We get email

Here’s a sampling of email from the past few days. We start with our old reliable friend CeeDee who sent us four links under the subject line: “‘Give me Liberty or give me . . . uh, can I get back to you on that?’ plus two.” One of the links was one that we’ve previously written about: Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple, Blue Note 4232. This was the original mono pressing with the shrink wrap that sold for, gulp, $997.50. Next was Lee Morgan, the Gigolo, Blue Note 4212. This was also a mono Liberty pressing. I had never considered this to be a collectible Blue Note, but perhaps I’ll have to change my assessment. This one looked to be in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $417.

Next up: Dexter Gordon, A Swingin’ Affair, Blue Note 4133. This looked to be an original New York USA mono pressing, probably in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $676. Given the way things are trending, would anyone be surprised to see this record, and others of its ilk/era, in the $1,000 bin someday soon? Finally there was Grant Green, Sunday Morning’, Blue Note 4099. This was an original New York USA pressing. It was listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. In my eyes, the cover grading raises strong credibility questions about the seller. Look at the pictures and the description. There is no way that cover is anything better than VG. I think even Gregory the Fish, who disagreed with my last assessment, will agree with me on this one. GTF are you there? Anyway, cover and all, this one sold for $481.26.

This came from another reader: Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. This was an original Yellow label New York pressing. The record and cover were in VG+ condition. The price was $2,254.99. The price for this record is not out of the ordinary, but for this record in this condition it seems like we are approaching new territory, don’t you think?

Finally, I don’t normally do this, but this person was trying to post a comment on the site and wasn’t able to get it posted and I don’t know how to fix my site, so I’ll take the lazy way out and post it here, in case anyone is interested. I’m not going to make a regular habit of this, so don’t get any ideas.

Message Body:
JAZZ CDs FOR SALE  : Italian label  RED RECORD
Hi everybody, 
i’m from Italy and I’m going to sell many of this rare and wonderful titles, from my Private Collection. Each CD is in mint condition, like new.
ORIGINAL CD First print (not reissue!) – Made in ITALY
 15 $ / each CD
  I can ship Worldwide at cost (for shipping costs contact me) 
Payment methods: BANK TRANSFER (preferred for European customers), PAYPAL 
Please feel free to email me for any question , additional information and total price for multiple purchases  
On sale:
ATTI CARLO      Featuring Hal Galper Trio – Sweet Beat Blues    Red Records 123277-2 RED
BAKER CHET      At Capolinea           Red Records 123206
BISHOP WALTER JR.       Midnight Blue   Red Records 123251-2 RED
BOSSO FABRIZIO   Fast Flight            Red Records 123287-2 RED
GROSSMAN STEVE   Love Is The Thing                Red Records 123189.2 RED
HENDERSON JOE   An Evening With Joe Henderson-Charlie Haden-Al Foster Red Records 
HERSCH FRED-LASPINA STEVE-HIRSHFIELD JEFF       ETC            Red Records 123233-2
HIGGINS BILLY   3/4 For Peace          Red Records 123258.2 RED
HIGGINS BILLY   Soweto         Red Records 123141-2 RED
LEWIS VICTOR    Know It Today, Know It Tomorrow      Red Records 123255 RED
LIEBMAN DAVE    QUARTET-Setting The Standard          Red Records 123253-2 RED
LIEBMAN DAVE-D’ANDREA FRANCO    Nine Again            Red Records RR 123234 – 2
MCDUFF JACK          Jack-Pot              Red Records RR 123267-2
MELILLO MIKE    TRIO-Bopcentric       Red Records 123279-2 RED
MELILLO MIKE    Alternate Changes For Bud              Red Records 123211.2 RED
NELSON STEVE QUINTET    Live Session Two              Red Records RR 123235-2
OATTS DICK-SANTORO DAVE QUARTET    Meru         Red Records 123274-2 RED
SNIDERO JIM         While Your Here              Red Records 123241-2 RED
SPHERE  Pumpkins Delight – Sphere Live At Umbria Jazz     Red Records 123207-2 RED
STEWART ROBERT Nat The Cat – The Music Of Nat King Cole Red Records 123292-2 RED
STEWART ROBERT      Beautiful Love              Red Records 123273 – 2 RED
TRANCHINI SALVATORE With Jerry Bergonzi, Franco Ambrosetti – Radio Suite Red Records 
URBANI MASSIMO      The Blessing        Red Records 123257-2 RED
URBANI MASSIMO  360°     Aeutopia            Red Records 123146-2 RED
WALTON CEDAR    Piano Solo-Blues For Myself      Red Record 123205.2 RED
WOODS PHIL  Integrity – The New Phil Woods Quintet Live Red Records RR 123177  (2CD)
WOODS PHIL      European Tour Live      Red Records 123163.2 RED   (2CD)




  • Hey, thank you for replying to my e-mail about that Saxophone Colossus TP. I have been going back through your pages during a slow work day and really enjoy the site, so much so I plan to come back regularly. I’m not the most knowledgeable person when it comes to grading (especially sleeves) but I agree with you that the Grant Green with the edges like that and the ring wear on the back could be no better than VG+(maybe).

  • A mono promo of “the gigolo” in nicer condition then the auction listed above just sold for $152 on eBay today. All of the Liberty promos that I have come across do not have a “van gelder” stamp. Used to have a mono promo of Jackie McLean “action” on Liberty that was missing the van gelder stamp and it sounded horrible.

  • dawg i know, thru THE ROOF!

  • Gregory The Fish

    For some reason, it kept telling me comments were locked to prevent spam when I tried to post on my phone. In any case, I’m home now.

    I’ll admit I’m fairly forgiving about cover grading, but I’m with you this time, Al. Seam splits are a no-go with VG+ in my book. They don’t seem to bother me as much as they bother others, but I still agree that that cover is overgraded. VG would certainly be more appropriate.

    Also that price for The Gigolo is absurd! I’ve twice passed on $50 copies from one of my favorite spots. I suppose I should snatch the next one. It’s not like it’s not a great album.

    To me, if a record has great music on it and is manufactured well, it is worth “collecting”. But I guess “collectible” can refer to value as an investment piece as well. What does “collectible” mean to the rest of you. I’m interested to know.

  • GTF, when I was young there were certain artists/albums beyond the periphery of popular music that I would always buy when I saw them in a record store. I expected them to be permamently out of print soon, and not popular enough to be issued in the new CD format that was just beggining to show up. It was very important to me that I never be without a copy -even when I was old and gray.
    35 years later? They are out of print, I am old & gray, and I’m not without my music. These LP’s have little market value, but aren’t for sale at any price. And to me, that is the essence of collecting.

  • @Gregory The Fish – A vinyl collectible for me is a combination of rarity and music I love. This combination seems to result in expensive records these days. I also see them as a financial investment, which one person on here criticized me for.

  • Terryfromflorida

    Karel, It’s unlikely that anyone who pays today’s market value for original pressings doesn’t view them, at least a little bit, as an investment. Otherwise, you can enjoy the identical music on a CD. As a matter of fact, a large part of the fun, is discussing our “investments” here. If you have a collection that warrants an insurance policy, as many of us do, it’s hard to deny the “investment” aspect even if you bought years ago when the lp’s were only a few dollars.
    I however, wouldn’t buy albums with the expectation that owning the 500 top jazz lps will beat the returns of the S&P 500 in the long term.

  • well, collectible presumably means able to be collected, and pretty much anything is fair game in the record world. But for me, interesting/rare pressings or things not every jazz-hound is after (although the competition gets stiffer and stiffer every day) fall into the collectible category most easily.

  • Gregory The Fish


    i can understand the criticism, but the fact of the matter is that if you bought a thing for $100 and it is now worth more, you have made a good investment, regardless of whether you tried to or not.

    i don’t understand people for whom that is the essence of collecting, but there is a certain level of security knowing that if a family member ever needed incredibly expensive medical treatment, i could probably sell my records and pay for a good chunk of it.

    i don’t see how anyone could fault you for seeing from multiple angles!

  • Gregory The Fish


    that’s a wonderful story! heartwarming, truly.

  • Anders Wallinder

    Seems like the rare late Monos are going up in price. The mono Mono Morgan Gigolos must be quite scarce not?

    But gyus, how are the original BN stereos doing? Up as well? What do you think?

  • Anders Wallinder

    BTW “Vinyl Collectability” for me is a couple of things: 1.) Condition must be nice enough for me to appreciate the record. 2. ) I must really like the music. 3.) I’m trying to find another reason like price, label etc. but honestly no that’s it. I like more to collect artists I really love than collectible labels. If they go together it’s fine though. But yes I can be really thrilled to find a Quincy Jones Big Band LP for low money on Mercury.

  • Red Record is/was a cool label. I understand that they were associated with a student communist organization in Italy, at least at the beginning. They put out some great records by Mario Schiano, Steve Lacy, Giorgio Gaslini, Johnny Dyani, The Sea Ensemble and many others.

  • geoffrey wheeler

    I bought my first jazz record in 1942, Frankie Newton on Bluebird. It wasn’t until the 1980s that I began to think of myself as a record collector Actually, I have seven jazz collections: 78s, LPs, oddments such as airchecks and studio lacquers, CDs, tapes, books, and periodicals (56 different titles, 6 different countries). I buy what appeals to me, not because of the label. I enjoy reading about collecting trends but do not follow them. The most I ever paid for a 78 was $80 for a new Dial Fats Navarro. The most I ever paid for an LP was $55 for a George Handy. In general, the LPs I buy cost $20 or less.

  • I would personally never, ever buy an album as an investment. Then you’ve missed the whole point in collecting and enjoying what you have to the full, I think. The point is to enjoy and listen to these rare gems, not put them on a shelf and let them multiply in value. Cause that’s what it means, right? To buy them as an investment probably means that you shouldn’t play them that often, or not at all to keep them as fresh as possible. And that’s not an option. But on the other hand, even if you play them the rest of your life, the albums will rise in value probably.

  • geoffrey wheeler

    I forgot to add that I also have many dozens of record catalogs from the 1920s to the 1960s. Also, I bought Blue Note, Prestige, and Riverside albums I wanted when they came out. $4.98 and $5.98 sound real good today! On Blue Note, I liked Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Jay Jay Johnson, Horace Silver, early Hank Mobley, and George Wallington. I had no interest in the Miles 10- and 12-nch LPs and do not own any. My first Miles LPs are on Prestige.

  • geoffrey wheeler

    In 1958 and 1959, I took drum lessons from Philly Joe Jones. He had huge hands. I could pick up a basketball with my right hand but his fingers were even longer than mine!

  • Fascinating to hear Geoffrey! I was born in 1973 so needless to say I was not buying early Blue Notes as they came out 😉

  • Gregory the Fish

    wow, geoffrey those are awesome stories! I was BORN in 1988. amazing stuff.

    perhaps Al would let you write your story out for the site…

    (of course, this is not MY site, so no guarantees!)

  • geoffrey wheeler

    Thank you Mark, thank you Gregory. I was born March 4, 1936 into a jazz household. I had a brother who was 11 years older than me who was already hooked on jazz so that, and classical music, was the first music I heard. I have been in love with jazz ever since–all kinds of jazz! I discovered Bop about 1948 or ’49 and bought my first Charlie Parker 78. It took repeated plays before I got the music. From then on it was Bop post-Bop, you name it. I’ve heard hundreds of jazz players live–Parker, Gillespie, Jackie McClean, Dexter, Art Pepper, Max Roach, Goodman, Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Buddy Rich, the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, Miles, Kenny Clark, Bunk Johnson, George Lewis, etc. Jazz keeps the brain alive and humming. I don’t understand why more people don’t like jazz of whatever kind. I am president of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors and one of the few members who digs jazz past 1940. I even enjoy some avant-garde jazz live (mainly German and Danish groups) but have nothing on LP or CD.

  • @Frederik To each their own. I appreciate the financial value of my collection as much as the music or graphic design of the covers. There is nothing wrong with admiring the value of something from multiple angles. I organize my collection by value and hardly play my most valued stuff.

  • Anders Wallinder

    Thanks for sharing Geoffrey!

  • Gregory The Fish

    geoffrey, that is so neat!

    I didn’t even know there was an association, and I am shocked that so few like post-war jazz!

  • I like the idea of someone at IAJRC meetings flossing Hugh Steinmetz. Thanks for the stories and history, Geoffrey.

    I was born in 1977 and grew up in a jazz-centric household, though didn’t really appreciate it until early college and got the collecting bug at around 20 — so the Blue Notes were still relatively affordable then, though still expensive for a twenty-something college and grad student.

  • geoffrey wheeler

    The IAJRC had a meeting this past weekend in Racine as part of the Bix Fest. I didn’t go. While I like the original music of each era, I don’t care for rehashes. The original music and recordings capture what musicians were thinking and playing at the time. Rehashes don’t. Those who come to jazz on record do so from their own age and cultural background. To me, this is what makes record collecting interesting because each perspective is individual.

    Clifford, welcome to the impecunious club! The serious jazz record collector never has enough money to buy what he wants. This is a good thing because it forces us to be smart about what we like and buy, and how much we pay for what we like.

  • geoffrey wheeler

    A last wee bit o’ history for this segment. In 1948 or ’49, I went by myself to a midnight concert at Carnegie Hall featuring Lionel Hampton. My family and I were in town for a vacation. I got to see Hampton jump up and down on his floor tom like it was a trampoline. Also on the bill were Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five dressed in bright green suits and orange shoes. I was both amazed and horrified. That was not at all what I expected!

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