Monday, 15 March 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr Avakian

Record producer George Avakian is ninety-one years old today. Many Happy Returns, sir.

By way of celebration, Marc Myers at Jazz Wax has Part One of an interview with Mr Avakian. Go here.

I love the fact that it was English Literature - and Sherlock Holmes - which inspired him to be a writer. A man after my own heart. These Jazz Wax interviews are priceless.

Looking at the library behind George in this picture (left), one can see the covers of some of his triumphs. Coincidentally - and courtesy of a certain internet auction house, I recently acquired a copy of CL 558, The Music of Duke Ellington.

An anthology of Duke's original recordings from the thirties, I wonder the extent to which the album became a defining text in the Ellington canon. I will write about the album more in future posts. Suffice it to say, the vinyl trounces comprehensively any digital re-issue of same. The music lives and breathes.