Here Are Jazz Collectibles You Won’t See Every Day

test-pressing-jazz-vinyl-a-love-supremeTwo of our regular readers, Clifford and Michael, separately sent me links to this rare jazz collectible, wondering if it was legitimate: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77, Test Pressing. Take a close look at it. Does it really say “Ken” Coltrane? Anyway, it looks legit to me. Unfortunately, it was only in VG condition and, of course, it didn’t have a cover. The final price was $300, which seems pretty reasonable to me for what I imagine is a pretty rare collectible.

One of our readers, Dave Sockel, recently was in touch with a relative of Duke Pearson and sent me a PDF of this very cool collectible — duke-pearson-session-book-1969-1970. It includes rehearsals, musicians and their fees, session dates, comments on the sessions and dozens of signatures from the various musicians, confirming their payments. Thanks to Dave for sharing and allowing me to post this on Jazz Collector.

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A Prestige Pair; a Bird Autograph?????!!!!!!!!!

clifford-brown-jazz-vinylWe’ll start the week with a couple of nice Prestige records on eBay and then move on to a possible autograph (?) by Charlie Parker. First up is the Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Prestige 7055. This is an original New York yellow label pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding starts at $155 and so far there has been no action. The auction closes in a bit more than two days. This has never been one of the Prestiges overly coveted by collectors, but I would still expect it to sell for a decent price, in the $300 or more range. We’ll see. Clifford is one of the greats, so it has always eluded me why collectors might be willing to pay a higher price for a Moondog Prestige versus a Clifford Brown. I guess it’s supply and demand, but you’d think the demand for a great Clifford record would be higher.

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Free Jazz for the $1,000 Bin

Ws-l1600ell, with Al manning the helm frequently in recent months, I haven’t popped in too much with observations of jazz records that are outside the “classic” era of collecting this music. But there have been quite a number of interesting eBay auctions and as with seemingly almost every kind of rare or semi-rare record, the prices keep on climbing.

Let’s start with the recent spate of avant-garde jazz records sold by a sometime commenter on the site, nobbyknucks. The cream of the crop was this 1972 LP by Philly vibraphonist Khan Jamal, Drum Dance to the Motherland. It was an original private pressing on the Dogtown label (Byard Lancaster; Sounds of Liberation) and sold for a whopping $1,705. The vinyl was listed in NM/VG++ condition and the economical, paste-on cover in VG+ condition with light wear. I’ve seen this record sell for a hefty price before but this took the cake. It’s a reverb-heavy, somewhat psychedelic-sounding record in the vein of Sun Ra’s post-1962 recordings, rather free but also groovy in spots, and easy to understand why people are after it.

Speaking of Sun Ra, the same seller got decent prices for a pair of rather well-used Saturns, Jazz in Silhouette and Super-Sonic Jazz. In VG++ or better condition these would probably have broken into the $1,000 bin with ease. However, it’s hard to sneeze at copies in “G” condition getting $461 and $385, respectively.

A little more in the realm of normalcy – or at least not super-sonic pricing – is this copy of Jeanne Lee’s Conspiracy, an all-star date of sorts in the loft-jazz realm, but rendered with captivating and unique lyricism. There were two pressings of this album, one released on Mait Edey’s Seeds label and the other on Lee’s own Earthforms imprint (I think the Earthforms is second). Graded at NM or M- for both the record and cover, this sharp example went for $316.

I’m not sure how many records are floating around with Albert Ayler’s signature and I can’t think that I’ve seen more than a couple in years of collecting, so this first commercial edition of Spiritual Unity on ESP is quite attractive in the sense of being a significant album with a significant autograph. However the condition leaves a little to be desired as both the record and cover are listed as VG (and the cover seems pretty worn). I can’t verify whether the personalized penmanship is Mr. Ayler’s but it seems a forgery would be unlikely, especially since it’s in pen and worn off about as much as the silkscreen printing. The seller had it as a Buy-It-Now for $1400 and there were no takers; maybe at $1300 someone will bite?

As always, happy bidding and happier listening!

Recent Jazz Vinyl Sales, Random Comments

walter davis jazz vinylSorry for the entirely unexpected break in the action. Back to business: Walter Davis Jr. , Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The record was in M- condition and the cover was listed as Ex. The final price was $1,104. Welcome to the $1,000 bin, which is getting quite crowded these days. I remember seeing Walter Davis Jr. many times in the early 1970s. When Sonny Rollins made one of his “comebacks” from retirement, Davis was in his regular band, along with Al Foster and Bob Crenshaw. He often also had a Japanese guitarist by the name of Yoshiaki Masuo. Anyway, Davis was always a terrific soloist and accompanist and had a very positive vibe. I don’t have an original pressing of this record, just the United Artists reissue, but it is definitely one I’d love to own someday. Just not for $1,100.

Sometimes here at Jazz Collector we get interesting and random comments on older articles. Or comments get buried under newer comments. There’s a tab on the right size of the home page (and subsequent pages) for “Recent Comments.” I’m not sure if many of you ever click it, but it’s a good idea. For example, I’m not sure how many of you

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Propheting and Profiting From Jazz Vinyl and Memorabilia

Kenny Dorham Jazz VinylHad my eye on this one: Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets, ABC Paramount 122. This was an original deep groove pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $343. I’d recently had an email exchange with a reader who said he’s been watching this record and, in a period of just a few weeks, he’d seen the price range from $28 to $1,000. I saw I thought of it as as $400-$500 record, but more in pristine condition. So, from my perspective, this seems to be around the market value. At least it was the market value for this particular copy. I once had an opportunity to buy a beautiful copy of this record at the Jazz Record Center in New York for $100. I wasn’t particularly flush at the time, so I passed. Then I went home and changed my mind. Came back a few days later and the record was gone. I asked Fred about it. He said he had made a mistake in pricing it at just $100 and I should have jumped at the opportunity. That was probably 25 years ago. I finally got a copy of this record in the Baltimore collection almost exactly two years ago. Have yet to listen to it. Perhaps I will correct that oversight later this evening.

Here’s some stuff from my email inbox:

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What’s A Signature Worth, And What If It’s More Than Just An Autograph?

Joe Henderson AutographHere are a few odds and ends from the Jazz Collector in box. Mark sent us this link: Joe Henderson, In ‘N Out, Blue Note 84166. The back cover is all messed up with writing all over it. Except, here’s the explanation from Mark: “So the seller claims the notes and signature are by inquiry made to the seller revealed that this album came from the collection of a fellow who booked shows for the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore.  Apparently there were many signed albums in his collection along with a photograph of Monk and Wynton Kelly sitting on his own couch! Anyway..interesting piece…” I kind of have a soft spot for memorabilia such as this, although I don’t actually collect it. The record and cover looked to be an original stereo pressing. The final price was $275. Not sure if the writing and signature ensured a higher price, or whether it actually diminished the price. I would guess a stereo copy would get less than $275, so someone probably through the writing was worth something. That’s how I would view it.

There was also this signed record, noted by one of our readers:

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Three For The Road

Duke Jordan Jazz VinylThis may be my last post for a couple of weeks. Taking holiday in Italy with The Lovely Mrs. JC. I still may do a post from there, you never know. In the meantime, Clifford has the keys to the kingdom until I return, and I do have a bunch of records I’m watching on eBay, starting with this one, which has already been mentioned by one of the commenters on the previous post: Duke Jordan Trio, Swing 32 323. This is an original 10-inch French pressing and it looks to be in M- condition all the way around, cover and vinyl. The bidding is now at about $1,000 and, as recently as last week we saw another copy sell for nearly $3,000. There are three days left on this auction, so there’s every chance this copy will approach or surpass that one. As you can see, it has a very Stone Martin-esque cover? Anyone familiar with the artist and his other work? Rudolf?

This one surprises me:

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I Remember Clifford (And Lee Morgan, Too)

Clifford Brown copySometimes you’re on eBay and you’re browsing and then along comes an item and it’s like, wow, I would really like to have that. And thus it is with me and this item: Brown and Roach Incorporated, Emarcy 36008. This is a Canadian pressing in G condition for the record and the cover. Not too appealing so far, right? Well, here’s the thing: The record is signed. Not just signed, but signed by Clifford Brown. If you think about when Clifford died, 1956, and how young he was, 25, you would have to think that there are very few Clifford Brown autographs anywhere. Not to mention that he is probably one of my top five favorite musicians of all time (actually, I will think further on that subject and do another post on it this weekend). So this record has Clifford’s signature and also signatures by Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, George Morrow and, presumably, Richie Powell. A few things, however, do make the record somewhat less appealing to me. One is I don’t actually collect autographed records as do some other people — hello, there, Don-Lucky. But I would love to have a Clifford Brown autograph. Two is that it seems the owner

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A Stamp, A Failed Bid, Some Cool Autographs

Herbie Nichols copyHere are a few more items we are/have been watching on eBay, starting with Herbie Nichols Trio, Blue Note 1519. This looks to be an original deep-groove Lexington Avenue pressing. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is VG, with taped seams. The bidding is in the $240 range and there are four days left on the auction. I have a strange copy of this record. It has the Lexington Avenue address, the ear and the RVG in the deadwax, but no deep grooves. Not sure of the vintage — probably pre-Liberty, but not an original, I would guess. Another interesting thing about my copy: It has the stamp: “Property of Rudi Blesh.” Rudi Blesh was a jazz critic and  historian. He even has his own Wikepedia page. Rudi Blesh or not, I’d still love to replace my pressing with an original, but not at that price and not with taped seams.

I actually did bid on a record this past week, which I don’t do very often this days. It was the Phil Woods record I wrote about earlier in the week:

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Of Autographs, Promo Copies and More

Phil copySo this is what we’ll be watching on eBay this weekend as we brave the chills of the lovely Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts, starting with Phil Woods, Warm Woods, Epic 3436. This is an original pressing with the yellow label. The record and the cover are both listed in VG+ condition and the front cover has a nice clear autograph by Phil, apparently signed in 2000 at the Blue Note in New York City. Not a bad idea to get an autograph on one of these vintage records, if you like that sort of thing, as I recently did with my Herbie Hancock Blue Notes. This one is in the $80 range with one day to go and there is only one bidder so far. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $400 without an autograph (but in M- condition) in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so we’re curious to see what this goes for. For some collectors the autograph on the cover is a turn-off, which has always baffled me.

This one may be closed by the time many of you read this:

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