LP review

The Vinyl Detective – Classic Jazz Tracks curated by Andrew Cartmel

The Vinyl Detective – Classic Jazz Tracks curated by Andrew Cartmel
(Vinyl Passion VP 90129. LP Review by Peter Jones)

It had been a quiet day at the office. I’d let my secretary leave early, made a couple of desultory phone calls, and was looking forward to knocking back the shot of bourbon I’d just poured for myself. In two minutes I’d be grabbing my fedora from the hat-stand and shutting up shop. At that moment there came a rap at the door. I jumped up and opened it. Instead of some lying dame in distress, there was no one in sight. But propped against the doorframe was a package about a foot square and nothing written on it except these two cryptic words: “Review this.”

Visitors to LondonJazz News may have noticed occasional contributions from Andrew Cartmel, usually penned when he is not otherwise engaged with his series of semi-autobiographical detective novels, which appear under the umbrella title The Vinyl Detective. His nameless hero somehow manages to combine prowling the bargain bins of south-west London with dashing about solving crimes, often of a musical nature. I am not speaking of Kenny G, but of lesser offences like kidnap and murder. Flip Back, the fourth in the series, has just appeared. And along with it comes this album release, a collection of jazz tunes, presented on finest 180g vinyl, natch. Cartmel’s aim, apart from a bit of harmless promotion for his books, is to educate his readers, not all of whom necessarily share his passion for jazz.

It may work: this is an excellent collection, its tracks mostly recorded in the ’50s. In addition to some well-known selections (Charles Mingus’s Goodbye Pork Pie Hat, Cannonball Adderley, and Bill Evans’s Waltz for Debby) there are some more obscure tracks, including two from the singer Lucy Ann Polk, whose slender recorded oeuvre Cartmel has long championed. The album is topped and tailed by two versions, short and long, of the noirish blues Theme from the Vinyl Detective, composed and performed by eminent film scoresman Joe Kraemer (Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation).

The album is accompanied by sleeve notes from Cartmel himself, usefully detailing all the albums on which these tracks originally appeared.

LINK: The Vinyl Detective album is available here.

Joe Kraemer recording the Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation music. Andrew Cartmel was there.

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