Looking at the prompts for this week, the one that stuck out was this: "Write about the last thing(s) you purchased recently. Do you recommend?
Occasionally I’ll remember something from years ago, and suddenly it becomes my "white whale," one of those things that I decide I can’t live without. One day recently, I thought back to when Mom and Dad got a stereo from my Uncle Ed. At that time, I was starting to get into music and was frustrated because we didn’t have a record player, so this was like a gift from God. Now I could buy records and have a place to play them…
Ed was kind enough to lend Dad a couple of records, which became more or less permanent possessions because we hardly ever saw him after Dad died. One of them was June Christy’s classic album Something Cool, and the other was Andrê Previn’s The Previn Scene… Sometimes, while playing my records, I’d check and see what Mom and Dad were listening to. I remember listening to Previn and not really knowing what to think. It’s not that it wasn’t music, more that, well, it wasn’t music I especially liked.
Fast forward about 55 years, and I get to thinking about the record. It had a very artistic album cover, the one at the top of this post. I remembered it was jazz, and thought "hey, I like jazz now, maybe I should see if I can find it." I tried all the usual suspects: Spotify didn’t have it, although it seems like they had just about everything else he’s done; Apple Music didn’t have it, though they had a lot of his classical records; and, while Amazon had it, it was just the vinyl. Just on a hunch, I tried eBay, and lo and behold, someone was selling a CD of it. So I ordered it.
Was it worth it? In a word, yes. Previn was a superb jazz pianist, he had excellent sidemen to work with, and the material was a combination of his compositions and songs from the Great American Songbook. If you’re a jazz fan, you’ll love it; if not, you still might like it. I found the whole album on YouTube, if you want to give it a listen.