Duke Pearson – The Phantom – first pressing on Blue Note label

The Phantom cover front

The Phantom: cover front (click for larger image)

After spending many months searching for a first pressing of an album called The Phantom by jazz musician and composer Duke Pearson, released on the legendary Blue Note label in 1968, I finally acquired a copy from a dealer in the US. During my search I came across one or two copies for sale on the web, but they were either re-issues or first pressings in poor condition. I was holding out for a nice clean first pressing. I was on the verge of giving up hope and settling for a re-issue when a first pressing came up for sale on eBay…still sealed in the original shrink wrap. Hallelujah! There was no way I was going to be outbid.
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Ed Lincoln – Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular

Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular album cover - front

Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular (click for larger image)

I recently discovered the work of Ed Lincoln while trawling through websites dedicated to rare exotica and lounge music vinyl from the 1950s and 1960s. When I came across an image of the cover for Ed Lincoln’s album Seu Piano E Seu Orgão Espetacular, I was so taken with it, I got straight onto YouTube to see if I could find any music clips. I had to know if the album sounded as spectacular as the cover promised. I found a few clips and, bingo, the music was utterly joyous. For the next couple of weeks I spent an hour or two every night after work searching online in the hope of finding a copy for sale somewhere. Eventually, I acquired an original (1963) vinyl pressing in great condition from a dealer in Brazil. Happy days.
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Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting – book review

Dust & Grooves book cover

Dust & Grooves: cover (click for larger image)

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting, by Eilon Paz, is a lavishly illustrated, 436-page coffee-table book that explores and celebrates the fascinating and varied vinyl record collections of over 130 collectors. Published in 2014, the first edition sold out pretty quickly. I got the updated and extended second edition as a Christmas present.  I haven’t been able to put it down.
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Record Revirginizer – a neat way to clean vinyl

Record Revirginizer

Record Revirginizer (click for larger image)

Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of methods for cleaning vinyl records. Some more effective than others. Yesterday I tried a product called RECORD REViRGiNiZER, with excellent results.

RECORD REViRGiNiZER is a liquid polymer for pouring onto the surface of a record and massaging into the grooves. After leaving to dry for a few hours it can be peeled away, like a facemask, taking with it ground-in debris, mould, dust, dirt and other contaminants.
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Deja Vu – not an experience I’d care to repeat

Deja Vu album cover

Deja Vu album cover (click for larger image)

Yesterday I spent the afternoon at a vinyl emporium which specialises in the rare and collectable. After flipping through records for a couple of hours I came across something special. Something I’d been after for years:
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Tsar Bomba release EP

Tsar Bomba EP cover

Tsar Bomba EP cover (click for larger version)

My son plays in a band called Tsar Bomba which recently released an EP called “Bastard Behind The Eyes”. The band has started to generate a bit of a buzz, so I thought it was about time I stopped worrying about nepotism and gave the boys a little exposure. Here’s the EP, a few facts and no value judgements.
(Listen to the EP and read more…)

Marshall Custom JTM Offset – review

Marshall Custom JTM Offset

Marshall Custom JTM Offset head (click for larger image)

I’m a big fan of Fender amps. I own a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III, which has been my amp of choice for several years. So why did I buy a 1-Watt Marshall Custom JTM Offset? Quite simply, it looks beautiful, sounds glorious and can be cranked at home without blowing the windows out. What’s not to love?
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Dragon’s Heart Guitar Picks – review

Dragon's Heart Pick

Dragon’s Heart Pick (click for larger image)

Guitar picks have a significant impact on tone and playability, but their importance is often overlooked. They come in a bewildering array of shapes, sizes and materials. Over the years, I have experimented with countless varieties in an attempt to find one that really suits me, but I have never been completely satisfied with any pick I’ve tried. So when I was contacted by Corey W. Bell and asked if I’d to review his Dragon’s Heart Guitar Picks I visited the Dragon’s Heart website to find out more. I was interested, but not overwhelmed with excitement. The picks looked weird, seemed way too thick and were made from a core material I’d never heard of. How wrong can you be? The first time I used one was something of a revelation.
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Fender Stratocaster and Routemaster bus 60th anniversay collaboration

Routemaster themed Stratocaster

Routemaster themed Stratocaster

Fender and Transport for London are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Stratocaster guitar and London’s famous Routemaster bus. The two companies are partnering on a bus emblazoned with Stratocaster imagery, which will serve London’s 24 bus route, and 25 limited edition Stratocaster guitars, which incorporate key design features of the iconic double-decker.
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Fender releases ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb

Fender '68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb

Fender ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb (click for larger image)

Hot on the heels of the popular ’68 Custom Twin Reverb, ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb and ’68 Custom Princeton Reverb amps, Fender has just announced a new addition to the Vintage Modified Series: a 35-watt, 2×10 Silverface combo –  the ’68 Custom Vibrolux Reverb.
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