All music lovers become record lovers and many record lovers become collectors. Records are like Malraux's muse um without walls, offering an inexpensive opportunity to pursue not only masterworks and favorites, but oddities that fill the side galleries where dilettantes rarely venture. Before the late 1930s, old records were relegated to bargain labels, but now there is a respectable market that buys only old, supporting an endless stream of reissues. Yet the vaults remain jam-packed, timed to burst open in a couple of decades when the vintage stuff goes public domain (as it already has in Europe). In the interim, record companies go about their business with the cryptic motives that have long made them so belovednumerous jazz masterpieces remain unavailable, while relative obscurities bob to the surface. Fortunately, some of those obscurities really do deserve a second chance. They may not be master pieces, but they're at least as good as and more revealing than the bottom-drawer... More >>>
By Herman Leonard
Stuff Smith: Joe Venuti meets Louis Armstrong in one relentlessly swinging melodist.