Friday, February 17, 2012

On the Road Again: Sugarshack Records

Sugar Shack Records - Madison, WI
Another week and more work-related travel. Got to spend some of yesterday afternoon in Madison WI, one of my favorite cities in the country. And in the 40s in February -- what a treat!

Madision is a great university community with good food, shops, and a commitment to public transportation, pedestrians, and bicycles. Basically an urbanist's dream. And like many of the other places I have been passing through lately, Madison boasts a few new and used record/CD/memorabilia shops of note. I spent about 45 minutes at one, Sugarshack Records, 2301 Atwood Avenue, and it was like a trip into the past. Music of all kinds, tons of old records and CDs, artifacts, books, posters, etc. A disc of the Beatles radio interviews from 1964-65 -- talk about obscure.
New and Used Music and Movies - Madison, WI 
Anyway, jazz is pretty well represented, with a couple of large tables full of mostly old CDs, all at reasonable prices. I picked up three things I had not seen previously and have gotten to listen to each once:

  • Eric Alexander, "Straight Up", Delmark Records 1992 -- Early Alexander, in fact appears in discography as his first outing, with Harold Mabern piano, Jim Rotondi trumpet, John Webber bass , and George Fludas drums. As advertised, it is a nice straght-ahead interpretation of some standards, both uptempo and ballads. A nice start.
  • Phil Woods and Lew Tabackin, "Phil Woods/Lew Tabackin", Evidence Records 1980 -- Alto Woods and Tenor Tabackin tear it up on "Limehouse Blues", and provide a sweet and lovely "Sweet and Lovely". Everything works well. Jimmy Rowles stands out on piano.
  • Jeff Hamilton Trio, The Best Things Happen...", Azica Records 2004 -- Hamilton is a strong leader from the drum set, with a string of strong trio discs, and with another due this month. The twelve songs include some standards like "I Concentrate on You" and "Skylark" and a range of other songs by Ellington, Peggy Lee, and others. Tamir Hendelman plays a strong piano as the harmonic lead, wtih Christoph Luty plays bass. Ballads and up-tempo songs provide a nice variety.
Sugarshack Records has been in business for 31 years and according to the owner, Gary Feest,  is "holding its own" in today's market, no small feat. If you are in Madison, please stop by and pick up a few things; and if not please order a few things from Let's keep the physical music alive.Gary Feest

1 comment:

  1. Thanks David,
    It's responses like yours that keep me going. Very much enjoyed youer visit, and I appreciate you including Sugar Shack on your Blog.