• Vinyl Freak: Love Letters to a Dying Medium

    Author(s):
    Pages: 264
    Illustrations: 208 color photographs
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $104.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6350-7
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-6366-8
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  • Track One / Formation of a Freak  1
    Track Two / "News of My Death, Greatly Exaggerated," Quoth the Record  5
    Column One / 2000–2003
    Philly Joe Jones, Philly Joe Jones  15
    Paul Gonsalves, Cookin'  16
    Takashi Furuya with the Freshmen, Fanky Drivin'  18
    Carsten Meinert Kvartet, To You  20
    Melvin Jackson, Funky Skull  21
    Gloria Coleman Quartet featuring Pola Roberts, Soul Sisters  23
    Elmo Hope Ensemble, Sounds from Rikers Island  24
    Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Brotherhood  26
    Morris Grants Presents J.U.N.K.  28
    Tom Stewart, Sexette / Quintette  30
    Kenny Graham and His Satellites, Moondog and Suncat Suites  31
    John Coltrane, Cosmic Music  33
    André Hodeir, Jazz et Jazz: Jazz Experiments; Triple Play Stereo, Pop+Jazz=Swing; Bill Russo Orchestra, Stereophony  35
    George Davis Sextet, various acetates  37
    Staffan Harde, Staffan Harde  39
    Art Pepper, Chile Pepper  42
    Jack Wilson, The Jazz Organs  43
    Craig Harris, Tributes  45
    Quintet Moderne, The Strange and the Commonplace  46
    A. K. Salim, Afro-Soul / Drum Orgy  48
    Tristan Meinecke, home recordings, 1939–43  50
    Chico Hamilton Quintet, Sweet Smell of Success  52
    Lehn-Strid, Here There; Klapper-Küchen, Irregular  54
    Bill Leslie, Diggin' the Chicks; Thornel Schwartz with Bill Leslie, Soul Cookin'  55
    Tony Scott and His Buddies, Gypsy  57
    Herbie Mann, Great Ideas of Western Mann  58
    Track Three / Freek, Not Snob  61
    Column Two . 2004–2006
    Afreaka!, Demon Fuzz  69
    Contemporary Sound Series  70
    Beaver Harris / Don Pullen 360-Degree Experience, A Well-Kept Secret  72
    Mike Osborne Trio, Border Crossing  73
    The Three Souls, Dangerous Dan Express  75
    Steve Lacy, Raps  77
    Halki Collective, Halki Collective  79
    The Amran-Barrow Quartet, The Eastern Scene  80
    Charlie Parke acetates  82
    Tommy "Madman" Jones, A Different Sound and Just Friends  84
    New York Art Quartet, Mohawk  86
    Paul Gonsalves / Tubby Hayes, Just Friends; Paul Gonsalves All Stars Featuring Tubby Hayes, Change of Setting  88
    Anthony Braxton, New York, Fall 1974  90
    Herbie Fields Sextet, A Night at Kitty's  91
    Air, 80° Below '82  93
    Guy Warren with Red Saunders Orchestra, Africa Speaks—American Answers!  94
    Barry Altschul, Another Time, Another Place  96
    The Korean Black Eyes, "Higher"  97
    Rufus Jones, Five on Eight  99
    Johnny Shacklett Trio, At the Hoffman House  100
    The Mad-Hatters, The Mad-Hatters at Midnight  102
    Klaus Doldinger, Doldinger Goes On  103
    Max Roach, Solos  105
    Dick Johnson, Most Likely . . .  106
    Phil Seaman, The Phil Seamen Story  108
    Paul Smoker Trio, QB  109
    Khan Jamal, Drumdance to the Motherland; Franz Koglmann, For Franz / Opium  111
    Track Four / Brand New Secondhand: Record Collector Subcultures  113
    Column Three / 2006–2012
    Walt Dunn, seven-inch singles  123
    Leonard Feather, The Night Blooming Jazzmen  125
    Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Modern Jazz Expressions  126
    Archie Shepp, Plays the Music of James Brown; Cozy Eggleston, Grand Slam  128
    Black Grass, Black Grass  129
    Yoke & Yohs seven-inch  45
    The Bill Dixon Orchestra, Intents and Purposes  132
    Orchestre Régional de Mopti, Orchestre Régional de Mopti  134
    The Jihad, Black & Beautiful . . . Soul & Madness  136
    Milford Graves / Don Pullen, Milford Graves & Don Pullen at Yale University  137
    Heikki Sarmanto Sextet, Flowers in the Water; G.L. Unit, Orangutang!  139
    Ernie and Emilio Caceres, Ernie & Emilio Caceres  141
    Maarten Altena, Papa Oewa  142
    London Experimental Jazz Quartet, Invisible Roots  144
    Sunny Murray, Big Chief; Solidarity Unit, Inc., Red, Black, and Green  146
    Dick Wetmore, Dick Wetmore  147
    United Front, Path with a Heart  149
    Joseph Scianni, Man Running  150
    The Residents, The Beatles Play the Residents and the Residents Play the Beatles  152
    John Carter / Bobby Bradford Quartet, Flight for Four and Self Determination Music  153
    Johnny Lytle Trio, Blue Vibes  155
    Orchid Spangiafora, Flee Pasts Ape Elf  156
    Noah Howard, Space Dimension  158
    Baikida Carroll, The Spoken Word  159
    Randy Weston, Blues  161
    Charles Bobo Shaw Human Arts Ensemble Çonceré Ntasiah  163
    Lee "Scratch" Perry, Double-7  164
    Eddie Shu / Joe Roland / Wild Bill Davis, New Stars—New Sounds  166
    Cecil Taylor / Tony Oxley, Ailanthus / Altissima  167
    Unidentified Kenyan Highlife Band, seven-inch test pressing  169
    Track Five / Specialty of the House  173
    Track Six / Anything Can Happen Day: Sun Ra, Alton Abraham, and the Taming of the Freak  221
    Column Four / 2016
    Le Sun-Ra and his Arkistra, "Saturn" seven-inch single; Tom Prehn Quartet, Axiom  243
    Track Seven / Run-Off Groove  247
    Acknowledgements  249
  • "Vinyl Freak could have easily been a stale trip down memory lane by a record collector. Yet Corbett takes an almost philosophical look at how music passes through listening mediums and what that means for listeners. As a result, the text will appeal to both vinyl freaks and non-freaks as it speaks to the transience of pop culture and its intersection with everyday lives."

