Aug 31, 2012 Blue Note
These closed yesterday: Sabu, Palo Congo, Blue Note 1561. I must admit, this is one I’ve never owned in any form, so 1561 has always been a blank in my Blue Note Collection. How is this record? Is it worth a listen? This one was in VG++ condition for the record and VG for the cover. It sold for $811. This one didn’t look quite right to me: Sonny Rollins, Volume 1, Blue Note 1542. It was listed as an original pressing, although it was a West 63rd Street pressing, so it wasn’t quite an original as we define it here. And it looked like the wrong cover for an original. The start price was about $300 and there were no bidders, which seems appropriate.
This one also has no bids and is closing in just a few hours: Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597. This is an original pressing with the Andy Warhol cover. The record is listed in VG condition with “quite a few surface scratches.” The cover is listed as VG++. The start price is around $200, which is pretty tempting if the cover is, indeed, really VG++.
Here’s another temptation:
Aug 27, 2012 News
CeeDee mentions the impending shutdown of Colony Records in Reader Forum: Music Shop Recognizes Somber Tune: It’s Final Coda. Other than the requisite sadness of the closing of an institution affiliated with the music of our era, I will shed no tears for the closing of Colony. In my 40 years of jazz record collecting I don’t think I ever purchased a single record there. The prices were always way out of reach, the condition of the records spotty, and the attitude of the store personnel was marginal, at best. In the past few years what little vinyl they actually sold was not on display and you had to basically make an appointment to see a bunch of overpriced records in the basement.
Tags: Colony Records
Aug 25, 2012 Features
I saw a terrific new play last night called Satchmo at the Waldorf. The play is by the Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout, who has been cited before at Jazz Collector for an article he wrote several years ago called “Can Jazz Be Saved?” This is Teachout’s first play and he’s done a remarkable job of piercing through the public persona of Armstrong and giving us a portrait of the man and musician. Teachout’s writing is aided considerably by the performance of John Douglas Thompson in a dynamic solo effort in which he plays Armstrong as well as his long-time manager Joe Glaser and Miles Davis. The play takes place backstage at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York just several months before Armstrong’s death in 1971. I would hope and expect that most of the readers here at Jazz Collector recognize the genius of Armstrong and his seminal contributions to jazz even though we don’t write about him very often. Indeed, he is not part of the “Jazz Collector Era” we talk about and his records are not often among the collectible Blue Notes and Prestiges that make up the bulk of our postings. But none of the music we love and cherish here happens without him coming first, right?
In Satchmo at the Waldorf Teachout takes us backstage after a performance. He uses the device of Armstrong dictating his life story into a tape recorder, but Armstrong realizes he is in the more comfortable setting of talking directly to an audience. A lot of the play covers the complex relationship between Armstrong and Glaser, which provides some of the dramatic tension that brings good theater to life. There are more than passing references to Armstrong’s relationship to the boppers, particularly Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, and the deep pain and injustice he felt at being called an Uncle Tom.
Tags: Dizzy Gillespie, Gordon Edelstein, Joe Glaser, John Douglas Thompson, Miles Davis, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Shakespeare & Company, Terry Teachout, The Long Wharf Theater, The Waldorf Astoria, The Wall Street Journal
Aug 23, 2012 Prestige
Webster Young, For Lady, Prestige 7106. This was an original New York yellow label pressing that looked to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. Always liked this record, featuring Mal Waldron and Paul Quinichette in addition to Young. This one did not sell. It had a top bid of $510 but failed to meet the seller’s reserve price.
This was from a different seller but also did not sell: Jackie McLean, Lights Out, Prestige 7035. This was an original New York pressing in what was described as pristine M- condition. The top bid was around $620, but that was lower than the reserve price. I’m surprised this one didn’t get a higher bid, and I’m sure the seller was too, but, to be fair, the seller’s feedback rating is less than 99 percent, which probably impacted the bidding.
Barbara Lea, Lea In Love, Prestige 7100. This was an original New York pressing. The record was M- and the cover was VG++. It sold for $385. This seller often has great records and has a strong reputation. I wonder why they vary their terminology between the Goldmine M-, VG+, VG, etc., and the E+, E, E-? Perhaps if they read Jazz Collector they will provide an answer.
This one is closing soonL Jackie McLean, 4, 5 & 6, Prestige 7048. This one is rated at VG++ for the cover and somewhere between VG+ and VG++ for the vinyl. The seller mentions that the sound is VG++ but the visual is VG+. I tend to go with the visuals when grading, particularly for records of this era, because they are almost always going to sound better than they look. But I can see what the seller is getting at. The price on this is more than $800.
Don’t see this one all that often: Gil Melle, Patterns in Jazz, Blue Note 1517. This is an original Lexington Avenue in M- condition for the vinyl and what looks to be about VG+ for the cover, based on the description. The price is about $500 and there are still a few days left on the bidding.
No bids on this one yet, but there probably will be soon: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers A Night at the Bohemia Volume 2, Blue Note 1508. This is an original Lexington Avenue flat-edge pressing. The record is another of those VG+ or VG++ and the cover is VG+. The start price is about $300.
Aug 21, 2012 Features
What are the points of demarcation for the era of jazz that we love and write about here on Jazz Collector? When people ask me about the jazz I love, I generally characterize it as the period from around 1945 to 1964 or 1965. Not that there hasn’t been great jazz — and great jazz records — before or after that period, but those are the years I use to describe the era of jazz I collect and love. The 1945 starting point is pretty clear — the birth of bebop and the first bebop recordings. But what about my arbitrary end point point of 1964/1965? I was thinking about that today and three things came to mind: 1. A Love Supreme was recorded in 1964 and in some ways, that’s the end of the era for me. After that Coltrane went way avant garde and his recordings started to veer away from music I could relate to. To me, A Love Supreme kind of feels like a coda musically to the period that started with Bird and Diz and the other boppers; 2. Blue Note was sold to Liberty in 1965. Talk about the end of an era! The third reason hadn’t occurred to me until now, but I think it has to do with The Beatles and the dramatic changes taking place in pop and rock music. The jazz guys started thinking they had to cross over to make money and be relevant and the music began shifting as well. I look at the DownBeat covers from the late 1960s and by then pop music had even usurped jazz in the industry’s leading jazz magazine. Anyway, it was something I was thinking about while fishing on the lake today and I was curious what others think. Others?
Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and cover. It was also a review copy. It sold for $535. I’ve had this record for a while. I traded it for it years ago: I had a broken leg at the time and was stuck in my friend’s basement with all of his records, Blue Notes, Prestiges, the whole works. I was very good and just looked. In my collection I have this one with my Flanagans, although the temptation is to put it with the Coltranes. I’m often reorganizing, so maybe I’ll move it around some day.
This is one of my favorite jazz collectibles, although it’s not jazz vinyl: To Bird With Love, by Francis Paudras. This is a book from 1981, about the most loving tribute to Bird you could find this side of Irving Kalus’ Ornithology. As noted by Fred in his listing, which you should take a look at, the book was printed once with no more than 1,000 copies, probably 500. I bought this when it first came out, from Fred, and I’ve treasured it ever since. It now has a prominent shelf on my new shelves in The Berkshires. This one sold for $887.79.
The Miles Davis Columbia records with Coltrane, and even the next generation, are becoming more collectible it seems. The music is certainly uniformly great. Here are a few from the Jazz Record Center auction:
Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This was a New York pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $2,483. I have to admit, I just got a copy in similar condition from the Irving Kalus collection, which I am happy to be keeping. Also from Sonny: Sonny Rollins Volume 2, Blue Note 1558. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that also looks to be in M- condition. The price was $780.
Wow, did you see what the Mobley sold for? You will now: Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing also in M- condition for the record and cover. It sold for $3,728.90.
Another Wow: Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597. This was an original pressing and it has the Andy Warhol cover. It was a review copy in M- condition. It sold for $2,728.90. Volume 1 sold for $1,350.
I’ll be reviewing some more of the results from this auction in another post. There was a lot to take in.
Aug 15, 2012 Blue Note
Sometimes I get vinyl envy. I see a record on eBay, one that I don’t have as an original pressing, usually a Blue Note, and I think my collection isn’t complete until I get that record. But then, if I get it, there’s always another to remind me that the collection will never be complete. So I think the vinyl envy is not such a bad thing. What would be the fun of collecting if there was nothing more to collect? So this is a record that gives me vinyl envy: The Magnificent Thad Jones, Blue Note 1527. I have a United Artists pressing and I’ve probably never even listened to it, so I’m not even sure of the quality of the music, although I bet it’s great: It’s really that Lexington Avenue label and cover in the pictures that does it. You can almost feel the cardboard and the heavy vinyl. Anyway, this one is in VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover and it is approaching $300 and will probably sell for closer to $1,000, so it will not be added to the Jazz Collector collection.
This is a cool one I’ve never seen before:
We’re watching the latest auction of jazz vinyl from the Jazz Record Center, which closes in a few days. Here are some of the highlights:
Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This is an original New York pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. This one is in the $900 range. I am happy to say, I recently purchased a near mint New York copy of Colossus in the Irving Kalus collection, which I will be writing about as soon as I get a chance.
Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This is an original pressing in beautiful M- condition for both the record and the cover. This price is already more than $1,800 and at the rate it is going you would expect that it may even top $3,000.
Kenny Burrell, Blue Notes Volume 1, Blue Note 1596. This is an original pressing and of course it has the Andy Warhol cover. This one is also in beautiful condition and is currently at $500. I’d expect this do break into the $1,000 bin, wouldn’t you?
A couple more:
Tommy Flanagan, Overseas, Prestige 7134. This is one of the major rarities and it sold like one. The record and cover were both in M- condition. The price was $3,216.66. That’s the first time we’ve seen the record surpass the $3,000 mark in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.
While we’re on the topic of $3,000 records: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and the cover. This is the listing that mentioned Jazz Collector as a pricing/value source, which we appreciate. The sale price was $3,600.
This didn’t quite make the $3,000 bin, but it gave it a good run: Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original purple label pressing in near mint condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $2,650. Do you think there’s a distinction between a record described as “near mint” versus one described as “mint minus?” Just thought I’d ask. “Near mint” has a nicer ring to it, IMHO.
Aug 3, 2012 For Sale
Remember our old friend Nick from Brooklyn? He’s the guy that told us a bunch of stories about his record-hunting days under the general heading Tales of the Hunt. There was the one on Meeting and Idol, A Spree Grows in Brooklyn (my headline) and several others. Do a search on “Tales of the Hunt” and they will all come up. Fun reading, again. Well Nick is back. He contacted me a few weeks ago, said he had several boxes of records, and he’s looking to get rid of them before he moves. I popped over to his place in Brooklyn (where else?) yesterday and walked away with some fairly nice records, including an original blue-label pressing of Waltz for Debbie and Lou Donaldson Swing and Soul. I didn’t bring all that much cash and, having just purchased a collection, I didn’t want to take too much. So I left a lot of really nice jazz records behind. Nick said I can post his phone number on Jazz Collector if anyone else wants to venture to Brooklyn and peruse the records and make a fair offer. So I will. The number is 718 219 8892. Perhaps you will have your own Tale of the Hunt.
Very busy with real work this week, but there’s always time to take a look at eBay for interesting jazz vinyl. Here’s some of the records we’re watching, starting with: Introducing Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1523. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in VG+ condition,. The start price is around $250 and so far there are no bidders. You’d think there would be bidding for an original Lexington Avenue pressing at $250: Perhaps it’s condition. The seller mentions “minimal light surface noise” and states “No Skips!” with an exclamation point. I think it’s the NO SKIPS PLUS EXCLAMATION POINT that would have me worried as a bidder. The least you’d expect out of a VG+ record is no skips, right? This one is from the same seller, also has the NO SKIPS! in the listing and also has no bidders: Freddie Hubbard, Open Sesame, Blue Note 4040. This one is listed as VG+++ condition for the vinyl and G for the cover. The start price is around $650.
Atomic Records has some nice vinyl on eBay this week, including: