Every day is a special day. That is not a random feel-good statement; it reflects the reality that most, if not all, days on the calendar are co-opted in the name of a cause, a movement or an aspiration. Today—April 7—for instance, is World Health Day. It is also No Housework Day, Beaver Day and Tell A Lie Day. Would I lie? When you check it out at the Days Of The Year website you will find that tomorrow is Zoo Day and Draw A Picture Of A Bird Day. Don’t miss Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day on April 12 or Earth Day on April 22.
I mention this phenomenon because Saturday April 16 is not only Eggs Benedict Day but also—perhaps of more importance to Rifftides readers— Record Store Day. Its website (no kidding, the day has a website) gives its history:
Record Store Day was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding nearly 1400 independently owned record stores in the US and thousands of similar stores internationally. The first Record Store Day took place on April 19, 2008. Today there are Record Store Day participating stores on every continent except Antarctica.
Rank discrimination; why should all of those listeners in Antarctica be shut out?
Naturally, given the current cultural atmosphere, the stores will be crowded with rock, hip-hop and country fans, but jazz is not being ignored. In the spirit of Record Store Day, Savoy Records has reissued new vinyl 33&1/3- rpm LPs of three of its classic albums from the late 1940s and early 1950s. Here are the covers of the LPs by Lester Young, the Modern Jazz Quartet (before the MJQ had that name) and Dizzy Gillespie.
Let’s listen to the title track from the Gillespie LP, The Champ, originally on Gillespie’s Dee Gee label and reissued on Savoy. Gillespie, trumpet; J.J. Johnson, trombone; Budd Johnson, tenor saxophone; Milt Jackson, vibes; Percy Heath, bass; Art Blakey, drums. New York City, April 16, 1951
The Savoy LPs will be available at independent record stores. To find whether where you live there is a store that carries them, go to the RSD website and click on “Participating Stores.” You may want to call your local store to be sure that it will have them. Be prepared for a teenaged clerk to ask, “What’s an LP?”