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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Vinyl Treasures from the U.S. and U.K.

ernie henry jazz vinylHere’s one I’d consider if I didn’t already own a copy: Presenting Ernie Henry, Riverside 222. This is an original pressing with the white label and deep grooves. Wonderful record featuring Kenny Dorham and Kenny Drew, and, of course, Henry, who had a really unique voice that was silenced when he died tragically of a heroin overdose at the age of 31. You don’t see too many white-label versions of this record pop up on eBay. This one is in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is in the $250 range and the auction closes later today. So far, there are no bidders. Here’s another great record that may or may not sell when the auction closes later today: Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7034. This is an original yellow label New York pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding has already exceeded $600 but that doesn’t mean it has exceeded the seller’s reserve price, which it hasn’t.

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Back in Jazz Vinyl Action

Walter Davis Jr Jazz VinylBack in action after some minor surgery last week. Feeling good and ready to roll with some jazz vinyl on ebay, starting with a couple of Blue Notes from the Jazz Collector Want List that both broke into the $1,000 bin: Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This was an original pressing that looked to be probably M- for the record and VG++ or VG+ for the cover. There were 15 bidders and the final price was $1,125. Then there was Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This was also an original West 63rd Street pressing. The record was listed as M- and the cover was VG++. There were 14 bidders for this one and the final price came in at $1,304. Our friend CeeDee sent us a note about this one, but we were already watching it:

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Checking Out the Avant-garde Jazz Listings on eBay

s-l1600It looks like it may be a banner week for avant-garde and free jazz auctions, at least if you take a look at the chunk of nice records that sometime JC poster nobbyknucks has on offer. I’ve got my watch on several of these titles but would not be surprised if I come away empty handed (not that I need any more records in a cramped Brooklyn apartment, mind you).

First up is this fine trio date led by saxophonist Byard Lancaster, Us, with drummer Steve McCall and bassist Sylvain Marc, on the French label Palm. The LP is listed in NM- condition and the cover VG- (although apparently it’s just an unglued Euro sleeve which, pasted back together, would probably be a VG+). It also includes the funky 7″ in NM- condition as well. I’ve been trying to get a copy for years and usually it’s held at around $250, though given the fact that with just under a day to go it’s already at $207, I’d have a hard time believing it won’t do serious wallet damage. It is one of the tougher records to find on Palm, which was the label run by French pianist-composer and bandleader Jef Gilson.

The auction for bassist Henry Grimes’ The Call, recorded in 1965 and his only leader date until resurfacing out in LA in the early 2000s, has me a bit perplexed. It’s a wonderful album with clarinetist Perry Robinson and drummer Tom Price, part of the famed early ESP run (the money ran out sometime in 1968), and it appears to be a 1970s pressing with an alternate label design. Normally I would think a record like this would run you about $40; however, this VG+/VG+ copy is holding tight at $111, and I’d be surprised if there isn’t a little bit of insanity in the final moments driving it even higher.

Reedist Peter Brötzmann’s Machine Gun is a classic German free jazz session, an example of which should be in every home in America… or at least those homes that appreciate rather dense improvised music. It was originally issued on Peter’s own BRÖ imprint in 1968-69, apparently in two pressings (one with a top-loading sleeve, the other with a normal side-loading sleeve). FMP reissued it in 1972 and there were several FMP editions into the late 1980s. The copy on auction here is probably a first FMP, so third pressing, and is also priced at $111, though that’ll probably change by Monday afternoon. The vinyl is listed in NM condition and the matte cover looks to be about a VG+ to VG++ with some wear. I’ve got a clean later FMP copy and am holding out for a crisp original BRÖ. Maybe the Mrs. Clifford will find one for my Christmas present this year?

I’m proud to own a copy of Opium/For Franz, a collaboration between Austrian trumpeter-composer Franz Köglmann and the great American trumpeter-composer Bill Dixon. Privately released on Köglmann’s own Pipe label, each copy has a different hand-painted sleeve and is signed on the back by Mr. Köglmann (the one I acquired has a bit of newspaper glued onto it, giving a collage-like effect). It’s a beautiful album from a musical perspective as well as visually, and this is a pretty fine example on offer… $90 doesn’t seem too bad for a NM copy with a VG++ cover, but who knows what the final price will be.

As always, happy collecting and happier listening!

Classic Vinyl From The Jazz Collector Era

Johnny Griffin Jazz VinylOur friends at funkyousounds are back on eBay with some nice jazz vinyl closing this week, including Johnny Griffin, The Kerry Dancers, Riverside 420. This looks to be an original blue label pressing with deep grooves. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG. The auction closes later today and the price is in the $170 range. Donald Byrd, Fuego, Blue Note 4026. This is an original West 63rd Street deep groove pressing. The record and cover both look to be in VG+ condition. The bidding is in the $220 range with one more day to go. One more: Miles Davis, The New Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7014. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York hello label and the original green cover. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. The price is now in the $300 range, also with one more day on the auction.

