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An Evening With Herbie Hancock

hancock copySo yesterday afternoon I was walking my dog Marty, the one who has accompanied me on my recent record scores, and we passed Barnes & Noble two blocks away and there in the window was a notice that Herbie Hancock would be appearing in the evening at 7 p.m. to discuss his new biography in conversation with Larry Blumenfeld who, I subsequently found out, is a jazz writer for, among others, The Wall Street Journal. Of course, this was of great interest to me so I left my house at 6:40 or so to venture the two blocks to Barnes & Noble and I took the escalator to the area where the discussion would be and, to my great surprise, the room was completely filled and overflowing, to the point where I actually had to stand outside the main area to hear and see the discussion. There must have been between 200 and 300 people in attendance. I don’t know why, but I expected a much smaller crowd. I never entertained the idea of leaving, because I wanted to hear what Herbie had to say and because I had also brought two of my rare Blue Notes for him to sign, which, as you can see in the picture, was a successful outcome. I was pleased that a good portion of the conversation was around Hancock’s time with Miles and, especially, his time with Blue Note. I will share one of the interesting Blue Note stories he told.

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Closing the Loop on Rare Jazz Vinyl

monk copyLet’s close the loop on some of the rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching here at Jazz Collector, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia, 1656. You may recall this was the record with the inner seal and signed by Miles, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and JJ. Johnson. When we first looked at this record there was one day left in the auction and the bidding was in the $300 range. The record wound up selling for a whopping $2,091.75.

Here are a few from the recent Jazz Record Center auction, starting with Red Rodney, 1957, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in M- for the cover and probably VG++ for the record. We were commenting that there was no action in the auction but, of course, there was quite a bit at the end. The record wound up selling for $1,324.50. Thelonious Monk, Monk, Columbia 2291. This would not normally appear on a list of collectible records, but this was a promo copy with the white labels. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $114.37. From the same auction there were also . . .

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Now Here’s a Rare Jazz Record

Clark copyHere’s something I would love to hear and own: Bill Evans Acetate, US Army Dance Band Jazz 1951. This seems to be a legitimate recording of Bill Evans in 1951. The problem for me is that the start price is $1,000 and that seems too high unless I planned to do something with it, like transfer it to digital and make it available for broader consumption. I would be willing to do that, but not at that price. It makes me think that we should form some sort of non-profit Jazz Collector collective to acquire some of these rare items to share and preserve them. If you recall, there was also a very rare J.R. Monterose recording  of him as a teenager that we had an opportunity to acquire, as well as a recent Dizzy Gillespie concert and I’m sure many others.

This seller has some interesting items, including Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This looks to be an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover. The bidding is in the $450 range and there are still two days to go on the auction. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $3,000 on many occasions in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. One of the things I find interesting about this auction is

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Where are the Bidders?

benny green copyI’m watching the current auction from the Jazz Record Center, which closes in two days, and I am left to wonder: Where are the bidders? Perhaps they will show up at the end, as the often do. But, after seeing so much action on other auctions, I’d expect to see more on this one, considering the sterling reputation of the seller. We’ll see what happens. Some of the records I’m watching from this list:

Bennie Green, Back on the Scene, Blue Note 1587. This is an original pressing in what looks to be pristine condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is $300 and so far there are no bidders. I recently purchased a copy of this record in my Baltimore purchase, so I don’t need it, but I’d be happy to get a copy in this condition for anything less than $500, which may seem possible.

Art Taylor, AT’s Delight, Blue Note 4047. This is also an original deep groove pressing in what looks to be M- condition for the record and the cover. The start price is $250 and there are no bidders as of now. Huh? This is a great record. I happen to own a copy signed by Art Taylor, which is quite precious to me.

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Signed and Sealed: A Rare Combo

Miles copyQuite an interesting set of jazz vinyl we’re watching now on eBay, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia 1656. This one has the rare combination of being both autographed and sealed. The autographs all look legitimate and they are on the back of the cover, featuring Miles, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, Wynton Kelly, Hank Mobley and JJ Johnson. As for the seal, when Columbia issued records in this area they often had an inner sleeve that was sealed. I know this because I recently purchased a copy of a similar record. So in this case, the record is unplayed, and the cover has autographs of some of the greatest icons of jazz. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is in the $300 range.

Here’s one that says “Org” in the listing, which I assume means original, which is a bit of an overstatement, unless you take the seller at her word and accept that it’s an original New Jersey pressing, which it is, just not an original first pressing: Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. It’s a nice Jersey pressing, in M- condition for the record and the cover. And, for a non-first pressing, it will reap a hefty price as it is already in the $400 range.

Here are a couple ending later today:

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Updating the $2,000/$1,500 Bins

JR copyI step away from eBay for a few days and come back and my watch list looks like it has exploded with records in the $1,000 and even $2,000 bin. First there was this from our friends at Euclid Records: J. R. Monterose, In Action, Studio 4 100. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $2,175. We have seen this one sell for more than $2,000 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but this is a new high for us. To me, it’s almost always a surprise when a record sells for more than $2,000. You’d think I’d be used to it by now.

Speaking of $2,000 records, there was also Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ or M- for the cover. In a previous post I admonished the seller for the poor quality of his picture. Turns out the seller is one of our regular readers and, in fact, someone I have had very pleasant dealings with over the years. So I will be a little bit more circumspect in some of my comments. Although, it really was a poor picture. No matter. The record sold for $2,181.

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Some “Perfect” Records, And Others

Pres copyHaven’t checked the old Jazz Collector mailbox lately, so let’s see what some of our readers have sent us.

We can always count on our friend CeeDee for something interesting. This one came under the heading: “Prez gets a nice bid.” The link is to Lester Young, Norgran 1022. This was an original yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the beautiful David Stone Martin cover. It sold for $532, quite a nice price for an old Pres Norgran indeed. The other day I was listening to Stardust from the Lester Young and Oscar Peterson record on Norgran. His playing from this period is so sad and melancholy it almost makes me cry.

Jason sent me a link to this listing: Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane, New Jazz 8276. This was a sealed copy, which the seller insisted was an original pressing. How? He felt through the cover and, like braille, read the deep grooves. He also compared the weight to a later pressing and attested that the sealed copy was heavier. Whatever. I’d have been cautious as the seller and, in fact, I would have broken the seal and opened the record. And if it was an original, I would have put it on the turntable, played it, and stuck it where it belongs, right on my shelf within my collection. This one sold for $185.51 and, I have a feeling, may never be opened.

Judd sent me this one and I found it so ridiculous I wasn’t going to post it, but, obviously have relented:

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Reserving Some Jazz Vinyl (Or Not)

Byrd copyHow desperate are you for one of the rarer of the Blue Notes, Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590? This looks to be an original pressing with all sorts of issues. The cover is VG and the record has two skips. Hmm. Someone has bid $300 for the record but the seller has a reserve price that has not yet been met. Seems like the seller  can’t afford a camera so perhaps that’s why he’s holding out for a higher price.

Here’s another one with camera issues: Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York 23 labels. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is listed as VG++ or M-, although it would be hard to tell from the cover picture, which seems as if it was taken in a coffin. This bidding has topped $500 for this record, but, alas, it has also not reached the seller’s reserve price.

The same seller put up a fine picture of this record: Donald Byrd, Byrd Jazz, Transition 5. This is an original pressing

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eBaying For Blue Notes and Prestiges

newk copyHere’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay now, starting with Sonny Rollins Plus Four, Prestige 7038. This looks like an original pressing to me with the first cover illustration, which means it is probably the original frame cover. The seller admits he doesn’t know much about jazz records, but he has this listed in VG++ condition for the vinyl and Ex for the cover and it’s certainly a fine-looking record. The start price is $250 and so far there are no bidders. Am I missing something, or will the bidding just come in late?

Among all kinds of weird stuff, this seller has mixed in a couple of 10-inch jazz gems, including Miles Davis, Young Man with a Horn, Blue Note 5013. This looks to be an original 10-inch pressing. In one place the seller lists it as VG+, and in another he has the vinyl as M-. Quite a difference. The start price for this is about $500 and there is one bid.  From the same seller is Miles Davis Volume 2, Blue Note 5022. This one has a similar issue, listed as VG+ in one place and VG++ in another.  This one has a start price of around $400 and there is one bid.

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Bargain Day at Jazz Collector?

mating call copyLet’s update some of the records we were watching on eBay, starting with: Tadd Dameron and John Coltrane, Mating Call, Prestige 7070. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was just a shade below, probably VG++. The record sold for $393. I listened to this recently and had forgotten just how good it is. It was released before Coltrane’s first record as a leader on Prestige, but his playing is much more confident and assured than on the earlier Miles record or even the contemporaneous jam session records such as John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Tenor Conclave, Prestige 7074, which was sold by the same seller in the same lot. This one was in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $420.

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A Monk Autograph (and More)

Monk copySo what are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay as we head into what promises to be a lovely weekend as autumn sets in here in the Northeast region of the U.S. of A.? Let’s start with a little Monk: Thelonious Monk, At the Blackhawk, Riverside 323. This looks to be an original pressing with several unique characteristics. For one, it ostensibly comes from the collection of the jazz pianist Frank Strazzeri, who passed away a few months ago. More importantly, the record contains an autograph by Monk, signed on a separate piece of paper and attached to the record by scotch tape. Given the provenance you would think it would be perfectly legitimate, but not being an autograph expert, I leave that to others to debate and discuss. Don Lucky, are you out there? This one has two punch holes on the cover, and the vinyl is listed in VG++ condition by Atomic Records, which, in my experience, is one of the more reputable sellers on eBay. The current price is in the $400 range and there are more than two days left on the auction.

Speaking of Monk, there is:

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Prices Rising, Regardless of Condition, It Seems

clifford copyLet’s catch up on some of the jazz records were were watching on eBay before we were so rudely interrupted by life.

Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Study in Brown, Emarcy 36037. This is, of course, one of the classic records of the era. I haven’t noticed it selling for big prices in recent years, but perhaps that’s just me not noticing. Looking in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, I see we have several instances of the record selling for between $400 and $700. This looked to be an original pressing in just VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. I was surprised to see that it sold for $280.55, which is why I was watching it. I thought it would sell for less.

I thought this would sell for less as well: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch LP in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $504.99. That seller did well not just with the Monk and Clifford records, but also with the Sun Ra records he had and some of his other 10-inch LPs, including Dexter Gordon Quintet, Dial 204. This was an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $333.

Here’s one for the $1,000 bin:

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Keeping Track of 10-Inch LPs

clifford copy 2Here are some of the items we’re watching on eBay now, starting with some 10-inch LPs: Clifford Brown, New Star on the Horizon, Blue Note 5032. This is an original pressing listed in VG condition for the record and VG for the cover. There are three days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $50 range. Lately, we’ve been seeing high prices for original 12-inch Blue Notes, even those in not-such-great condition, like this one. I have a feeling we won’t see the same phenomenon for the 10-inch records, simply because they are a greater risk to begin with. They typically have more surface noise anyway, at least to these ears. Not sure why that is. Readers? Watching the auctions from this seller will give us a sense of the market, since he has a lot of nice 10-inch LPs in similar shape, including Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. Actually, this one is in better shape, graded at VG+ for both the record and the cover. The bidding, so far, reflects the better condition. This one is now in the $70 range.

