Friday is Wine and Vinyl day at my house. Sometimes it is just me enjoying the static buzz of needle to wax while making dinner, or with my wife, and sometimes my sisters swing over. I don’t know when it actually happened, but I believe it was around 2006 when I became enamored with vinyl records. I had taking classes in school for sound engineering/ mixing and I began to understand what really went into taking the music from a musician to stereo speakers. Much like the journey of grape to glass is complicated, so is sound recording. I couldn’t even begin to tell which is harder to do, because scientifically, they are both go far out of my wheel house, but creatively and artistically, they are awesome and something I understand.
It’s no secret vinyl records were the standard from the 1950s through the 1970s and into the ‘80s, but the invention of cassette tape and eventually compact disc, nearly sealed the fate of vinyl. But there was an interesting resurgence was on the horizon in the early years of the new millennium. As cassette tapes became extinct and file sharing on the internet exploded thanks to Napster, Vinyl records were starting to reappear, and not just old dusty pressings from the bellows of your grandparent’s basement. Current artists were releasing their new material on vinyl along with the standard discs and digital. Then, smaller record labels began to reissue back catalogs onto vinyl. Some albums were from bands now defunct. For me now, when I find new music, I always search for it on vinyl first before I just buy it digitally. I believe there is a warming element that goes along with playing a vinyl record. For starters, the music isn’t made from sharp angels and compressed sound waves into 1’s and 0’s. On wax, you can hear music the way it was truly recorded by the artist with the full sound waves, studio resonance and reverb, and other white noise. It is a richer, fuller feeling, and there is something to the little bit of static from the needle. It is like popping the cork on a bottle of wine instead of twisting a screw top. Sure a screw top is a far better enclose for the wine, but popping the cork evokes a romance.
The first vinyl record I ever owner is still my favorite album of all time and probably the greatest recording ever. It is Miles Davis – Kind of blue. It was recorded in 1959 with Evans, Adderley, Coltrane, Chambers and Cobb rounding out the sextet. They finished the album in two sessions. It was actually ranked #12 of 500 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of ‘Top 500 Greatest Album of all time.’
I have opened many bottles listening to the album, both red and white. Since it is the holiday season, red wine is calling my name tonight. Jazz, decorations, and red wine is a sure sign the year is coming to a close and Christmas is only a few weeks away. Tonight I am going to pair this album with a New York State red wine. Since Kind of Blue was recorded in New York, I thought we should keep it all homegrown. I will pop open my last bottle of Pinot Noir from Fox Run Vineyards along Seneca Lake, NY. They make some of the best wines in the Finger Lakes AVA and are owned and operated by Scott and Ruth Osborn; good friends of mine. Pinot Noir can grow well in our cool climate region and Fox Run does of the best. In fantastic vintages they will release a reserve Pinot Noir that has fans running crazy for like parents trying to find the last Tickle-Me-Elmo on Christmas Eve for little Sally-Hoo.
Please visit Fox Run Vineyards when in the Finger Lakes and buy Kind Of Blue, the next time you are on Itunes, you won’t be disappointed.