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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (and More) About Blue Note 45-RPM Records

Horace Silver copyYou will now be treated to a treatise covering more than you ever wanted to know about Blue Note 45s. So from now on, if you do happen to run across any interesting Blue Note 45s, you can do a search at Jazz Collector for this article and the shared knowledge of the community will be available for as long as I pay the bills to keep the site up and running. Here’s how I came by this newfound knowledge, which I wasn’t seeking, but which I will now share for others who may also not be seeking it. It started, as these things often do, with an e-mail inquiry, as follows:

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Recent Entries

What is On Your Turntable? Here’s What’s on Mine

Jazz copyI’m back from a brief respite. Went to an old mining town in southwestern Colorado called Creede, where my son directed a wonderful production of Our Town. A theater in an old mining town? Indeed. The story is that when the mining business began declining, town leaders put out a call for help asking for ideas on how to keep the town alive and attract residents year-round. A group of theater students from the University of Kansas decided to open a theater there. That was 50 years ago and the theater is still alive and kicking. They had done a production of Our Town back in their first season and had Michael come and do a new production this year.

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Four Jazz Classics, and Nary a Blue Note

Art Farmer copyAnd now for some more jazz vinyl from our eBay watch list, starting with Art Farmer Quintet, Prestige  7017. This is an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record and cover are both listed in VG+ condition. The price is only at $88 with less than a day left on the auction. Someone may be in line for a bargain (and a great record). In the same vein, and from the same seller, there is Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce, When Farmer Met Gryce, Prestige 7085. This is also an original New York pressing, listed in Ex condition for the record and the cover. Based on the seller’s descriptions, it looks like Ex is a higher grade than VG+. This one is at a bit more than $200.

While we’re on Prestiges, there is:

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Jazz Hot, Cool and Expensive

Kenny Dorham Afro Cuban VinylHere are the results of a few other jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban, Blue Note 5065. This was an original 10-inch pressing with the Lexington Avenue label. The record was listed in VG+ or VG++ condition (I’d vote for VG+, based on the description) and the cover was listed in VG condition with a big stain on the front that spread to the back. The stained cover would certainly negatively impact my interest in the record, but not for the winning bidder, who is spending $902 for this record.

This was another one that was in not-so-great condition but still wound up selling for a fairly hefty price:

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Why a Monk?

Thelonious Monk 10-inch Jazz VinylThanks to Lennib for spotting this one: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch pressing, listed among the very nice 10-inch records we mentioned the other day. This one was also very nice, probably in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Even in this condition, the price was quite a surprise, selling for $1,136.11. That has to be the highest price we’ve seen for a 10-inch Prestige and, frankly, there’s no explanation we can come up with, other than the likely reality that two people really, really wanted this record and the bid the bidding up. From what we can see, the other records in this batch sold for prices that you would typically expect, given the titles and condition, including:

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Tracking Some Nice 10-inch Jazz Vinyl

Bud Powell vinyl copyI happened to notice some nice 10-inch jazz vinyl on eBay this morning, so let’s start today’s post with The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 2, Blue Note 5041. This is an original 10-inch pressing that looks to be in M- condition, although the seller is not a record person and didn’t actually attempt to grade it. It looks quite lovely in the pictures, and that is definitely one of my favorite Blue Note covers. The bidding is now in the range of $235 with more than two days left and I would expect this LP to sell for quite a bit more. The seller has several other nice 10-inch LPs for sale, including Horace Silver Quintet, Blue Note 5062. This is also an original pressing, and the description is similar to the Powell record, no actual grading, but an implication that this one is also in M- condition for the record and the cover. The current price is around $125.

While we’re on the subject of 10-inch Blue Notes, there is also:

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A Classic and a Collectible (and a few More)

Warne copyWas watching another copy of John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This was also an original pressing with the New York 23 label on one side. There was a copy of this last week with a VG cover that sold for $1,666. This one was in better shape — VG+ for the cover and either VG+ or VG++ for the record, depending upon how much you trust the seller’s description. This one sold for $2,318. As opposed to my headline for the Ellington at Newport record mentioned earlier, this one is a classic and a collectible. And it’s value as a collectible seems to keep on rising.

The same seller had this one, which you don’t see too often: Warne Marsh, Jazz of Two Cities, Imperial 9027. This was an original pressing in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $208.14. I’ve owned a reissue of this record for many years, but can’t remember ever putting it on the turntable. Maybe tonight.

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A Classic, But Is It A Collectible?

