This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. When I was breaking in as a journalist my first job was as the jazz critic for the Syracuse New Times, an alternative newspaper in Syracuse, NY. I did a bunch of interviews — Charles Mingus, Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, among others — record and concert reviews and other features. I once posted my Mingus Interview here at Jazz Collector. Most of the articles are long gone, not in my files, certainly not saved in any digital format — this was the early 1970s, nothing was digital then. However, I did save a copy of an article I wrote about Charlie Parker, which was timed to coincide with the 2oth anniversary of Bird’s death in 1975. I recently dug up the article and painstakingly retyped it into my computer and now it will be saved digitally forever and ever. And now, when people do a search of Charlie Parker and Al Perlman, I will forever be associated with Bird. It’s enough to put a big smile on my face, that thought. Me and Bird. I like it. Anyway, it’s a pretty well written article, if I must say so myself, but there are clearly youthful indiscretions and probably a little too much borrowing from Ross Russell’s Bird Lives, including the opening scene and some idle speculation that Bird got his nickname because he loved fried chicken. There are many stories to go with this article and how it got published — and how I got away with using the word “motherfucker.” But those are for another day. Oh, and I didn’t put that stupid headline on the article nor did I get to approve it. I’ve attached the article as a PDF to download for simple viewing. Here it is: Charlie Parker Article. I’m also going to see if I can post it below here without screwing up Jazz Collector and, to prove there really was an article to begin with, we have a picture of the original, from April 13, 1975. If you are going to comment, please be kind. I was only 22 years old at the time.
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Here is one of the conundrums of doing the Jazz Collector Web site. I still collect records and occasionally buy them on eBay. So, when I spot a record that interests me, do I dare share it with the world? I usually do. Case in point: Phil Woods, Woodlore, Prestige 7018. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover looks around VG+. This is a nice early Prestige I’ve only owned as a Japanese pressing. The auction closes tomorrow and there are no bidders at a $200 start price. I would pay $200 for this record. I could just lurk in the background, put in a snipe and hope no body else is interested, which I may, indeed, do. But I’d certainly have a better chance for success without blabbing about my interest to the whole Jazz Collector world out there, wouldn’t you say? Actually, I’m surprised there are no bidders yet for this one and there’s only one bidder for this record from the same seller: Lucky Thompson, Lucky Strikes!, Transition 21. This is an original pressing with the booklet. The record is in M- condition and the cover is probably VG++.There’s only one bid at $200 for this. To be fair, the highest price we’ve seen for this in the Jazz Collector Price Guide has been a little more than $300, so perhaps the $200 is not so unreasonable. It just looks like a record that should sell for more, at least it does to this collector.
I was just going through some old listings as I attempt to clean up my files so I can (finally) update the Jazz Collector Price Guide and noticed that eBay took the liberty of erasing all of my files that were more than six weeks old. This is a new thing they have done and I’d rather they didn’t, but I wasn’t given a choice. Anyway. Before they disappear into oblivion here are some items I had saved with the idea of either writing about them or adding them to the Price Guide:
Johnny Griffin, Studio Jazz Party, Riverside 9338. This was an original stereo pressing with the deep grooves and black label. The seller had a start price of $150 for this record, which was in VG++ condition and probably VG+ for the vinyl. I was watching it to see if it would sell and at what price. The mono pressings tend to be much more desired and desirable, right? This one did not sell. A mono pressing in that condition, at that start price likely would have sold. I always liked this record — it has the real feel of a party. Along the same lines and from the same seller was a stereo pressing of Johnny Griffin, The Little Giant, Riverside 1149. This one was in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover and it too had a start price of $150. Alas, there were also no bidders for this one.
This was a stereo pressing that did sell, and for a decent price:
Sorry for taking such a long break over the Memorial Day weekend. But we are back to our post at Jazz Collector and ready to begin posting regularly again, starting with a catch-up of items we were watching last week on eBay.
First there was that copy of Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 7150, that was autographed by Miles, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. It was offered by the Jazz Record Center so there was some level of credibility attached to the autographs, although the listing didn’t say anything about independent verification. The price for this was $4,305. It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind item, so there is probably no price too high to have surprised us. This seems pretty reasonable for such a rare item. Here are a couple more from the same auction: Art Pepper, Intensity, Contemporary 3607. This was not only signed by Art Pepper, he also put the date and his home address with the signature. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition. This one sold for $150.27. This one was not signed: Johnny Hodges, In a Tender Mood, Norgran 1059. This was an original yellow label pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $161.50. I was watching this because I like to keep an eye on the original Norgrans, just to see that there is still a collector’s market for them, since they really reflect artists mostly from the pre-bop era, with a few exceptions, of course. This one also has that weird kind of cover from the era, with a picture of a white woman as the sole image on the picture of an album by a black male artists. Is it really possible that
Tags: Art Pepper Autograph, Contemporary Records, Freddie Hubbard, George Wallington, Hank Mobley, John Coltrane Autograph, Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis Autograph, Progressive Records, Thelonious Monk Autograph
Still have my eye on that Miles LP autographed by Miles, Trane and Monk being offered on eBay by the Jazz Record Center. Not that I’m going to spend more than $2,500 on it. My interest is more as an interested observer, as it usually is when the prices get that high. Here’s another one I’m watching from the same auction, closing in around three hours. It’s another autograph, but the packaging is a little odd: Finger Poppin’ With the Horace Silver Quintet, Blue Note 4008. This is an original stereo pressing with the original cover, which is not autographed. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover is probably M- as well. In addition to this, the Jazz Record Center is including a Liberty cover with Horace Silver’s autograph on the back. One cover for the record, I guess, another, with the autograph for framing — although, for me, having the autograph sitting right below the Liberty logo is more of a turn off than a turn on. Now, if the autograph were on the original cover, that would be much more enticing. Anyway, the start price for this is $100 and there is already a bidder so it looks like it will sell.
