CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
View larger image       Image note

Levels & Degrees Of Light

CD (Item 28395) Delmark, 1967 — Condition: New Copy
$8.99 ...

CD

List Price: 12.99
(€7.96 || £6.86 || ¥897) (approx.)

Although recorded early in the career of Muhal Richard Abrams, this brilliant LP shows the pianist/composer turning away from the stock jazz and studio work of earlier years – to develop into one of the richest talents to rise from the Chicago avant underground of the 60s! At the time of the recording, Abrams was the president of the recently-founded AACM – and for the session, he's surrounded himself with some of the best young talents from Chicago, including Thurman Barker, Anthony Braxton, Leroy Jenkins, and Maurice McIntyre – all of whom help to create a complicated web of colors, shapes, and sounds, that prove that the youthful energy of the underground scene was more than capable of crafting sophisticated modernist documents. The album features three long works – "Levels & Degrees Of Light", "The Bird Song", and "My Thoughts Are My Future".  © 1996-2016, Dusty Groove, Inc.

We realize that there are many different interpretations of the standard grades used for pre-owned vinyl record albums & CD, so we thought we'd offer you the ones that we are working with, so you have an idea what we mean when we give the grade for a non-new item on our pages.

Used Vinyl Grades

Below are stated conditions for a used vinyl records at Dusty Groove. Grading for the cover should be assumed to be near (within a "+" or "-") the grading for the vinyl. If there is significant divergence from the condition of the vinyl, or specific flaws, these will be noted in the comments section of the item. However, please be aware that since the emphasis of this site is towards the music listener, our main concern is with the vinyl of any used item we sell. Additionally, please note that all of our records are graded visually; considering the volume of used vinyl we handle, it is impossible for us to listen to each record. If we spot any significant flaws, we make every attempt to listen through them and note how they play.

The following grading conditions apply to the vinyl component of an album or single:

Sealed

This is what it says, that the record is still held fast in shrink-wrap. We tend to be pretty suspicious about these things, so if the shrink-wrap doesn't look original, or if the record seems to have undergone some damage over time, we'll probably take it out of the wrapper to ensure that it's in good shape — which is why we don't have more of these. In some cases the shrink-wrap may be torn in spots, but if it's not possible the record has been taken out and played, the record will still qualify as "Sealed".

Near Mint

Dusty Groove does not use the grades of Near Mint (or Mint, for that matter) because in our experience, we find that no records ever qualify for such a high grade. Even sealed records tend to have one or two slight faults, enough to usually qualify them for a grade of NM- or lower. We've often found that records which are clearly unplayed will have a slight amount of surface noise, especially in quieter recordings.

Near Mint - (minus)

  • Black vinyl that may show a slight amount of dust or dirt.
  • Should still be very shiny under a light, even with slight amount of dust on surface.
  • One or two small marks that would make an otherwise near perfect record slightly less so. These marks cannot be too deep, and should only be surface marks that won't affect play, but might detract from the looks.
  • May have some flaws and discoloration in the vinyl, but only those that would be intrinsic to the pressing. These should disappear when the record is tilted under the light, and will only show up when looking straight at the record. (Buddah and ABC pressings from the 70's are a good example of this.)
  • May have some slight marks from aging of the paper sleeve on the vinyl.
  • Possible minor surface noise when played.

Very Good + (plus)

  • Vinyl should be very clean, but can have less luster than near mint.
  • Should still shine under a light, but one or two marks may show up when tilted.
  • Can have a few small marks that may show up easily, but which do not affect play at all. Most marks of this quality will disappear when the record is tilted, and will not be felt with the back of a fingernail.
  • This is the kind of record that will play "near mint", but which will have some signs of use (although not major ones).
  • May have slight surface noise when played.

Very Good

  • Vinyl can have some dirt, but nothing major.
  • May not shine under light, but should still be pretty clean, and not too dirty.
  • May have a number of marks (5 to 10 at most), and obvious signs of play, but never a big cluster of them, or any major mark that would be very deep. Most marks should still not click under a fingernail.
  • May not look near perfect, but should play fairly well, with slight surface noise, and the occasional click in part of a song, but never throughout a whole song or more.
  • This is clearly a copy that was played by someone a number of times, but which could also be a good "play copy" for someone new.

Very Good - (minus)

  • Vinyl may be dirty, and can lack a fair amount of luster.
  • Vinyl can have a number of marks, either in clusters or smaller amounts, but deeper.
  • This is the kind of record that you'd buy to play, but not because it looked that great. Still, the flaws should be mostly cosmetic, with nothing too deep that would ruin the overall record.
  • Examples include a record that has been kept for a while in a cover without the paper sleeve, or heavily played by a previous owner and has some marks across the surface. The record should play okay, though probably with surface noise.

Good + (plus)

  • Vinyl may be dirty, or have one outstanding flaw, such as a light residue, which could be difficult to clean.
  • May have marks on all parts, too many to qualify as Very Good-, or several deeper marks, but the record should still be ok for play without skips.
  • In general, this is a record that was played a fair amount, and handled without care. A typical example may be a record which has been heavily played by a DJ, and carries marks from slip cueing. Depending on the quality of the vinyl, may play with surface noise throughout.

Good

  • A record that you'd buy to play, cheap, but which you wouldn't buy for collecting.
  • Will have marks across all parts of the playing surface, and will most likely play with surface noise throughout. May have some other significant flaws, such as residue, or a track that skips.
  • In most cases, a poor quality copy of a very difficult to find record.

