In Search of An Obscure Article

OK, we’re going to see if we can use the collective wisdom, expertise, knowledge and possible collections of the community to see if we can solve a mystery for a friend. In this case, we are looking for a specific article in Downbeat. All we have is a partial headline and story, pictured here. To me this looks like a Downbeat from the early 1950s when it was still in a newspaper format. We are looking for the issue date of the article and, if possible, a copy of the article itself. My friend says we will not be successful in this quest, that the reference is too obscure. I say never underestimate the power of the Jazz Collector community. Let’s see.

Guest Column: Review of Hank Mobley Bio

Thanks to Mike Falcon for the following excellent book review.

Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley By Derek Ansell

A Review by Mike Falcon

Hank Mobley’s music is well documented.  Hank recorded a wealth of material that fans are still enjoying a half-century later, perhaps more than ever.  But, for a very long time, any fan wanting to know more about Hank’s life had a hard time finding anything.  Searching the Internet yields little.  Searching back issues of jazz periodicals looking for any interviews wouldn’t yield much.  Derek Ansell explains in Workout: The Music of Hank Mobley that Hank only gave one substantial interview throughout his career. The interview occurred in 1973 when his career was in a steep decline.  Other than this, Ansell was forced to piece together a picture of Hank from what little others had to say about him.

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JRC Auction: Nice Vinyl, Rare DSM Book

We always like to watch the listings from the Jazz Record Center because they generally get top prices and give us a sense of the current state of the market. They have a new auction this week and here are a few of the items:

Cliff Jordan and John Gilmore, Blowing  in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This is a West 63rd Street deep-groove pressing, which I would think we be an original, but perhaps not. The listing notes that it is an “early deep-groove” pressing, but doesn’t state that it is an original. Can anyone see anything in the listing or picture that would indicate that this is not a first pressing? Anyway, the record is listed in M- condition and has a start price of $1,000. So far there are no bidders.

Duke Jordan, Flight To Jordan, Blue Note 4046. This one is listed clearly as an “original” pressing and it looks to be in beautiful M- condition for both the record and the cover. The starting price is $750 and there are no bidders yet.

I saw this item and immediately thought of Rudolf:

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Miles, Introducing Trane, On eBay, In Metronome

I was perusing eBay early this morning and came across this beautiful item: Miles, The New Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7014. I’ve always loved this LP, not just for the music and the great cover, but for the historic value as well: The introduction of the great Miles Quintet of the ’50s and, in particular, the introduction of John Coltrane. So, I put this item on my watch list and took a further look and it turns out to be a listing from Rudolf, our faithful friend and commentator. So we are happy to help Rudolf publicize this listing on the Jazz Collector site, but we also noticed a nice teaser in the listing, which notes that they album will be offered with a copy of Metronome’s July 1956 review of the album. Furthermore, the listing notes that the Metronome review is

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Jazziz Anyone?

I received a note from a reader who is looking to sell a collection of Jazziz magazines. Overall, she has 136 issues from 1995 to 2009 and some are in the original plastic sleeves. Many of these came with CDs, if I recall. She says she has some complete years as well. If anyone is interested, please send a note to me at Speaking of jazz magazines,

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Blue Note Album Cover Art: The Winner Is . . . .

Okay, it’s finally time to announce the winner of our most recent giveaway contest for the book: Blue Note The Album Cover Art. As previously mentioned, this is a 128-book of album cover art from the Blue Note catalogue, first published in 1991 by Chronicle Books. It features page after page of classic Blue Note covers from the 1950s and 1960s, featuring many of the great designs by Reid Miles and photos by Francis Wolff. The book also includes a foreward by Horace Silver. We announced a couple of weeks ago we would be giving away a free copy of this book to one lucky reader of Jazz Collector. The criteria for being eligible to win the book were simple: All you had to do was comment on a post on the site, any post. Since we announced the contest, there have been 12 different individuals who have commented on the site and are thus eligible to win the book. They are:

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Horace Silver on Blue Note: Comments Anyone?

OK, we’re still in the midst of the contest to give away the book: Blue Note The Album Cover Art. To be eligible to win this book — free, we even pay for shipping — all you have to do is post a comment on the Jazz Collector Web site before July 2. The winner will be announced July 3. When we did the original post announcing the contest, we promised to share with you the foreward of the book, written by Horace Silver. Here goes:

“Blue Note Records were very meticulous in every aspect of their production: They used he best vinyl, they paid for rehearsals and when I asked to be in on other parts of my album Alfred Lion (the label’s founder) gave me every opportunity. A lot of musicians in those days worked very hard to make good music and once the music was done, they let Alfred Lion go on with the rest of it. One day I went to Alfred and said,

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Downbeats, Anyone?

I’ve been posting old issues of Downbeat Magazine from the 1960s on eBay and have not seen a great deal of interest, which is  a shame since, to me, these seem so much a part of the history. Anyway, I received a note yesterday from a guy in Portland, Oregon, who has just acquired a massive collection of Downbeats from 1955 to 2004 and he’s looking to sell them in bulk. I already  have too many Downbeats to get rid of, so I told him I wasn’t interested but I would post an item on the site and see if any of the Jazz Collector readers are interested. If you are, you can send me an email ( or you can just post a response to this item and I will pass along your interest and you can contact him directly.

For Sale: Louis Armstrong Autograph

I just posted an interesting item on The Jazz Collector Store on eBay: A copy of the Louis Armstrong autobiography Satchmo, My Life In New Orleans, which is autographed by Louis Armstrong. It is signed in large print on the title page: “To Joel From Satchmo Louis Armstrong.” The Satchmo is underlined. I have a receipt stating that I paid $270 for this item nearly 10 years ago, but I just posted it for $200. I did a quick search on eBay and there are not that many Armstrong autographs available and none quite as strong as this one, since it is an inscribed autobiography. Since the item is in the store and not up on auction, it could go fast, so I wanted to make sure I gave a heads-up to all of you who read Jazz Collector in case you wanted to grab it. If you buy it and tell me you read about it at Jazz Collector, I’ll give you an additional $10 discount. Can’t beat that.

From The Vaults: Billy Eckstine Assaulted, Drugged

Am I the only one who gets a charge out of these old Downbeats? Here’s an article I just have to share from Feb. 11, 1965:

Bill Eckstine Misses Opening; Claims He Was Assaulted

Singer Bill Eckstine missed his scheduled opening at the Royal Box of the Hotel Americana in New York City Jan. 4 and speculation of foul play ran high. Eckstine reappeared the following day, however, and said he had been assaulted on the street the night of Jan. 3, hauled into a car, robbed of about $600 and a watch, and then drugged.

Eckstine said he was trying to hail a taxi on 125th St. and Fifth Ave. on Jan. 3 when he was approached by three men, who pulled up in a car and asked for his autograph. While he complied with the request, Eckstine said, one of the men hit him on the back of the neck and

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