About twenty years ago someone asked me to find an album they had been looking for and could never seem to find it. I have always collected music in some form or fashion. For a good ten years I frequented all of the major library systems in the St. Louis area, including colleges, for music and other related media. I consider what I have a fairly extensive collection of CDs, records. Despite the amount of stuff I have I continue to collect and gather musical items.
For the last two years I have focused mainly on vinyl records. What I have recently learned is about half of the music on vinyl was transferred to CD during the years of digital transitions. While most of the major bands converted all of their albums from vinyl to CD there is still a lot of undiscovered music just sitting out there.
And so for the last twenty years I have been looking for an album / CD not realizing until the last few months that the album may have never made it to CD. After some discussions and a trip to Euclid records in St. Louis, I discovered the album was never transferred to CD. I verified on the internet just to be sure and within a few key strokes I found several comments in different forums as to how sinful it was this particular album had never made it to CD.
For most things I prefer listening to vinyl. There are a few things that sound better on CD but most of the time I do like a good vinyl record. I am not sure the record company’s decision to not re-release this particular album onto CD is as much of a sin as some of the internet ghosts claim.
The album? Well...
The first mistake I made is that the person looking for the album thought it was an album by Gerry Mulligan. If you have looked through Gerry Mulligan’s discography you will see the man has close to a hundred album titles to his name. That does not include the additional albums he played on. The album I was looking for was not by Gerry Mulligan but by Dave Brubeck. For those that know, Mr. Brubeck did multiple albums with Gerry Mulligan. It is a toss up to say who acted as bandleader on any of the albums. Both men were great at what they did. I could see why the person asking for my assistance twenty years ago thought it was an album by Gerry Mulligan.
I have not seen the person who asked me to find this album twenty years ago. I could probably find them if I really tried but that was never the point of this journey. I am pretty sure they have no memory of the conversation about this album. They might think I am crazy. I cannot disprove that observation. This was the one album that eluded me at every turn. I started to believe it didn’t exist but my mind would not let go of the simple fact – I had not found an album. I always find music when no one else can. I love a challenge like that.
When I managed to finally track it down to one store it took me about 15 minutes to flip through their vinyl to find it. I pulled up the album, looked at it and thought, “hmmm… that’s what it looks like?” $6.99 later I was firing up the turntable to hear what I had been looking for the past twenty years. It’s a decent album. By the way it is not on itunes either. I checked just to make sure.
The album is Dave Brubeck – Blues Roots.