Fair

This is a grade we rarely use, as we try not to sell records in very bad condition, though in some rare cases we will list a record in such bad shape that it does not conform to the standards above. A "Fair" record will have enough marks or significant flaws that it does not even qualify as "Good", but is a copy you might consider for playing, if you're willing to put up with noise and/or flaws. An example might be a recording with surface noise so heavy that it is equal to the volume of the music. For records listed as "Fair", we will describe the extent of the condition in the comments.

Poor

Like "Fair", we rarely list records in this condition, as they represent the extreme low end of spectrum. These records typically have multiple serious problems, and we offer them as "relics" or "objects" only — for those who want to at least have a copy of a record, even if it is not really worthy of play, perhaps for the cover alone. For these records, we will describe the extent of the condition in the comments.

Additional Marks & Notes

If something is noteworthy, we try to note it in the comments — especially if it is an oddity that is the only wrong thing about the record. This might include, but isn't limited to, warped records, tracks that skip, cover damage or wear as noted above, or strictly cosmetic flaws.


Used CD Grade

We have only one grade for non-new CDs at Dusty Groove — "Used CD". This grade is somewhat all-encompassing, but we choose it because we try to offer Used CDs in the best shape possible. All of our Used CDs are guaranteed to play without skipping or flaws. If you purchase a Used CD from Dusty Groove, you have 1 week to play it to determine that it plays correctly — and if it does not, then you may return it for a full refund.

With our Used CDs, you can expect the disc to be free of all but the lightest of surface marks — clean, and not dirty at all. You can also expect the case to be clean (we often change the cases ourselves — putting fresh cases on Used CDs we handle) — and you can expect the booklet to be in good shape, unless noted otherwise. We will list any specific details/defects underneath the item — so look for notes on cutout marks in the case, stamps on the barcode, or details like that.


You might be interested


CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Old Tyme Modern
Sackville, 1969. New Copy
Well-blown clarinet solos from Herb Hall – a player who's more than trad enough here to live up to the album's title, and who works with a quartet that includes Claude Hopkins on piano, Arvell Shaw on bass, and Buzzy Drootin on drums! Hopkins is great, too – easily the co-star of the ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Visitation
Sackville/Boxholder, 1985. New Copy
An overlooked moment from the mighty Joe McPhee – a set recorded after his initial run of brilliance on the Hat Art label, with backing from a Canadian combo led by pianist Bill Smith! Smith works on soprano, alto, and sopranino saxophone – and McPhee plays soprano too, as well as ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Rastafari
Sackville/Boxholder, 1983. New Copy
Hardly the reggae album you might guess from the title – and instead a captivating set that follows strongly in the best sonic legacy of Wadada Leo Smith's other records from the time! The album has Smith fronting the quartet of reedman Bill Smith – who plays soprano, sopranino, and ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Sackville/Delmark, 1975. New Copy
Really wonderful work from Don Pullen – solo material, and some of his most soulful sides of the 70s – done in this long-flowing style that's completely sublime! Pullen's really at his best in this format – working in a way that's very free, but never overindulgent or ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Epic/Soulmusic.com (UK), Late 70s/Early 80s. New Copy 2 CDs
A tremendous run of music from the great George Duke – an artist who'd already spent many years in the jazz and soul world before hitting his time at Epic Records – where he really took off on a great run of tracks like this! Duke started out as a straight jazz player in the 60s, then ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Paul's Mall Jazz Workshop Boston – November 1973
Hi Hat, 1973. New Copy
A great live set from a time when Herbie Hancock was just getting started with his Headhunters group – that amazing combo that featured Bennie Maupin on reeds, Paul Jackson on bass, and Mike Clark on drums! The style here is almost more open and loose than on the studio albums by the group ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Hub Of Hubbard
MPS (Germany), 1969. New Copy
A classic European date from Freddie Hubbard – recorded right around the vintage of his Red Clay years, but with a sound that hearkens back more towards his Blue Note sessions of the mid 60s! There's a nicely angular feel to this set – that bold, modern quality that really set Hubbard ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
MPS (Germany), 1976. New Copy
A stone classic from pianist Monty Alexander – a live date recorded for MPS in the mid 70s, and a set with even more fire than his studio sides for the label! The sound here is quite freewheeling at times – not funky, but in a very romping, gutbuckety mode that marks Alexander as a ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2016. New Copy
Jason Palmer's given us some great concept projects in recent years – including albums based around the music of Minnie Riperton and Janelle Monae – but this time around, the concept is all Palmer's own – and a great one too! As the title might imply, the music here is based ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Jihad/Skokiaan (UK), 1965. New Copy
An album that was years ahead of its time – and which still stands as one of the boldest statements from the New York jazz underground of the 60s! The revolutionary styles of the scene were documented by bigger labels like Impulse and Blue Note – but this obscure indie set goes even ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Chasing After The Wind
Steeplechase (Denmark), 2016. New Copy
Gregory Tardy's turned into a reedman with a great ability for complex soundshapes – these beautiful phrasings and passages from his tenor sax – yet always delivered in a way that never fails to swing with soul! On this excellent set, Tardy and his musical associates paint these lovely ... CD
CD, LP, Vinyl record album cover art
Walking The Line
MPS (Germany), 1970. New Copy
An album with a groove as fluid as you might guess from the title – and from the nicely stretched image of Oscar Peterson on the cover! The album's one of the best-remembered from Oscar's years at MPS – a session that's got almost as much soul jazz at the bottom as it does the fluid ... CD
 



⇑ Top