Later Blue Notes, a Sun Ra rarity, and Marion Brown’s finest (?) on eBay

Gres-l1600etings again from the world of collectible jazz vinyl – I’m glad that Al stepped in with a mention of that Coltrane test pressing. I’d sent it to him, as others did, out of curiosity but in the final few days wasn’t expecting it to do too much damage. While to some $300 might be a steal, to others (myself included) that seemed to be just about right for a stereo test disc in VG condition and without the iconic artwork/label design. Everyone has different ideas about these things I guess.

One that surprised me today was this copy of trumpeter Don Cherry’s second LP as a leader and first for Blue Note, Complete Communion. It’s a classic mid-60s avant-garde jazz album with Cherry’s music played beautifully by Gato Barbieri, Ed Blackwell and Henry Grimes. That said, $678 for a mono copy in presumably VG++ condition for the record and cover seems downright ridiculous. I’ll happily keep on trucking with a $25 stereo early edition in similar shape.

The same seller, our old Italian friend bullsite2000, got a cool $350 for the very rare Sun Ra/LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka) LP A Black Mass, issued privately on Jones’ Jihad imprint in two small runs with color or black and white printing around 1968. The b&w copy he had was listed in probably VG– condition for the record and I’d say VG for the cover. Truth be told, examples in better condition almost never show up, but that’s still a chunk of change for a mere play copy.

One that I’m watching and that may enter the $1,000 bin (and thus outside of my price range) is a fantastic LP led by alto saxophonist Marion Brown for French Polydor, Le Temps Fou, an unused soundtrack for a Marcel Camus film. The personnel include members of his working European band at the time such as Gunter Hampel, Steve McCall, Barre Phillips and Ambrose Jackson. There is one ostensibly “funky” track but the music is generally pretty far-out. The bidding is already over $250 with a couple of days left in the auction. The LP itself is probably VG+ or VG++ and the cover looks to be about a VG++ and you don’t see it often in any shape.

In any event, happy bidding and happier listening!


  • That price for Complete Communion has to have been bidder error, right? I got a NM mono with NY and ears for $50 just a few months ago… on Ebay, even.

  • perhaps, but it was over $200 until the last few seconds it looks like. We’ll find out whether it gets paid for!

  • mike, some idiot who didn’t read the listing is going to be sad about that one! what an oversight!

    as for complete communion, that is absolutely absurd. it’s a top-quality album and should be in any avant-garde lover’s collection, but it’s well into the era of blue note where stereo is often better than mono (my opinion), and for most of DC’s albums, stereo is the only way to go IMO anyway! i got my NM stereo copy for $20 last winter. crazy people, some. but bullsite seems to pull in bobdjukic-level prices sometimes, although with much more ethical auctions (again, just my opinion).

    “le temps fou” was one of the first LPs of the americans-in-europe avant-garde set that i ever heard, and i love it. listened to my (gasp) mp3s of it at the office the other day and thought about perhaps seeing what originals go for. well, now i know i’ll never own it. ha! still, i highly recommend everyone listen to it.

  • @Mike – I had that one on my watch list when it passed $200, just to see where it would end up. You can get a still-sealed copy of that same reissue for less than $100 all day long (and probably less than $50 in mint condition). The listing was very clear that it was a reissue (at least in my opinion), so there’s no excuse for the buyer not knowing what this was, especially after the seller updated the listing responding to a question about whether it was the “USA 1st Original Press.” Shocking result for sure.

  • Can’t blame sellers for the buyer not reading or getting overexcited, regarding that 1568. Some people have way more money than sense.

    I did ask the seller of Le Temps Fou to describe the EX grading in a little more detail because I was thinking of getting in the mix, but his response will be keeping me out of the running. For that kind of change I’d need something nearly perfect. It’s a great album and is seeing a Japanese CD release — finally — later this year or early next.

