The Stratospheric Avant-garde on eBay – Bid or Buy

Hello from the Brooklyn side of things, where I trust everyone in the JazzCollector community has had a reasonably good new year. As I get back into post-vacation normalcy (or as much as one can have these days), there have been a number of nice uncommon jazz and improvised music records worth watching on good old eBay (alas, none of these have made it anywhere close to a reasonable price point for me, for a number of reasons).

First up is one you don’t see often at all, at least in its original form: Japanese guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi‘s debut leading a free-form ensemble, Independence: Tread on Sure Ground, on the Union Records imprint from 1969. The late 1970s reissue with an alternate sleeve image shows up from time to time, but this first pressing with a deep groove label and original jacket artwork is exceedingly rare. Is it rare enough for someone to Buy-It-Now for $1,500 given that the cover is a somewhat tatty-looking VG+ and the LP maybe VG++ or so? Well, this is the second time around for this BIN and there haven’t been any takers, so we will see.

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Oddities and Ends, So to Speak

Wait a second. Did you see what happened with this record I mentioned the other day: Clifford Brown Quartet, Blue Note 5047? This was an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing. Original Blue Note, but, as noted by Rudolf, a reissue of the French Vogue material. Anyway, this one was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover and we were watching the auction with about a day left and there were still no bidders at a start price of about $500. I wasn’t sure if the record would sell at all. It did, for the whopping price of $1,535. There were two bidders and three bids and they all came in the last few seconds as snipes, I would presume. Talk about a bidding war. Wow!

I had thought about bidding on this when the price was relatively low, but I never would have won it anyway:

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A New Perspective on Jazz Vinyl

We will being today’s post with two of our favorite records, starting with Donald Byrd, A New Perspective, Blue Note 84124. As you can see from the “8” at the beginning of the catalogue number, this is a stereo pressing. It is an original, with the New York USA label, the ears, Van Gelder, etc. This is being offered by the seller anilin1000 from Germany, who has been selling off his collection due to age — his own and not the records. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is in the $150 range, which is somewhat surprising, since the stereo pressings don’t usually sell for that much. I see one stereo pressing on Popsike for about $125, and one for a bit higher that was autographed. Hey, it’s a great record so I don’t begrudge anyone willing to pay top dollar for it. I often play “Cristo Redentor” for people who don’t really know jazz, and without exception (so far) it always gets a very strong positive reaction, probably more so than any other jazz record I can think of.

This is another favorite that just came onto eBay:

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The Blue Note Bargain Bin . . . Not

eBay experts tell us what you make of this: Lee Morgan Indeed, Blue Note 1538. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for the record and Ex condition for the cover. We first noticed the record with a start price of $3,999. There were no bids. I just re-checked this record and now it is no longer available because the seller pulled it. However, it shows a price of $4,999. My assumption is that the seller had it listed at that price, someone made an offer, and he sold it for something under the asking price. But if you look on eBay, the assumption is that the record sold for $4,999, which would be extremely high market value for this record, although on Popsike they have a version having sold for $7,786, which seems somewhat bogus to me, given that the next highest price is $3,500.

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RIP, Nat Hentoff

The other day I was listening to Giant Steps, yet again, and this time I pulled out the album and re-read the liner notes. I was amazed at the prescience and knowledge of the writer. Here are the first two paragraphs:

“Along with sonny Rollins, John Coltrane has become the most influential and controversial tenor saxophonist inn modern jazz. He is becoming, in fact, more controversial and possibly more influential than Rollins. While it’s true that to musicians especially, Coltrane’s fiercely adventurous harmonic imagination is the most absorbing aspect of his developing style, the more basic point is that for many non-musician listeners, Coltrane at his best has an unusually striking emotional impact. There is such intensity in his playing that the string of adjectives employed by French Critic Gerard Bremond in a Jazz-Hot article on Coltrane seemed hardly at all exaggerated. Bremond called his playing ‘exuberant, furious, impassioned, thundering.’

“There is also, however, an extraordinary amount of sentimentality in Coltrane’s work. Part of the fury in much of his playing is the fury of the search, the obsession Coltrane has to play all he can hear or would like to hear — often all at once — and yet at the same time make his music, as he puts it, ‘more presentable.’ He said recently, ‘I’m worried that sometimes what I’m doing sounds like just academic exercises and I’m trying more and more to make it sound prettier.’ It seems to me he already succeeds often in accomplishing both his aims, as sections of this album demonstrate.”

