More Confessions of A Vinyl Addict, Part 2

    ReissuesOK, so I got to the JJ Johnson record and realized it was a New York USA pressing, and then I got to Blue Note 1513, Thad Jones, Detroit-New York Junction, and realized it was a Japanese pressing, and then I got to Blue Note 1515, Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House Volume 1, and realized, hey, I don’t own that record at all.

I knew all of that. I knew I didn’t have a complete original collection of Blue Notes. I knew I wasn’t even close to having a complete collection of original Blue Notes. I knew I never aspired to having a complete collection of original Blue Notes. But I felt compelled to go on, to go through the entire 1500 series and know exactly what I had

and what I was missing. At some point I got to Blue Note 1567, Curtis Fuller, The Opener. I knew I had a beautiful, clean, near mint copy of this record. I looked for it on the shelf. Gone. I had sold it. Never mind that I owned the record for years and listened to it once, and I have dozens of other records featuring Curtis Fuller. How could I have sold a mint copy of The Opener? What kind of collector am I?

And then came Blue Note 1571, Bud Powell, Bud! Gone. Sold for a reason I can’t recall. Then Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This one I knew about before I got to the shelf. I had sold my original pressing 20 years ago for $500. The copy on my shelf now was a reissue of unknown origin. Yuch.

As I was doing this, I realized I was focusing more on what I didn’t have than on what I did have. Suddenly, it became important again to have all of the Blue Notes. I had put aside several Jimmy Smith records. These were all original pressings in the 1500 series. They were on a separate shelf with other records that were going to be sold. I took each of these records off the shelf as if it was a precious gem and I cleaned it and I labeled it and I returned it carefully to its rightful place in my collection, along with all of the other Jimmy Smith records that I will never listen to.

I had to keep going. It was after midnight, and I had been doing this obsessively for seven or eight hours and my adrenaline was pumping and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep and I had moved on to the 4000 series and I was all the way up to Blue Note 4043, Horace Parlan, Speakin’ My Piece.

And then I stopped and haven’t looked at the spreadsheet since and haven’t felt the need to fondle a Blue Note for two days and I am hoping that, perhaps, the crisis is over and now all remains is for me to figure out what the hell happened and what I am to do next.

Stay tuned.


  • Do we ever really “own” an object? Perhaps you should instead reflect back on the time that you and Curtis Fuller BLP 1567 shared together.

    I suggest that after your period of reflection, you consider penning a treatise “Zen and the Art of Jazz Record Collecting”. May be very therapeutic for all of us. Alternatively, I hear Tiger Woods can recommend a good recovery center.

  • that is a sad story. I hope at least your Prestige collection is complete.

  • Perhaps this is actually a blessing in disguise Al. Just think of how tragic it would be to have a complete original collection of Blue Notes in hand… The satisfaction would only be short lived. Like most of us, you would probably move onto obsessing over your other jazz label collections until they were complete as well. Then what ??? …Stamps !?!?! (Sorry, that was crossing the line I know…)
    I say, let the good times roll, you have a renewed sense of purpose now. The quest is the best part of collecting, but once the quest is over, what then ? Perhaps it’s time to filter the non-essential labels in your collection, including all the Blue Notes that are not original pressings and focus on a single label. (ie. Blue Note)
    I believe Oscar Wilde once said, and I quote… “There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

  • Rudolf, thank you for your sympathies, however tongue-in-cheek they may be. 🙂
    Yes, I need help. That is why I am offering this series of confessions. To cleanse my soul and move onto become a better and wiser Jazz Collector.

  • Al, I have been away for a week and I am just catching up to your comments on this. Since I still have a son in private college, I satisfy my vinyl collecting by buying a few select records on ebay and at records stores, but I get the majority of my records for $1 each at thrift stores. Surprisingly, the condition can sometimes be M- or VG++. I don’t have a lot of blue notes, but I do have a lot of Prestiges’. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and the music at the end. For folks like us with kids in college and elderly relatives to support, the first pressing blue notes are an impossible dream. However the USA, Liberty and Japanese pressing help us still connect. Right now I am listening to Mose Allison’s “Down Home Piano” while I write this. A great 1965 Prestige recording. Thanks for sharing your experiences on this with us! You have the best jazz collecting site, and your hard work to maintain is highly appreciated!

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