Guest Column: Blue Note Angst

Our friend Daryl Parks, who wrote a previous post on originals versus reissues, has written another piece, this one around the angst of both owning and selling original Blue Note records (and others) worth a lot of money. Here ’tis.

By Daryl Parks

Let me cut to the chase: I am selling first-press, holy grail Blue Notes this week. In our Jazz Collector community, we rarely discuss the emotions related to such sales, so I will. I’m not sure that I’m doing the right thing by selling these records. I am guess that your comments or bids will let me know.

I began to follow Jazz Collector some six years ago. A retired neighbor had given me a few pristine jazz lp’s worth a few dozen dollars, which caused me to learn as much as I could. Al and the JC family taught me more than I ever knew I wanted to know about jazz records: first editions, grooves, initials in the runoff, and more. As I knew I would never be able to afford the rarest of the rare first editions at the center of the site’s clamor (e.g., Blue Note, Prestige, New Jazz) I stood offstage with my re-issues and infrequent Impulse first presses for five years. I often dreamed about owning just one of the rare ones described and discussed. (Fast forward) Then, last year, out of the blue, I owned six. Read more

Originals vs. Reissues, Another Point of View

Today we have a guest column by one of our loyal readers. I’ve been corresponding with Daryl Parks periodically for years and am pleased that we are finally able to provide him with a forum for his ideas. This one, we hope, should provoke some thoughts and discussion

By Daryl Parks

Discogs currently features an original Blue Note, first press, mono, deep groove copy of the Art Blakey A Night at Birdland Vol2  (VG+/VG+) for $500. Discogs also offers a (NM) 1985 Direct Metal Master, (DMM) French, “Cadre Rouge Audiophile” version, on scrawny vinyl, of the LP for $20 + postage. I own the original Blue Note (VG++) and the DMM re-issue (NM).  Prepare for heresy: I prefer the sound of the inexpensive, DMM, anorexic-vinyl re-issue. I’m not sure how to make sense of that. Read more

To Buy (It Now), Or Not to Buy (It Now)

Regular contributor Daryl Parks posed an interesting question about auctions versus buy-it-now listings on eBay. From the beginning here at Jazz Collector we have focused on auctions. Not sure why, but that was how I always did business on eBay, when I did do business on eBay, both as a buyer and as a seller. Daryl was helping a friend with some listings of jazz records, and the friend preferred buy-it-now, particularly for what he described as “big ticket” items, in this case original Blue Note pressings from Curtis Fuller and Jutta Hipp. His explanation, as explained by Daryl: “Buy-it-now attracts different types of buyers who prefer to avoid roller-coasters and unpredictability while resulting in predictable outcomes for the seller; he has always had great success with this approach.” Read more

Serenade to Some Rare Jazz Vinyl

Clark Terry Jazz Vinyl copyHere are some of the results from the Jazz Record Center auction that closed the other day, starting with Charles Mingus at the Bohemia, Debut 123. This was an original pressing that looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. When we first observed this record a few days ago, there were no bids at a start price of $200. We expected that the action would get hot and heavy and it did. The record wound up selling for $1,333.

Clark Terry, Serenade to a Bus Seat, Riverside 237. This was an original pressing with the white label. This is another great and underrated record by Terry, who died last week (the funeral is today in harlem, by the way). I thought I had this record, and I’m pretty sure I did have it at one time, but I don’t think I have it anymore. I was looking for it to review the liner notes. I had never thought about the title of the record before,

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An Old Jazz Collector Tribute To Charlie Parker

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. Read more