Under-The-Radar Jazz Vinyl Collectibles

Here’s one you don’t see very often. In fact, I don’t recall every writing about this record before: Wade Legge, New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5031. This is an original Lexington Avenue 10-inch pressing. The record and cover are both listed in Ex condition by a very reputable seller. The bidding is in the $280 range with about four days left on the auction. Wade Legge was not recorded very often and died young, at just 29 years of age. I just did a Google search and, it turns out, with shared the same birthday. I am a big fan of his playing on a couple of Sonny Rollins albums, Rollins Plays for Bird and Sonny Boy.  I didn’t recall that he was on the Charles Mingus Tonight at Noon Album, so I will have to go back and listen to that, as well as a couple of others. I highly doubt that I will be getting the 10-inch Blue Note record anytime soon, given that I never see it and typically avoid paying top dollar on eBay.

This is also one I don’t see very often, but I’ve never viewed it as a record that was particularly favored by collectors:

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, A Night in Tunisia, Via 1115. This looks to be an original deep-groove mono pressing, listed in excellent condition for both the record and the cover. It has interesting personnel, with Johnny Griffin and Bill Hardman, not a very often-recorded group of Messengers. And it includes Jackie McLean under the pseudonym “Ferris Benda,” apparently to avoid contractual conflicts. This is another one I will have to listen to, since I’ve owned it for years and probably put it on the turntable maybe once when I first obtained it. Anyway, this copy is in the $160 range, which seems high for a non-Blue Note Blakey. A quick search on Popsike seems to indicate that a price this high will be an aberration or perhaps just a new level for this record. It’s probably great, right?

16 comments

  • It is a really excellent record, that Blakey.

  • I vaguely recognised the name Wade Legge, and sure enough, I have a beaten-up copy of a Jazz Lab LP on which he plays. His wikipedia page makes for sad reading. I may just play that Jazz Lab LP tonight

  • Gregory the Fish

    Any Jazz Messengers record is desirable to me. But that is a ridiculous price. I once forgot to bid on the original Vik pressing and it sold for around $23. That was the last time I saw it, but it seems to be one of those weird “rare but not expensive” situations.

    I enjoyed Wade Legge on the Jazz Lab LP thoroughly. You’re in for a treat, Richard.

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    I’m surprised to see that price for the Blakey on Vik, I actually have been looking for that but wouldn’t expect to pay more than maybe $20 on it. Recently, I found the “Lerner and Loewe” Blakey also on Vik for about $6 at my local store, and I think it’s fantastic! Very well recorded by RCA and Johnny Griffin smokes—“I Could Have Danced All Night” !

  • Somewhat strange that vinyl-house UK seem to generating some enormous prices for what are often quite routine records.

  • GTF – enjoying it very much now, thanks. As they say on those Ebay ads, it “plays better than it looks”…

  • The Blakey record is very nice, and you see the RCA Victor pressing around a bit, which I’m sure is sonically identical. So I don’t get paying top dollar for the Vik. I also enjoy the Blakey “Lerner and Loewe” record. Funny cover photo, I like it.

  • When Dizzy Gillespie made a trip to France in February 1953 he recorded a number of albums (studio and concert) for Vogue (Jazz Disques), Paris. The trio on the Wade Legge, Blue Note 5031, album is in fact Dizzy’s rhythm section. Jazz Disques, Paris recorded the trio and issued it on Vogue L.D. 133. It was thereafter leased to Blue Note to become # 5031.
    I just played it, not bad, discovered Al Jones who is a more than able drummer, well recorded, but I prefer any Red Garland trio recording five years later on Prestige.
    I prefer Hermansader’s cover design for the Blue Note issue over Pierre Merlin’s design for the Vogue album.
    Playing the Vik album right now. Griffin is always a treat. Bill is signing on his horn, one of my favourites.

  • Bill singing in his horn seems better…..

  • Sorry I know , off topic but up late working here and listening to a nice minty Promo Sahib Shihab – Jazz Sahib – Savoy MG 12124

    What a Great LP. Sweet.

  • Gregory the Fish

    Joe L,

    I am one of the afflicted with first-pressing fundamentalism. It is fun to collect originals. Other than that, though, I agree with you.

    Richard,

    That particular LP must have magic properties. Mine has a huge horrible scratch that feels very deep yet it is utterly silent the whole way through (other than the music of course). Needless to say, I buy to listen, not look!

  • GTF – Ha! My copy is a European pressing on Philips, and looks very well-used. There is a bit of noise in the first few seconds of each side, but that’s about it.

    I like Philips pressings – I have two Scott Walker LPs which both sound fine despite the obvious visible wear.

  • geoffrey wheeler

    My first acquaintance with Wade Legge’s playing was the 1953 Dizzy 10-inch Contemporary LP 2504 “Dizzy in Paris.” It was the first ’50s Dizzy record I liked. There was a period of several years when he worked too hard at striving to be popular. The cover is droll and one of my favorite 10-inch Contemporary covers. I also have other LPs with Legge’s playing, including Dizzy’s “Afro” album with its wild cover. Legge was also featured in Dizzy’s Quintet that appeared in July 1954 at the first Newport Jazz Festival. Hank Mobley was on tenor. At night, I slept on the beach. I still have the program. When Dizzy’s group came on stage, he said: “And now I’d like to introduce the boys in the band” and they all shook hands with one another.

  • Geoffrey: the cover of the D.G. in Paris on Contemporary 2504 is nice indeed. The album was leased from Vogue. The original French issue had the same cover design.

  • The Wade Legge is one of those early Blue Note ‘borrowings’ of European recordings. As such, it was released concurrently on the Blue Note and Vogue record labels. Both original, but I would regard the Vogue as more desirable. That said, it’s still one of the rarest Blue Note tens, and some say the rarest.

  • I met/knew Jim Legge, Wade’s brother, who had a band here in Buffalo, and used to help run the CMC (Colored Musicians Club; the former “alternative union”). I knew Wade recorded with Dizzy, but not that he had his own release on Blue Note. Very cool, thanks for the info!

    GJ

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