triumphs and Disasters" -

Bronco Billy Dolan and Primitive Sound System - "Doin' It In Your Earhole!"

Thursday, December 2nd - 9PM to Closing
D.C.'s Tavern
505 8th Street
Between Jefferson and Madison
Hoboken, New Jersey
PH: 201-792-5550 <- Facebook Page <- Facebook Local Business Listing <- Facebook Group <- On Foursquare


The Jersey City Record Riot!

Saturday, December 4th 2010
Parlay Studios
161 2nd Street
Jersey City

$3.00 admission
$20.00 early admission at 10 AM
40 plus dealers from NY/NJ/PA/CT!
Refreshments served.
Five live DJs. (I will be spinning one of these slots)

The Jazz Record Center
236 West 26th Street
Room 804
New York, NY
PH: 212-675-4480
10AM - 6PM Monday through Saturday


The Sonny Clark Trio - "s/t" (Time Records Inc. cat. T / 70010)
Jack Costnzo And His Orchestra - "Naked City" (Liberty cat. LRP 3195)
Sandy Nelson - "Soul Drums" (Imperial Records (a product of Liberty Records) cat. LP-12362)

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