Trane, Pepper, Hank and Ike: Another Day on eBay

A Love Supreme Jazz VinylThese are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay now, starting with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77. This is an original orange label pressing listed as “close to NM” for the record and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the range of $325 and closes in more than two days. Following our popular Blue Note tracks list last week, we may follow up with other labels. Perhaps this whole album will appear on the Impulse list. The same seller has some other nice items as well, including Ike Quebec, Soul Samba, Blue Note 4114. This is an original New York USA pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is already over $400 with more than two days left on the auction. I’m somewhat surprised that the market for Ike Quebec Blue Notes has spiked so much over the past few years, but, then again, nothing in the world of Blue Note should surprise any of us anymore.

Speaking of which, we’ll see if this one sells: Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in G+ condition for the record and the cover. From the seller’s description the record sounds as if it is in better condition, but I would tend to go with the official grading if I were interested (which I’m not). This one has a start price of $750 and so far there are no bidders. The auction closes later today.

This one also is lacking in bids, but I have a strong feeling it will sell: The Return of Art Pepper, Jazz West JWLP 10. This is an original pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is about $500. The auction closes in more than two days.


  • The price for a crisp mono A Love Supreme should understandably be high… would love to have an original pressing in that kind of shape myself. The seller has gotten some notably high prices for American modern jazz lately — even Liberty era Blue Notes. And $96 for a copy of Shepp’s “Magic of Ju Ju” is nothing to sneeze at… I sold a nice VG+ spare for $30 recently and was worried I was getting over on someone! Great record though.

  • I have a clean stereo original of “a love supreme” which suits me fine. I tend to prefer the stereo versions of Impulse titles in many cases, but overall do not get too worked up over whether it’s mono or stereo.

  • Yeah, a lot of Impulse records – if not all of them – were recorded in stereo and then folded down to mono, so the stereo is presumably closer to ideal.

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    Isn’t that ALS technically a second press due to the “-B” after the catalog number? That’s what I have always heard.

    I’ve never understood why the Impulse stereos catch a bad rap from so many jazz collectors, as it’s well documented that the sessions were likely recorded in stereo only. I see comments weekly where folks are talking about upgrading to mono or even lamenting the fact that the rare title they picked up was a stereo editon and that they hope to find mono someday.

    I’m not picky personally, but would probably buy the stereo edition if given the choice (given same condition, etc) Ironically, in the last six months I have happened upon mono Am-Par originals of some of the most desirable early Impulse titles including Blues And The Abstract Truth, Africa/Brass, Ballads, and Coltrane at the VV. I also acquired a mono ALS with no “-A” in a lot for dirt cheap. They sound absolutely amazing and am not wanting for anything, but I’m still curious what the stereo imaging would add to the experience.

  • I think the desirability with the mono ALS specifically is that the original stereo version has a slight electrical buzz thought that is absent on the mono. Personally I don’t find it very noticeable but prefer the mono as Coltrane is front and center, not relegated off to the side.

  • I’m astounded at ‘Soul Samba’. I like this and all of IQ’s lps a lot, but I acquired a NM stereo 1st pressing for under a hundred on a ‘buy it now’ 2-3 months ago, and saw an ok mono copy for 90ish dollars at an NYC shop just last Saturday…. Most of the big artist’s ‘one off Bossa’ LPs (Charlie Rouse, Rollins…etc) don’t seem to fetch nearly as much, and this album seems like a novelty compared to his other 3 60s classics. Glad I got all of the 60s Quebec bf this craziness!

  • Keep in mind that the Canadian Impulse pressings (The Sparton Label) from that time were pressed from plates mastered by Van Gelder. They usually go for less than the US pressing but if they have the Van Gelder stamp they’re going to sound amazing.

  • @abrasive: you are right. i used to have a stereo copy and sold it when i got my WLP version, and i did not mind it one bit, although aaron brings up a good point. depending on your setup, stereo of ALS can be infuriating since coltrane is just in your one ear. i have the stereo version on my ipod and it always takes me two or three minutes to get used to it.

  • Some of my more played Impulse records. (Not including Africa/Brass, ALS or At The Village)

    “Ptah, the El Daoud” Alice Coltrane
    “Soul Trombone” Curtis Fuller
    “Out Of The Afternoon” Roy Haynes
    “The Blues and The Abstract Truth” Oliver Nelson
    “East Broadway Run Down” Sonny Rollins

  • Dear Jazz Collectors,
    First I apologize to post my question here–I am at a loss of where to find an answer so please excuse me for posting here. My question is: does anyone know if an original press (78rpm?) record of Oscar Peterson’s “You Look Good to Me” exists?? I am hoping to buy it as a birthday present for someone. He has a gramophone.

    Thank You!!

    P.s. I do not want to attract spam robots so I hope it’s okay how I input my email address…

  • PB
    It´s featured on “we get requests”-64 (Verve V6-8606) Easy to track down a copy

  • GTF, OK this is where it gets interesting. I have an early stereo copy of ALS that I think may be original (at work right now and can’t check it, but I think it has the -A, as shown to be there at LJC). Whether it’s original or not is not my main point. My main point is that this copy, to my great satisfaction, does not have Trane comin’ in hard on the left. He is left-center and even with headphones it sounds wonderful. It also has that hum in the background but honestly I only hear it before the music starts, then to my ears it’s as if it’s gone.

    Now, prior to this I had a 1990’s LP copy (a Cuscuna reissue job) that had him coming in hard on the left. I don’t know what Mr. Van Gelder did but there is something definitely going on, some rebalancing or something. Interestingly, on my Deluxe ALS CD, Trane comes in basically true center, which I find just as nice as left-center. I suspect earlier CD versions may have not had this rebalancing? I’m not a sound engineer but these are my observations. I’ve maybe two other examples of records (all associated with RVG) where this is happening and I’m sure there are more.

