Like I said in my last post, I've gone off the deep end. The 78 RPM Boyce Brown record I bought hasn't come yet, but I've pulled out my old box of 78's, and I'm having a blast. My old 78 turntable proved to be noisy and unreliable, so I picked up a reasonably-priced vintage Miracord table and a cartridge designed for 78's.
I remember some of my 78's being this cool, but there are others I didn't remember at all, and which I don't think I ever listened to. So far the coolest discoveries I've listened to are:
A Paul Bley single on the Emarcy label. Even when playing a standard ("Autumn Breeze"), Bley is concerned more with melody than chords. Could this be Bley's only 78?
A Kenny Clarke side, with mostly French musicians, on Dizzy Gillespie's Dee Gee label. Early bebop just sounds cool at 78 RPM - very organic.
A two-sided tune ("That's My Baby") by saxophonist Marvin Johnson, who was the in Les Hite band that backed up Louis Armstrong in the early thirties. This blues features punning, double-entendre lyrics and some nice, Benny Carter-like alto sax solos.
West Coast blues singer Estelle Edson, on the Black & White label. Yeah, who's she? But she's backed by the Oscar Pettiford All Stars with Lucky Thompson on tenor sax.
Two red-label Okehs by Sara Martin, from 1922. She wasn't the greatest of the classic female blues singers, but on one of these the accompaniment is by young Thomas "Fats" Waller. Too cool.
Okay, I'm gone; I know it. I checked Ebay tonight, and I've got my eye on a 78 by the great jazz pianist Dodo Marmarosa (on the Atomic label) and one on the Trumpet label by Mississippi bluesman Willie Love. I'm gone.