Filed under: Boscoe
Boscoe’s self-titled masterpiece is important. As a Chicago company, it is our civic duty to keep records like Boscoe in circulation. When silence falls in an elevator full of Midwestern record collectors, “How about that Boscoe record?” is likely to elicit a response from someone. Boscoe is the prototypical local record that “used to turn up” but has “gotten harder.” A fraction of 1% of those polled are likely to have had one at one time, but had to let it go once the market pushed the long-player into the four-figure range. A few disheartened explorers have found the jacket, only to discover a different, less precious record inside. Boscoe is not the kind of record that should live out its days gathering dust on your want list. Nor is it a record you should have to forgo car payments to acquire. Original reissued on our Asterisk imprint, we’ve moved the title into our 1200 series. Out of print for several years now, we are pleased to announce that Boscoe is officially back in print. You can buy one here, or wherever revolutionary records are sold.
Filed under: Boscoe, Methodology | Tags: Al Grey, Best of the Big Bands, Linda Perhacs
Going back to a simpler time, when records were just the only way you could listen to music, some of these albums that we now consider deeply desirable were just a nuisance. Such was their undesirability that, when a future collectible wandered into someone’s possession, it was sometimes seen purely as raw material. The most famous example (sometimes referred to as Big Band Perhacs) was popularized by Will Louviere’s excellent Show And Tell Music site. Just imagine the pain of discovering this rarely seen LP with possibly the most undesirable chud decomposing inside it.
Well, Big Band Perhacs has met its match. The Linda Perhacs LP, as scarce as it is, at least saw more than one pressing, and was promoted to radio stations and retailers, just like any other major release. As pathetic as it was to replace it with something as dire and unnecessary as Best of the Big Bands, you could imagine how much action such an LP got. Hell, it probably had Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. When you couldn’t just pull these played-out numbers up on youtube when the fancy struck, keeping this LP around (and protected from the elements by Linda Perhacs’ extraordinary form) was clearly useful. Dante Carfagna, Numero archivist and inveterate record stalker, has managed to weather a more acute form of heartbreak. The Boscoe LP is certainly more well known over the last few years that it has been in print on the Numero subsidiary * but back in the 1970s the meager 500 piece pressing barely covered the demands of the band’s family and close friends. The idea of a Boscoe LP just laying around to be cannibalized for its parts is truly shocking now, but frankly it was never abundant enough for this occurrence to be likely. To add insult to injury, it’s an Al Grey record, looked down upon even by second tier trombone players. For you to look upon and cringe, we present to you Dante’s recent addition to the annals of horrible record decisions, the Al Grey Boscoe:
Underneath Michael Slaboch’s tree this year was a copy of Joaquim Paolo’s Taschen-released Funk & Soul Covers. There seems to be a glut of record cover books hitting the market in the last few years (vynils are making a comeback if you haven’t heard), and this one doesn’t upset the genre’s balance of uninspired mediocrity. In fact, it sets a new low!
Look close in that bottom right hand corner and find our Asterisk label’s logo on the 2008 reissue of Boscoe’s S/T album. We’ll admit that the Kingdom of Chad-issued LP is something of a grail for funk collectors, rare as rare gets, but it seems like a publisher of Taschen’s salt could find someone in the world with an original copy and have it scanned. Shit, we’ve got two in our office!
A small time fail in the grand scheme of things, but if Taschen wants an audience beyond the casual Barnes & Nobel shopper killing 30 minutes before a movie begins at the cineplex next door, they might want to consider employing editors and compilers with a stronger pedigree in the field.
The wonderful British music lovers at Mojo just gave a “Disc Of The Day” shout to Boscoe, Chicago’s Avant-Soul Black Power Masterpiece. It’s time for this record to start that revolution we keep hoping for. Power! To The People! Put down that scone! Put some Hennessy in that tea!
I happened to catch Chicago Public Radio’s morning show which covered our Boscoe reissue while stuck in holiday traffic today. Here’s a link to the engaging piece by Dan Bindert with some great bites from Boscoe drummer, Steve Cobb talking about the recording of the LP, the band’s political and sociological message & the Chicago music scene during that era. He also gives a much deserved shout out to legendary studio engineer – and my former professor – Malcom Chisolm.