Ellington copyFollowing up on the latest auction from the Jazz Record Center, starting with Duke Ellington at Newport, Columbia 934. This was an original mono six-eye pressing. The record itself was sealed — in those days Columbia had a sealable inner sleeve. So the record was unplayed and the cover was M-. The price was $227.50. This is quite an important record in the history of jazz, capturing the concert that helped to revitalize Ellington’s career, but I’ve never known it to be particularly collectible. I’ve had original pressings at record shows and haven’t been able to sell them, even for $20. I’m not sure how much the market has changed for this record, although in certain circumstances, such as this one, clearly it can now sell for collectible prices. There was a previous copy that once sold for about $127, but the seller was bobdjukic so I’ve always assumed that was an aberration.

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The $1,000 Bin (And Beyond)

Chambers copyLet’s catch up on some of the jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Paul Chambers, Whims of Chambers, Blue Note 1534. This was an original Lexington Avenue Pressing that was listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It wound up selling for $1,136. It’s amazing how the prices for these original Blue Notes have gone up in the years we’ve been doing Jazz Collector. A few months ago we saw a copy of this record sell for more than $2,700. Back in 2004, I gave myself a hard time for spending $300 on a M- copy of the same record.

This one did not sell because it did not meet the seller’s reserve price: Red Rodney, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The top bid was $1,501. It’s hard to imagine that any of us, collectors or sellers, would have ever thought that $1,500 was too low a price for a single jazz record, but that day has certainly arrived.

This one made it into the $1,000 bin and actually did sell, despite the condition:

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In The Jazz Vinyl Vortex Once Again

Dave Bailey copyI’m watching a few items from the current Jazz Record Center auction on eBay, including: The Dave Bailey Sextet, Bash!, Jazzline 33-10. This is an original pressing Kenny Dorham, Curtis Fuller, Tommy Flanagan and others. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover looks to be about VG+, based on the description. The bidding is at $200 with nearly three days left before the auction closes.

Oliver Nelson, The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Impulse 5. This is an original mono promo copy with the white label. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover looks to be about VG++. The bidding is at $100.

This is one that is completely new to me:

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Updating the $1,000 Jazz Vinyl Bin

Blue Train jazz vinylLooks like we’ll be updating the $1,000 bin this morning, starting with John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This was an original pressing with the New York 23 on one side. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was just VG. No matter, it seems, because these New York 23 Blue Trains are quite hard to find. This one sold for $1,666.

No surprise seeing Blue Train in the $1,000 bin. This one, which I mentioned yesterday, was a surprise, not that it sold for more than $1,000, but that it sold for more than $1,500: Hank Mobley Quartet, Blue Note 5066. This was only in VG+ condition for the record and the cover, and when we looked at it yesterday the price was around $460. The final price was $1,525.

Here’s one that may have a chance at making the $1,000 bin:

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Mobley 1568: All Yours For Just $14,999

Mobley copyOff the soapbox and onto eBay. Let’s start with this: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is an original original pressing with the New York 23 on one side. The record is described as VG+ to M- and the cover is described as G to VG, although I think the seller may be very conservative on his grading. A few weeks ago, we saw one of these without the New York 23 sell for $11,191.63 (which reminds me, I have to follow up and see if the sale actually went through). The seller of this copy must have seen that and is offering this on a “buy-it-now” basis for the bargain price of $14,999. What do you think? Ready to plunk down 15 grand on a single record?

Here’s another Mobley being offered by one of our regular readers/commenters: Hank Mobley Quartet, Blue Note 5066. This is an original 10-inch record. The record and cover are both listed in VG+ condition and, as an added bonus, the record comes with the brochure “The Blue Note Story,” which I’ve written about in the past. This one closes later today and the bidding is in the $460 range, yet is has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price.

Here are a couple of interesting ones from the U.K.:

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For Discussion “At the Table” — What Is the Responsibility of the Critic?

At-The-Table-poster-1024x662 copyMy son, Michael Perlman, has written and directed a new play called “At the Table,” which is being produced at the HERE Arts Center in New York. I’m stating that up front because when people do searches for the play on the Internet I want them to find this article. But, before I get to “At the Table” by Michael Perlman, let me get to the point as it relates to my friends and readers here at Jazz Collector.