    "... since the discussion is at least as much about the music being collected as the vinyl package, there is also a lot of intriguing music in the book. Much (but not all) of it jazz, and all of it worth seeking out: it comes with Corbett's highest recommendation."
     

    "[A] fascinating look at a subculture og hard-core collectors and a gold mine of information about various kinds of music and recording esoterica.... The illustrations of the record covers under review are fascinating and the author's musical savvy is daunting. This lively book could appeal to a wide range of readers."

    "... one of the most readable books about the arcane magic of hunting down and listening to rare and unusual albums, or even rediscovering them from your own collection."

    "As a person who is not quite an over-the-top Sun Ra aficionado but is certainly more than a casual fan, I am forever grateful for Corbett’s obsession. As a person who is always interested in discovering new and obscure music, I am also forever grateful for Corbett and his publisher compiling this collection of reviews. Although I read several of them in their original incarnation in Downbeat, this little book is now my reference guide for music I need to check out. Thanks again, John Corbett."

    "[Corbett's] new book digs deep into the culture of the vinyl lover and digs even deeper into his personal record collection. In the process, he exposes a beautiful and dusty world largely forgotten but kept alive by that dead medium known as the vinyl record."

    "Corbett really is an 'equal opportunity ear filler' and is willing to acquire the music he really enjoys in any format. With Vinyl Freak John Corbett invites us to join him in the pleasure of discovering new sounds to indulge our ears. So what are you waiting for? You’ve been invited. Highly Recommended!"

    "Corbett still has an obscene record collection, but he's realized that his greatest mission is to share and educate—to arrange things so that others can experience the joy that he does. As much as anything I've read by him, Vinyl Freak does precisely that."

    "John Corbett is one of my favourite music writers. This book gathers up his elegaic and highly informative columns for Vinyl Freak magazine along with a series of mediations or essays on his love of music, an engaging mix of autobiography, reflection and storytelling. There are lots of colour pictures of record sleeves too."

    "Corbett unspools his jazz history impressively, and his ear and pen are acutely attuned to each other.... For audiophiles in general with an appreciation of the anomalous, Vinyl Freak will point to singular performances by musicians perhaps unfamiliar to most of us – Staffan Harde, Tristan Meinecke, The Three Souls, Johnny Shacklett, Klaus Doldinger, Paul Smoke Trio, Ernie and Emilio Cacares, Baikida Carroll – and on and on."

    "Corbett's deep knowledge in his chosen fields yields many valuable insights about records you may never have even heard of, let alone heard. Sure, he appreciates the classics, but he favours outliers. Admirably, he wants to broaden the canon (it would behoove readers to keep a notebook handy to tabulate all the records for which they should search).... And that is the motor of Vinyl Freak: an insatiable desire for the next revelatory recording, offering a thrilling portal to discover a hidden facet of your identity through a work of art. And if it impresses your mates or seduces a potential lover, so much the better."

    Reviews

  • "Vinyl Freak could have easily been a stale trip down memory lane by a record collector. Yet Corbett takes an almost philosophical look at how music passes through listening mediums and what that means for listeners. As a result, the text will appeal to both vinyl freaks and non-freaks as it speaks to the transience of pop culture and its intersection with everyday lives."

    "... since the discussion is at least as much about the music being collected as the vinyl package, there is also a lot of intriguing music in the book. Much (but not all) of it jazz, and all of it worth seeking out: it comes with Corbett's highest recommendation."
     

    "[A] fascinating look at a subculture og hard-core collectors and a gold mine of information about various kinds of music and recording esoterica.... The illustrations of the record covers under review are fascinating and the author's musical savvy is daunting. This lively book could appeal to a wide range of readers."

    "... one of the most readable books about the arcane magic of hunting down and listening to rare and unusual albums, or even rediscovering them from your own collection."

    "As a person who is not quite an over-the-top Sun Ra aficionado but is certainly more than a casual fan, I am forever grateful for Corbett’s obsession. As a person who is always interested in discovering new and obscure music, I am also forever grateful for Corbett and his publisher compiling this collection of reviews. Although I read several of them in their original incarnation in Downbeat, this little book is now my reference guide for music I need to check out. Thanks again, John Corbett."

    "[Corbett's] new book digs deep into the culture of the vinyl lover and digs even deeper into his personal record collection. In the process, he exposes a beautiful and dusty world largely forgotten but kept alive by that dead medium known as the vinyl record."

    "Corbett really is an 'equal opportunity ear filler' and is willing to acquire the music he really enjoys in any format. With Vinyl Freak John Corbett invites us to join him in the pleasure of discovering new sounds to indulge our ears. So what are you waiting for? You’ve been invited. Highly Recommended!"

    "Corbett still has an obscene record collection, but he's realized that his greatest mission is to share and educate—to arrange things so that others can experience the joy that he does. As much as anything I've read by him, Vinyl Freak does precisely that."

    "John Corbett is one of my favourite music writers. This book gathers up his elegaic and highly informative columns for Vinyl Freak magazine along with a series of mediations or essays on his love of music, an engaging mix of autobiography, reflection and storytelling. There are lots of colour pictures of record sleeves too."

    "Corbett unspools his jazz history impressively, and his ear and pen are acutely attuned to each other.... For audiophiles in general with an appreciation of the anomalous, Vinyl Freak will point to singular performances by musicians perhaps unfamiliar to most of us – Staffan Harde, Tristan Meinecke, The Three Souls, Johnny Shacklett, Klaus Doldinger, Paul Smoke Trio, Ernie and Emilio Cacares, Baikida Carroll – and on and on."

    "Corbett's deep knowledge in his chosen fields yields many valuable insights about records you may never have even heard of, let alone heard. Sure, he appreciates the classics, but he favours outliers. Admirably, he wants to broaden the canon (it would behoove readers to keep a notebook handy to tabulate all the records for which they should search).... And that is the motor of Vinyl Freak: an insatiable desire for the next revelatory recording, offering a thrilling portal to discover a hidden facet of your identity through a work of art. And if it impresses your mates or seduces a potential lover, so much the better."

  • "John Corbett has the too-rare ability to combine academic rigor with very readable prose, and he tells good stories. As an avid record collector and close listener to a broad array of music, Corbett really knows his subject. You can practically smell the musty cardboard." — Kevin Whitehead, jazz critic for NPR's, Fresh Air

    "People who are just getting into vinyl—or who are returning to it after a long time away—will value John Corbett's enthusiasm, personal approach, and vast knowledge. Even the most diehard jazz enthusiasts, collectors, and crate diggers can learn from Corbett's insights." — Mac McCaughan, member of Superchunk and cofounder of Merge Records

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  • Description

    From scouring flea markets and eBay to maxing out their credit cards, record collectors will do just about anything to score a long-sought-after album. In Vinyl Freak, music writer, curator, and collector John Corbett burrows deep inside the record fiend’s mind, documenting and reflecting on his decades-long love affair with vinyl. Discussing more than 200 rare and out-of-print LPs, Vinyl Freak is composed in part of Corbett's long-running DownBeat magazine column of the same name, which was devoted to records that had not appeared on CD. In other essays where he combines memoir and criticism, Corbett considers the current vinyl boom, explains why vinyl is his preferred medium, profiles collector subcultures, and recounts his adventures assembling the Alton Abraham Sun Ra Archive, an event so all-consuming that he claims it cured his record-collecting addiction. Perfect for vinyl newbies and veteran crate diggers alike, Vinyl Freak plumbs the motivations that drive Corbett and collectors everywhere.

    About The Author(s)

    John Corbett is a music critic, record producer, and curator. He is the author of Microgroove: Forays into Other Music and Extended Play: Sounding Off from John Cage to Dr. Funkenstein, both also published by Duke University Press, and A Listener’s Guide to Free Improvisation. His writing has appeared in DownBeat, Bomb, Nka, and numerous other publications. He is the co-owner of Corbett vs. Dempsey, an art gallery in Chicago.
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