The A&M CTi Records

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I just got in a copy of Calling Out Loud, but it wasn't as described (it wasn't sealed, like I usually buy). But I have to give it a spin and see if I'll keep it--the seller agreed to take it back. It was supposed to be a Japanese pressing, but this is a stock A&M. The plus side is that the front foil cover is in excellent shape for its age.
Good going on the cover find!

(I've given up on ever finding an affordable NM cover for this one. Once an SS came into the store I worked at in the late '80s -- so by this time it was 20 years old. Although it was sealed, it still exhibited abrasions and scratching, which makes me think the exterior surface must be quite fragile (or it was re-sealed). In any event, I have a fine LP (NM) and my jacket is OK (VG+); I'm just going to have to be satisfied with that...for now ~.)
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I doubt I could find a clean 1964 copy for a reasonable price at this point--some of those fetch a high price these days. But the upcoming Classic Vinyl series reissue, due out on the 15th, was mastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray, so I'll see how that one sounds. This current version I'm playing at the moment is a hi-res download, so it shouldn't be too far off the mark. (Or, at least I'd hope they would have used the original tape for this version.)

It's kind of a secondary issue with this album, though--the music's so good on it that I kind of put it out of my mind after a minute or two.
I have a few Kevin Grey CDs; for example, he did all the Steve Wonder '70s CDs for Audio Fidelity years ago. Based on those, I like his work.

(I have the same approach with essentially all the Blue Notes... The first few notes -- Yup, it's an RVG Blue Note -- then Wayne Shorter or Jackie McLean or Blue Kenny Dorham play a few notes and nothing else matters...)
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
This one is queued up, once I'm done listening to John Klemmer's Involvement.

Uv5AZ9t.png
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Good going on the cover find!
Turns out the cover was the only good part of it. First examination, the vinyl didn't quite look NM...but upon playing it, I would barely give it a VG-. Going right back to the seller. And I'm off to try to find another.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
What a time I've had with CALLING OUT LOUD by Nat Adderley. Like James, my copy was pretty well VG++ and didn't need much in the way of clean-up. The cover was a little sadder - the silvering was showing signs of wear, but not as bad as some I've seen pictures of on the web. The worst part was that the cover's title and artist (black printing) was fading into the silvering. I don't know if it was that way from the factory or just wearing that way. But that wasn't the biggest problem for me. In fact, to make the CD-R artwork, I copied the picture only and made my own white background that looks more in line with most of the A&M CTi's.

NatAdderleyCallingCover.jpg
What confounded me was the track timings and where to break the sides into "songs". The whole of both sides run completely together with no breaks, and the track timings have some anomalies that make it near-impossible to know where the dividing line should be.

Example, Side One.

"Biafra" is listed in the gatefold at 6:30, and my digital rip comes in at 6:31. No problem.
"Haifa" is listed at 4:50. but to my ears, the break would put it at 4:56. Again, I can live with that.
"St. M" and "Grey Moss" are the two that gave me fits. "St. M" is listed at 3:30, but my senses tell me that it's longer, going to 3:48.
"Grey Moss" though is the worst, listing itself as 5:00, when there just isn't that much material left on the side. Even the banding on the record tells me that. So it came in at 3:33, if my identification of the break is where it should be.

Side two was a little better, but the first track sounded like it should be 6:10 instead of the listed 6:00.

Too OCD?
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I'd just find the rare CD at that point. 😁

I found a sealed US copy for half of what I paid for the turd I received, and that'll be on the way to me today or tomorrow. It's a promo so, unfortunately, it will have the sticker on the front, but at least it will be an early pressing.

For the lettering, it could be that it is fading. With the copy I have here, in the right light, the background looks white and the letters are crisp. But it is a tough one to photograph. I took this one with Night Sight enabled but was too lazy to get up and turn on more lights, so it's a bit blurry from holding the phone steady:

PXL_20210104_035748187.NIGHT-01.jpeg

And it looks horrible with flash, as expected:

PXL_20210104_035602339-02.jpeg

I'd get out the DSLR but, again, I'm too lazy and I don't have any other motivation to get a photo of it.
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
It's a promo so, unfortunately, it will have the sticker on the front, but at least it will be an early pressing.
I wonder if it's a mono promo? Sometimes it's hard to tell.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Turns out the cover was the only good part of it. First examination, the vinyl didn't quite look NM...but upon playing it, I would barely give it a VG-. Going right back to the seller. And I'm off to try to find another.
Oh! Sorry to hear that. (This may be the most challenging A&M/CTi to find... as a complete visual package.)
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
What a time I've had with CALLING OUT LOUD by Nat Adderley...What confounded me was the track timings and where to break the sides into "songs". The whole of both sides run completely together with no breaks, and the track timings have some anomalies that make it near-impossible to know where the dividing line should be.