My very first paying job as a journalist was while I was still in college. I was the jazz writer and critic for The Syracuse New Times in Syracuse, New York. It was 1973. I was 20 years old. The job was a blast. I got to interview Charles Mingus, Chick Corea and Larry Coryell when they came through town. I got to write a fun essay on Charlie Parker. I wrote an article on 25 records to get started on jazz. And, whenever the record labels would send over new jazz records, they would come to me. For a vinyl addict, what could be better?

At some point I was sitting in my dorm room and I was doing a review of a new Dexter Gordon album. It was Ca’Purange (Prestige 10051 for those of us who like to keep track of such things). I didn’t think the album was all that great, particularly in comparison to Dexter’s previous Prestige albums, most notably The Panther!, which was one of my favorites. I’m at my typewriter and writing about Dexter being a disappointment on this record, and commenting negatively on the other musicians, who happened to be Thad Jones, Hank Jones, Stanley Clarke and Louis Hayes.

And I look down at the paper, and the realization hits me: Who the hell am I to be criticizing Dexter Gordon or any of these amazing artists?

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Finding Jazz Vinyl “Bargains?”

JR copySince I’ve been offline for a bit, let’s catch up on some of the items we were watching when we left, and then we’ll move on to some new items in the next post. Lots of Blue Notes today, starting with J.R. Montrose, Blue Note 1536. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing that was listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for just $667. I say “just” because we’ve seen this record sell for quite a bit more, in even worse condition than this one. I imagine the buyer is quite happy with this purchase.

Lee Morgan, City Lights, Blue Note 1575. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that was listed inn M- condition for both the record and the cover. This one sold for $775 and that’s another “just” because this record has surpassed the $1,000 mark several times in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Are we seeing a temporary dip in the market as we head into the summer? I don’t follow exchange rates closely — is that an issue that would drive prices down?

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What’s it Worth to You: Kind of Blue Signed by Miles, Trane and Paul Chambers?

Kind of Blue, Autographed VinylPerusing eBay this morning and came upon this very interesting, and very expensive, item: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This is described as a limited edition pressing of Kind of Blue, with the back blank. The seller says this was issued for record executives and promoters, which seems possible, although I’ve never seen one before, and I’ve been looking for 45 years. The thing with this one is that the back isn’t exactly blank — it’s been signed by Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Paul Chambers, with a “Best Wishes” thrown in by Trane. It looks pretty authentic, although I’m not an expert on autographs. It is listed in VG++ condition for the record and the cover looks pretty nice, although not actually graded. The seller says it came from her husband’s collection and original priced it at $25,000. It is now up for auction with a start price of about $5,000 and a buy-it-now price of $12,500. Who among us wouldn’t want to own this one? But at what price?

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Le Jazz Vinyl Et Plus

Barney Wilen Jazz VinylI thought I’d have more to say about the death or Ornette Coleman, but I really don’t. I am not an expert on his music and was never really a fan, although I typically liked what I heard, at least from his early years. So I’m going to go back to what I normally do here, which is watch records on eBay, starting with a pair of French records from a French seller: Barney Wilen, Tilt, Swing 30.058. This is an original pressing from 1957. It is listed in VG+ condition for the record and M- for the cover. The price is in the $400 range with less than two days left, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. Nice cover, but don’t know the record. Readers? Another one that is quite rare, but unfamiliar to my ears:

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Ornette Coleman, RIP

Just found this out thanks to one of our readers: Ornette Coleman, Jazz Innovator, Dies at 85. Will have more later. In the meantime, feel free to comment.

Vinyl Updates from Blue Note and Norgran

Tal Farlow copyLet’s catch up on some more jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with The Tal Farlow Album, Norgran 1047. This was an original 12-inch pressing with the very nice David Stone Martin cover. The record and cover both looked to be in close to M- condition and the start price was about $180. I didn’t expect the record to sell and it didn’t. One reason I posted it here is because I love the cover. Also, I do believe some of these great original Norgrans should get more attention, although, to be fair, the 10-inch version of this is the original release as well as the better-sounding version. The 12-inch has four additional tracks from a different date. This is one of the great jazz guitar records, so if you don’t have it, put it on the list.

