Jazz and the City

I’ve had several interesting jazz-related experiences over the past few weeks, but I’ve been so busy with my real work I haven’t had a chance to share them with you. Until now.

Number One: I had cousins visiting from England. One of them had never been to New York before. He’s a musician and wanted to see some music. It was a Monday night. Go to just about any city, and seeing good jazz on a Monday night would be a difficult proposition. But this was New York. There were many choices, but for me there was only one: The Vanguard, of course, with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, which is still the Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Orchestra to me. I hadn’t been to the Vanguard on a Monday night in probably 10 years, which is kind of ridiculous when you think about it since it is only a 20-minute subway ride away from my apartment. Anyway, I went online for reservations and it was sold out. Same thing when I called. We went anyway, arriving early. And we got in. The band was in fine form. They had just finished doing their annual weekly gig at the Vanguard, and seemed particularly tight. The band’s personnel has evolved over the years, but there were definitely a lot of familiar faces, including the tenor player Ralph LaLama, from whom I once took about four lessons 30 years ago. Somehow, I didn’t think he’d remember me, at least not fondly, so I didn’t actually say hello. But I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and would highly recommend a visit to the Vanguard, particularly on a Monday night, to anyone visiting New York. But, if you can, make reservations early. It seems to be a destination for jazz lovers from all around the world.

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Today’s Jazz Vinyl: It’s a Wrap

One of our readers sent me a link to this listing from a few weeks ago, using the word “insanity” as a modifier: Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple, Blue Note 4232. This was a Liberty pressing. It was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. There was some original shrink wrap on the cover, which perhaps is a big deal for someone. For me, well I just rip it off and throw it in the garbage. Anyway, this record sold for $997.65. That’s right, the very cusp of the $1,000 bin. Question: Does anyone recall ever seeing a Liberty Blue Note selling for this amount of money before? I don’t.

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Horace Parlan, RIP

Here’s a nice rare Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Speakin’ My Piece, Blue Note 4043. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing with the deep grooves, ear and RVG stamp in the deadwax. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover is VG++. The start price is $700 and there are four days left in the auction, with no bidders yet. We are starting our post today with this because we just saw the news that Horace Parlan passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Or course Parlan is well known in the Jazz Collector world for the albums he recorded on Blue Note in the early 1960s. I was originally going to mention six albums, but I looked at his discography and came upon the album “Happy Frame of Mind,” which I had forgotten about because it wasn’t issued until the 1980s. In any case, we mourn the passing of another one of the fine musicians of the era. I recall seeing Parlan in the 1970s and was quite impressed with his musicianship and percussive style, and the fact that he was limited to the use of just two fingers on his right hand. RIP.

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Prestiges, Esquires and Blue Notes, Oh My

Here’s another one of those cool Esquires with a cool cover: Sonny Rollins Quintet, Esquire 20-080. This is the original U.K. version of the Prestige record Moving Out (Prestige 7058). This one is in M- condition for both the record and the cover. There are two days left on the auction and the bidding is already close to $700. What I said in my previous post about getting a good deal on these Esquires? I only wrote it a week ago. Have times changed that quickly, or does it have to do with immaculate condition of this record? Or, perhaps, a little of both?

Meanwhile, it seems as if the bidding has barely begun on this original original Prestige: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This looks like a beauty, graded M- for the record and VG++ for the cover. There seems to be shrink wrap, which would not have been the packaging medium when it was first introduced, but that wouldn’t scare me off at all. With more than three days left, the bidding is at just $45. I would expect it to increase markedly as we get close to the end of the auction.

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Diggin’ Prestige (And Esquire Too)

Catching up on my eBay watch list, and starting with this one because I dig the cover and don’t recall ever seeing it before: Miles Davis, Dig Featuring Sonny Rollins, Esquire 32-062. This was an original British pressing and there’s just something cool about these Esquire covers. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The final price was $182.50. For those of you commenting on the earlier posts about alternatives to paying top dollar for U.S. originals on Prestige, these UK pressings look like a pretty good deal to me. And from my experience, the sound is equal to the U.S. pressings. (But, alas, there is no comparable alternative for the Blue Note fanaticos out there, is there?)

Speaking of original Prestiges, there was also this on our watch list: Read more

The Rise of the Second Pressings?????

Sorry, again, for the paucity of posts and thanks, again, to Clifford for pitching in. There’s a lot to catch up on so let’s begin, starting with Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. I think we may be seen a new paradigm taking shape in our Jazz Collector world. This copy was in extremely nice condition, graded M- for both the cover and the vinyl. It sold for $1,002.99, which some might think would be a bargain price for an original of Saxophone Colossus, and, of course, that would be accurate. But this was not an original pressing, but instead was a yellow label New Jersey pressing. I think we’re starting to see the rise of the second — and later — pressings because the originals are so expensive and so hard to come by, particularly in near mint condition. Makes me regret that I sold so many of my Liberty Blue Notes for $20 or so when I was selling regularly on eBay in the first part of the 2000s. Then again, the reason I was able to sell those Liberties was because I had acquired original pressings and no longer needed them, so nothing really to complain too strenuously about.

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Two Reds and a Blue (Note)

This one fetched quite a nice price on eBay: Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper, Tampa 28. This was an original pressing with the red vinyl. It was listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, and the seller certainly posted some nice clear pictures. The final price was $1,181. That’s the highest price I recall seeing for this record, although there was one in Popsike that I must have missed that sold for $1,225.

Then there was this one that didn’t get a bid at all: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This looked to be an original West 63rd Street pressing, unless I’m missing something. The seller’s description was all over the place in terms of the condition. At one point he said it was strong VG+, then VG. He also mentioned the word “pops,” which is not something you want to hear unless

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Rare Jazz Vinyl, But Not For Me

Back in business with a few items we’ve been watching on eBay. We haven’t been buying records for a white but we decided to try to win a couple of items recently, using our sniping software. Here’s what happened, starting with: Lester Young and Teddy Wilson, Pres and Teddy, Verve 8205. This was an original pressing with the trumpeter logo that was in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. I was perusing eBay and noticed this with a start price of $99 and no bidders, quite close to the end of the auction. I do own a copy of this record, but it is a bit of a mess, VG- cover and VG record. I have had a clean copy of this record in the past and, quite honestly, I don’t recall what happened to it. I can’t imagine I sold it or traded it, as it is one of my favorite Pres records. In any case, the idea of upgrading my copy was quite compelling, and it seemed as if there might not be any action on this record so I tried to sneak in a bid in the range of about $11.50. The final price was $113.50, so someone else had the same idea, but decided to go with a higher bid. How how, we’ll never know, but I will keep on the lookout for a clean copy of this record and would have no problem paying in the low hundreds for one.

I tried a similar tactic with this record, also to no avail:

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Oddities and Ends, So to Speak

Wait a second. Did you see what happened with this record I mentioned the other day: Clifford Brown Quartet, Blue Note 5047? This was an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing. Original Blue Note, but, as noted by Rudolf, a reissue of the French Vogue material. Anyway, this one was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover and we were watching the auction with about a day left and there were still no bidders at a start price of about $500. I wasn’t sure if the record would sell at all. It did, for the whopping price of $1,535. There were two bidders and three bids and they all came in the last few seconds as snipes, I would presume. Talk about a bidding war. Wow!

I had thought about bidding on this when the price was relatively low, but I never would have won it anyway:

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A New Perspective on Jazz Vinyl

We will being today’s post with two of our favorite records, starting with Donald Byrd, A New Perspective, Blue Note 84124. As you can see from the “8” at the beginning of the catalogue number, this is a stereo pressing. It is an original, with the New York USA label, the ears, Van Gelder, etc. This is being offered by the seller anilin1000 from Germany, who has been selling off his collection due to age — his own and not the records. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is in the $150 range, which is somewhat surprising, since the stereo pressings don’t usually sell for that much. I see one stereo pressing on Popsike for about $125, and one for a bit higher that was autographed. Hey, it’s a great record so I don’t begrudge anyone willing to pay top dollar for it. I often play “Cristo Redentor” for people who don’t really know jazz, and without exception (so far) it always gets a very strong positive reaction, probably more so than any other jazz record I can think of.

This is another favorite that just came onto eBay:

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