I still listen to tons of music. I listen for work and I listen for pleasure. I listen for discovery. We are in an age where music is so readily available, in so many formats, that it’d be a shame not to take advantage of the plethora of opportunities to dig in. 

I do listen to plenty of music, if not the majority at this point, via streaming services. It’s great for being on the go, rolling from the house to the car,  on a walk around the lake and grooving at the grocery store. But when it comes to just simply listening, I love to throw on some vinyl, put my feet up, and enjoy the music. 

I started collecting records when I was just a kid, and I still cherish looking at liner notes, large format artwork and gatefolds. I like the way records smell. New ones have their own thing, and old ones their own special musty presence. I still love going to the record store, like I did Tower Records in the ’70s and ’80s, and I have belonged to vinyl only clubs.

While working on the Mike Mattesino podcast I was recently made aware of Craft Recordings via their release of the Sound of Music 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. The vinyl release which includes fantastic pressings and incredible packaging, showcases their eye to detail and the priority they place on quality. Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most storied collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. The repertoire includes artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. 

I was recently sent a couple more releases from Craft Recordings that included the Red Garland Trio's Groovy, Joe Cuba Sextet's Vagabundeando! (Hanging Out), and Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane's self-titled release. In all cases, the laquers were cut from the original analog master tapes by the folks at Cohearant Audio and pressed to 180 gram vinyl. The Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane and Red Garland recordings were made by Rudy Van Gelder (Tape Op #43).

As you may have noticed from the artist list above, Craft Recordings is not just a home for jazz artists. Browsing their website, I started compiling a wishlist that contains Issac Hayes, Travis, Buddy Guy, and Booker T and the MG's. So much great music!
I'll leave the listening and reviewing of the music (which is all A+ by the way) to you, but for those that enjoy a tangible, high- quality listening experience, I certainly recommend a look at Craft Recordings.

Happy Listening!


Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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