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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fleamarket Funk

The boys at Fleamarket Funk gave me the Big Ups treatment recently, all has been revealed on their website which you can find here

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

An interview with Jazzman Gerald

Here's a short interview we did in Lausanne, Switzerland, sometime in December 2011. A nice little chat about Jazzman and what we're all about:

Friday, 20 January 2012

New Record Shelves Build at Jazzman HQ

Like everyone else I try to curb my record buying habits mostly due to space and money but also because it's hard to find the time to listen to them all. I'm ashamed to say I've bought records over a year ago and not got round to listening to them yet. What makes it even harder to appreciate new records as well as the collection is when everything's getting to be a bit of a mess! Up until recently everything's been OK, separate sections for latin, soundtracks and library and everything else lumped in A-Z. But I've become lazy recently due to time and space constraints and not filing things properly, and stuff has accumulated, stuff that I want/don't want/need to file/need to listen to/need to upgrade all getting piled up together. Some records have been stashed in such a way that I can't get to stuff that I want access to.

So having had this on my mind for some time, last weekend I finally got something sorted that I have wanted for many, many years... record shelving like the ones you get in a record shop!

Here's the set up before we got started. These were custom built shelves made out of 18mm plywood a few years back. As you can see, records and CDs littering the floor prevent access to the lower shelves:

And random piles were starting to accumulate:

It wasn't THAT badly organised, but you can see it did need a revamp. This was a great opportunity to build some new shelves like in a record shop where I could flick through records and actually see the covers. It also means no more "sideways crooked neck soreness" and no more records and plastic sleeves sticking out which I personally can't stand!

So the first thing we had to do was remove all the records:

The bottom part of the shelving was going to be retained because front facing shelving takes up so much space. The idea was to put as many records as I can in the front facing record bins, and everything else underneath, filed sideways as before. So the top two shelves got sawn off (that's my mate Alan helping out, I'm useless at woodwork and no way could have done this on my own):

So here we are with the top shelves removed:

We also took some of the lower shelves apart so we could have some space for the floorstanding speakers to fit and to make it all work a bit better:

The lower shelves were moved forward into the room. Then a horizontal rail was placed along the wall and fixed into place with screws and glue, and onto this a new sheet of plywood was placed:

The horizontal sheets went flush from the wall at one end right to the other so it was like a continuous table top. Then it was time to start making the bins which were made out of 9mm plywood with the edges curved off:

Nearly done now, 16 bins in total, each holding about 200 LPs:

Here you can see the spaces we made to put the two floorstanding speakers:

We also built a shelf above to put my collection of 45s boxes, and under that a rail on which to display some LPs:

And here we are, pretty much done, ready for sanding, finishing, and painting:

I didn't bother painting the lower shelves again as we were working at the weekend, running out of time, and I needed it all finished so we could work on the Monday. So just the record bins got done, with an ebony woodstain. I don't mind the shabby chic look on the shelves anyway. Here we are with the speakers installed:

And after having cleaned up a bit, ready for the records to go on!

Finished, and records on at last! No more mess! I can flick through the records just like in a record shop and enjoy the cover art and it's brought a whole new lease of life to the collection. It took a couple of days but if anyone has the space and desire to do this what are you waiting for?!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Gigi Campi

As far as I'm concerned the best jazz group that ever graced this planet was the Clarke-Boland Sextet. Comprised of both European and American musicians, their heyday was in the '60s and their recorded output amounted to no more than a few LPs and 45s. Unlike many of their contemporaries, whose music could often sound dull and like hard work, their small group jazz was always done in impeccable taste, with rhythm and swing, and a sense of togetherness and fun.

The man behind this band was Gigi Campi. He was the guy who put the band together and arranged their live and studio dates. He was the organiser, the motivator, the driving force. In the face of all kinds of logistical and financial hurdles, his passion for music was the sole reason behind his superhuman efforts to get the music out there.

Gigi Campi passed away on 6 January 2010, so on this anniversary I've made a mix of some of his productions. Not all the songs are from the Clarke-Boland Sextet, some are from related records too, namely some of those by individuals like Sahib Shihab, Fats Sadi and Johnny Griffin; and of course the Clarke-Boland Big Band. Anyway, the mix is on the link below, as well as an excellent article from Lander Lenaerts.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Jazzman Gerald DJ Set

Here's part of a DJ set that I did in Lausanne, Switzerland in Dec 2011. Usually these things go unrecorded and we're just left with drunken memories of what went on, but Phil and the guys did a good job and recorded about an hour's worth of what was a 2 hour set of rockin' RnB, popcorn, titty, RnR, funk, jazz and there's even a bit of latin soul in there to an enthusiastic and packed house!

Here's the link, tracklist is below:

An hour of fun

Buddy Rich - The Beat Goes On
Merced Blue Notes - Rufus Jr
Ruth Brown – As Long as I’m Moving
Ken Jones – Chicken Pot Pie
Big Danny Oliver - Sapphire
Royal Jesters - You Tickle Me Baby
Cyclones – Bullwhip Rock
Betty James – A Little Mixed Up
Shakespears - Summertime
Dave Phillips - Tainted Love
Ella Fitzgerald – These Boots Are Made for Walking
Ric Gary - Pimples & Braces
Joe Swift – Bell Bottoms
Ron Andrea – If It’s Lovin’ You Want
Towanda Barnes - If I’m Guilty
Zuzu Blues Band – Zu Zu Man
Isonics - Sugar
Ronnie Love - Chills & Fever
Jerry Lee Lewis - Hit the Road Jack
Marie Knight - I Thought I Told You Not To Tell Him
Jo Ann Henderson - Baby Please Don’t Go
Earl Grant - Fever
The Champs – Clubhouse
Chuck Rio - Margherita
Little Johhnny Taylor - Somewhere Down the Line