5 Selects: Dust and Grooves (NYC)

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Rachel Opert
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Eilon Paz shares five selects from John Abercrombie, Cannonball Adderley, Kutiman, Quincy Jones, and King Britt.

Eilon Paz is a publisher, photographer, collector, selector, and the eyes and ears behind Dust & Grooves, a music discovery platform and a 436-page hardcover book called Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting, that highlights eclectic record collectors and their collections from around the world through interviews and photographic essays. Paz is currently working on Dust & Grooves: Further Adventures in Record Collecting, a sequel to his 2014 best-seller, which will hit the shelves in October 2024. These are his five record selections.

“I tried to choose records that I purchased recently and act as essential records; some foundation records. None of these are super rare nor expensive. These are all under 20 bucks, easily found at your closest second-hand record shop. It’s kind of like a motto for me, I let the records find me. I don’t really obsess about records that much. Well… except for when I do… But I’ll be patient. I’ll wait.”

John Abercrombie – Timeless (1974)

Eilon: “So this album, John Abercrombie, Timeless. I used to have it when I was a teenager, but I lost all my records when I was 23. It wasn’t a huge record collection, but it was my original first collection, where you establish yourself as a music lover and start forming your identity. It was the stuff that I grew up with; the music I discovered on my own, and this was one of those records. I had a friend named Rubi, short for Ruben. He was older than me, so he was kind of like a brother to me, and he was really into the ECM label, and he kind of fit with the vibe of, you know… the desert. He was the one to introduce me to the label and to this record. So after I lost it, I kind of lost touch with it.

In recent years, I started listening to it again on Spotify, and it reignited my interest in this album, specifically the track ‘Lungs,’ which is a 12-minute-long odyssey; it starts as a free improvisation of John Abercrombie on guitar, Jan Hammer on keyboards, and Jack DeJohnette on the drums. They start you off with a super free-jazz improv conversation between the three, and they are almost kind of testing your patience. Like, alright, let’s see if you can go through this part and stick with us, and then, right in the middle of the track, they just switch into this heavy, super laid-back, futuristic jazz groove.

Recently, my friend Jonathan Rudnick was here visiting NYC and he stayed over at my place. He came here for the NYC Jazz Fest. One night, we were listening to records at my place, when I got the urge to play that song to him. He asked me, ‘Hey, do you have it on vinyl?’ I said, ‘No, I’m waiting for the record to find me.’ Then, a week later, he sends me a photo of the record from a record fair somewhere in Los Angeles. He found it for 15 bucks, and he just sent it to me as a thank you gift. I love these kinds of connections; how music brings people together. That’s also what I’m trying to do with my Dust & Grooves, tell stories of music discoveries and shared passion.”

Cannonball Adderly – Love, Sex, and the Zodiac (1974)

E: “So, this is a really interesting one. I picked it up after an interview we did, me and my friend Ben Goldfarb, with DJ Spinna, around 5 years ago. And you know, he’s got a lot of records. I tend to make a habit to pick up at least one record from each of these interviews. I remember him picking up this record and playing it… And man… I mean, the title! Love, Sex and the Zodiac. It’s really beautiful. It has amazing musicianship, and the narration from Rick Holmes is just… you know, you can’t not listen to him. It’s a spoken word record, and it’s layered on these amazing musical tracks. Jazzy, soulful and funky. Deep and kind of meditative. It’s a slow record. And guess what, 1974 [the year I was born]. So there you go. 

I love using it as a base for DJ sets. And maybe I didn’t make it clear–this is all about your sex life. So it’s defining you as a sexual being based on your zodiac. How cool is that? I’m a super pragmatic person, and I find star signs and horoscopes mildly entertaining at best, but I’ll enjoy listening to this record any day of the week, no matter what the horoscope had planned for me.” 




Kutiman – Open (2022)

E: “Kutiman, what an amazing musician and innovator. If you haven’t seen his Thru-You series on YouTube, do yourself a favor! As a young photographer starting my career in Tel Aviv, I used to hang out in all these clubs and music venues. He would play the keyboards with this cool jam group called Ani-kuku (I’m a Kuku, translated from Hebrew.) He has this ability to bring all the talented musicians around him and make this amazing music together. I love him, and I love this album. He talks a lot about love, longing for inner peace, and being together.”

Quincy Jones – Walking in Space (1969)

E: “So… Quincy Jones. Talking about kings. This is almost a mainstream album, but I’m not sure how many people truly know who he is and his significance in jazz, funk, hip-hop, and pop music in general. But who’s the man? Who is The Dude? Quincy Jones! I really adore him for who he is and how he runs his operation. Quincy is a music scholar, starting his career as a big band arranger and conductor. His understanding of music arrangements and his meticulous taste and attention to detail gained him the utmost respect in the music industry, bringing in all the who’s who in the biz, wanting to work with him as a producer. And with unlimited budgets and access to the best musicians of his era, his albums are just a delight, musically and sonically. I watched a documentary about him, and it’s been a favorite of mine in recent years. Watching him on the Netflix documentary The Greatest Night in Pop, wrangling all these crazy huge egos, will give you an entirely new perspective on life. The Dude! When we do interviews for Dust & Grooves, I always hit people with an open-ended question; I never ask them for their favorite record, as that’s problematic, but I do ask if they have a comfort record. Walking in Space is definitely one of my comfort records. I guess for me, that is a record that I put on, knowing it will comfort me and put me in a good place, no matter what. I never get sick of it, and it always gives you something new to discover.”

King Britt Presents Sylk 130 – When The Funk Hits The Fan (1997)

E: “So, this is King Britt. He’s in my first book, and I’m a fan of his as a producer, as a musician, and also as a human being, once I got to know him. [When the Funk Hits the Fan] is a record that I used to have on CD. And I used to DJ it in bars, just like I’m doing here. I never had it on vinyl, but I got to know his music through this record. King Britt Presents Sylk 130 is a project that he made where he tells his story of going into music and growing up by the decades, and this one is the 1970s- the best decade, at least for me. It’s easily overlooked, and I found it for five dollars at Amoeba. Being able to go to his house in Philly and go through his records and interview him for Dust and Grooves was one of the peaks of my life, I wouldn’t even say my career, but my life.”

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