Apr 27, 2011 Books/Magazines
OK, we’re going to see if we can use the collective wisdom, expertise, knowledge and possible collections of the community to see if we can solve a mystery for a friend. In this case, we are looking for a specific article in Downbeat. All we have is a partial headline and story, pictured here. To me this looks like a Downbeat from the early 1950s when it was still in a newspaper format. We are looking for the issue date of the article and, if possible, a copy of the article itself. My friend says we will not be successful in this quest, that the reference is too obscure. I say never underestimate the power of the Jazz Collector community. Let’s see.
I’ve never owned an original pressing of this: Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. Aside from the regular availability of this record on eBay, I’ve only had a couple of chances to actually hold this record in my hand and pay cash for it. Once, the price was just too high and the second time was a few years ago, I had a chance to buy a collection and this was one of the records. The whole collection was probably about $3,000 and I could have made up a good portion of it by just selling this record, but there weren’t enough other gems to make it worthwhile. I’m still looking for a copy and expect to find one someday at a reasonable price, but this won’t be the one. This one is in VG+ condition for both the record and the vinyl and is already at $1,180. I see that the seller is located near me, so, if you’re out there and a reader, perhaps we can do some trading one of these days.
My son graduated from his masters program at Brown so I don’t get up to Providence as much as I used to, but I see my friend Steve at Round Again Records has found a nice collection and is posting some of them on eBay, including these gems:
Apr 25, 2011 Guest Columns
Our friend Nick from Brooklyn is back with another Tales From the Hunt:
Besides collecting Jazz I also collected literature on record companies, music publishers, etc. I used to send out between 10 to 20 postcards a week, all over the United States requesting records. Companies and people that were in New York City or in New Jersey I would search out myself. I had sent a postcard to this record company in upstate New York called Chroma Records. Now many companies I never heard of and I did not have a clue what type of music they had. A couple of weeks later I get a tape and it says our latest release and the price, which is $2. It was Country and it was not my cup of tea. I go to throw the letter in the garbage and it gets stuck in my hand. To me this was a omen.
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Tags: Jazz Vinyl
Here’s an interesting one: Miles Davis Volume 1, Blue Note 1501. This was a test pressing, no cover. What’s makes it cool, in my view, is the original Plastylite logo and the date, which looks to be 12-5-55. Seems pretty original, no? This one was listed in excellent plus condition and sold for $1,025. In the past I’ve owned several test pressings and, while they’re nice to have, I’ve always missed having the covers. This, I think, would have been an exception, but not at that price. Speaking of prices, that copy of Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024, sold for $495 the other day and, no, I was not the winning bidder. As Mrs. JC and I are starting to explore downsizing once again and moving to Manhattan, I am much more of a mind to be selling rather than buying these days.
This one got a high price, all things considered: Eric Dolphy at the Five Spot, New Jazz 8260. If you click on the link you’ll see what I mean: The record and cover were both listed as VG+, but there seems to be a pretty nice amount of ringwear on the cover, so I guess I’d be a bit skeptical. The winning bidder apparently was not. It sold for $535.
Other than the Andy Warhol covers, which seem to be going out of sight, I’m sensing some softness in the market these days. Not sure if it’s because of what’s going on in Japan or just the usual ebbs and flows of prices, often dependent upon who is on eBay and who is not on eBay. In any case, let’s start with the Warhols. I’ve never seen this one at this price: Count Basie, RCA 1112. This is in VG++ to M- condition for the record, but only VG for the cover. Still, it is already close to $350 with several hours to go. This one looks quite familiar: Conte Candoli, Cool Gabriels, Groove 1003. Methinks this belongs, for now, to Rudolf, correct? If so, I think it will finally sell. There are five days left on the auction and it is already more than $1,000.
So why am I mentioning potential softness in the market? Here are a few examples, perhaps not a trend, but examples nonetheless. Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This is an original West 63rd deep groove pressing in M-/VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover. Hard to find this record is such nice shape and it has sold for more than $1,000 previously in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. This one has a start bid of $300, it closes tomorrow, and there are no bidders. Hmmm. I can use an upgraded copy for my collection. Or perhaps there are many snipers lurking in the weeds for this.
Apr 16, 2011 Record Stores
Did you know that today was, we kid you not, Record Store Day here in the states and, apparently, internationally as well? I didn’t know this until somebody sent me this link of depressing photos of record store closings. In any case, the idea is to patronize your favorite record stores so they can ostensibly avoid being on the next list of depressing photos of record store closings. We endorse the message and the concept wholeheartedly and, if we can, we will do our part by visiting one of the record stores participating in the venture. You should check out the site. There are quite a few stores participating in the celebration — perhaps some you’ve never even heard of — and some quotes and other stuff about record stores. I, for one, really miss many of my old favorite record stores and it would be a sad day indeed if we were not able to walk into a store and see bins and bins of used jazz vinyl, hoping to find that one Blue Note or Prestige gem hidden among the rest.
Kenny Dorham, ‘Round About Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia, Blue Note 1524. This was an original pressing that was listed in M- condition for the record and excellent condition for the cover, which is, what, VG+, VG++? This one sold for $1,315.
People have already commented on this one elsewhere on Jazz Collector, but it seems reasonable to me, given the state of the Blue Note market: Cannonball Adderley, Somethin’ Else, Blue Note 1595. This looked like an original pressing and was in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,250.
This one came from the bobjdukic batch and, given the condition, sold for a fairly whopping price tag: Lee Morgan, Indeed!, Blue Note 1538. It was listed as “insanely rare” (of course), but it was also listed in VG to VG-minus condition for the vinyl, which would definitely indicate surface noise. The cover was VG+ and the price was an even $1,000, which, I suppose, is a sign of something to conspiracy theorists.
Here was an original copy of Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079, the barely missed the $1,000 bin. This looked to be in VG+ or VG++ condition for the vinyl and probably around VG+ for the cover. It sold for $948,
I had never even seen the Cool Gabriels album until a few weeks ago, and now it keeps popping up on eBay and selling for quite high prices. I was tracking two copies this week. This copy, Cool Gabriels, Groove 1003, was listed in VG+/VG++ condition for the vinyl and, more importantly, M- for the cover. The reason the cover is more important is because it is the Andy Warhol illustration that is presumably driving the high prices, rather than the music by Conte Candoli, Nick Travis, et al. Don’t want to break Rudolf’s heart, but this one sold for $2,310. The other copy, Cool Gabriels, Groove 1003, was listed in M- condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover. This one sold for $1,807. If you want to see a picture of the cover, you can scroll down a few posts on Jazz Collecctor.
Here’s a beauty for the $1,000 bin: Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This was an original West 63rd pressing with the deep grooves and was listed in M- condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,330.
Apr 12, 2011 Features
Do you see a lot of live jazz anymore? I don’t. When people ask why, I kind of laugh it off and tell them that just about everyone I’d want to see is dead. Which, unfortunately, is pretty true, with a very few exceptions. I do still try to see Sonny Rollins whenever possible and perhaps a couple of others, but I no longer go to the Vanguard regularly or any of the other clubs in New York. Perhaps this will change when Mrs. JC and I make our long-awaited move to Manhattan, which is in the works (we hope). In any case, I bring this up because I did recently trek to Rose Hall in New York for the first time to attend a Jazz at Lincoln Center concert. The concert was billed as “Bird With Strings,” featuring Charles McPherson accompanied by a string section and playing the music from the original Charlie Parker Bird With Strings album. I like McPherson, a love Bird With Strings and I figured this would be a good opportunity to see some live jazz and check out the location. So how was it?
Speaking of Hank Mobley, there’s this: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is an original pressing and the seller has it in M-condition for the vinyl and excellent for the cover, which typically translate to VG+. There’s only a little more than a day left on the bidding and it’s only $660. I guess a lot of people are lurking in ambush. We’d still expect this to sell for more than $2,000, right?
Here’s a beauty from a seller with zero feedback who is selling his father’s collection, apparently one at a time starting with Kenny Dorham, Afro Cuban, Blue-Note 5065. He describes the record as VG++ and the cover as VG, but his experience is clearly limited so who knows? Pictures look pretty good to me, but the start price is a little rich for my blood: $350. There are no bidders, but I have a feeling it will sell.
And here would be the 12-inch version: Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban, Blue Note 1535. This one is M- for the record and VG++ for the cover. It is more than $300 already. Which begs the question: Which would you rather have, the 10-inch LP or the 12-inch LP? Of course, most of you will be inclined to say “both” but what if it were only one?
Apr 10, 2011 Books/Magazines
Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley By Derek Ansell
A Review by Mike Falcon
Hank Mobley’s music is well documented. Hank recorded a wealth of material that fans are still enjoying a half-century later, perhaps more than ever. But, for a very long time, any fan wanting to know more about Hank’s life had a hard time finding anything. Searching the Internet yields little. Searching back issues of jazz periodicals looking for any interviews wouldn’t yield much. Derek Ansell explains in Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley that Hank only gave one substantial interview throughout his career. The interview occurred in 1973 when his career was in a steep decline. Other than this, Ansell was forced to piece together a picture of Hank from what little others had to say about him.
Tags: Hank Mobley
Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing with the purple label and the deep grooves. It features John Coltrane. I haven’t listened to this record in a few years, but my recollection is that it’s not among Trane’s better efforts, but I should go back and check again. Nevertheless it is a New Jazz and it is Trane and Flanagan and it is thus an important collectible. This one was listed in excellent condition by the seller, which I took to mean about VG++. The price was $404.99.
This one was from the same seller and also looked to be in excellent VG++ condition: The Magnificent Thad Jones, Blue Note 1527. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing and sold for $869.99.
Speaking of Blue Notes, as we so often do at Jazz Collector, here are a couple of 10-inch Blue Notes we were watching:
This one made the $1,000 bin with plenty to spare: Conte Candoli, Cool Gabriels, Groove 1003. This was an original pressing and, of course, the main feature is the cover illustration by Andy Warhol. The record was VG-, the cover had splits on the top and the bottom, yet it still sold for $1,825. The Warhol market is driving these prices quite high, but this one seems to do even better than the Blue Notes in better condition. It must be harder to find? Or perhaps the Warhol collectors are more enamored with the artwork?
This one was not an original pressing, at least not in the way we think of originals as “first” pressings: Sonny Rollins Volume 1, Blue Note 1542. This one had the West 63rd Street address, plus the deep grooves and ear and all the other markings of an early pressing: But a first pressing would have had the Lexington Avenue address. This one was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover and it sold for $334. Quick question: I know most collectors prefer Blue Notes over Prestiges in general but, musically, to me the Sonny’s on Prestige are far more preferable and inventive than the Blue Notes. How do other collectibles feel about this?
Let’s catch up on some of the jazz vinyl we were watching last week. Remember that copy of Miles Davis, Steamin’, Prestige 7200, pictured a few items below? That was the one from bobjdukic and it was in M- condition, an original New Jersey pressing? It sold for $760. Wow! I’ll put it in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but it’s hard to imagine that this will now be the going rate for this record. This guy seems to have a customer base that’s in an alternate universe from the customer base buying jazz vinyl from every other seller on eBay. There are many examples, but look at this one as well: Stan Getz, Imported From Europe, Verve 8331. This isn’t even an original pressing and he was able to get $122.50 for it. It leaves me somewhat speechless, but someone, somewhere, was willing to pay the price.
This is from a different seller and more in line with current market realities: Duke Jordan, Flight To Jordan, Blue Note 4046. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd label, deep grooves, ear, etc. It was listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $741.
This is a nice record:
This is a new high point in the Jazz Collector Price Guide for this one: Miles Davis, Cookin’ Prestige 7094. This was an original New York pressing that was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. In fact, if you look at the seller’s description, it’s almost as if the record were new. It sold for $789.67. It’s funny, when I first started really collecting collectible jazz vinyl, maybe in the early 1980s, these Miles Prestiges were not so hard to come by, and not nearly as pricey as some of the earlier yellow label Prestiges. But times seem to have changed, and the music on the Miles Prestiges is outstanding, no?
This one was from the bobjdukic batch: Horace Silver, Blowin’ the Blues Away, Blue Note 4017. This looked to be an original pressing in VG++ condition, depending upon how much you trust the seller, and it sold for $125.50. This seems to be around market value these days for this great record. I had a friend over the other day who likes jazz but is not really knowledgeable. I had him sit in my listening seat at home and I put on Sister Sadie and we listened together closely. The music was just perfect and the sound on the Blue Notes, on a nice turntable with a nice system, is just so incredible compared to anything else. It was like listening to it for the first time. Tres sweet.
Apr 1, 2011 Prestige
I was just about to write a post about this item: Miles Davis, The Original Quintet (First Recording), Prestige 7254, but I see that Rudolf beat me to it in one of his comments. The reality, of course, is that this the first recording of the “new Miles Davis Quintet” as issued and described on Prestige 7014, the original pressing of these wonderful album. Most jazz collectors would know this, but apparently not. The seller — do I really need to say who it is (yes it is bobdjukik) — does a fantastic job of obfuscation without actually lying. He notes that the material was recorded in 1955 and the album — this particular album — was released in 1961. When I was an editor, I used to tell my reporters and writers to be careful: It is possible to have the facts correct, but to get the story wrong. Here, clearly, we have the story wrong. What would you pay for this record in a store, even if you didn’t have the original? Would you pay $15, $20, maybe $30 to fill in the gaps in your yellow Prestige collection? This one is now $127.50 with two days to go. I don’t even want to put the picture of this record on the site, lest someone mistakenly think it is actually a collectible of real value. You do wonder if the hyperbole and razzle-dazzle in this seller’s listings affect real bidders and real collectors. It certainly helps to jack up prices on records such as these, but does it scare bidders off on other records? Case in point:
Tags: Miles Davis