Tags: Horace Silver Autograph
May 22, 2012 Price Guide
One of our readers sent me an email and asked me to include this in the Jazz Collector Price Guide: Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This was an original pressing in VG+ condition for the record and VG- condition for the cover. It sold for $730. In the headline the seller mentions that this is a 1951 pressing, but that cannot be possible. They weren’t even pressing 12-inch records in 1951, were they? It was during that time that the 10-inch LP was the “standard.”
Anyway, I will add this to the Price Guide, although I have to admit I’ve been quite remiss in doing regular updates. I know I used to use the Price Guide all the time when I was selling records on eBay. I found it very helpful. And I know that people are using it now and referring to it fairly often, because I see the analytics from Google. It seems to be particularly popular in Japan. Really. So I will slog along, put aside a day or a half day somewhere in the next couple of weeks, and make sure I plug in all of the records I’ve been promising to plug in since I last did a major update about four months ago. It would certainly help the motivation if there were a few kind words about the Price Guide as well.
May 21, 2012 Blue Note
Sonny Clark, Leapin’ and Lopin’, Blue Note 4091. What caught my eye about this one is that the seller kept referring to him as “Sonny Clarke” in the headline and in the text. I mean, can you look at the album cover? If potential buyers have alerts for Sonny Clark or if they are doing searches, would they not find this LP? Interesting question. This one was in VG condition for the record and M- for the cover. It was an original mono pressing. It sold for $289. My bet is that the misspelling did not impact the final price.
Hal McKusick, Bethlehem 16. This was an original pressing with the deep red label and deep grooves. The record was VG+ or perhaps a little better and the cover was VG++. The start price was $275 and when I looked at this there was one bidder. I was a bit surprised anyone was interested at that price so I kept an eye on it to see if the bidding would go higher. It didn’t.
Lee Morgan, Lee-Way, Blue Note 4034. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that was in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. As I’ve watched this record through the years, it’s typically topped out in the $500 range, although we’ve seen one in the Jazz Collector Price Guide sell for $847. I expect someday we’ll see this regularly in the $1,000 bin given the quality of the recording, vintage, personnel, etc. Not yet. This one sold for $757.
My goodness, here’s a jazz collectible to make the heart flutter (my heart, at least): Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 7150. This is an original yellow label pressing, although the record itself is a reissue. No big deal, right? Except this one is autographed by, get this, Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. That’s about as an impressing a lineup of jazz autographs as you could get on one record. This one is being auction by The Jazz Record Center so I would be one to trust that the signatures are original. Perhaps Don-Lucky or another autograph collector might shed more light. In any case, the bidding on this one starts at $2,500 and there is already a bid so the record will sell. If I had this one, I’d frame it for sure.
Here we go again: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is an original original pressing, based on all of our feedbacks and comments last week, and it has the New York 23 on the B Side. This one is in M- condition for both the record and the cover and, based on the seller’s description, it sounds like it’s in amazing shape. The auction closes later today, in about four hours, and the bidding is in the $2,000 range. My guess is that it goes in the $4,000 range. If it was from a seller with more history and more of a reputation using this description it would probably break the $5,000 barrier. Maybe even more. And maybe it will with this seller. We’ll see soon.
May 17, 2012 Features
Here’s an article about another record store closing: Cutler’s record store in New Haven closing after 64 years in business. It’s not necessarily news anymore when a record store closes, but this seems to have been a pretty popular store. The real news would be a record store opening. Not much chance of that, is there? I’ve never been to Cutler’s in New Haven, but I’ve been to many record stores in my day, all around the U.S. and a bit in Europe as well. Of all the things I love about collecting, the think I miss the most is being able to go into a record store and going through the bins searching for that one record or two or even, hopefully, many more that are sitting there with great music, great covers and an affordable price. You know that feeling of rifling through the bins, record by record, passing all of the Herb Alperts and George Bensons and Al Jarreaus and, boom, there it is, an original Fats Navarro on Savoy or Stan Getz on Verve or, on the best days, a Jackie McLean or Lou Donaldson or anyone else on Blue Note. The business of collectible buying and selling has moved to eBay, with good reason (at least for the sellers), but it’s certainly not nearly as much fun. Is it?
Time to update the $1,000 bin and there is quite a lot to update, not counting some of the ones we’ve watched recently, such as the Hank Mobley 1568 and others from the recent Jazz Record Center auction. Here goes:
Paul Gonsalves, Boom-Jackie-Boom-Chick, Vocalion 587. This was an original British pressing that looks to be in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,593.88.
Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address and it was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $1,578.99.
This was a surprise to sell for such a high price tag: Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Blue Note 1526. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the framed cover. It was in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,567.
Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This was an original pressing. The cover was VG+, but the record was in VG or worse condition, based on the seller’s description. It sold for $1,376.11.
Finally, here’s one we meant to include from the Jazz Record Center auction because it was actually in the $3,000 bin:
Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was an original pressing of one of the rarest and most valuable of all jazz records and it was sold by the most reputable of all jazz sellers, the Jazz Record Center in New York. The record was in M- condition and the cover looked like VG++. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $5,000 in the past on the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Not this time. This one sold for a mere $3,362.
Presenting Ernie Henry, Riverside 222. This was also from the Jazz Record Center and it was an original white label pressing that looked to be in quite lovely condition, M- for both the record and the cover. This one sold for $510. Great cover, isn’t it? Perfection, really, with the great picture and his eyes closed and the scripted typeface with the finger pointing to Ernie. Love it. Great record too.
This seller had a few interesting records from the Prestige New Jazz label, including:
Coleman Hawkins, The Hawk Flies High, Riverside 233. From my experience, we don’t see too many Coleman Hawkins records garnering collectible prices these days. We only have a few mentions of Hawk in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. So I was surprised to see that the bidding for this record had already surpassed $150, closing later today. I was surprised again to see that the record was not an original pressing — it has the blue label as opposed to the white label. It is in nice condition, however, M- for the cover and the record.
This record was closing just as I was perusing, not that I would have bid on it: Charlie Mariano With His Jazz Group, Imperial 3006. This was an original 10-inch pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It was sitting at $95 with three minutes left and wound up selling for $180. It also had more than 150 page views, which surprised me. Glad that people are still interested in 10-inch Charlie Mariano records.
Here’s one that will sell for quite a lot of money this week: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is an original original pressing and it is being offered by the Jazz Record Center, which describes it as a “the original hybrid deep-groove RVG-stamped ‘P’ pressing.” This is a lot to take in, but the key word is original. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover probably around VG+. There are close to three days left in the auction and the bidding is in the range of $1,125. It will continue to rise. We’ve seen this record sell for as much as $5,600 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, the highest price we’ve ever recorded for any single record.
What are some of the other items we’re watching from the Jazz Record Center auction. Glad you asked:
Those Blue Notes I was coveting the other day? Even if I had bid, which I considered, I would have been out of the running quite early. Several of these broke into the $1,000 bin. Here are some results.
Jutta Hipp, At The Hickory House Volume 2, Blue Note 1516. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing that was in perhaps VG++ condition for the record and VG for the cover. It sold for $1,402.88.
J.R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536. This was also an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record was VG+ and the cover was probably VG++. The price was $1,472.
John Jenkins With Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1573. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The record and cover were both in VG++ or so condition. The price was $1,107.
Here Comes Louis Smith, Blue Note 1584. This was an original pressing in VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $1,025.
Four Blue Notes, four $1,000-plus jazz records. Whew.
When I was buying and selling regularly on eBay a few years ago I would monitor the listings religiously. Every day I would go through all of the listings, one by one, page by page, and I pretty much never missed a thing. These days, I’m more likely to do occasional searches and focus on items I’m most interested in. Last night I had some time, so I went through my old routine of listing by listing, page by page. Here’s some of the jazz vinyl I watched.
Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz, Diz and Getz, Verve 8141. This was an original pressing with the trumpeter logo. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG+, although it seemed to have original shrink wrap. The start price was $29.95. There were no bidders. Really? When I started collecting this would have been a nice commodity, hard to find, great artists, great collectible label. And it’s got quite a nice cover to boot. Now it’s not worth thirty bucks? Wow. How about Stan Getz and Chet Baker, Stan Meets Chet, Verve 8263. This one says “trumpet logo” in the headline, but there’s no picture of the label so I actually have to wonder if it is original. The record was listed in VG++ condition, close to M-, and the cover was VG+. The price was $57.
May 1, 2012 Blue Note
This is from a seller who has a bunch or rare original Blue Notes closing tomorrow, including: Sonny Clark Trio, Blue Note 1579. This is an original pressing that looks to be in VG++ condition for the record and the cover, based on how the seller describes his grading system. There have already been more than 20 bids and the price is now hovering in the $550 range. Here Comes Louis Smith, Blue Note 1584. This is also an original pressing. The record is VG++ and the cover is M-. The price is now $432. J.R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing. It is listed in what seems to be VG+ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The price is now in the $300 range. There are more from this seller if you want to do a search.
This is from a different seller and is also quite appealing: