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Jazz Vinyl Listings That Raise Questions

jaspar maybe copyHere’s one I’ve never seen before: Bobby Jaspar All Stars Band, Modern Jazz at Club Saint Germain, Barclay 84023. This looks to be an original French pressing that was apparently owned by Bobby Jaspar who, unfortunately seemed not to take such great care of it. The cover looks pretty beat up, I’d say VG-, but the seller lists the cover as VG+ and also lists the record as VG+, so you’d have to be a little skeptical, I guess. The start price is $300 and so far there are no bidders. I imagine the record is quite rare, in that I’ve never seen in in 40-plus years of scouring record shelves all over the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Someone please explain this one to me: Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Blue Note 1526. This is a New York USA pressing, with a West 61st Street address on the cover. In other words, nothing about this record is close to an original first pressing and, at best, the vinyl was issued, when, in the early 1960s? Not to mention the vinyl is in VG condition. The cover is VG+. Somehow, there have been four bids on this record and the price is close to $200. Explanations please?

Our friends at Euclid Records seem to have made a nice discovery/score:

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Recent Entries

A Mingus, A Rouse & Some Blue Note Questions

Mingus jazz vinylHere are a few more from the pre-updated Jazz Collector watch list from the past week, starting with Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um, Columbia 1370. This is an original mono pressing with the white promo label. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition. We’ve been seeing promo Columbia pressings selling for a decent amount of money, particularly Miles Davis Kind of Blue. The seller was apparently hoping for more of the same and may have been disappointed. This one garnered a top bid of $110.50 but it did not meet the seller’s reserve. Very credible, reputable and experienced seller, I might add.

Charlie Rouse, Bossa Nova Bacchanal, Blue Note 4119. This looked to be an original pressing with the New York USA label and the Van Gelder and ears. It looked to be in about VG+ condition for the record, and maybe VG++ condition for the cover, although the pictures looked more like VG+ to me. The record sold for $194.41. The listing also triggered a couple of questions, for which I don’t have the answers at my immediate disposal. To my  Read More..

Some Sell, Some Don’t, One Gets Quite A Price

Kenny Dorham Jazz VinylMany ages ago, when I last posted on Jazz Collector, there were many items I was watching on eBay that have subsequently sold. Or not. Here are some of them:

Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets Volume 1, ABC Paramount 122. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $510. One of the things I’ve always liked about this record is the “Volume 1.” Obviously, somebody thought there was going to be a Volume 2, but it never materialized. Wonder if anyone here knows what happened to Volume 2? I searched for this record for years. About 20 years ago I passed up a very nice copy at the Jazz Record Center, which Fred Cohen very generously agreed to sell to me for $100. I have no idea why I didn’t buy it, but I didn’t. I finally acquired a copy last year in that lovely Baltimore collection. Still haven’t listed to it, though. Getting a turntable upgrade in New York this week. Maybe now’s the time.

This one had a starting price of about $1,500 and, not surprisingly (to me, at least), did not attract any bidders:

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Once Again, The Familiar Allure of Rare Jazz Vinyl

Cliff Jordan Jazz VinylNo I know I am truly back from vacation. Got up early this morning and went right to eBay to look for rare jazz records. Here are a few that I found, starting with: Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing with the deep grooves, ear, etc. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. I still don’t have an original pressing of this LP. This one is now in the $300 range with more than four days to go. It will surely sell for a price outside of my comfort zone, so I’ll keep looking.

Hank Mobley, Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This is also an original deep-groove West 63rd Street pressing. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. This one closes today and the price is in the $500 range.

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Sonny Rollins and The New Yorker: YIKES!

I’m back from vacation and what am I greeted with — a real-life and genuine, if fully trumped up, jazz controversy. I am referring to the fervor being generated over a column several days ago in The New Yorker titled: Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words. The article appeared in the “Shouts & Murmurs” section, which is a longtime humor column in The New Yorker. In the article a writer under the pseudonym Django Gold attributes a number of ridiculous statements to Sonny. Samples: “The saxophone sounds horrible. Like a scared pig.” And: “Jazz may be the stupidest thing anyone ever came up with.”

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Catching Up on A Couple of Jazz Vinyl Rarities

Sonny Rollins Plays Jazz VinylHey, everyone. Checking in from vacation. Just spent three lovely days in Creede, Colorado, and I’m now in sunny San Diego, where, apparently, there is an excellent record store I should be checking out. And perhaps I will. In the meanwhile, I’m sneaking in some time to take a look at my eBay watch list and see what I’ve been missing. BTW, I am not here for the Comic-Con convention. One crazy obsession is enough for one lifetime.

Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This was an original  deep-groove pressing listed in M- condition for the record and the cover, although the cover seemed slightly less to me. I’d love to own this record someday. Hard to imagine that it’s eluded me for more than 40 years, but that’s part of the joy of collecting, isn’t it: To always have something to look forward to. This one sold for $1,136.11.

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DG or Not DG; That Is The Question

Burrell and Coltrane Jazz VinylFound a little time this morning to peruse eBay and these are some of the items I noticed, starting with Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane, New Jazz 8276. This is listed as an original purple label pressing, but I’m not so sure. I zoomed in on those labels and they didn’t look to me like they had deep grooves. One of our regular readers asked me about this record the other day, so here it is if you want to take a chance. I’d be a little careful. The record is probably VG++ and the cover either VG+ or VG++. The start price is in the $150 range and so far there are no bidders. Perhaps I’m not the only one looking for deep grooves. One other question: To those of you who own this record and organize their records alphabetically, where do you put this one: Under Burrell or Coltrane? I used to keep it under Coltrane, but it would get lost among all of the other Prestiges, so now I keep it under Burrell and I actually notice it. Lovely record too.

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Ruminations on Trane and Dizzy

Coltrane JAzzThere’s a new auction from the Jazz Record Center on eBay. I like to watch their auctions, not just because of their sterling reputation as sellers, but also because I often learn something new, or at least recall something I’ve forgotten. For example, John Coltrane, Coltrane Jazz, Atlantic 1354. I have a hard time keeping track of the Atlantic original pressings once they stopped with the black labels, and this is a nice reminder that the original pressing of this record has the red and purple labels. This is the mono pressing, which is always nice to have, although in the case of this record, I typically prefer the stereo pressing. In any case, this one is in M- condition for the record and the cover and has a start price of $75 with no bidders, so far. I’m getting some new equipment this week. I’m thinking about the first record to play and this would be on the list if I had a stereo copy, but I don’t so I’m taking if off the list. Right now I’m thinking perhaps Way Out West or Sonny Rollins Plus Four or perhaps Blue Train.

This one I find really interesting:

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Who Picked the Sidemen?

A couple of items from the Jazz Collector mailbox.

One of our readers and regular commenters, Japhy, send a note with the following question:

“Sidemen — who picked em?

“Something I’ve long wondered is — if an artist without a regular working band came in to can an album, how were the sidemen chose? At Blue Note, for example, did Alfred and Frank assemble the players, or would a guy with some pull like Dexter Gordon say, “Hey this is who I want to play with?” Could a name artist veto a sideman? Maybe the leader would come in with a couple of guys and then Lion would fill in the holes? It’s pretty clear that a lot of artists tended to record together, but overall it’s just something I’ve always wondered about.”


Another reader sent me this article:

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A Pair of Blue Note Originals. Or Not?

Burrell 2 copyHere’s an interesting item now on eBay: Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597.  The seller, who obviously knows his stuff, describes this as a “rare original US press.” I guess that’s true in the sense that the record was originally pressed in the United States, although that doesn’t necessarily make it a first pressing. This one has the West 63rd Street address, but no deep grooves. There is also no mention of the Plastylite ears. I guess, what is original is in the eye of the beholder or, in this case, the bidder, of which there is one at about $200. In my vernacular I would not call this an original. From what I can see, the cover looks like it might be an original mono cover, although someone out there might know of some aspect that might change that view. In any case, potential bidders may be only interested in the cover anyway, since it is by Andy Warhol and it is presumably in much better shape than the vinyl, which is only in VG- condition.

I am tending to think this one is also not an original original:

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Interesting Vinyl & A Question About LP Packaging

jackie copyHere is some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay now, starting with Paul Chambers, Whims of Chambers, Blue Note 1534. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the Lexington Avenue address, deep grooves, ears, etc. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is VG++. The bidding is already in the $450 range with more than six days to go. Perhaps this one will enter the $1,000 bin. This seller, based in Germany, has a fairly nice collection of jazz vinyl on eBay now. One of the others I’m keeping an eye on is Jackie McLean, A Long Drink of the Blues, New Jazz 8253. This looks to be an original pressing with the purple label and deep grooves. The condition is a little hard to assess, because he does mention audible repetitive tics. Probably VG or VG+ to be generous. The cover is graded VG+. I was just kind of idly looking through my collection a couple of weeks ago and noticed that my copy of this record is a blue label, non-original. So, it would be quite nice to have an original, although I’d typically prefer one in better condition. Perhaps if the price is right: This one is now at $60 with five days to go.

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Back in Business Watching Jazz Vinyl

ornette colemanI’ve been so busy with real work I haven’t even looked at eBay in more than a week. But today is a holiday here in the states, and then a weekend, so perhaps I will be able to refocus once again on happenings within the whacky world of jazz vinyl. In the meantime, let me clean up some of the sold items on my watch list, starting with some of those records from the Jazz Record Center auction.

Ornette Coleman, Change of the Century, Atlantic 1327. This was an original pressing with the black label. I haven’t seen that many black label pressings of this record, but I never considered it to be that much of a collectible. Perhaps I need to change my perspective. This copy was in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $449.

I had mentioned these two in an earlier post: Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This was an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,291. Cannonball Adderley, Somethin’ Else, Blue Note 1595. This was also an original pressing in M- condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $751.

This one, from a different seller, fetched quite a nice price:

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How Much of a Vinyl Addict Are You?

A couple of quick things before I get down to a real post about real jazz vinyl.

My son sent me this article 18 Signs You Are Addicted to Collecting Vinyl. You’ll enjoy. Everyone here pretty much knows that he’s an addict, so it’s not a question of which of these applies to you, it’s a question of which ones apply the most to you. I counted about half for me, including all the ones about home decor.

For those of you in Manhattan next Monday (not me, unfortunately), there will be a memorial service for Horace Silver at 7 p.m. downtown on the Lower East Side at the St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church. I’m assuming that, because it is being publicized, it will be open to the public. Maybe I’ll change my plans and try to get there.

Here’s one to break your heart. It certainly broke mine. I was having dinner with a friend last night and he said he recently knew of a family wherein someone passed away who had a collection of about 20,000 records. The family didn’t make much of an effort to sell the records or find a home for them. The tried a couple of libraries, but didn’t even call any record stores. My friend forgot to tell them about me. The records ended up in a dumpster. Seriously.

Tracking Trey Blue Notes

curtis fuller on blue noteThe Jazz Record Center has an auction closing tomorrow and, as is usually the case, there are some interesting records worth watching, including Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This is an original pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is now in the $520 range. In the past I would have said that the Jazz Record Center auctions get top dollar, which makes watching them valuable in tracking the market, but I don’t think that is the case any longer. I think not taking Pay Pal eliminates a portion of the buyers, but it probably eliminates some of the risker potential buyers as well.

This one is from the same auction and the action, so far, is surprisingly subdued: Cannonball Adderley, Somethin’ Else, Blue Note 1595. This is an original pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. With the auction closing tomorrow, there is only one bid at $200. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $1,000 several times in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so we’ll see what happens with this copy.

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Vinyl Collectibles, Collectible Prices

miles davisLet’s catch up on some of the jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with: Miles Davis Volume 1, Blue Note 1501. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing in Ex condition for the record and Ex+ for the cover. The final price was $579.

Jackie McLean, Lights Out, Prestige 7035. This was an original pressing in Ex condition for the record and Ex+ for the cover. It sold for $698.88. I thought it would fetch a higher price, but there’s definitely  difference between Ex condition and M- condition.

The condition of this one left something to be desired, but it didn’t have much impact on the desirability of the record: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was in VG- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,375. Will buyer even listen, or is it just to fill in a gap in the collection?




Song For My Father, Again

horaceI’ve told this story in broader strokes, but I have these very etched and very early memories of sitting in the living room of our very small garden apartment in Bayside, Queens, where we literally had plastic wrap covering the sofa and chairs, and hearing the sounds of Horace Silver coming from my father’s Fisher hi-fi console. My father was a big jazz fan and Silver was probably his favorite musician. He would play the Blue Note albums Blowin’ the Blues Away and Song For My Father constantly, and in my head I can still clearly picture him tapping his feet and taking a drag on his cigarette and taking a hearty sip of whatever alcoholic beverage he had concocted for himself. So when I got into jazz, the music of Horace Silver was already familiar to me and, like my dad, I loved it as well. There was an infectious joy in Horace Silver’s music and it always seemed as if he and all of the musicians were having a blast, loving what they were doing, and inspiring one another to higher levels of creativity. I also realized later on that Horace Silver was not just a great bandleader and composer, he was also a great pianist, one of the true greats of the post-bop era.

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Horace Silver

I am running out now and don’t have time to do write something to express my feelings about Horace Silver yet. He was an important figure in the jazz world and in my world because he was probably my dad’s favorite musician. In the meantime, I’m sure many people want to comment on his passing yesterday, so you can start here.


Alas, Condition Counts

lee morganBack to the business of watching records on eBay, starting with: Lee Morgan, Search for the New Land, Blue Note 4169. This is not typically thought of as one of Morgan’s collectible albums and, indeed, it only shows up twice in the Jazz Collector Price Guide and in neither case did it break the $100 barrier. In this listing, however, the seller adds an interesting twist. He claims he bought the album sealed, never played it or opened it, and then broke the seal to list it on eBay to determine whether it was an original pressing, which, surprise, it actually is. So, if the seller is to be believed (I say, why not), then this is truly a mint record. The price has been bid up accordingly and is now at $200 with more than two days to condition.

Here’s another from Lee: Lee Morgan, The Cooker, Blue Note 1578. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, ears, etc. It is listed in VG+ condition for the record and M- for the cover. I’d expect that the bidding would reach at least into the $500 range, given what we’re seeing with VG+ Blue Notes of this era, and perhaps

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Tracking a Trio of Jazz Classics

Jackie JpegHere’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching now on eBay, starting with a familiar face: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This looks to be an original pressing, albeit without the NY 23 that makes it more original in the minds of some collectors. Interesting thing about this one is that the record is only VG-, while the cover may be VG++ or even better. The seller including some sound clips and there’s definitely some background noise, although for my ears this would be fine. There are more than two days left on the auction and the price is in the $460 range. I would still expect this to sell for close to $1,000 or more, even in VG- condition.

Jackie McLean, Lights Out!, Prestige 7035. This is an original New York pressing. The record looks to be in VG+ condition and the cover VG++, but both could be better, based on the seller’s description. The seller certain did well by himself with a very clear and nice picture of the cover. This one has five days left and the bidding is already close to $400.

I’m still getting used to seeing this one pop up regularly as a high priced collectible:

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Cool Jazz Art, Record Collector Photos, Candy

milesTime to clear out the email inbox.

For those of you interested in jazz art work, photography and ephemera, there is an auction coming up next week of works collected by the former Blue Note president Bruce Lundvall. The collection is being auctioned by Doyle New York, and parts of it can be seen here, including this pretty cool picture of Miles at the right. Cool stuff. Not necessarily my thing, but cool. Now, if he were to sell of his vinyl, that would be another story.

Speaking of artwork, I find this to be cool as well: A photographer by the name of Eilon Paz has spent several years photographing record collectors with their collections and has recently published them in a book titled “Dust and Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting.” You can check out the article here and the Web site here. The photographer is in Brooklyn. Surprised he hasn’t found me yet. Perhaps now he will.

CeeDee sends me random notes and listings of records that are typically out of both his price range and mine as well. Here’s a recent one:

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Getting a Boot, Indeed

marty paichSo the other day I’m walking my dog Marty in the neighborhood. Regular readers will recognize Marty as my lucky charm companion on the two collections I’ve bought in the past two years, the Irving Kalus collection and the Bruce M. West collection in Baltimore. We take our normal route up Broadway and turn down 83rd Street towards West End Avenue. The street is lined with tables of people selling all kinds of wares. Lots of junk from their homes, it seems. I stop at the first booth and ask the woman what’s going on. It’s a block association sale, she says. I look down and see a box of records. The first record is a Woody Herman record on Capital. Well, I have to look of course. So there are these Woody Herman and Benny Goodman records and I’m flipping and it seems pretty clear there’s nothing there for me, when all of a sudden I see the record pictured at the right. An original pressing of Marty Paich,I Get a Boot Out of You. I didn’t have my glasses. I couldn’t see the condition. I couldn’t see the price.

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Book Cooks and Cook Books

BookHere’s some more jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Booker Ervin, The Book Cooks, Bethlehem 6048. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $616, proving, again, that it is not only the Blue Notes that are fetching collectible prices. This one was listed by my friend Steve at Round Again Records in Providence, RI, who has some nice records for auction last week. With all of the “books” that Booker recorded — Freedom, Song, Space and Blues — a Cook Book record would have been nice. Not sure what would have worked for a Cook Book, but I’m sure we can come up with some songs with a food theme here. I’ll start with Fats Waller’s “All That Meat and No Potatoes.” and, of course there’s Mingus’ “Eat That Chicken.” Any others?

This one seemed to be on eBay forever and it finally sold last week:

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Blue Notes In Any Condition for the $1,000 Bin

Johnny GriffinWe were finally back on eBay this way and found some interesting items, starting with Introducing Johnny Griffin, Blue Note 1533. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing, The record was graded in Ex condition, but the seller’s description made it sound closer to M-. I tend to trust the grade rather than the description, and in this case the seller at least tells us that Ex means VG++ in the Goldmine rating system that we use. The cover was probably VG++ as well with some writing on the back. So, to be clear, the record was not in M- condition for either the record or the cover. I reiterate that because it sold at a price you would expect for an M-/M- copy, which was, ta da, $3,349.

The same seller had this one: Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims, Blue Note 1530. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The seller graded this one between VG and VG+ for both the record and the cover, although the cover sounded closer to VG based on the description. So this one wasn’t M-, wasn’t VG++ and wasn’t even VG+. It sold for $1,651.

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Report From the WFMU Record Fair

record fairSorry I haven’t been posting regularly. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of apologizing for this lately. I do have a lot of real work, but that is no excuse, right? I will try to do better. Last week I was also engaged with preparing for the WFMU Record Fair at the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th Street in Manhattan. I had a table on Friday, and arrived around 2 p.m. for my setup, so I was able to walk around a little. There were a couple of tables that had some nice jazz records, but by the time I got there, several of the dealers from Japan had already swooped in on them and were pulling out the best pieces. I have come to know these dealers over the years and I like them very much and am happy for their success in getting records because I realize they are working on relatively low margins, spending money to come to the States every few months and criss-crossing the country in search of records that may or may not be marked up sufficiently when they return to Japan.  Read More..

Miles Way Ahead

milesHere’s an interesting one I seemed to miss: Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, Columbia 1041. This is an original pressing but that’s not what makes it interesting. On the back cover are six signatures: Miles Davis, Julian” Cannonball” Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers. The signatures are all in blue ballpoint pen. The seller admittedly had no idea of the provenance of the signatures or whether they were legitimate. Seems that he picked up the record at a yard sale or estate sale.  The cover was probably in VG+ condition with a seam split on the bottom. There were 39 bids on the item and in the last hour it went from about $2,000 to its final price of $3,100.99. Imagine if the signatures aren’t legitimate? Or, on the other hand, imagine what this would have fetched if the signatures were 100% verified. I do have a question, however. Why would Jimmy Cobb sign his name “Jimmie Cobb?” Are there other circumstances where he went by Jimmie, as opposed to Jimmy or, as on Kind of Blue, James Cobb?