The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    When I was about 21 (early 1990s) living in Santa Cruz, I would go to a used record store (in Capitola). There a found a few cool records. The best find, and an album I still love today: Abercrombie’s Straight Flight. I ended up also buying a Cal Collin’s album. I had no idea who he. I do not remember the name of the album but I believe it had many small pics of San Francisco on its’ cover. I loved that album. Am I the only one who dug Cal Collins?

    All thoughts welcomed. Peace

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by st.bede
    I ended up also buying a Cal Collin’s album. I had no idea who he. I do not remember the name of the album but I believe it had many small pics of San Francisco on its’ cover.
    That would be 1978's 'Cal Collins in San Francisco'.

    Cal Collins, why no mention?-r-10921415-1506554182-9089-jpg

    His name comes up from time to time here on the forum. Here's one thread about him from last year: Cal Collins

    His profile hasn't been helped by the unavailability of his music. Of his albums as a leader, only his duo album with Herb Ellis, 1982's 'Interplay', and 1982's 'Tour De Force' (a Concord all-stars date with all the musicians receiving joint billing) were ever reissued on CD.

  4. #3

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    He made a great solo album:


  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by st.bede
    When I was about 21 (early 1990s) living in Santa Cruz, I would go to a used record store (in Capitola). There a found a few cool records. The best find, and an album I still love today: Abercrombie’s Straight Flight. I ended up also buying a Cal Collin’s album. I had no idea who he. I do not remember the name of the album but I believe it had many small pics of San Francisco on its’ cover. I loved that album. Am I the only one who dug Cal Collins?

    All thoughts welcomed. Peace
    You are not alone my friend; I really dig Cal Collins. As noted below Cal was under contract with Concord Records (like a lot of guitar players), and made some great albums with them. At a house concert with Howard Alden, who also was under contract with Concord, I asked Howard if he knew why Concord didn't release those albums as CDs. Howard told me there was some type of dispute.

    That is sad for fans of jazz guitar. The good thing is I had all of his albums and these were converted to CD (pops and cracks and all!).

    Cal Collins made a few recordings with Herb Ellis and they toured. I just found Collins so much more interesting than Ellis. Not knocking Ellis but most of the time I know where Ellis is going; with Collins I would get surprised and say to myself; I would never think of approaching that passage like that!

  6. #5

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    I saw him play at Bechet's in NYC. He sounded great, but the crowd wasn't listening at all. After a solo, I'd be the only one to clap for him, and he looked up to see who it was, but we were out of sight at the bar, and he couldn't see us.
    A piano player I used to work with came from Ohio, and said Cal was known as a strings player.
    That meant that he could play anything with strings on it- mandolin, banjo, violin etc...
    He was discovered by Benny Goodman late in life, and died from cancer after a short time in the limelight. That's why wasn't as well known as he should have been.

  7. #6

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    Cal's "Blues on My Mind" is one of my favorite albums. He does a really sweet version of "Dream a Little Dream of Me." (at 23:33)


  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I saw him play at Bechet's in NYC. He sounded great, but the crowd wasn't listening at all. After a solo, I'd be the only one to clap for him, and he looked up to see who it was, but we were out of sight at the bar, and he couldn't see us.
    A piano player I used to work with came from Ohio, and said Cal was known as a strings player.
    That meant that he could play anything with strings on it- mandolin, banjo, violin etc...
    He was discovered by Benny Goodman late in life, and died from cancer after a short time in the limelight. That's why wasn't as well known as he should have been.
    Cal was on two Benny Goodman albums: Live at Carnegie Hall 40th Anniversary Concert (London, 1978) and The King (Century, 1978)

  9. #8

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    Here is Collins and Ellis live; I love the snap Cal gets from his guitar.


  10. #9

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    Here he is with Jimmy Raney:


  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Here he is with Jimmy Raney:

    I love how Cal keeps expecting Jimmy to end his solo and Jimmy goes another round, and another, and another.

  12. #11

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    Bob Parlocha used to play a good bit of Cal Collins from time to time.

  13. #12
    I originally did a search for Cal Collins and all that showed was a thread about Phil Collins and his divorce. Lol

    I was able to recently find a number of digital recordings of Cal’s album. I can not find the San Francisco one. That hurts, because I really remember liking that one a lot.

    I was a kid and the only person that listened to jazz in my group of friends. I had the typical guitar type albums (tapes) of the late 80s and early 90s: Scofield, Stern, Holdsworth, Metheny, Abercrombie and even a live Larry Carlton album.

    When I found both Abercrombie’s Straight Flight and the Cal Collins albums, is when I started really thinking about standards and more straight ahead type of playing.

    There was something magical about listening to Cal Collins. It was like arriving somewhere, and feeling like I finally had found home.

    The next purchase that blew me away was Milesstones. (How can I like an album so much that does not have guitar on it).

  14. #13

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    He's also on 3 tracks (2, 4, and 11) from the Project G-5 tribute album to Wes. Here's the track list.


  15. #14

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    I was living in the Cincinnati area around 1973-74 timeframe and someone suggested I go hear Cal Collins, as I was getting curious
    about jazz guitar.
    I was fortunate enough to hear him at a small club before I left the area. I was impressed, to say the least.
    I ended up with his 1978 'Cincinnati to L.A.' album a bit later. I always really liked his take on 'Willow Weep for Me'.
    I also found out just before I left the area that Jimmy Raney was in Louisville, KY, which was not that far away!
    Jimmy had Meniere's Disease too.
    Another great local player at the time was Kenny Poole.
    It would have been a real treat to hear Cal and Jimmy playing together, but I'm guessing that happened many years later.


    Cal Collins, why no mention?-cal-collins-jpg

    There is an interview with Cal by Monk Rowe from 1997 on YouTube, for those who might be interested.
    The link shows up as unavailable here, but you can find it with 'Cal Collins Interview by Monk Rowe' on YT.