  • Is anyone surprise at the winning bid for the Return of Art Pepper LP? I know condition commands the premium, but I was shocked at the $2000+ outcome.

  • I am; especially since I passed on one in VG+/VG+ condition for about $175 recently 🙁

  • If you’re as interested in Coltrane’s spiritual journey as well as his music you must check out his personal notes he wrote during the recording. It’s on the NPR website and as far as I know it’s the only time the Coltrane estate has allowed it to be published. For me, to see Coltrane’s inspirational notations makes listening to A Love Supreme even more transcendental. Curiously ALS was the only Impulse gatefold jacket that has a white and black spine instead of the usual orange and black. I used to imagine that it signified Coltrane desire to attain a spiritual purity through music.

  • Charlie,
    Thank you very much! Yes, I was aware of “We Get Requests”…was hoping there was an album of that song “you look good to me” only. But it’s all good, I’ll try to track down “We Get Requests”! Thank you for the verve number!

  • @Woody, regarding Canadion Impulse!/Preston: coincidentally I picked up a Canadian A Love Supreme at my local antiques market a few years back. (a surprising find as collectable vintage jazz never pops up there, it’s been literally the only one so far.) Runout etchings are exactly the same as the US pressing so it’s pretty much the exact same record, apart from the label and the small Preston logo on the cover (actually, I should check if it has the -B after the catalogue number …). Only cost me thirty bucks! It’s a stereo and it sounds fine to me, though it does have a weird buzzing noise near the end of side 1 that sounds like a pressing flaw – is that what you’re talking about Aaron?

    And regarding ALS’ black and white spine: that’s what I thought for a long time too, but I recently picked up a copy of Trane’s Impressions which was released before ALS and it has a black and white spine as well.

  • Drew: that was my experience with my old stereo version, and I have a mono LP, the deluxe double CD, and the complete masters, all of which have a more centered feel to them, if left-center on the double.

    I personally still find any placement of horns outside of dead center to be annoying, but that’s probably just me.

    also of note, the -A actually denotes a second pressing. without -A is a first, for mono at least. LJC may have first stereo with -A. I’m not sure.

  • I suppose it’s nice that if we want to bad enough, at least for some records, we can find the issue of our preference for stereo, mono, or “degree of stereo”, though personally (like you) I have a hard time with horns coming out purely from one side.

    I’m not surprised that with digital you can combine left/right in any old way. But for analog mastering, I actually didn’t know that you can dial in a certain amount of left/right mixing. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable can chime in here. From what I’ve read in general it seems that there’s a pretty strong consensus that most of us don’t like horns coming in 100% in one ear. I have plenty of LPs and CDs that fall in this category and wonder why the mastering engineers don’t center some of those horns more….especially when there’s only one horn.

  • Gregory the Fish

    I am no expert Drew, but in ye olde times (early stereo, as van gelder knew it) there were three choices in stereo: center it, put it left, or put it right. and since headphones weren’t a wildly popular way of listening, it was seen as helpful for isolating interference, if understanding serves me. i don’t mind stereo of any sort on my home setup, since it is hard to sit in such a way as to hear the hard panning without headphones.

  • @cellery the buzzing on the stereo ALS is throughout but definitely less noticeable during the music.

    Regarding the spine on Impressions, it is the standard orange but it sounds like your copy has faded from UV exposure. For more Impulse minutia:

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    This is an interesting discussion regarding panning and stereo positioning, I’m not a sound engineer but I always thought that the van gelder stereo presentation was pretty accurate to how the musicians were standing in the studio.

    If Coltrane stood off to the left side(on ALS) he would be able to see the rest of the band and they would be able to see his direction and what he was playing. 

    Didn’t the ability to deliberately re-position elements come with multi-track recording? And then furthered by digital mastering techniques. This might account for the differences later on. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that applying compression can narrow the soundstage which would cause Coltrane to slide toward center.

    Everyone has different preferences, but I find it interesting how many seem to dislike the panning of the horns. I have a fairly detailed system and prefer good stereo when I can get it. Almost all the van gelder stereos I have heard are fantastic and the Stereo Records Contemporary are some of the best sounding albums in my collection! Riverside in stereo is very hit or miss however, many titles are “bad stereo” where every instrument is in one ear or the other and there is nothing in the middle. When there is nice left to right balance across the soundstage, it’s easier to pick out individual instruments and is more convincing of a live experience to my ears. However I understand that mono takes all of those variables out of the equation and puts everything front and center. As I mentioned before, I’m not picky–I’m just happy as hell to have almost any original pressing to listen to.

  • @aaron

    those are my spines! haha. i am almost done now, and will be updating LJC shortly. only two more orange spines to go, and 18 records from impulse total.

    i wrote a response blurb detailing all things spine-color-related in the comments.

  • @abrasive

    yeah, “I’m just happy as hell to have almost any original pressing to listen to” about sums it up for me, too. 🙂

  • Hi Abrasive_,

    Your response about how compression can induce centering of the sound image is super helpful. I had no idea and admittedly compression is something rather mysterious to me. I think something similar may be going on with Booker Ervin’s Space Book. I have a green label with van gelder stamp issue, where Booker comes in left-center. On my CD of that, he’s hard left, so I guess no compression there. Full disclosure, I listen to my vinyl with headphones, so this is why I’m sensitive to the hard panning. I aim to at some point set up speakers and then maybe I can enjoy the hard panning like you!

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