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Davis Cup Jazz VinylSorry for the long delay between posts. The Lovely Mrs. JC and I took a much-needed vacation and I am just getting settled back in. Didn’t go too far, just to Provincetown on Cape Cod, but it felt like a million miles away. Anyway, I’m going to swing over to eBay now and see what may be of interest to me and, of course, to you loyal readers who keep the site going even whilst I’m away. So, thank you all.

Here’s one from near the top of my want list: Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, which sounds like VG++ to my grading sensibilities and nomenclature. The bidding is in the $470 range with more than a day left, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. I recall seeing Walter Davis Jr. many times with Sonny Rollins in the early 1970s, so perhaps it is appropriate that a Rollins rarity from my want list is also sitting on eBay right now, to wit: Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This is an original pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. Not sure if I agree with the cover grading based on the picture, but it’s still a nice piece and one I would love to own. Considering that the start price is $800, this will not be my copy, however.

Here’s one that’s always puzzled me a bit: Red Garland, Groovy, Prestige 7113. This is an original New York yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and the cover. I’ve never quite understood why this record, of all the Garlands on Prestige, seems to attract the highest prices from collectors. I would have thought the quintet records with John Coltrane would be of greater interest, but that does not seem to be the case. Any theories? Personally, I love the Garland records with Trane and definitely prefer them over the trio recordings. But that’s just me.




  • Al, I have always thought it’s partly because it has such a tremendous cover. If one wanted just one Red, surely this would be the one to go for?

  • it does have a nice cover, alun.

    speaking of covers, i will again restate: why is the walter davis cover a shot up his nose?

  • Alun – you are correct. Excellent and unique cover.

  • The Garland LPs with Coltrane are the best, and they go for the most (with the odd copy of Groovy in there, which, as you note, is an outlier):

  • The Coltranes are great, but for me, the Red records that are trios are some of the most flat-out fun piano records ever, particularly of the late shall we say just “bop” period (i.e., pre Bill Evans trio). Astounding mix of standards and originals, something for everybody. The kind of records if you put on while puttering around the house or as background music, it gets toes tappin’ or people will dig it and ask you what it is.

    They make me smile.

  • Hi. I have one copy on Ebay in the same condition. Item Number: 131909695041

  • If that cover is good, I’ll eat my hat

  • Hey Richard, that cover is graded “G” for Groovy!

  • when a cover or record is ‘G’ i typically assume anyone who buys is expecting crap and will get crap. that auction fits.

  • Hard to believe someone is willing to pay $30 with shipping for a record and cover in that condition.

  • I believe the proper grade for that cover is “Destroyed.”

  • The cover kind of looks like it’s been subjected to a “distressing” process. We did this at school once – you took a sheet of paper, wrote something on it in a suitable ancient hand, rolled it up and reflattened it, then finished it by putting it under the grill until it began to char, taking care to remove it before it combusted.

  • Turbocharged Weasel

    Eh… I’d grade that cover Poor (P) instead of Good (G). The record probably is better off than the cover. I doubt that the cover was intentionally weathered- if so, they’d probably leave the corner intact, because tearing it off like that would’ve probably lowered the final sum they’ll get quite a bit- but I wouldn’t be surprised if the corner damage (in this case removal) was fairly recent and deliberate. It’s pretty clear that this record wasn’t well cared for, and it’s possible that the cover was chewed up by some creature- a rat, a cat, et cetera- or severely water damaged in that corner. Such damage would make it rather strongly unappealing to most buyers, whereas tearing the corner off makes it look a little better- it’s a fairly clean tear- and makes it only mildly unappealing to most buyers. It’ll still reach $30 or more. Or maybe that corner was removed a while ago. It does have weathering to the edge there… It could’ve been owned at one point by a station that didn’t want employees stealing and selling records, I suppose. Placing a ruler against the cover or something and somewhat neatly tearing off a corner would make it unappealing to potential buyers and thieves. I don’t know. The damage to that corner is a bit inconsistent with the damage to the rest of the cover, which is bad, but not corner-completely-missing-and-other-chunks-removed bad. Has anybody seen corner damage like that before? And if so, what caused it? In curious about how that may have happened.

  • Turbocharged Weasel

    Oh, I’m sorry… *I’m curious about how that may have happened.

  • Say guys, I want to get your opinion. I have close to 400 mono records and I have been contemplating buying a mono cart. I’ve been looking at the Denon DL 103, it comes highly recommended. Does anyone have an alternate cart in the $100-400 range they would recommend? Thanks.

  • JOK, do you mean the DL-102? The DL-103 is a stereo cartridge.

  • On that bad Garland cover, the photo says everything the potential buyer needs to know, so why would the seller give something like that a grade at all? If I were selling that, I’d simply say… please examine scans of the jacket and assign any grade to it that you see fit.

  • Ortofon Mono 2M SE is a great cartridge.

  • @ Bill W – I think it’s quite important for the seller to give his grading on that cover. If he considers that cover “Good”, then I think it’s safe to assume his grading of the record is going to be similarly questionable.

    If he’d described it as “bad” or “poor”, then I’d be more inclined to think his record grading may be closer to the truth.

  • Richard, you’re absolutely right from the buyers point of view. As a buyer, that incorrect grading serves as a warning that all his grading may be suspect. I was speaking from the viewpoint of the seller. He would have been better off not grading the jacket at all and just letting the photo tell the story. If he felt obligated to grade it, I guess poor (or P-) would be accurate.

  • I still say G means crap, and and crappier crap is still crap, so it shouldn’t matter at that point, but Bill and Richard, you make good points.

  • Hi JOK – I had the Denon 102 for a while and liked it a lot. It definitely makes beat up records sound better, both because it is true mono and because it rolls off in the frequency extremes. I have switched to an Ortofon Quintet Mono and hear a bit more noise and a lot more bass and “air”.

  • Aaron, you are correct, I did mean the DL 102. Joaquim, the Ortofon looks like a nice cart. It also may be hard to find. Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll look to see where I can a good price on either one.

  • A Garland of Red is an awesome record start to finish.

  • A Garland of Red is one of my favourite. It is also one of those records I love to display on my shelf. There is just something about that cover. Love it!

  • Fair enough Bill – I suppose as a seller, there is a lot to be said for being “economical with the truth”. I don’t think I would dare sell anything in that condition; seems to be asking for trouble.

  • Well, not on Ebay anyway. At a car boot sale, for £1, yes.

  • In 1979 as I was leaving Dallas my boss took me to see his favorite piano player at his local bar. I was into fusion, out, and free jazz at the time but I kept watching his incredible touch on the piano. He joined us after his set and was just your typical warm and gracious Texan. Years later my jazz palate was opening up to 50’s hard bop and Red Garland was on numerous OJC titles that were blowing my mind. Reading a blurb somewhere that he had “retired” to Dallas in the 70’s I called my ex-boss and asked, “was that Red Garland you introduced me to?” Sure enough, I had spent the evening in the presence of greatness and had no clue!! Needless to say I have quite a few Red Garland lps now, just wish I would’ve held his hand a little longer….

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