I play a little bit of jazz guitar — very little bit — but I am fortunate to have grown up with a fantastic, world-class jazz guitarist and we have remained great friends and this weekend we are doing a gig here in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. There are many stories I can tell about the circumstances that have led to this gig, 30-plus years in the making, but I will be brief. My friend, Dan Axelrod, was a musical prodigy from early childhood and he lived down the street from me and somehow we both fell in love with jazz as teenagers – Dan because he could play it as well as anyone and I because it was music that was always around, in my pores, courtesy of my dad. Dan and I used to hang around a lot and at various points he would teach me chords and how to strum and eventually I was proficient enough to accompany him as a rhythm guitarist, as long as we kept the changes relatively simple and dispatched with the suspended flatted fifths, ninths and thirteenths. What I lacked in ability I made up for in chutzpah and eventually I found us a gig at a local place called the Rainy Nighthouse and I somehow convinced Dan that this would be a fun thing to do, two nights a week. We were still in our late teens. Dan, if I recall properly, was studying with Billy Bauer and perhaps a little with Jim Hall and had not yet met his guitar hero, Tal Farlow, who would eventually become his great friend and mentor.
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Aug 30, 2010 Prestige
This seller had a bunch of nice records, but they were not in near-mint condition, so the prices seemed pretty reasonable, if you were willing to gamble. Here’s an example: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This looked like an original New York pressing with the deep grooves and the flat edge and it was listed in VG++ condition for the cover and VG+ for the record. I could see where bidders, such as myself, might be a bit wary. The description of the cover sounded a lot more like VG+ than VG++ and the description of the vinyl used this language: “Scratches can be seen.” The record sold for $260.15. Somebody took a risk. This one came from the same seller: Jackie McLean, Alto Madness, Prestige 7114. This was also an original New York pressing and this one was listed in
Aug 26, 2010 Blue Note
Having done Jazz Collector for seven years and having seen all kinds of price fluctuations, I should be beyond surprise, right? But I do admit I haven’t expected the price jump in collectible jazz, and particularly Blue Note, that seems to have taken place in just the past few months. I guess it’s a bit like the stock market, up and down, and there is the temptation to jump in and sell when prices are high. Here’s a record I have at home in beautiful condition and I bought it for ten dollars and I could make quite an obscene profit, based on this sale price: The Jazz Messengers at the Cafe Bohemia Volume 2, Blue Note 1508. This one had the beautiful Lexington Avenue label but was
A couple of weeks ago friend of Jazz Collector Erich Schultz asked why we never wrote about collecting jazz 45s here at Jazz Collector. We said that we didn’t collect them ourselves, we didn’t know of any collectors and no one had ever even asked. We also invited him to write a post on the joys of collecting jazz 45s and, voila, here it is. Erich, it’s all yours:
Collecting Jazz 45 RPM Records, by Erich Schultz
Although I have a large library of jazz 10” and 12” 33 RPM records, I also have over 1,000 jazz 45 RPM records as well. I starting collecting these 45’s about five years ago, and I have picked up most of them in the Los Angeles area when I visit my two children (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.) I also get them sometimes through bulk sales on ebay. My reasons for collecting them include:
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Tags: Jazz 45-RPM Records
Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This was an original pressing and it was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $2,142. A few months ago, I catalogued all of my Blue Notes for insurance purposes. For each record, I put down the condition and assigned a value to it, based on current market conditions and historical trends from the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Well, based on price trends, I’m going to have to go back and reassess the values and make them higher in most cases. For example, I don’t have an original pressing of this record, but I have an original of Hank, Blue Note 1560. My copy is M- for the record and VG++ for the cover. When I did the spreadsheet earlier this year, the value I assigned to this record was just
Aug 24, 2010 Questions
I was sitting on the porch at my lakehouse with the lovely Mrs. JC yesterday afternoon and we were listing to a playlist I had made for my iPod of various ballad performances. Yes, I do have an iPod and other various digital devices and I do not only listen to music playing on a turntable, although that is always the preferred method when available. Anyway, as we were listening, one of the tracks was “Jim” from the Sarah Vaughan album with Clifford Brown, Emarcy 36004. I mentioned quite randomly that many jazz fans and jazz collectors consider this track to be one of the greatest jazz vocal ballad performances of all time. I’m not sure where I came up with that information, but it was definitely lodged in my brain somewhere: Perhaps there was a vote somewhere, or perhaps it had just come up in late night discussion over a few beverages. Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting topic for a lazy weekday afternoon in August, so I’m throwing it out there for the Jazz Collector community. Favorite jazz ballad vocal performances. Okay, go!
There seems to be a corresponding hike in prices for 10-inch Blue Notes as well as 12-inch Blue Notes. Here are a few we were watching this week, several from the same seller, including: Lou Donaldson, New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5021. This was an original pressing with the vinyl in M- condition and the cover VG+. It sold for $577. One thing about the 10-inchers: Unless they are a Japanese or United Artists press, you know they are originals.
Lou Donaldson Sextet Volume 2, Blue Note 5055. This one looked to be in VG++ condition for the vinyl and M- for the cover. The price was $667. Another one from the same seller:
I went back to look at some of those listings from Paperstax that have generated all of this discussion and controversy. I started with Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. When you look at the listing, it seems to have it all: West 63rd Street address, deep groove, but . . . when you look closely, Van Gelder in the dead wax as opposed to RVG, no mention of the ear. In bidding, I would assume — and did — that this was an original and that the seller inadvertently did not mention the ear and used Van Gelder descriptively as opposed to using the RVG. The reason is because I don’t quite understand how this can be a Liberty pressing and still have the deep grooves. The same thing with:
Aug 17, 2010 News
CeeDee beat me to it, but there’s an interesting article in today’s New York Times: Great Jazz, Long Unheard, Is Rediscovered. It is the story of an audio engineer named William Savory, who recorded live radio broadcasts in the late 1930s. What is particularly compelling is that he used 12-inch and 16-inch disks and even used the 33-1/3 RPM format so he could record extended performances and solos that were much longer than the standard three minutes or so that were captured at the time on a 78. The music has been donated to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and presumably will make its way to the public, although there are questions raised in the article about copyright and ownership. Among some of the performances mentioned are a live version of Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit” and a six-minute Coleman Hawkins solo on “Body and Soul” It’s worth a read. The article includes audio clips.
I’ve actually bid on a few records recently, but these days I don’t even get close, unless I want to really gamble on condition, which I don’t. Anyway, I was watching this record on eBay: Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This was an original pressing and it was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. A few hours before the bidding closed it wasn’t getting much action. My theory: Even though the listing described the cover as M-, it didn’t look that good in the photo. I know, however, that when you are taking pictures of black covers you often get a glare that distorts the image and makes it look worse than it actually is. I took a shot and set up my Bid Nip to put in a bid of about $350 with five seconds to go. Hah!. The record
The Magnificent Thad Jones, Blue Note 1527. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing and the seller was not an expert and he took it to a professional cleaner to have cleaned. Even better, when he posted the listing he provided a link and referenced Jazz Collector to help people learn more about the record. Nice touch, if I do say so myself. Anyway, the record looked to be in M- or VG++ condition, and the cover was probably around VG. The price was $385.
Here are a few more going into the Jazz Collector Price Guide this morning:
I have a couple of hundred items to enter into the Jazz Collector Price Guide and I’m hoping to find some time this weekend. As I’ve been perusing through the entries this morning, I found a few that I never updated on the site, so here they are. No links on these, by the way.
Jackie McLean, Alto Madness, Prestige 7114. This was from about a month ago. It was an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $932. A copy of Jackie’s Pal sold for more than $1,500 last week. There’s definitely been something that has stirred some higher prices in the past couple of weeks.
Sonny Clark, Sonny’s Crib, Blue Note 1576. This was an original pressing that was in VG+ condition for the vinyl and VG for the cover. The price was $610.. This was an original pressing that was
Here’s an interesting question from on of our readers, based on the accompanying pictures. We all know about the addresses on the Prestige LPs: West 50th Street in New York for the 10-inch LPs and 12-inch LPS up to around 7141, then Bergenfield, N.J. But that about this address, 754 10th Avenue, as seen below? Anyone know how many Prestige 78s were put out with this address on the label, or anything else about it.
Tags: Jazz Vinyl
Ken McIntyre, Looking Ahead, New Jazz 8247. This was an original pressing with the purple label and the deep grooves. It was in beautiful M- condition. The record features Eric Dolphy as well and the seller listed Dolphy first. That was probably a wise decision. This one sold for $260.
This one was from the same era, with a very similar framed cover: Benny Golson, Gone With Golson, New Jazz 8235. This was
The Blue Notes seem to be in a new stratosphere. We’d never seen any Curtis Fuller record sell for more than $1,000 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Until now, that is: Curtis Fuller Volume 3, Blue Note 1583. This was an original pressing, featuring Sonny Clark on piano, and it was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $1,467.43. Then there was this one, from a different seller: Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This was also an original pressing, not with Sonny Clark but with Hank Mobley on tenor. The vinyl was M- and the cover was VG++. The price was $1,180. Honestly, watching these prices, I’m getting quite tempted to dig into the collection. I have both of these records in nice condition.
There there was this, which wasn’t even an original pressing:
Let’s start with a couple more Prestiges. Frank Foster, Hope Meets Foster, Prestige 7021. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York address and the deep groove. It was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover looked to be VG+ or VG++. The price was $548.78, which is a nice price but in this market I would have thought it might have sold for even more. If that Prestige sold for less than expected, this one got top dollar, based on what we’ve previously seen for this record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide:
Booker Ervin, The Song Book, Prestige 7318. Booker was one of the unheralded greats on tenor sax and, to me, this is his best record as a leader. He wails on All The Things You Are and Just Friends and shows off his power and warmth on the ballads as well. With an all-star rhythm section featuring Tommy Flanagan, Richard Davis and Alan Dawson. If I ever get back to doing my Jazz Vinyl Countdown, this stays in the collection no matter what. Anyway, the copy on sale on eBay is an
Sonny Clark, Sonny’s Crib, Blue Note 1576. The record was mis-labeled as Dial S for Sonny in the listing, but I don’t think that impacted the price. The vinyl was listed in M- condition and the cover was M- and it was a nice clear picture in the listing, as you can see here. The record sold for $3,050.
Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1565. This too was an original pressing from the same seller, also with a nice picture, also in M- condition for both the vinyl and the cover. It sold for $2,444, which was the highest price we’ve ever recorded for
John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio, Prestige 7123. This was an original pressing with the original cover (the second pressing on this is Traneing In). The record was M- and the cover was VG+ and the price was $660. We’ve watched this one many times in the Jazz Collector Price Guide and it never surpassed $400. Quite a change. I’ve been cataloguing my records for insurance purposes and I had this one at $300. Guess I’ll have to change that.
This one also seemed to hit a new high: Olio, Prestige 7084, with Thad Jones, Frank Wess, Teddy Charles, Elvin Jones, Mal Waldron and Doug Watkins. This one was in M- condition all the way around and sold for $504.