Collector Interview: James Molesworth

Posted on March 05 2019

Michelle McSwain (@michellemcswain) and Vanessa Price (@vanessalenoreprice)
photo credit: Michelle McSwain and Vanessa Price

Our next interview features the vinyl collection of James Molesworth, the Senior Editor at Wine Spectator magazine (and a college radio DJ in a former life). James uses a set of 26 panel A-Z Stencil dividers as well as a selection of matching custom stencil genre and artist dividers to organize his collection of over 1000 records. James shares, "When I'm not tasting and writing about wine, I'm listening to vinyl and hosting the occasional vinyl night in some NYC wine bars". You can see a selection of his wine picks and vinyl collection at jmolesworth1 on Instagram.

I have a VPI Classic 30th Anniversary, with both mono and stereo arms that I switch out easily. I am loving my recently purchased McIntosh MA252 amp and Triangle Antal speakers.

photo credit: Michelle McSwain and Vanessa Price

Size of your collection:
nearly 1,300 LPs, focused primarily on jazz, along with blues, R&B, classic rock and some odds and ends.

How do you organize your collection?
By genre and then alphabetical within genre. For some artists where I have a numerous albums, I will then order those chronologically/catalogue number.

What album/artist are you listening to right now?
I've had an original copy of Willie Hutch, Soul Portrait (1969) in heavy rotation on my turntable lately.

How long have you been collecting records? 
I've been collecting primarily since college, when I hosted a jazz show on my college radio station. After a long hiatus I rekindled my love of vinyl over the last 5 years or so, selling off most of my CDs along the way as I convert back to analog.

photo credit: James Molesworth

Favorite or biggest music genre in your collection:
Jazz, by far, which accounts for more than half my collection, with a heavy emphasis on 1950s and 1960s hard bop and post bop. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker and Lou Rawls are very well covered in my collection.

Best album to listen to when you’ve had a rough week:
My 1958 mono pressing of Miles Davis, Milestones. That finger pop right before the title track on side 2 kicks in takes all my troubles away.

Last record you purchased:
I just scored an original (still sealed!) pressing of the 1976 funk classic The Edwards Generation Featuring Chuck Edwards - In San Francisco "The Street Thang"

What is your beverage of choice when listening to records?
wine, of course...!

Where do you hunt for vinyl?
Both Paris Jazz Corner in Paris and The Jazz Record Center in New York City are amazing shops.

photo credit: James Molesworth