November 26, 2015 | Posted in JAZZ, VINYL RECORDS | By

One of the pleasures of vinyl record crate digging:

I believe the greatest benefit you get from collecting vintage vinyl records is the archival music you unearth. Music that has not been, and likely will never be released in any other format.Ohio State Jazz Vinyl Record Covers

I would love it, if someone could compile all of the Ohio State Jazz Ensemble’s music into one nice package on CD or download, but the odds are very slim. The only way you’ll hear this music is on vinyl.

If you’re a jazz aficionado like myself, you probably realized a long time ago since jazz is such a niche music, it not always commercially viable for the distributor, and therefore you will find out of print CD’s selling for outrageous amounts.

This fact was also a reason I decided to go the LP route, I was able to find rare music on vinyl for a few dollars sometimes, and it sure beat paying hundreds for some CD, and of course the vinyl sounds better most of the time.

Some of my best vinyl finds were the Jazz Ensemble. I have been fortunate to find a half-dozen private label vinyl record from 1968 to 1982, each one on its own is fantastic modern progressive big band jazz.

Many of the albums have elements of funk and pop music creeping into the music as the decade of the 70’s went along.

The music is top-notch, and highly sought after with mint vinyl copies selling at north of $10 dollars a copy, that tells me there might be a market out there for this, small yes, but a market for sure.

You can find vintage copies of the Ensemble right here.

Who is Tom Battenberg?

The leader of the ensemble from 1970-1990 was trumpeter/educator Tom Battenberg, a fantastic trumpeter in his own right.Tom Battenburg

Battenberg lead a fantastic big band that reminds me of the Don Ellis Orchestra of the late 60’s and 70’s. Each and every OSU Ensemble record is worth adding to your big band jazz collection.

Tom currently plays Dixieland jazz with the Highstreet Stompers, and is also the Principal Trumpet in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, where Tom has been for 49 seasons.

Update: Tom recently retired after 50 years as the lead trumpet for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.

Tough to find Ohio State Jazz Ensemble LP’s

These particular vinyl LP’s are fairly tough to find as the print runs must have been minuscule, I am fortunate to live only a 90 minute drive from Ohio State University, and It’s not impossible for me to find some of the ensembles vinyl in my Dayton Ohio Thrift store bins now and then.Ohio State Jazz

Oddly enough, albums from the ensemble’s 1980’s output like Music to Clean Your Garage By, and Acorn’s Tavern seem harder to find than the earlier 70’s OSU vinyl. Perhaps the print runs were even shorter for those?

There has developed a niche market for these vintage private label LP jazz recordings. The resurgence of vinyl, and the hard to find nature of the music has driven the price up quite a bit, but they still remain very affordable.

Honestly I don’t think there will ever be a time where this particular jazz band will get the box set treatment, but a person can dream can’t they?

There may be a bigger market for it than you think, I know when I check the auctions, I see these LP’s with bidding activity all the time. If you live in the within 100 miles of Columbus Ohio, you will likely find these sooner or later digging in the thrift store bins.

3 more vintage LP covers from the Ohio State Jazz Ensemble



*All photos taken by me of covers from my own collection.*


Jason Sositko

Jason Sositko, a freelance writer and entrepreneur is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I also use services such as Viglink and Skimlinks to earn income via links placed inside articles.

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