MUSiC: Building a (Modest) Mainstream Records Collection

A while back I got these beauties.

Some while ago, I scored the three Chuck K discs above, from Japan. And now, I’ve got a few more, from this superb Japanese reissue series:

Fab sounds, via the Land of the Rising Sun.
Don’t they look cute, with those little Obi strips?

For me Mainstream Records struck a seam of pure musical perfection, around ‘71-‘73. The very definition of the Goldilock’s zone: never too little nor to much. Just so…

The music is the main attraction, of course. But I love the whole package. There’s a distinct aesthetic at work. And a fabulous one, at that.

Musically we get a beautiful melange of numerous strands in jazz, as it was evolving at this point in time: remnants of hard-bop, blues, and soul jazz, rub shoulders and more, and get downright freaky with modal, a d even free jazz elements.

And there’s an almost ‘chamber orchestra’ aesthetic, with groups often that little bit bigger than might’ve been the norm. Maybe with extra horns, or percussion.

And often – in a much funkier take on say organ jazz for example – having the almost rock group guitar, keys and bass, as a core trio, in the rhythm section, where in the ‘60s, organists might do the bass stuff on pedals.

There remains a great deal more to explore and enjoy. I have a ton of this label/era on mp3. But I prefer to have the CDs. I might’ve preferred vinyl, if money and space were no object. But they both are!

So I thank the Japanese cats who’ve had the good taste and plain human decency to bring these dusty treasures out on CD, and release them at affordable prices. Thank you, brethren and sistren!


And I have another order in the pipeline, including Blue Mitchell, Shelly Manne, and Curtis Fuller… yeah, baby!

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