Jun 8, 2012 Features, Guest Columns
Miles Davis at Prestige in New York
So Don Lucky was asking me offline about something to do with Prestige, and I suggested he contact Rufolf, and Rudolf replied with this fascinating tale of how he ended up at the Prestige warehouse, and Don Lucky and I said Rudolf you have to write this up for the rest of the Jazz Collector audience, and Rudolf said sure, and here it is. Enjoy.
Treasure Hunt — Prestige
How a Courtesy Call Turned Out to be the Discovery of the Cave of Ali Baba
By Rudolf Flinterman
In the ‘50s/early ’60s a simple catalog of say Prestige, Blue Note or Contemporary could be of invaluable worth. Without, one simply could not know what was in the market. There were no discographies like Jepsen and Ruppli and no Internet, of course. At the time I would regularly write to Prestige, Pacific Jazz, Blue Note, Atlantic and Contemporary requesting to send me a catalog, which they all did. Lester Koenig always wrote a kind letter. Nesuhi Ertegun of Atlantic was so kind to send me copies of deleted items, for free!
In 1959 Prestige sent me an offer to become a free member of their Jazz & Folk Record Club in Teaneck, N.J. The formula was simple: Pay for two, receive three. Especially for New Jazz, with a list price of $3.98, that was an interesting proposition. I still have the box of the first shipment from Prestige. For three records I paid 2-X-$3.98 plus 89 cents postage, i.e. $2.95 per album, which was the equivalent of 10,75 Dutch florins. At the time the list price in Holland was 18 Dutch florins. No wonder that I became a frequent buyer at Prestige throughout the ‘60s, despite the fact that the sea transport and customs took more than two months.
In 1969 I made my first trip to the U.S. We stayed for one week in Manhattan. I travelled with the then-Mrs.-Rudolf. The first day we made a boat trip with the Circle Line to have a general idea of the city. I then proposed to her to make a courtesy call to a certain Mr. Bob Weinstock – “who would be most happy to make our acquaintance,” I assured. She could hardly object to this great idea. So the next day she found herself in the bus at the Port Authority to go to Bergenfield, N.J.
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