Example, Side One.

"Biafra" is listed in the gatefold at 6:30, and my digital rip comes in at 6:31. No problem.
"Haifa" is listed at 4:50. but to my ears, the break would put it at 4:56. Again, I can live with that.
"St. M" and "Grey Moss" are the two that gave me fits. "St. M" is listed at 3:30, but my senses tell me that it's longer, going to 3:48.
"Grey Moss" though is the worst, listing itself as 5:00, when there just isn't that much material left on the side. Even the banding on the record tells me that. So it came in at 3:33, if my identification of the break is where it should be.

Side two was a little better, but the first track sounded like it should be 6:10 instead of the listed 6:00.

Too OCD?
Nope! Not at all. (Ever wonder if any of these folks realized that collecting their LPs would become a lifetime occupation to a bunch of '60s kids?)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Yeah, there are a few YouTube tracks out there that seem to be mono, so I thought it might have been issued that way. Of course, with YouTube, you can never know what route the track has taken to get where it is. I've heard a few tracks that only had a right or left channel up there.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
It's interesting that the mono copies have the red print "Monaural" sticker and larger sticker with the suggested track list, but the images of the stereo promo version have only the small promo sticker. I have the seller checking it for me--haven't heard back, but I'm hoping he didn't sell it from his store in the meantime. (It's not like there's a rush on this title.)

I'm hoping this one arrives. 😉

1609771832988.png


...I knew I had one of these around here somewhere (down in the dungeon!)

Aside from the stickers, the foil is in nice shape!
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Thread Starter
Since we're comparing covers, here's a picture I just took of mine. As you can see, the silvering is largely in nice shape, but the ring-wear at the top mars the artists name. Underneath that, the "CALLING OUT LOUD" seems to have been either printed too lightly, or it's part of the same ring-wear.

This one also has a raggedy punch hole in the top left, indicating a cut-out.

NatAdderlyCallingOutLoudLPCover3.jpg
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
That's likely part of the ring wear--the foil is difficult to print on, and not all inks will adhere that well.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Harry, yours sure beats my current star performer. I'd call my jacket VG (I'm downgrading the LP itself to VG++ given the presence of a few very minor marks).

(Speaking of grading, notice how in the past 15 years the new "vinyl crowd" has inflated LP grades? Back in the '80s Fair and Good actually had meaning. The '80s FAIR = Today's VG-; the '80s GOOD = Today's VG...and so on. The worst offenders are those who buy a garage full of junky LPs then dump 'em on ebay at VG/VG+...I guess to them, if it's black, has groves and a whole in the middle it's VG.)


DSC01408.jpg
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I agree on the condition ratings--Goldmine still has the same standards, but apparently many sellers don't. I just got a shipment of four LPs today, and I believe the one unsealed LP was rated as NM...and sure enough, it actually is NM. Beyond dust in the grooves, there isn't a mark on it. (I haven't heard this LP since I was a kid, so it'll be a memory lane trip for certain.) The Nat Adderley was also graded NM, but is absolutely awful--I'm shipping it back tomorrow. (Wrong pressing from what was advertised, and maybe VG- at best for condition.) The seller was very understanding though, and immediately offered to take it back.

1609900627255.png

One sore spot with me is that records are visual graded and not play graded. Although I understand why--a seller with 10,000 LPs listed for sale cannot play every single one. And many record stores aren't as particular as I am--what a record store might call a "nice player" has a few crackles in it, like my copy of the rare Sergio Mendes Quiet Nights LP.

The reason I prefer play grading is that I have literally dozens of LPs that look fine, but they have enough groove wear that to me, are not anything I'd ever play again. I may see if my youngest wants them when she moves to her own place, but otherwise I may just end up donating everything to the record shop a few blocks from our house. I don't feel they are worth selling. I've replaced almost all with sealed copies, and in a few cases, with better used copies.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I have a Tamiko Jones in my cart but can't seem to press the Checkout button just yet...
...Well, gentlemen, after similar agonizing, I finally managed to press "checkout" on one of these (SS cutout) -- I had to, it completes my collection! As for the music -- well, I'm actually OK with that sort of thing...to a point...here's where Creed's keep-it-under-thirty-two-minutes directive works in my favour. (The irony, of course, is that had Tamiko issued this LP on RCA, or A&M for that matter, I wouldn't be bothered with it; furthermore, it isn't representative of A&M/CTi -- though, I suppose it fits the bill as a decent 1-2-punch with the Barbary.)
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I agree on the condition ratings--Goldmine still has the same standards, but apparently many sellers don't. I just got a shipment of four LPs today, and I believe the one unsealed LP was rated as NM...and sure enough, it actually is NM. Beyond dust in the grooves, there isn't a mark on it. (I haven't heard this LP since I was a kid, so it'll be a memory lane trip for certain.) The Nat Adderley was also graded NM, but is absolutely awful--I'm shipping it back tomorrow. (Wrong pressing from what was advertised, and maybe VG- at best for condition.) The seller was very understanding though, and immediately offered to take it back.

View attachment 6291

One sore spot with me is that records are visual graded and not play graded. Although I understand why--a seller with 10,000 LPs listed for sale cannot play every single one. And many record stores aren't as particular as I am--what a record store might call a "nice player" has a few crackles in it, like my copy of the rare Sergio Mendes Quiet Nights LP.

The reason I prefer play grading is that I have literally dozens of LPs that look fine, but they have enough groove wear that to me, are not anything I'd ever play again. I may see if my youngest wants them when she moves to her own place, but otherwise I may just end up donating everything to the record shop a few blocks from our house. I don't feel they are worth selling. I've replaced almost all with sealed copies, and in a few cases, with better used copies.
-Oh, good grief! Looks more like a candidate for GOOD or FAIR.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
-Oh, good grief! Looks more like a candidate for GOOD or FAIR.
It could have been VG- but the stylus got stuck on that big gouge and I pulled the record off. The seller is still apologizing profusely--he and a co-worker are in on the account together, and it was not one of his records. No worries here--I'm getting refunded.

I agree the Tamiko Jones and Richard Barbary don't really fit the CTI mold, but I got the impression that since Taylor now had his own label, he was experimenting a bit to find a direction for the label. I actually liked Tamiko's album more than I thought I would--she has a bit huskier voice than others and there's some decent soul music on the record. Same with Barbary's. In fact I think I mentioned earlier that the newcomer Leon Bridges reminds me of Barbary's style in a way. I like Barbary's unusual treatment of "Nature Boy." I do hear the Creed Taylor touch on some of the tracks on both albums, but not on all of them.

I'm debating getting the rest of the A&M/CTi records on vinyl, but I already have just about all of the digital releases from over the years, so I've heard pretty much the entire catalog. I only have one more missing piece to acquire. (Actually, two....until my Nat Adderley replacement shows up.)

I will say that exploring the post-A&M CTi catalog has been really interesting. I feel as though Taylor's style really gelled by the time he was ready to depart A&M.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
It could have been VG- but the stylus got stuck on that big gouge and I pulled the record off. The seller is still apologizing profusely--he and a co-worker are in on the account together, and it was not one of his records. No worries here--I'm getting refunded.

I agree the Tamiko Jones and Richard Barbary don't really fit the CTI mold, but I got the impression that since Taylor now had his own label, he was experimenting a bit to find a direction for the label. I actually liked Tamiko's album more than I thought I would--she has a bit huskier voice than others and there's some decent soul music on the record. Same with Barbary's. In fact I think I mentioned earlier that the newcomer Leon Bridges reminds me of Barbary's style in a way. I like Barbary's unusual treatment of "Nature Boy." I do hear the Creed Taylor touch on some of the tracks on both albums, but not on all of them.

I'm debating getting the rest of the A&M/CTi records on vinyl, but I already have just about all of the digital releases from over the years, so I've heard pretty much the entire catalog. I only have one more missing piece to acquire. (Actually, two....until my Nat Adderley replacement shows up.)

I will say that exploring the post-A&M CTi catalog has been really interesting. I feel as though Taylor's style really gelled by the time he was ready to depart A&M.
Ever heard Ketty Lester/When A Woman Loves a Man (Tower/'66) or any of Patti Drew's 4 CAP LPs ('67-'69)? You may like these if you like the Jones LP.

I agree on Nature Boy -- just wish that Eric Gale would have given us a guitar solo in that middle section before they release to go back to the head, but I guess they wanted it to be "DJ length".

