Monday, March 10, 2014

Boyce Brown on Collector's Item

I'll begin this blog as I began my 78 collection, with a never-reissued jazz disc from 1940: "On a Blues Kick"/"I Surrender Dear" on the Collector's Item label.  The personnel is listed on the label, but there is no band name or leader credit.  The letters "BB" appear in the run-off area, though, leading me to believe that Boyce Brown was the leader.

 I've written about the mysterious alto saxophonist Boyce Brown elsewhere, so here I'll just add that this was the record that turned me into a 78 collector.  Several years ago I decided that I wanted to track down all of Brown's meager recorded output, but I soon discovered that this record had never been reissued in any format.  So when I found a copy on Ebay, I bid and won it.  Before the package arrived, I had purchased a late-1960s Miracord turntable, a 78 cartridge, and half a dozen other 78s.

Brown's improvising was imaginative and unique, and he had excellent command of his instrument.  Here are these two rare sides, recorded in Chicago on February 12, 1940.  Also on board are the great Wild Bill Davison on cornet, Mel Henke, a very interesting pianist, bassist Walter Ross, and Joe Kahn on drums. Enjoy!

On a Blues Kick:

I Surrender Dear:

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