I was also watching this one from the same seller, and I was surprised it fetched as high a price as it did:

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Shades of Jazz Collector

Redd copyFreddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. This was an original West 63rd pressing, listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. I had it on my watch list because I was actually considering a bid for it. As loyal readers know, this one has been my nemesis for years. I forgot to put in a bid because I am still buried in work and also having computer problems, so I let it pass. Wouldn’t have mattered anyway. It sold for $762, which is quite a bit more than I would pay for the record, particularly in VG+ condition. I think there’s something to be said about waiting and waiting for the records you want, and going through the hunt, rather than filling in your gaps by paying a lot of money on eBay. I have enough records if I want to listen, and if I really want to listen to Shades of Redd I have two nice Japanese pressings, one in each home. I can wait, and I can hunt.

A separate “Red” listing from the same seller inspired a note from our friend CeeDee, as follows: “I thought that this one my slip by, but NOOOOOOO. Better luck next time.” The listing in question:

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Top 5 Live Albums From The Jazz Collector Era?

sarah copyI was lying in bed at about 3:30 in the morning unable to sleep so I put some nice ballad music on my iTunes and the song “Detour Ahead” came on from the Sarah Vaughan album After Hours At the London House and I thought to myself, gee, that is one of my favorite live albums of all time. It’s great music and there’s those outtakes on “Thanks for the Memory” and the whole concept was quite unusual, setting up a live recording date at a club in the wee small hours of the morning and inviting other musicians who had finished up their gigs to make up a large portion of the audience. And then, still unable to sleep, my mind started racing through its database of jazz records to come up with my favorite live recordings and the next thing I know it’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m still not asleep. But at least I have an interesting post for Jazz Collector, and that is my list of favorite live jazz albums. I decided to take the Sarah record off the list and just concentrate on instrumental records. Perhaps I’ll do the vocals at a later date. Meanwhile, I offer for your perusal:

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More Collectible Jazz From eBay

wright copyTo catch up on a few lingering items. That Charlie Parker Limited Edition Swedish record from The Jazz Record Center wound up selling for $248.50. I promised to check my collection to see if I have a copy and, alas, to my pleasant surprise, I do. I usually know all of my records, but having bought a couple of collections in the past two years has left me with many items unawares and unplayed. This one, I recall, came from the Irving Kalus collection, still very near and dear to my heart. My copy of the Bird record seems to be an original in every way, except it is not a numbered edition. It still describes it as a “Limited Edition: This Record is Issued in 1000 Copies. This is Copy.” And there’s no number after that. Anyway, I have it on the turntable now. The fidelity is not great as you would expect, but the music is great. Bird started out with Anthropology, on which he played a very energetic and imaginative solo. Next is Scrapple From the Apple. Yeah, definitely some nice Bird. Really nice Bird. Ooh, now he’s playable Embraceable You. Great.

Also from that auction: John Wright, South Side Soul, Prestige 7190. This was

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A Rare Bird, Indeed

Bird copyWow — 49 comments and counting on the previous post. Glad you all have been keeping the conversation going while I’ve been out making a living. Been gone so long my own Web site wouldn’t let me back on without having to sign up. So much to catch up on, and I will start with the current auction from The Jazz Record Center.

Charlie Parker in Sweden, Limited Edition, Sonet SLP 27. This is, apparently, a rare limited numbered edition, of which this copy is number 734. Until reading this listing I wasn’t aware that there was a limited edition of this record. I’m pretty sure I have some copy of it, but I will have to look to see if mine is numbered. This one looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. There are about three days left in the auction and the bidding is nearing $200.

Beverly Kenney With Jimmy Jones and the Basie-Ites, Royal Roost, 2218. This is a nice record and I could use a clean copy, which this is, at least for the vinyl, which looks to be M-. The cover looks to be about VG or VG+ depending upon how you feel about tape stains, about which I personally don’t feel to good. This one is in the $60 range.

Here’s an interesting package of Hank Mobley records on Blue Note:

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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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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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