I looked down at the bottom to see which Jazz journalist had written this piece back in 1959 and, to no surprise at all, it was the great Nat Hentoff. When I woke up this morning, there was news in The New York Times that Nat Hentoff had died at age 91.

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Rare Vinyl, Old Age and Other Existential Questions

Watching a couple of interesting jazz records that are closing today on eBay, starting with Wes Montgomery, Full House, Riverside 434. This is a mono pressing with the blue label. I know that people here have talked about deep groove versions of this record, but they seem to be exceedingly rare. The non-DG version typically sells for a hefty sum, but so far there is no action on this copy. It is listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover and the start price is about $130. I would expect it to sell, but you never know.

Similar situation with this one: The Arrival of Kenny Dorham, Jaro 5007. This looks to be an original pressing with the promo stamp. The record and cover are both listed in VG++ condition. The start price is $200 and there is a single bid so it will definitely sell, but I would normally expect this record in this condition to get a bit more action than this one seems to be getting.

No worry about this next one seeing lots of action:

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. . . And a Quartet for New Year’s

Happy New Year to all. Looks like our friend Rudolf had a pretty good start to the year selling some vintage and rare jazz vinyl, including Elmo Hope Quintet with Frank Foster and Freeman Lee, Blue Note 5044. This was an original 10-inch pressing that looked to be in beautiful pristine condition, perhaps unplayed after being placed in storage many years ago? Rudolf, I don’t recall if you shared the story of how they ended up in storage, but I would love to hear it (again?). This one sold for $1,054.99. Do you think there are many left in the world in this condition? I also had a pristine copy, which I sold in 1990 for $400, which seemed like a lot at the time and, in fact, was a lot. But the $400 came and went and I’ve never found another affordable copy of this record in the 27 years since.

This one came from the same batch and I was quite surprised to see where the bidding ended up, since I’ve never viewed this one as particularly coveted by collectors:

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A Lovely Jazz Vinyl Trio for Christmas

Just catching up with my eBay watch list after a lovely Christmas weekend here in the lovely Berkshires Mountains of Western Massachusetts, where I am looking out of my window at a frozen lake and a gorgeous winter scene straight out of Normal Rockwell. And, of course, there are also records to be perused and evaluated on eBay. Today we will start with The Paul Chambers Quintet, Blue Note 1564. This was kind of a weird pressing. It had the West 63rd Street address, the deep grooves and the Van Gelder stamp, but it did not have the ears. It seems like an early pressing to me, especially since this was not a record I ever saw issued once Liberty took over. It also had shrink wrap and a later “27 years of Blue Note” inner sleeve, which would place the issue at around 1966. In any case, this was listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover. There was a start price of about $300 and there were no bidders, which surprised me.

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Blue Notes, Brubeck and Bewildered

Many of you have probably noticed that the seller manusardi1 has some nice items on eBay now, including Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Volume One, Blue Note 1515. This is an original pressing. The record is labeled “pristine” and the cover looks to be VG++ or so. The bidding is in the $900 range and there are still three days to go. For those looking to spend big bucks filling in big gap in their Blue Note collections, there is also the companion Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Volume Two, Blue Note 1516. This one is also listed in “pristine” condition for the record, with a similar condition on the cover, perhaps VG++, perhaps a little less. This one is in the $800 range with three days left.

The seller bobdjukic is also back with some jazz records, including:  Read more

Tracking Jazz LPs That Are Hip and Hipp

I know I haven’t posted in a while when I start getting little love notes from our old pal CeeDee, with gentle reminders such as “you may have seen these by now, but . . . ” Anyway, these a couple of the ones being called to my attention, starting with Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original pressing with the purple label and the deep grooves. The record was graded VG++ and the cover was VG+. The final price was $1,752.

Then there was Joe Henderson, Inner Urge, Blue Note 84189. This was an original stereo pressing with the New York USA labels and the ears in the dead wax. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++. The final price was $383. High for a stereo pressing, but certainly not surprising, right?

I didn’t have either of those on my watch list, but I did have this one, which fetched quite a fetching price:

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