I have a mixture of CDs and LPs -- tried to get most of the CDs in the old tri-fold late '80s A&M issues, Japanese mini LP gatefolds, or otherwise a digipak; not all were issued like that or are simply too expensive...

According to Doug Payne's site, Creed, though still issuing sessions for A&M, cut a couple 1969 sessions that went to CTi. My favourite is the Kathy McCord s/t LP (CT-1001) -- it's a solid pop record that may have had a better chance had it came out on a pop label.

Ever heard of Village Music? It was the "go-to" LP store in the San Francisco bay area in the '80s/'90s (apparently someone even produced a documentary film of the joint years ago). Round about 1995 I went over with my list of a few A&M CTi LPs I was after. I told John (the owner...who always seemed a bit cantankerous, but was always helpful) that there were actually about 30 LPs issued...his mumbled response: "I didn't know they made that many". In any event he helped be find the elusive Artie Butler, both Tamba 4 LPs (at the time I didn't know of the 2nd one -- but he did!), and a couple others. Of course, in those pre-internet days I didn't have a complete list and was unaware of the Wanderley LPs and Milton's LP among others.
 

LPJim

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Herbie Mann is indeed the mystery solo 'Fluteman' on SP 3009. He played a concert in town back in 1993 with his Jasil Braz ensemble at a small theater. Afterwards -- as most jazz artists did -- he hung out in the lobby to talk with any fans who wished to hang around. He told us he started with Atlantic in the early 60's. The stint with A&M/CTI was brief 1967-68, after which he returned to Atlantic in '69 for his 'MEMPHIS UNDERGROUND' album. Playing anonymously on 'TRUST IN ME' allowed him to complete the two-album deal without violating terms of his Atlantic contract. Wish I had brought a camera that evening but didn't think of it. The only other detail I recall is Jobim's "Lamento" being part of the band's set.

JB
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
he stint with A&M/CTI was brief 1967-68,
Thanks, LPJim. I was always curious about this. The stint was apparently so short that there was obvious hiatus in Atlantic LP session work! According to the Wikipedia entries, recording sessions for both labels overlapped during the A&M/CTi period, JUL67 to MAR68.

(I had a chance to observe a Herbie Mann rehearsal in 1992 at a local university. I couldn't afford to see the concert, but a trumpeter friend of mine who was playing as a guest musician at the gig gave me a head's up. I recall Herbie taking a break and walking through the dark theatre muttering "someone needs to take charge in that rhythm section...". It was obvious the rehearsal wasn't going well. I also remember Herbie admonishing the pianist when, during a tacit section the pianist decided to ad lib a little "latin percussion": Herbie stopped the band and essentially said either play what I wrote or go home! My friend got me into the wings of the show and Herbie was great. The trap dummer took charge, the pianist was behaved and my trumpeter friend was nailing it. Fine show!)
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Looks like the stars were aligned. Calling Out Loud landed here a couple of hours ago. 1) It's sealed. 2) It's not a promo copy; no stickers on the jacket. 👍 3) Stereo! 4) The cover only looks slightly worn beneath the shrink. 5) The LP is, of course, untouched and in an original innersleeve with the CTi catalog up through SP-3018 featured on it.

I have one more to grab from the earlier CTis, then I'll have the collection completed. I still may try to get vinyl of those copies I have in digital (who can resist the cover art?), especially if it's the AM+ series.

I'm still amazed I can find sealed records that are decades old, for mostly reasonable prices. I have two early John Klemmer LPs headed my way also, to replace ratty local copies I got back in the 90s.

Yet I can't find a copy of the Blue Note Classic Vinyl release of Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder, released only last month, that is already sold out! (The price gouger flippers are approaching $50 and beyond for what is essentially a $24.99 LP.)
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Looks like the stars were aligned. Calling Out Loud landed here a couple of hours ago. 1) It's sealed. 2) It's not a promo copy; no stickers on the jacket. 👍 3) Stereo! 4) The cover only looks slightly worn beneath the shrink. 5) The LP is, of course, untouched and in an original innersleeve with the CTi catalog up through SP-3018 featured on it.

I have one more to grab from the earlier CTis, then I'll have the collection completed. I still may try to get vinyl of those copies I have in digital (who can resist the cover art?), especially if it's the AM+ series.
Way to go on the Nat.

Though not as exciting as your find, my SS Tamiko Jones arrived 3 hours ago, as well; so, I'm now done with A&M/CTi releases.


DSC01421.jpg
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
We probably have two of the last few sealed Tamiko Jones LPs in the world. 😁
 
Top Bottom