Red Eye Records - 143 York Street - Sydney
You have probably heard that the sales of vinyl records are actually up, so it was appropriate to spend some time on Saturday to visit a few record stores in the Sydney CBD (I didn't venture any further as we had like 60mm of rain that day...) to celebrate World Record Store Day.
And it is certainly true that the number of physical record stores are down, but the ones that are left are obviously the ones that are specialists in a niche market, have evolved with an online presence and finally have knowledgeable staff! 22 shops in Sydney participated in the event.
Two of the stores I visited, Fish Fine Music and Birland Records (where I bought Cafe Blue from Patricia Barber in a HDCD Collector version) are primarily stocked with CDs and DVDs/BluRay. Birland Records also stock a rare collection of XRCDs, a specially mastered format invented by JVC, and a large selection of SACDs.
I also shop occasionally at the Mojo Record Bar who are primarily vinyl stockists, new and second-hand.
My surprise came from Red Eye Records which i pass by often driving but never had a chance to visit properly ...until then.
Well, this was certainly a very busy place, where the cash registers were ticking red hot.
The crowd was diverse in age, sex and all alleys were busy with shoppers wandering mainly in the vinyl sections, but also DVD and music BluRay had their fans (me included...)
Chuck Israels, the bass guitarist on this record sums it up:
"More than any other recording that I have made with Bill Evans, this one has a quality of " Surprise! You're on Candid Camera"
The ambience of this little jazz studio oozes thru the speakers into our living room and drags us into the intimacy of this live performance, one and the last of two recorded on the Riverside label by Bill Evans. It was recorded in May 1963.
The 45RPM recording is way more realistic and accurate than any 33RPM could do, and it compensates greatly for the small inconvenience of having only two tracks per side of the 2-record set.
Acoustic Sounds has been releasing these jazz jewels on 45RPM vinyls for over 20 years, well before the current so-called "revival".
Rush to the website with your credit card at the ready before it solds out.
My (or should I say, my daughter's...) copy is numbered 0741, probably out of 1000, so hurry up: this is one of the best performance of Bill Evans, one of a few live recording available on vinyl (I own the entire collection of "Bill Evans live in Paris" on CD, which is a private collection by INA, the French national audio and video archive), and of historical significance as the last recording of Bill Evans on the Riverside label. Enjoy!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.