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. . . And Four More Classic Jazz LPs

Kenny Dorham Jazz Vinyl copyCatching up on some more jazz vinyl sales we missed recently, including Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. This was an original New York yellow label pressing, that was in probably VG++ or M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $1,980.55. The same seller had a bunch of other nice records, such as Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original pressing with the purple label and deep grooves. The record was probably VG+ or VG++ and the cover was M-. The price was $1,136. One more while we’re at it:

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Four Classics From the Golden Age of Jazz Vinyl

Griffin Vinyl copy 2Now that I am back with a working computer, and fully recovered from the shock of the latest surge in prices for jazz vinyl, I can get back to the business of watching rare records on eBay, starting with Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York 23 labels on both sides. The record is in M- condition and the cover is listed as Ex. There’s about a day and a half left in the bidding, and the price has already reached $1,225. However, it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve, so there’s a possibility this one may not even sell, despite what some might consider to be a pretty high price tag.

The Jazz Record Center  has an auction closing in two days, including John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This is what Fred calls a “P” pressing, although I’m not sure what the “P” actually stands for. It is the one with the deep grooves, ear, RVG stamp and West 63rd Street address, but no New York 23 on one side. I’ve always assumed this is a second press? Anyway,

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Ruminations On The First $11,191.63 Jazz Record

Mobley copyI can’t quite leave that $11,191.63 Hank Mobley Blue Note quite yet. It’s still pretty mind boggling. I spent some time looking at the seller’s site and reading their blog. They do a very good job of presenting information and marketing themselves as more than just dealers but as preservationists and aficionados. They also had a blog entry explaining the provenance of the NY 23 and why collectors shouldn’t consider one label as more original than the other. Of course, collectors are not necessarily a fully sane bunch, and I include myself in that category, so no offense intended. So, kudos to the sellers for doing a great packaging job, including the pictures, descriptions and overall presentation I then looked at the bidding on the record and the big surprise was that the two bidders who pushed the record into the stratosphere

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Jazz Vinyl Record Price? Hank Mobley Blue Note Sells For More Than $11,000 on Ebay

Mobley copyI feel like Rip Van Winkle. My computer goes down for four days, I come back to eBay and the world has changed. First there was the $1,600 record from The 3 Sounds and then, of course, was this: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. I know you’re all writing about this on the earlier post, but I have to have this in a headline and in a separate post so that it will live on for posterity, as well as Google searches. This is a big event in the Jazz Collector world, seeing this record — or any jazz record — selling for the whopping price of $11,191.63. Now, admittedly, we haven’t been keeping up with the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but that price is just about DOUBLE the previous highest price we’ve recorded for any other record, ever.

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“Wow” Just about sums it Up

3 Sounds Vinyl copySorry for the lack of posts. My computer crashed last week. I was working in the country and it was a beautiful day and I had the windows open. Then I stopped working, did a few other chores and a thunderstorm came passing through. I hadn’t closed the windows in my office. Everything got soaked, including the computer. Yada, yada, yada, I now have a new computer. And when I finally logged back on, I was greeted by this quite amazing note from our friend CeeDee, with the subject line: “r u kiddin’ me?” Among other comments, was a listing with the statement: “‘Wow’ just about sums it up.” The listing in question? Blue Note Presents The 3 Sounds, Blue Note 1600. This was an original West 63rd pressing with the deep grooves, RVG, ear. It was in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The price? Pardon me while I take a deep pause . . . .

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Blue Note Vinyl and A Blue Note Loss

Fuller2 copyLet’s begin the day with some Blue Notes on my own personal want list, starting with Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, RVG and ear. The record is listed as M- and the cover is VG++. The price is currently around $450 with more than three days to go. This record, in this condition, I fully expect to sell for more than $1,000. This is another one of those records that I owned and sold about 35 years ago to buy a boat. You know the story: The boat sank and I’ve still never replaced the record.

Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record is in M- condition and the cover is VG++. This one is in the $460 range and I also expect it to sell for more than $1,000. This was

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A Brief Adventure

Monk Jazz VinylI had another one of those fortunate coincidences yesterday that sometimes seem to cause some sort of envy around here, but which I shall share nonetheless. So I am up at my home in The Berkshires, and The Lovely Mrs. JC works in Manhattan and sometimes she takes the train up and I meet her at the station in Hudson, N.Y., about an hour from our home. And yesterday she was arriving at 6:30 but I decided to leave a bit early because there is a major construction project along the way and I didn’t want to be delayed, anxious to see her and all that. But there was no traffic and I made it to Hudson with about 15 minutes to spare and I know that there’s a record store in Hudson and as I was driving past it I figured, OK, if I can find a parking spot in front, I’ll go in. And there, of course, was a spot right in front, so it was no hassle. Now, I’ve been to this store several times before and I have never purchased anything. They have come vintage jazz and their prices are fair, but they aren’t bargain prices by any means. Except . . .  Read More..