Diggin’ a Pony and More

Pony Jazz VinylHere’s another collectible jazz record that is new to me: Pony Poindexter, En Barcelona, Spiral LP 11. This looks to be an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The final price was $495 and there were four bidders. The seller lists it as a European “holy grail,” an expression I have come to hate after all these years on eBay. I did a quick search and found some information on the record: Recorded in Spain in 1972, only issued originally in Spain. The music seems to be available on disc and on download. Is it worth a listen?

I was also watching a few Lee Morgan records, starting with: Lee Morgan, Indeed, Blue Note 1538. This was a pressing that had one side Lexington Avenue and one side West 63rd. It looked to be in nice shape, but the seller wanted $1,400. There were no buyers at that price, no surprise to me considering that it is clearly not an original pressing. So the buyer didn’t get any offers at $1,400 and now has a listed at $2,000. Go figure.

This one was in far worse condition:

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Paying For Pres and Other Jazz Vinyl

Lester Young Jazz VinylThanks for all of the suggestions on getting the mildew odor off the covers of the records. I’m going to try a few of these once I have time, probably next week, and I’ll let you know if anything works. In the meantime, I’m not going back for that sterling collection of 10-inch LPs because the price was just too high, all things considered. I’ll write a post when I have more time, also probably next week. This week I am buried in real work, per usual. Despite my workload, I’ve had a chance to look at some items on my eBay watch list and here are a few things to share with the Jazz Collector community, starting with: Lester Young, Pres, Norgran 1072. This was an original yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ condition for the cover, although there was some writing on the back. I must admit that I started watching this record

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Temptation, Thy Name is Newk

Sonny Rollins 10 Inch Jazz VinylThanks again to Clifford for stepping in while I took an unexpected extended break. I am back on eBay now and, once again, subject to temptation. For example: Sonny Rollins Quartet and Thelonious Monk, Prestige 190. This is an original 10-inch pressing that looks to be in VG condition for the record and the cover. It’s not a record I own and, of course, I would like to have it, but not in that condition. So perhaps the temptation is not as intense as it may seem just looking at the listing. This one has a start price of about $80 and so far there are no bids. I have been in the midst of another Adventure in Jazz Collecting that I will share with you in the next couple of weeks involving what would normally have been an absolutely sterling collection of 10-inch records. Unfortunately, the records all have a heavy scent of mildew, and I’ve never been able to figure out how to get rid of that odor. Has anyone been able to solve that problem? I wound up passing on the collection because the seller wanted a price that would have been realistic — although still somewhat high– if the records didn’t reek. He claimed to have gotten an offer at that price. Hopefully, the buyer actually saw, and smelled, the records before making that offer. Details to come once I’m sure that I am fully out of contention for these records. Read more

Starting Off July With Jazz Vinyl on EBay

Grs-l1600eetings to the fellow jazz collectors out there, and hopefully everybody stateside had an enjoyable, vinyl-filled holiday weekend. I did stop into the Jazz Record Center last week and picked up a few things, including a couple of CDs for my dad, who recently celebrated his retirement from four decades of work in the mental health field and a return to his avocation — playing the piano and composing jazz tunes.

While we’re on the subject of the Jazz Record Center, they’ve been auctioning some nice and uncommon avant-garde titles from the 60s and 70s in recent months. Many of these appear to be from the same collection, and I’ve picked up a few nice bits. The latest list features a clean promo copy of Steve Lacy’s Sortie on International Polydor (Germany). The original issue was on the Italian GTA label, which is what I have in the racks, but even the 1969 Polydor pressing is tough to find and it features a rather interesting cover image. The music is rather inspired collective improvising, and was recorded in Italy in 1966. The record and cover are listed in M- condition and the bidding is around $73 with two days to go, though I’d expect it to end around $250.

The Don Heckman-Ed Summerlin Improvisational Jazz Workshop is an odd one, issued privately in 1967 and featuring Steve Kuhn, Joe Hunt, Ron Carter and others. The group was connected to Charlotte Moorman and avant-garde performance art in late-60s downtown lofts, and while the music isn’t much to write home about, it’s a fascinating document of the jazz-art collaborative environment at the time. The bidding starts at $50 for this M- copy and there are no takers thus far; I wouldn’t mind a clean example of this one myself.

One item being sold overseas I’d been watching but at the end of the day decided my pockets weren’t deep enough was this one, from the German singer Inge Brandenburg — It’s Alright With Me on German CBS, featuring some fine performances by the Gunter Hampel Group (one of the earliest avant-garde jazz groups in Europe). The copy listed was in M- condition or thereabouts for the vinyl and maybe a strong VG++ for the cover, and the final price was $360. The price seems comparatively cheap considering the item’s rarity, but dry-voiced German jazz singers on obscure mid 60s major-label releases may not get others’ juices flowing like Blue Notes and such often do.

Finally, I guess the original Danish Debut pressing of My Name Is Albert Ayler has been a high-priced record for a while now, but it’s still impressive when a copy fetches something the high hundreds — like this one, which was probably in all around VG++ condition, closing in the last moments at $800. While far from Ayler’s definitive recording, it’s an interesting document and defines the early development of the Scandinavian avant-garde just as much as it does the burgeoning American free music climate of the 1960s.

At any rate, happy bidding/hunting and even happier listening!

A Post About Ballads

Ballads John Coltrane Jazz VinylI go to sleep to music each night. I am still archaic enough to have an iPod and I have created about 50 playlists, all ballads and soft music, and I rotate among them and put them on random play. I find it quite soothing and relaxing and, apparently, so do my usual bedfellows, which would be The Lovely Mrs. JC and the two dogs Marty and Gordon. So last night I was listening and, at random, there came “Who Can I Turn To” by Dexter Gordon and then “Say It (Over and Over Again)” by John Coltrane, and I was listening very closely and both performances were quite lovely and brilliant in their own ways. And, of course, it got me to thinking about who are my favorite ballad players and what are my favorite ballad performances. And, of course, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was mentally going through all of my records and trying to pick out my favorite artists and performances. In the end, before I eventually nodded off, I came up with some thoughts and decided to share them here with you this morning. Read more

A Little Hope For the Hipp

Booker Little Jazz VinylHere’s one you don’t see too often on eBay: Booker Little and Friend, Bethlehem 6061. I guess in this case the friend was Booker’s trumpet. The record and the cover are both in VG+ condition and the start price is $350. Thus far there are no bidders with about a day and a half left on the auction as of this writing. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $700 a few times in better condition than this, so the seller might have expectations of the record selling for this price.

Here’s another seller that is optimistic with a start price of more than $1,400 for this record: Elmo Hope, Meditations, Prestige 7010. This is an original New York yellow label pressing listed in EX+ condition for the record and Ex/Ex+ for the cover. I’m like Bill W. on the previous post. I’m never sure what Ex or Ex+ means, although I’m assuming for this record the condition is either M- or pretty darn close to it.

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What Happens? Records Sell for High Prices

Art Farmer Jazz VinylOnce again we find another record that is unfamiliar to us, this one sent in courtesy of our friend CeeDee: Art Farmer and Phil Woods, What Happens?, Campi SJG 12001. This was an original Italian promo pressing from 1969.  It was listed in M- condition for the record and  VG++ for the cover. It sold for $355. I did a quick search to learn more about the record but pretty much came up empty. That’s why it’s nice to have the Jazz Collector community weigh in with our collective knowledge. So, friends, what’s the story behind this record and the label?

I think a lot of us had our eye on this one: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was an original original pressing, with the New York 23 on one side. The record and cover were both listed in VG+ condition. The final price was $3,998. There were 11 bidders. Given the rarity of this record, the price of nearly $4,000 seems to be market-appropriate, even with the VG+ condition. Based on the description, I’m sure the buyer is expecting this to be somewhat under-graded, particularly since there can be such a wide span within the VG+ category, don’t you think?

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Checking Out Some Classic Jazz Vinyl

Sonny Rollins Jazz VinylSorry for another long delay between posts. I have been watching eBay, and here are some of the jazz records that have caught my eye, starting with Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This is an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. As most of you know, I’ve been collecting jazz records for more than 45 years and Rollins has always been one of my heroes. I’ve had a complete collection of Rollins originals for many years, with this one record as the exception. Somehow in all of these years, perusing all of these record stores, buying all of these collections, Sonny Rollins Plays on Period has eluded me and left a gap in my collection. I realize I can fill this gap through eBay, but I choose not to, at least for now. This copy is priced at $500 already and there is a bidder. I’ll keep looking for a copy that is priced closer to what my sensibilities will allow. It’s not the money, as per my usual, it’s the principle.

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A New One (to Me), and An Old One With a $5,000 Tag

Joe Pass Jazz VinylIt is always a great pleasure, and often a great surprise, to come upon an album that is completely new to us. After all, we’ve been collecting jazz for more than 45 years, so you’d think there would be no surprises left. Well here’s one: Joe Pass, Better Days, Gwyn Records 1001. This is a stereo pressing from 1971 and I had never seen it, never heard of it and never heard of Gwyn Records. Fortunately, there is Google, and this post from Carol Kaye, the great Los Angeles-based studio bassist who was part of the group of musicians that came to be known as The Wrecking Crew. Apparently it was Kaye herself who conceived of the album and produced it. I’ve never seen it or hear of it, although, to be fair, I am not a collector of Joe Pass records on any level. This one is listed in Ex+ condition for the record and Ex for the cover. The price is in the range of $275 with about a day and a half left on the auction as of this writing.

There’s always a lot of debate around here on the value of having reserve prices versus just starting an auction with your lowest acceptable price, or some reasonable facsimile. So here’s one that caught my eye:

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A Simple Matter of Condition

Jackie McLean copyCatching up on a few items still lingering on the Jazz Collector watch list, starting with Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This was an original pressing that was listed in VG- or worse condition for the record and VG- for the cover. Despite the condition it sold for $711.80. I have a bit of a hard time relating to a collector who would pay more than $700 for a record that (1) may not even be playable and (2) has a damaged cover that may not even look so good on your shelves. You may recall that I briefly owned a copy of the Jackie record a couple of months ago. That one was in VG condition for the record and VG- for the cover. I wasn’t happy with it and, in the context of the overall package of records, I would have paid less than $711 for it. So maybe the woman who reneged on the deal will do better selling it in that condition to another collector willing to simply own a copy of a really rare record without worrying to much about listening to it. That ain’t me.

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