Dad’s Crate I: Sax 5th Ave.


Hello everyone, and welcome to the first edition of Dad’s Crate. I am excited to recommend the first record that I know a lot of you will love, because I fully enjoyed each track on this particular record.

Johnny Beecher, Sax 5th Ave.

front of albumTo start off Dad’s Crate, I am actually not choosing a vinyl from my Dad’s collection. I just bought a record last week, at Vidéothèque, in South Pasadena, California. The video store had a vinyl section, and I was drawn to  Johnny Beecher’s album.  The saxophone, on the front of the album cover, hinted at the beautiful jazzy sounds engraved on the record waiting for me to play when I got home. I live in Burbank, which is only about fifteen minutes away from South Pasadena. Well, after an extra thirty minutes added to my drive time, I made it home, and the first thing I did was put the needle on Side 1 of the record.

vibes‘Reveries,’ is the first song to introduce you to to the sensual rhythms to follow. The album consists of 12 songs recorded for your pure enjoyment. Johnny Beecher is the Saxophonist on the album with Earl Palmer and Wayne Robinson on drums, Jimmy Bond on bass, Bert Kendrix on the organ, and Emil Richards on the Vibes. If you do not know what instrument the vibraphone is, it is part of the struck idiophone family. Idiophone is an instrument that creates sound through vibrating as a whole. There are no strings or membranes that make sound; it is strictly the vibrating of the instrument. So, struck idiophone means that the instrument needs to be struck to make a sound. The vibes instrument is similar to a xylophone. You can watch Johnny Beecher’s hit recording, ‘Sax 5th Ave.’

The great thing about Johnny Beecher’s album, Sax 5th Ave., is that it is a perfect record to play for a dinner party. It has songs that allow you to converse with others, but still add a pleasing audio aesthetic to the atmosphere around you. Other songs can stop whatever is happening at the party, and urge the partygoers to start dancing. Especially, ‘Summit Ridge Drive,’ on Side 2 of the record. That is a great swing song, which is also labeled on the back of the album cover.

backThe back artwork is amazing in my opinion. I love the Charcoal drawing of Johnny Beecher playing the sax. It is a classy drawing that uses contrast and negative space to catch the essence of the record.

Overall, I have had the opportunity to share the sounds of this record with some family and friends. My cousin and I had a philosophical conversation to this whole album and even proceeded to restart the album and continue our conversation. I, also, played it when I ate dinner with my dad, step-mom, and her friend one night at home. I later asked my dad what he thought about the album, and he enjoyed it so much he wants to digitize it. (Which means to go through a converter that electronically transfers the music from the record onto a computer.)  This record cost me $5, and as a struggling college student, I can say that this is the best $5 dollars I spent in a long time.

The album was released in 1962, and serves as a time machine for  people interested in the jazz genre and artwork during that time. If you have any records that take you back and inspire you to continue to research and enjoy music, please share with us in the comment section or tweet us using the hashtag, #Glamorouspaper!

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