TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 24: Mason Williams, A&R for Craft Recordings, Concord Music

The good old days of record collecting are over; the cat is definitely out of the bag. You don’t need me to tell you how sales of vinyl records have been increasing in the last few years. There used to be a time when one could walk up to a garage sale, or into a thrift store, and buy grails for a dollar, or less, but those days are now gone. Additionally, Discogs has created an environment where record stores are well aware of the value of the items displayed on their walls; so the chance of a hidden gem slipping by has grown increasingly slim (though not impossible for us veteran diggers).

Well, what’s the next best thing to do in this hobby? Things will probably never go back to days where mere pennies would procure a serious collection, but there are opportunities. One of the best things for a collector to do is to find a label who cares deeply about music, has access to original master tapes, has them mastered by an expert in the field and sells them at a reasonable price. Enter Craft Recordings and Mr. Mason Williams.

Williams is a Grammy nominated producer in A&R at Craft Recordings who has teamed up with the Vinyl Me Please company (and Craft’s own Jazz Dispensary imprint) to release five, difficult to find, funk-jazz albums; all cut from the original tapes and all mastered by the great Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio, pressed at RTI on 180 gram vinyl and tucked away in heavy stock tip-on jackets. The albums are as follows: Idris Muhammad’s Black Rhythm Revolution!, Bernard Purdie’s Purdie Good!, Jack DeJohnette’s Sorcery, David Axelrod’s Heavy Axe, and Leon Spencer’s Where I’m Coming From.

Join us as we discuss these limited reissues with Mr. Williams and the process of procuring and producing these recordings for the 21st century market. So, even though the good old days of record collecting have come to an end, there’s a new way to collect; thanks to industry guys like Mason Williams and Craft Recordings there are still things to be on the lookout for and to proudly add to your self.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Sharp Notes each Saturday evening at 6pm and TVD Radar on Sundays at 5AM on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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