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Blue Notes and More

Curtis FullerWe’ll start with a couple of Blue Notes today and segue neatly into some other stuff, including a question from a reader in China. Curtis Fuller, Volume 3, Blue Note 1583. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. I remember this seller having a bunch of Prestiges a couple of months ago. Now, he seems to be selling the Blue Notes. His listings don’t include a lot of photos, so there’s not a ton to go on. This record is in the range of about $115 with just a couple of days to go. I would normally expect it to sell for a lot more than than. We’ll see what happens. Here’s another Blue Note from a little later: Lou Donaldson, Light Foot, Blue Note 4043. This is also a West 63rd Street original, listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The price is also in the $115 range, also with about two days left on the auction.

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Various Vinyl For a Rainy Tuesday

Kenny DorhamHere’s a nice one for a rainy Tuesday here in The Berkshires: Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban Blue Note 5065. This is an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Not to hype things for the seller, but how many M- copies of this record do you think there are, anywhere in the world? Could there be 100, 200? Doubtful it would be more than that. I have a copy, but the condition is VG for the vinyl, and I was happy to get it for about $35 maybe 25 years ago in a store in Los Angeles.

Charles Mingus, Pithecanthropus Erectus, Atlantic 1237. This was an original black label pressing in VG condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $150, somewhat surprising given the condition. Interesting seller who seems to be selling all kinds of stuff all the time, nearly 110,000 feedbacks. He had a couple of other items I had spotted, but when I went back to search I didn’t have time to go through the various Judge Dredd bikes or Predator wolf masks to find a stray Mingus or two.

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Jazz On Vinyl and On Film

Chet BakerI didn’t think this one was a collectible, but there it is being auctioned by the Jazz Record Center with a start price of $100, so it must have collectible value to someone somewhere: Boppin’ With the Chet Baker Quintet, Prestige 7512. This is a stereo pressing with the purple label. I can’t recall any purple label Prestige selling for $100 or more, so I am somewhat surprised to see this one here. We’ll see what happens. On a side note, I saw the Chet Baker bio-pic the other day, Born to Be Blue. Very good film, well done, with a nice performance by Ethan Hawke as Chet. I also saw the Nina Simone bio-pic, Nina, with Zoe Saldana in the title role. There was a lot of controversy about this one because they chose a very light-skinned actress with very white features to play Simone. Anyway, I can’t believe I made it through the whole movie. It was so bad. Don’t bother. And, if you’re a Simone fan, REALLY don’t bother. It will just make you angry. I just noticed that the new Miles Davis bio-pic, Miles Ahead, with Don Cheadle as Miles, is playing up here in The Berkshires this weekend, so that may be next on my agenda.

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Prestiges, a Blue Note, Baltimore Nostalgia

Jackie's Pal copySorry. I haven’t been on eBay in so long all of the auctions I was watching have already ended. Good thing I wasn’t looking to buy anything. Here are a few to share: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This was an original pressing with the yellow labels and New York address. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was VG. You can see cover wear in the picture. The record sold for $295, which still seems pretty low to me in spite of the cover. If I didn’t have a copy, I’d probably take it for that price. Of course, I do have a mint copy now, courtesy of my excursion to Baltimore two-and-a-half years years ago. There was also this one from Jackie: Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,125. I wish this one had been in the Baltimore collection, but, alas, my own copy is not an original and it is not in great shape. Not that I would spend $1,125 to replace it.

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Adventures in Jazz Collecting, Tokyo Style

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One of our readers living in Japan recently sent a note with a story to share so I said, please, write it up. He did and here it is:

By Stuart Levine

I am a regular reader (living in Japan), who especially enjoys Al’s record-collecting adventures. Well I have one of my own to share with the Jazz Collector community. It all started last September in Tokyo. I had heard of Disk Union and wanted to see it for myself. Perhaps, I could score on a nice LP.   When I got off the train at my exit, I could immediately see it to my left – an impressive brick building with a large Disk Union window sign. The only problem was this was not the store noted for its jazz inventory. The real deal, Disk Union “Jazz Tokyo” was about six blocks away. Had it not been for a fellow Southern Californian (wearing a Dodgers cap) walking me over to the right store, I would have come away from this experience very disappointed. My good fortune really started when I was introduced to the head buyer of used jazz vinyl, a soft-spoken gentleman named Katsu. He invited me to come back three months later on Dec. 19th when the store was having a big Blue Note record sale, to the tune of 500 original mono and stereo LPs. Read more

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