I counted my records the other day. At least I counted most of them. I didn’t count the 78s and I didn’t count the ones in storage. The ones in storage are all to be sold and the 78s are, well, 78s. No matter. The point is this. I have more records than I want. I have them in four separate rooms in two separate homes. I have records I have owned for more than 25 years and have never put on a turntable. I have records by artists I don’t especially like. I have collected them because I am a collector. It is what I do. That is why my site is called Jazz Collector.
I counted the records because I have made a fairly momentous decision, and that decision is this: I am going to get rid of many of them. This is heresy, is it not? These are my friends, all hand selected personally by me. I have invited them into my home, to share my space, to give me comfort and joy in times of stress or sorrow. And they have served me well, all of them, in whatever way they could.
But the time has come to part ways with many of them. Why?
It is just time.
I want to simplify my life. I don’t have as much time to listen. I don’t have the same passion as I used to have, getting that adrenaline rush of walking into a record store and not knowing what treasures might be awaiting me. I’m still relatively young, but I think of being laden with all of these records as I get older and worrying about whether I would be leaving my kids with a burden. There are other reasons perhaps, but if there are other reasons they are probably a bit more personal than I’d like to get into here.
In any case, I have made the decision to pare down the collection and, just as importantly, I have made the decision to share the process here with my new friends at Jazz Collector. This is the deal. I have in my collection 6,634 records – not counting the 78s, not counting the couple of thousand records in storage. I will deal with those separately. My inventory is as follows: 6,128 are 12-inch LPs; 384 are 10-inch LPs; 112 are boxed sets.
I want to get down to 1,000 records. Why 1,000? Why not? It’s a nice round number, it will enable me to keep enough of my Trane and Bird and Sonny and Monk and Miles and Ella and it is, quite frankly, more records than I will ever listen to over the rest of my life. Within the 6,634 records are some that are duplicates, others that will cause me no angst in getting rid of, others that I will choose to sell because of their value, including some of my nicer Blue Notes and Prestiges that don’t usually make it to the turntable.
This is the plan: Every day (or almost every day) on the Jazz Collector site, I will ponder a different record: Does it stay, or does it go? Will it be among the final 1,000, or will it be sold on eBay or perhaps even offered on the Jazz Collector Web site? I will not bore you with each decision on each record. Does it really matter if I keep one Count Basie on Pablo or five or none? Not really. But Trane on Prestige, or Horace Parlan on Blue Note, or Zoot Sims on Rama? Those are decisions worthy of debate, right?
So when does it all start, this Great Jazz Vinyl Countdown?
Well, if I don’t chicken out completely, it will start tomorrow. Please stay tuned.