  • I see Carolina Soul has another group of jazz records up for auction. He has a bunch of Strata-East titles, which I have never collected (must be an east coast thing), well, for one, I never see them on the West coast. Also, he does have at least one 16 RPM record listed.

  • Second time I’ve seen the Jihad label today, prior to this I’d never heard of it.

    Here was the other..

  • Yeah, that Black & Beautiful LP is very cool, also almost always hammered beyond recognition.

  • I used to own the “black & beautiful” LP many years ago; I found it a curious artifact but not something I would play more then once if at all.

    The Marion Brown is a tremendous album…I’m sure you’ll get a copy one day soon Clifford. Perhaps prune the collection a bit to raise the necessary funds?

  • Ha, regardless of Le Temps Fou I need to purge some stuff… this one was described as having some marks and clicks, so I’m happy to wait.

  • Yes, the Jihad’s, with the exception of the Sonny Murray “Sonny’s Time Now,’ in my opinion, are really more artifacts of a moment in time. Both ‘Black Mass’ and ‘Black and Beautiful’ are examples of the cultural freedom/upheaval occurring in those days. Now that time seems like another lifeting to me.
    Regarding interesting, to me anyway, items, how ’bout this one?

  • Yowza. That’s all I can say!

  • Well, everything by Marion Brown is worth owning, and Le Temps Fou is not easy to find in good shape–I paid a fair sum for my copy! Original Jihads are, in my opinion, essential for those who collect avant-garde jazz–but make sure the original insert is included! I just upgraded my copy of Leo Smith/Marion Brown creative improvisation ensemble, and Marion’s in Sommerhausen–but it took an overseas trip to do so! The Mobley debacle, what is there to say–imagine if the person, upon receiving the record, still does not realize what they purchased! Perhaps it is time to start a reissue label called “Original First Issue”!

  • My timing was good for “le temps fou”; a Japanese dealer had a copy in mint archive condition and around the same time I had found a very rare electronic record locally for $100. I did a direct even swap for the Marion Brown! This was like 15+ years ago when I could still finance my habit through flipping/trading local record store finds..these days are sadly pretty much over.

  • That copy of It Is Revealed is just nuts. Very cool!

  • Yes, Mr. Clifford, I’ve only seen one other copy, actually held it and heard it , of the ‘It is Revealed.’ Believe that one also had a plain cover. Passed on buying it for $300.00 25 years ago, which to me at the time was a somewhat ridiculous amount to pay for a record. If I knew then what I know now.
    On another matter, looks like that Marion Brown was ended by seller.


    This seller is listing a lot of “deep groove” clean issues with “Japanese reissue” politely stated at end of auction description…haha…somebody’s going fishing!

  • I really dislike it when sellers end auctions early. Someone probably offered an insane amount of money…

  • good to see the jihad label getting at least a little love, ha.

  • That copy of “It Is Revealed” is on Popsike, as having sold on 5 May 2016, for $4000.

  • Original pressing is collectible anyway, especially if you have a reissue of some kind therefore having a chance to listen to a pristine copy, but I agree – the prices gone wild.

  • yeah, just cannot grasp paying several hundred dollars for a “G” copy of a collectable LP.

  • FYI I purchased the Coltrane Test press. It is a mono test press and its definitely on Vinyl and not Styrene. It was also conservatively graded. It just has a few hairlines and I think with a cleaning it will play great. I am very happy to own this.

  • MikeC — congratulations! Glad one of our loyal readers was able to snare that collectible. Now that you have it are you going to frame it, or do something else? Any idea how it became “Ken” Coltrane????????

  • MikeC. although I am not a fan of LP test pressings, I’m glad you are happy with your purchase because yours is the only opinion that counts (obviously) on what you buy. As for record cleaning, I consider that essential for any and all records. I learned that back in the days of 78s. No record goes on my turntable that hasn’t been carefully cleaned. It improves playback, and protects and extends the life of one’s equipment.

  • First I am going to play it. Then I think I will frame it or display it some how. I honestly have no idea where the Ken Coltrane came from.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *