From The Neumann Collection: John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, Original Mono Pressing

The James and Susan Neumann Jazz Collection is the largest privately owned collection of jazz materials in the United States, and possibly the world. James Neumann, proprietor of the collection and an Oberlin Alumnus, decided last year to donate all of the materials to Oberlin. So far, the school has received about 45,000 vinyl LPs along with thousands of jazz periodicals and collectibles, which does not event amount to half of the entire collection. The recordings will not be available for students for some time, which is why WOBC has decided to give followers a regular taste of the collection’s rare gems. Disclaimer: Information and music posted are sourced from WOBC copies of albums also included in the Neumann Collection.
This week’s dig from the collection is a beauty: an original pressing of John Coltrane’s masterpiece A Love Supreme. This particular vinyl copy of the album is in its original monoaural format, kept in absolutely pristine condition since its pressing in the year of the record’s release, 1965. The amount of A Love Supreme copies of this kind probably amounts to a few thousand—but in terms of copies that are still in perfect condition, there must only be a handful in existence.

A Love Supreme was originally released on Impulse! records in February 1965. The whole record was cut in one session on December 9th, 1964 at the studio of master engineer Rudy Van Gelder in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The personnel on the record consists of Coltrane’s legendary quartet of the early to mid-1960s: McCoy Tyner on Piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Elvin Jones on drums. The music is a suite in four parts: I. Acknowledgment; II. Resolution; III. Pursuance; IV. Psalm. Each movement is dedicated to a different aspect of Coltrane’s newfound devotion to God in the 1960s, and his deep spirituality is viscerally apparent in every moment of the record. Musically, each movement is based on a simple modal chord structure, over which Coltrane plays a short theme and then engages in a more or less “free” improvisation with the other members of the group.

The design and layout of this particular printing of the album is unique for Impulse! records. Most Impulse! releases bear a colorful photograph on the cover, the signature black and orange label on the side binding, and a foldout that includes liner notes, additional information, and photos of the featured musicians. The original release of A Love Supreme, however, bears a stunning black-and-white photo of Coltrane’s face in a position of meditative repose, a matching black-and-white side label, and a foldout that is filled up by a hand-drawn image of Coltrane playing his instrument and personal inscription from the saxophonist/composer proclaiming his love for The Almighty.

It’s clear from the design of the whole package that the record label felt this release needed special treatment. Impulse! turned out to be correct in its projection of the album’s importance: it is one of the best-selling jazz records of all time, and is held as a centerpiece of inspiration by countless musicians. It goes whithout saying that Oberlin is extremely privileged to own an original, mint-condition record of this historic album.

-Adam Hirsch

Live Music: Zen Tapes Traveling Sleepover Tour

Zen Tapes Sleepover Tour
This Saturday May 19th is the Zen Tapes Traveling Sleepover–a mini music festival featuring artists from Ann Arbor, Boston, and Oberlin. Eastman Presser a.k.a. Steamship has kindly put together a fantastic mix featuring artists from the lineup. It is a privilege for such talented and critically acclaimed musicians from the D.I.Y. sector of Electronic music to be joining us to wrap up the semester. Come out and enjoy this unorthodox crossroads of musical personalities from 6 pm – 11 pm in Fairchid Chapel. Set time slots to be posted soon!

Featuring… fthrsn, Kohwi, Dreampeter, Sad Souls, Skeleton Zoo, Wax Monsters, Faust Ghoul, Tristan Allen

With special guests Ice Demon Star Baby, Steamship & Katie Buono. Visuals by Andalusian and Samuel Fisher.

Album Review: Talkdemonic – Ruins

The instrumental duo Talkdemonic’s album, Ruins, has made it here to WOBC!  The duo of Kevin O’Connor and Lisa Molinaro’s avante-folk-electronica (the weirder the better, right?) makes quite the cannon ball splash.  Out of Portland and on Glacial Pace Records, the group’s guitary and drummy bits are mixed up with hard extra-squeaky violin effects.  Lots of long nice screech thrashes and vague song titles.  Try track 5 ‘city sleep’ for instance.  It starts out along these lines only to throw in some finger snaps.  Chalk-full of guessing games: are we hearing bowling pins in track 6, ‘violet’?  Then it turns into a percussion pick-up.  They’re great at doing weird things with ‘instruments’.  Take a look at their photo, such enigmas!  ‘Summer Glass’ is a real treat, some real nice bippity-bopping chilled out fleeting video games vibes.  Its like you’re dreaming you’re Mario, only in a haze just falling into that sweet gold earning free life after free life.  What a summer that’d be!  Track 9, ‘Cascading’ gets kind of icy, with a melodic beat and some light symbols hitting for us.  You know the vibe.  Ruins slips in and out of recognizable sounds, a great venture to get lost in.

Track List:

1. Slumber Verses
2. Ruins
3. Revival
4. Midcentury Motion
5.  City Sleep
6.  Violet
07 Summer Glass

08 Cascading

9.  Time Draws On
10.  Midnight Pass
11.  Chimera
12.  Palace Walk

FROM THE VAULT: A Town South of Bakersfield Volume 1 & 2

Have you scavenged through the folk vault recently? Dusty but thrilling. These compilation records are a real jam for those admirers of alternative country from the late eighties. The albums were released separately and a few years later combined in CD form. (Note: Volume 3 was also released but not in the WOBC vault) The musicians featured were rising alt country stars in Bakersfield, California. Bakersfield has cultivated the sound of a few notable country music stars, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard for example. The city is even noted for a ‘Bakersfield sound’ which originated in honky-tonk bars in the 50s. Take a listen.

Preview the songs on this website.

Live on WOBC: Honey Locust – Fear Is A Feeling EP

About a month ago the Nashville five-piece Honey Locust played a show at Fairchild Chapel with Calvin Johnson and the Hive Dwellers and Erin Earthling. The band also kindly came by the WOBC studios and played a few new tunes off of their new release Fear Is A Feeling EP.

We got a chance to talk to the band about their favorite experiences on tour and how they each know how to play so many different instruments. Honey Locust’s five members never seem to play the same instrument twice. During the live broadcast we saw a viola, banjo, piano, organ, accordion, guitar, ukulele, cello, mandolin, percussion, and bass.

You can find more information about the band and get a copy of their EP at their website. You can also stream the EP on their bandcamp.

Check out their live set below!

Fear Is A Feeling
Softer Someday
Walkin Shoes

-Will Floyd

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