Potpourri of Vinyl, Record Shows, Old Photos

Clearing out my inbox one more time, starting with a note from our friend CeeDee with a link to two eBay auctions. First up is Kenny Dorham, Una Mas, Blue Note 4127. This was an original New York pressing with the ear and the Van Gelder stamp. This was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover. Why did CeeDee send this to us? I would guess the final price, which was $810. That’s the highest price we’ve ever seen for Una Mas, confirmed by a peek over at Popsike. The second link from CeeDee seems to be an aberration: JR Monterose, The Message, Jaro 8004. This was a Fresh Sounds reissue that would typically sell for about $10 or $20. This one sold for $182.50 and it wasn’t even in mint condition. The seller doesn’t mention that it is a reissue in the listing, but the pictures clearly show that it is. IMHO, the buyer was either careless or clueless or perhaps a combination of the two. In any case, that is quite a tidy sum for a reissue, no?

I got notice in email of the upcoming “43rd Annual Jazz Record Collector’s Bash” scheduled for June 23-24 in Edison, NJ. I used to attend this event regularly, but it’s probably been more than 20 years since I went. Now that I have my home in The Berkshires, spending a weekend at a Hilton Garden Inn in Edison NJ poring through 78s and LPs versus being on the lake is very hard to justify. Anyway, I’m sure it will be fun and, who knows, maybe it will rain the entire weekend and I’ll choose Jersey over The Berkshires. Not likely, but you never know.

Speaking of events, we are getting close to the annual WFMU Record Fair, which will be held in Brooklyn again this year, the weekend of April 28-April 30. I used to be a regular here as well, as a seller, but as some of you may recall, I had either a breakdown or an epiphany (See You In Brooklyn? Not Anymore) and sold all of my duplicates to one of my favorite dealers from Japan. That was two years ago and I have ZERO regrets. I am tempted to bring a bunch of records this year just to pare down my collection but, to be honest, just the thought of loading records into the car, hauling them to Brooklyn, setting up a table and sitting there for three days is about as appealing to me as listening to Donald Trump lie about anything and everything.

Finally, there was an interesting note from a reader whose grandfather was a bass player with Louis Jordan in the 1950s. He sent me a couple of pictures, one of his grandfather playing with Jordan, the second of a young man that he thought might be Charlie Parker. I could see pretty quickly that the man in the second picture was not Bird, so I told him so. There’s still an open question of whether this person was anyone of note. It is not someone I recognize, but perhaps someone here may know. In any case, below are the two pictures:





  • those pictures are phenomenal!!!

  • The Dorham looks nice, the audio description made me smile though.

    “NO background noises (or very minimal few times”. So which is it?

  • RE: linked Una Mas Is the cover truly NM ? I see edge bumps, slight scuffing of the front cover, and the beginning of separation of the cover lamination. I would grade the cover as VG++/EX…not quite NM. Is this a correct assessment ?

  • I got a rather clean “EX” mono copy of “Una mas” for about $250 a few months back and a friend of mine was like “that’s crazy money for a NY USA Blue Note”. I pointed out this recent auction to him haha…

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    I think that Una Mas cover is NM (almost mint), using a grade of “VG++/EX” is sort of superfluous imo. It’s definitely better than VG+, wouldn’t you say? Then it’s NM.

  • Agreed. If the condition is near perfect, i.e. one or two miniscule flaws, it’s NM. If it’s entirely perfect, it’s just Mint.

  • Just my opinion, but there exists a large descriptive gap between VG+ and NM. This cover is clearly better than VG+, but is it near perfect ? I don’t think so. Maybe there should be a separate grade for something that falls between NM and VG+ ?

  • I agree, that’s why when selling I use an EX grade in a clearly posted grading scale:
    NM, EX, VG+, VG, VG-, G

  • geoffrey wheeler

    The first photo looks like Louis Jordan. The second may also be Jordan appearing with Woody Herman’s Third Herd. He was a handsome man. While the alto was his principal instrument, he also played tenor, baritone, clarinet, and piano.

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    RL–I don’t disagree with you, but as a seller and buyer I think it’s just as or more effective to have a simple scale, good photos, and a written description. So then even with some ambiguity within the established system, the buyer can then decide whether they agree or not.

    Also, some sellers will use the superfluous ++++pluses and EX specifically to buffer themselves from disagreements about what NM is. If you catch my drift.

    As for that Una Mas, I can see the tiny laminate peels but overall it’s about as good as it gets imo. So I agree with his NM rating in this case.

  • Giovanni Zanoni

    The man in the picture is Gus Johnson drummer with Count Basie and several others

  • Who cares about records? Those photos rule.

  • giovanni zanoni

    1st photo is gus johnson drummer

  • Giovanni, that looks to be right, based on a Google search. How did you know that?

  • giovanni zanoni

    I have several books on jazz- among others “a pictorial history of jazz” and others by william claxton,joachim berendt etxc.I think I’ve seen Gus Johnson photo in one of them or on the back of a record cover…

  • On the first photo the white sax player seated could be Phil Urso

  • geoffrey wheeler

    IMO Gus Johnson was one of the greatest jazz drummers. He first garnered attention when he joined Jay McShann’s band in 1938. He joined Basie around 1950, replacing Butch Ballard, who had replaced Jo Jones. He was with Basie until 1954 when he suffered appendicitis in Boston and left the band. He was replaced by Sonny Payne. I first saw Payne with Basie at Storyville. He had only been with the band a few days.

    Started by Woody Herman in 1952, the Mars Records label folded in ’54. The company released 16 78s numbered M-100 through M-1006 (M-100, M-200, etc.). The company also released a few 45s and EPs, plus two 10-inch LPs. I have all the 78s, the two LPs, plus a two-disc EP set, not otherwise listed in Internet discographies. The 78s are nice pressings but their crappy labels are subject to fading. Norman Granz reportedly bought the catalog.

    Phil Urso played with Herman’s Third Herd. He recorded with Bob Brookmeyer on a Savoy 10-inch LP I bought at Sam Goody’s West Side store for 99 cents. Phil had a brother (whose name I forget) who wrote and published a book on high-note trumpet players. He lent me the book because he had run out of copies to sell.

Leave a Reply

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