Diggin' In The Crates (2nd Hand Style)
The Record & Tape exchange is a throwback, to step through the doors is not so much to step back in time to the seventies but definitely into a place that feels no need to change a formula that has served it well for decades.
Today I stepped into that familiar territory, the musty smell of dusty records and no doubt a slight smell of greasy fingermarks on printed card. There are several versions of the Exchange scattered around Notting Hill and the one that drew me to it was the Soul, Dance and Jazz shop, it is a strangely functional modern day trading post for vinyl junkies and I was in the mood for some bargains. As you may have worked out from previous posts I have varied tastes in music but my true love and musical foundation on which those tastes are built is jazz, unlike many obsessed with jazz music and DJ culture I am not in the purist camp, I feel no need for a £30 original pressing when the next years repress contains the same production, sound and track listing for £8. To reference my previous post “its all about the music”, so which particular musical gems was it all about on my latest visit?.
Whilst fighting for space with one purist who foolishly missed the chance to pick up a rare Horace Parlan album last week and cursed loudly to find it gone this week I unearthed a cheap but clean copy of Stan Tracey’s ‘Under Milk Wood’, not the original but the repress on Stan’s own Steam label. Whilst laughing under my breath as a local who sounded like Jade Goody, try to control her very bored 3 year old and carry in several boxes of records to sell to the shop whilst helped by her father, who sounded like a retired brigadier (well it is Notting Hill), I found a Prestige 1974 gatefold remaster of Yusef Lateef’s albums ‘Eastern Sounds’ and ‘The Sounds of Yusef’, this remastered incarnation contains a version of ‘The Love Theme from Spartacus’ and a version of ‘Take the A Train’ which handled by Lateef is truly unique, and a bargain at only a tenner. My final finds were a stupidly cheap copy of Roland Kirk’s ‘Now Don’t You Cry, Beautiful Edith’ with a great Jazz Dance track, ‘Fallout’, classic Dingwalls style. Finally a Cedar Walton, George Coleman, Sam Jones and Billy Higgins album “Eastern Rebellion” on Timeless, a Dutch label I have never come across which is a slice of mid seventies Strata East style jazz and contains a nice version of Coltrane’s ‘Naima’.
The exchange experience was completed as the surly staff member shuffled round to find the discs and his colleague sent a potential ‘exchanger’ packing by dismissing him with the line, “I could give you £20 in vouchers or a tenner in cash but these aren’t particularly good records, I’ve got better records out in the shop and these wont sell”, the shame faced punter put the records back in his bag, politely turned down the cash and slouched out of the shop in front of me.
I departed with my records pleased to be leaving as a buyer and not a seller.