The Now Spinning/Recent Purchases Thread

JOv2

Well-Known Member
e're lucky that we had two bands in high school. It was difficult to get into symphonic band--only a select few were chosen. The rest went to the concert band. Our director pushed us quite hard--symphonic band was not the easy gig.
Great read. Thanks! The HS I attended was definitely a cut below yours. Our director used to play in those Vega$ pit bands in the '60s so he had a foot in site reading chops, a foot in lounge-jazz, a foot in schmaltz, and a foot in😃😃IT'S SHOWTIME, PEOPLE, LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!😃😃. I didn't align with his musical vision so I didn't really learn much from the overall program. I took private lessons (trumpet and organ) and learned all dots and lines and stuff there. College was better overall, but by that time I was so strung out on the likes of Kenny Dorham and Freddie Hubbard that I could no longer play in the orchestral ensembles. (By this time I had been irreversibly cursed by you know...the natural tendency to swing notes and such and I just could no longer play it 100% straight as written -- I had learned to relax and play "loose and tight" (jazz) using the written music as a guide, as opposed to "rigid and tight" where the obvious requirement is to play the score as written and then as further edited by the conductor.)
 

Rudy

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Our junior high band director was sort of like that--his symphonic band was always bloated in size (granted, we did have a lot of band students, so both bands were packed to the gills), and in our senior year of high school after our favored director was let go, our symphonic band also bloated in size and we played more of the typical band arrangements under his baton. And his heart wasn't in it, due to how the district was treating him. Honestly, I should have dropped band class and went to work an hour earlier. I only stuck it out due to the social aspect of it. Many of us from band (especially the jazz band) are still close, even though it's rare we can get together.
 

Rudy

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Putzing around Qobuz this evening and this popped up as a recommendation--Os Gatos (1964):

1630554734021.png

This is one of those stylized covers from Philips, mimicking the stark high-contrast black and white cover art from Elenco. The two labels' aesthetic were similar back in these days. Os Gatos appears to be a vehicle for guitarist Durval Ferreira, as his compositions make up the bulk of the album. Aside from Ferreira and Deodato, none of the other names are all that familiar to me. (Except for Neco--he appears on guitar on the Luiz Eça & Cordas album.)

Acoustic Guitar, Guitar – Durval Ferreira
Alto Saxophone – Paulo Moura
Bass – Sérgio Barrozo*
Drums – Wilson das Neves
Flute – Copinha
Guitar – Neco
Harmonica – Maurício Einhorn*
Piano, Arranged By – Eumir Deodato
Tenor Saxophone – J. T. Meireles*
Trombone – Honorato*, Edson Maciel
Trumpet – Maurílio Santos

How's the music? Quite good. I'd say it's a cross between earlier Sergio Mendes and Tamba Trio, with extra instrumentation and a laid-back Bossa Nova groove. You'll recognize "São Salvadore" from Tamba 4's Samba Blim, and "Tristeza de Nos Dois)" has appeared on quite a few albums. "Canadian Sunset" is a cover of the American tune.



Going to have to purchase the download of this one...
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Gentlemen, I'm on hiatus for about six or so weeks owing to a music room remodel...

DSC02007.jpg



With the hi-fi in temporary storage, I've decided to take a YouTube stroll down Muzak Lane looking to audition some of those nameless "in-store music" instrumentals that plagued millions of American shoppers during the '60s and '70s. (The specimen below seems right out of Williams Bros. or Jordano's markets in Santa Barbara round about 1973.)

 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Gentlemen, I'm on hiatus for about six or so weeks owing to a music room remodel...

DSC02007.jpg



With the hi-fi in temporary storage, I've decided to take a YouTube stroll down Muzak Lane looking to audition some of those nameless "in-store music" instrumentals that plagued millions of American shoppers during the '60s and '70s. (The specimen below seems right out of Williams Bros. or Jordano's markets in Santa Barbara round about 1973.)

I love this kind of music, but then again, I was only a little toddler in the '70s, so I don't have the same memories as some people who perhaps can't stand hearing it again nowadays :D It's actually quite nice now to play some of it while working or even relaxing, nice and uplifting and not distracting (at least *I* think so 🤠) 🌞

Good luck with the music room transformation! 💪🎵
 

Rudy

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With the hi-fi in temporary storage, I've decided to take a YouTube stroll down Muzak Lane looking to audition some of those nameless "in-store music" instrumentals that plagued millions of American shoppers during the '60s and '70s.
It's interesting how that generic music caught on as background in public places. Often well known tunes, but performed with shmaltzy strings and cup-muted trumpets, far as I remember.

It wasn't quite Muzak, but at a resort we used to stay at in Canada in the mid 70s, I specifically remember "Up A Lazy River" redone with piano and strings. It would play once a day when we were in the main lodge, and it happened year after year. I later saw behind the front desk that they had a reel deck playing the lodge's background music at a low speed (probably 1⅞ IPS). It made me wonder if they had a stack of the same tape that they'd replace if one wore out, or if it was the same one played 24/7/365 for several year. 😁 (They were too far up in the Laurentian mountains to get reliable radio reception, and this was before the days of affordable satellite.)
 

Harry

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Back in the 60s and throughout at least the 70s, there were quite a few radio stations with successful formats playing mostly schmaltzy background instrumentals. Lots of 101 Strings, Paul Mauriat, Percy Faith, and a whole bunch of others. Yep - almost always familiar tunes, but soft enough to be total background musical wallpaper.

One of those stations in Philadelphia had early call letters of WDVR. I think the call letters were supposed to represent Delaware Valley Radio.WDVR.jpg
They were located at 101.1 of the FM dial and always had a good, powerful signal, and they were forever one of those Musak-type stations. One of their big promotional pushes had them hook up with a radio manufacturer to make high-quality-sounding receivers that were locked onto 101.1 FM. Stores, dentists and doctors' offices were flooded with these radios - and they lasted for years. Nice wood-veneer cabinets and decent-sounding speakers played this 101.1 FM station forever. You could hear the in the gift shops because the little old ladies working there could tolerate a nice, schmaltzy version of "Light My Fire".

They pretty much demolished the competition on other FMs as one by one, they fell by the wayside, switching to all manner of more foreground formats like MOR/AC or country or even hard rock. By then it was the 80s, and this station, locally owned, decided to update its format a little bit. Now that there was no schmaltzy competition, they decided to filter in a few vocal tracks. At first it was one per half-hour, then once per quarter-hour, then maybe every other song, until they finally got rid of the instrumentals pretty much altogether.

They went through a few different sets of call letters - next up was WEAZ (for "Easy 101") - and then they chose WBEB (for "Bee 101") with a mascot of a happy-looking bee. By this time, their format was a near mirror of the station I worked for - pretty much straight ahead Adult Contemporary. Two other stations in the market also glommed onto the format and most of the stations lost audience as it was split four ways.

But - B-101 had a killer fact that all of those dedicated radios were still out there in the card stores and the drug stores and the doctors and dentists' offices. Basically, any of those still functioning, well-built radios were still out there and the owners didn't really care what it played, as long as it wasn't too raucous. Those radios basically demolished the competition once again as the ratings for B-101 always had them on top. By the mid 90s, my station threw in the towel and switched from AC to an all-70s format with a heavier rock emphasis. That morphed into a Classic Hits and then a Classic Rock station where it is to this day.

Those drug-store radios were a secret weapon that other stations just couldn't overcome. I think that the forty+ year old radios finally started to fail and disappear with the passage of time. The local owners finally sold off the station in the 2010's, and it's now part of the the CBS/Entercom/Audacy chain, and the ratings for this still AC station have leveled off to something more approachable. They still kill in the Christmas music format every December. But it all started with that elevator music.
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Back in the 60s and throughout at least the 70s, there were quite a few radio stations with successful formats playing mostly schmaltzy background instrumentals. Lots of 101 Strings, Paul Mauriat, Percy Faith, and a whole bunch of others. Yep - almost always familiar tunes, but soft enough to be total background musical wallpaper.

One of those stations in Philadelphia had early call letters of WDVR. I think the call letters were supposed to represent Delaware Valley Radio.View attachment 6903
They were located at 101.1 of the FM dial and always had a good, powerful signal, and they were forever one of those Musak-type stations. One of their big promotional pushes had them hook up with a radio manufacturer to make high-quality-sounding receivers that were locked onto 101.1 FM. Stores, dentists and doctors' offices were flooded with these radios - and they lasted for years. Nice wood-veneer cabinets and decent-sounding speakers played this 101.1 FM station forever. You could hear the in the gift shops because the little old ladies working there could tolerate a nice, schmaltzy version of "Light My Fire".

They pretty much demolished the competition on other FMs as one by one, they fell by the wayside, switching to all manner of more foreground formats like MOR/AC or country or even hard rock. By then it was the 80s, and this station, locally owned, decided to update its format a little bit. Now that there was no schmaltzy competition, they decided to filter in a few vocal tracks. At first it was one per half-hour, then once per quarter-hour, then maybe every other song, until they finally got rid of the instrumentals pretty much altogether.

They went through a few different sets of call letters - next up was WEAZ (for "Easy 101") - and then they chose WBEB (for "Bee 101") with a mascot of a happy-looking bee. By this time, their format was a near mirror of the station I worked for - pretty much straight ahead Adult Contemporary. Two other stations in the market also glommed onto the format and most of the stations lost audience as it was split four ways.

But - B-101 had a killer fact that all of those dedicated radios were still out there in the card stores and the drug stores and the doctors and dentists' offices. Basically, any of those still functioning, well-built radios were still out there and the owners didn't really care what it played, as long as it wasn't too raucous. Those radios basically demolished the competition once again as the ratings for B-101 always had them on top. By the mid 90s, my station threw in the towel and switched from AC to an all-70s format with a heavier rock emphasis. That morphed into a Classic Hits and then a Classic Rock station where it is to this day.

Those drug-store radios were a secret weapon that other stations just couldn't overcome. I think that the forty+ year old radios finally started to fail and disappear with the passage of time. The local owners finally sold off the station in the 2010's, and it's now part of the the CBS/Entercom/Audacy chain, and the ratings for this still AC station have leveled off to something more approachable. They still kill in the Christmas music format every December. But it all started with that elevator music.
Found one of their shows from 1972 here:

WDVR June 4, 1972 (Mixcloud)

Nice, relaxing stuff, listening to it now. Makes me feel like maybe I should get away, take myself a holiday ⛵ 🏖️
I like that electric organ around the 8 minute mark (could do without the lalala's though 🙃 )

Have to admit, when I first saw those call letters, I read it like "whatever" 😳
 

Rudy

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We had a couple of easy listening stations in the area up to about the early 80s. In fact, the radio at the office was tuned into one of them, and someone had placed a tiny sticker under the dial where this station was. That one was the first to fall by the wayside, and we had to tune to the other channel. I recall that one ended a few years later. I wish I had been there when the secretary came in to open the office and came across some wild hits station as opposed to the snooze music. 🤣

I hated working to that stuff. The musician in me was annoyed at the arrangements that butchered the originals, and the overall mood of the office was sleepy if not narcoleptic, and it wasn't easy to stay motivated with that sleepiness pouring out of the speakers. Never liked that music. Never will.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
I later saw behind the front desk that they had a reel deck playing the lodge's background music at a low speed (probably 1⅞ IPS)
More like 15/16 ips 🥴

As a kid I always tried to find the speakers in the stores but never saw the nerve center as it were. Until satellite technology, a couple ultra-slow RtR decks were surely the norm.

...Nice wood-veneer cabinets and decent-sounding speakers played this 101.1 FM station forever...
Now that's funny! Seriously, that was quite an interesting story -- as well as an excellent campaign/gimmick. (I'm sure some PR guy received a handsome bonus for that idea -- you know, something a couple of steps above the usual barometer/temperature/clock trio in polished, hand-crafted mahogany)

I wish I had been there when the secretary came in to open the office and came across some wild hits station as opposed to the snooze music. 🤣
Man, I always sabotaged the neighbor's radios and hi-fis when given half a chance 🙄. It only took a quick turn of the volume knob to set a tube amp to launch into the 105 dB stratosphere during its warm-up. A great avocation I would say for an eight-year-old who had only three interests: records, stereos, and trumpets.

...I hated working to that stuff...
Welcome to 1970s music hell.
 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Back in the 60s and throughout at least the 70s, there were quite a few radio stations with successful formats playing mostly schmaltzy background instrumentals. Lots of 101 Strings, Paul Mauriat, Percy Faith, and a whole bunch of others. Yep - almost always familiar tunes, but soft enough to be total background musical wallpaper.

One of those stations in Philadelphia had early call letters of WDVR. I think the call letters were supposed to represent Delaware Valley Radio.View attachment 6903
They were located at 101.1 of the FM dial and always had a good, powerful signal, and they were forever one of those Musak-type stations. One of their big promotional pushes had them hook up with a radio manufacturer to make high-quality-sounding receivers that were locked onto 101.1 FM. Stores, dentists and doctors' offices were flooded with these radios - and they lasted for years. Nice wood-veneer cabinets and decent-sounding speakers played this 101.1 FM station forever. You could hear the in the gift shops because the little old ladies working there could tolerate a nice, schmaltzy version of "Light My Fire".

They pretty much demolished the competition on other FMs as one by one, they fell by the wayside, switching to all manner of more foreground formats like MOR/AC or country or even hard rock. By then it was the 80s, and this station, locally owned, decided to update its format a little bit. Now that there was no schmaltzy competition, they decided to filter in a few vocal tracks. At first it was one per half-hour, then once per quarter-hour, then maybe every other song, until they finally got rid of the instrumentals pretty much altogether.

They went through a few different sets of call letters - next up was WEAZ (for "Easy 101") - and then they chose WBEB (for "Bee 101") with a mascot of a happy-looking bee. By this time, their format was a near mirror of the station I worked for - pretty much straight ahead Adult Contemporary. Two other stations in the market also glommed onto the format and most of the stations lost audience as it was split four ways.

But - B-101 had a killer fact that all of those dedicated radios were still out there in the card stores and the drug stores and the doctors and dentists' offices. Basically, any of those still functioning, well-built radios were still out there and the owners didn't really care what it played, as long as it wasn't too raucous. Those radios basically demolished the competition once again as the ratings for B-101 always had them on top. By the mid 90s, my station threw in the towel and switched from AC to an all-70s format with a heavier rock emphasis. That morphed into a Classic Hits and then a Classic Rock station where it is to this day.

Those drug-store radios were a secret weapon that other stations just couldn't overcome. I think that the forty+ year old radios finally started to fail and disappear with the passage of time. The local owners finally sold off the station in the 2010's, and it's now part of the the CBS/Entercom/Audacy chain, and the ratings for this still AC station have leveled off to something more approachable. They still kill in the Christmas music format every December. But it all started with that elevator music.
Here in the inland pacific northwest I remember several Easy muzak type fm stations I loved to hear and my mom always had her car radio tuned to In the late 70s until the 80s in the Twin Falls/Magic Valley area we had KFMA 102.9 and KEZJ 95.7 Sadly KFMA switched to Adult contemporary in 1977 KEZJ switched to country in 1979 and still is then people began getting fm antennas to pull in Boise's top Easy listening Fm there was KBOI FM 97.9 ( Now it's KQFC AND Became country in 1985) and KBXL 94.1 In Caldwell which switched to Christian talk in the mid 90s and Finally the two standouts were in Boise KHEZ FM EZ 103.1 Which lasted from 1987 to 1992 ( and changed to top 40) and closer to where I live we had KOZE FM 96.5 IN Lewiston idaho which changed to top 40 in 1988 when their source of muzak went out of business and the last one was IN Spokane WA which had a powerful enough signal for cable to rebroadcast KXLY FM 99.9 (branded FM100) they held on to the mix of muzak jazz and adult contemporary until 1992 when they began playing what they called "Continuous soft hits" this continued until the late 2000s and today they are known as Coyote country Thankfully I got most of the music I heard played on these stations over the years I've been and still am a fan of this stuff it keeps me young because thanks to the radio being set on these kind of Stations ( thanks to my dear mother) it opened my ears to varieties of music
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Just downloaded 8 Cliff Richard from Apple iTunes from 1976 "I'm Nearly Famous" to late 1983 "Silver" (all 8 with bonus tracks). Cliff will be 81 years old on October 14.
 

Rudy

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Welcome to 1970s music hell.
My beef was more with the canned music (aka Muzak), and elsewhere, the string arrangements where they'd get part of the melody wrong. Must have hired a tone-deaf arranger. I once heard it described as "audio wallpaper."
 

Harry

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As a kid I always tried to find the speakers in the stores but never saw the nerve center as it were. Until satellite technology, a couple ultra-slow RtR decks were surely the norm.
That may have been a solution for some stores and locations, but by the mid 70s, another technology began to take over. There's a little-known fact that FM radio frequencies have the capacity to broadcast different programming on their "subcarriers," and Musak was one of the biggest to ever utilize that. They'd pay some FM station in a market around $1000 a month to broadcast their Muzak programming to special radios designed to pick it up.

If your FM radio was sensitive enough, you could sometimes identify which station was sending out a subcarrier signal. It would produce a bit of a whispery whistle sound over top of the main signal. Early on, stations would actually turn off their stereo in order to do a subcarrier program.

At one station I worked for, we were paid by the Physicians Radio Network to send out a one-hour program that repeated constantly. It was meant for doctors' offices and had drug company sponsorships. Once a month we were sent a new tape. And it did cause a whistly sound on most FM stereo radios.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
According to the poster this one is from 1964; however, what little I've heard is more in-line with the late 1950s. Lots o' strings!

 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
According to the poster this one is from 1964; however, what little I've heard is more in-line with the late 1950s. Lots o' strings!


Just the kind of music I needed right now, thanks! 🤓 And yes, there's only 2 tunes from the early 60s, the rest is 1950s stuff, the first one kind of reminds me of Tom & Jerry cartoons :)
 

Harry

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Listed in that video's contents are selections by Robert Farnon. Anyone who's ever watched the British TV series THE PRISONER will recognize the style of Farnon's pieces, and indeed the others here, as the type that was used in THE PRISONER. Usually it was piped in background music in the show that Number Six wearied of listening to and would stick his speaker in the fridge to silence it as there was no off switch!
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
I've been growing my CD collection over the past few months. Currently spinning is The Police, Synchronicity (A&M 38XB-2). The sound is really great; it's a second pressing, though, which is evidenced by the design on the CD and the lack of pre-emphasis on the disc.

mbid-8a432dde-9bcb-44da-9c62-e763115c0b82-30214217865.png


Also been listening a lot to Hall & Oates, Abandoned Luncheonette (Atlantic 32XD-737). Really, really happy with the sound quality on this disc, and the obi is in perfect condition.

mbid-e65db664-6366-4c86-b5dc-c202b5847442-30208633581.png


(The above images are my scans!)
 

Rudy

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Weird how this happens, but I woke up this morning with this album in my head, so I'm about to head out. I almost downloaded it into Qobuz on the phone (driving the spare car today, which only has Bluetooth) but realized it's the terrible 2007 Nick Davis remix/remaster that the band insists is now the "definitive" version. So I'll have to wait until I get home later to give it a spin.


This was one of those albums with initially four different versions of the cover art (different colorings), with the record label settling on one of those versions for subsequent releases. The original pressings also had the covers embossed.

I have felt this was the first album of their "third era." Doesn't agree with what others think. I always put the first era as the Peter Gabriel era, and the middle era from Trick of the Tail to Duke, where they still had a good portion of prog rock influence. Abacab changed to their more rhythmic trio format, and also marked the turning point where all the tunes were constructed while jamming in the studio (based on ideas they'd bring in), with all three members taking the songwriting credit. It's always interesting (in an annoying way) to see how the music press always make the assumption that Phil Collins took the band over and called all the shots to make hit records, yet if you watch their documentaries, this is very far from what actually happened. (Like the drum machine at the beginning of "Mama," which was actually Mike Rutherford's idea.)
Anyways, the go-to is the Definitive Edition remaster. The target CD sounds like ass (muffled highs, no bass, no dynamics), like all those rubbish target CDs do. Better to stick to vinyl on this one, actually.
 

AM Matt

Well-Known Member
Listening to Detroit art rock trio Art In America "Cloud Born" which came out in July of 2019. For those who like the group Yes, the Canadian rock group Saga & Porcupine Tree. Their first debut self - titled came out in February of 1983 which has the title track, "Undercover Lover" & "The Loot" which were minor rock airplay. "Cloud Born" is available on Apple iTunes BUT their debut from 1983 is out of print & NOT available.
 

Stevenj

Well-Known Member
Putzing around Qobuz this evening and this popped up as a recommendation--Os Gatos (1964):

View attachment 6899

This is one of those stylized covers from Philips, mimicking the stark high-contrast black and white cover art from Elenco. The two labels' aesthetic were similar back in these days. Os Gatos appears to be a vehicle for guitarist Durval Ferreira, as his compositions make up the bulk of the album. Aside from Ferreira and Deodato, none of the other names are all that familiar to me. (Except for Neco--he appears on guitar on the Luiz Eça & Cordas album.)

Acoustic Guitar, Guitar – Durval Ferreira
Alto Saxophone – Paulo Moura
Bass – Sérgio Barrozo*
Drums – Wilson das Neves
Flute – Copinha
Guitar – Neco
Harmonica – Maurício Einhorn*
Piano, Arranged By – Eumir Deodato
Tenor Saxophone – J. T. Meireles*
Trombone – Honorato*, Edson Maciel
Trumpet – Maurílio Santos

How's the music? Quite good. I'd say it's a cross between earlier Sergio Mendes and Tamba Trio, with extra instrumentation and a laid-back Bossa Nova groove. You'll recognize "São Salvadore" from Tamba 4's Samba Blim, and "Tristeza de Nos Dois)" has appeared on quite a few albums. "Canadian Sunset" is a cover of the American tune.



Going to have to purchase the download of this one...
Off shopping on the interwonderland again.
 

Rudy

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Off shopping on the interwonderland again.
I know it! I get stuck in these rabbit holes and start finding a lot of music I'd never known existed.

The one thing I'm thankful for is Qobuz having very reasonably priced lossless downloads for some of these recordings, where import CDs would be several times the cost if you can even find them. (I'm lucky to have gotten all the Tamba Trio CDs as inexpensively as I did, along with the Luiz Eça & Cordas LP on vinyl since the CD is rare and the few copies I'd seen at the time were $150+.)

Granted I don't get a physical copy, but I just rip them to the server and stick them right into storage anyways.

Qobuz has a surprising number of albums, but they don't have everything. So I still have the need for Discogs and buying CDs or sealed vinyl (when a digital version never existed, or is too expensive).

Back to the music, though--Philips in Brazil during that era was trying to copy the aesthetic that Elenco started. Elenco was signing many of the young artists back in the day and, due to their limited budget, used the stark black and white graphics on their album covers. Philips was a bit old school in comparison, but tried tapping into that same market by signing similar artists and mimicking the cover art style, which is why many of the early Elenco and Philips LPs look so similar. Philips was fortuitous to have the early Tamba Trio, Sergio Mendes and Edu Lobo recordings on their label. And these lesser-known groups like Os Gatos as well. Even if some of these early albums on either label weren't all that good, at least they were interesting.
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
there's nothing worse than having to painfully endure Rhapsody In Blue scored for a stuffy, sluggish 60-piece orchestra when the piece was originally conceived for a '20s-era 20-piece concert band with a few added strings and banjo

I just rediscovered Gershwin's own solo piano "recording" (on a piano(la) roll, 4-hand arrangement) which must have been made in the 1920s I think. Quite playful, loose and jazzy :) Last time I heard it was over 10 years ago at the Pianola Museum in Amsterdam. Just had to look away or close my eyes to imagine George Gershwin himself was in the room playing the piano for us live :cool:

 

Rudy

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A year or two ago, I found some Debussy piano roll recordings. It's interesting to hear the composer's own version of his works.

Not a Gershwin fan myself, but my grandmother was a really big fan of his. So she would have listened to his own version of Rhapsody in Blue on 78s.

She was ahead of her time. One of the 78 RPM sets of hers that I kept was the 12-inch Duke Ellington "Black, Brown and Beige." I've never warmed to Ellington (I'm more a Count Basie fan 😁) but still, it was a landmark recording and I'm glad to have it in its original release version.
 
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