A Day at the Town Dump, Redux

Just to close the loop on yesterday’s post. Yes, indeed, I went back to the town dump to see if there were any more treasures to be found and to see if there was anything I had inadvertently left behind. There was nothing new there, but I did wind up taking a few more CDs, not just for myself but for a few friends as well.  I’m in a band up here with three other musicians and we had practice so I brought some CDs and told them they could take whatever they wanted. Some of the CDs, it turned out, were just the cases, but most of them had CDs, including all of the boxed sets. So, now that I’m settled in and had a chance to go through my score, here is the final tally:

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One Man’s Junk; Another Man’s Treasure

rp_CDs-copy-1024x517.jpgYou’re really not going to believe what happened to me yesterday. I’m up at my house in The Berkshires and we were hosting some friends for brunch. I did some cleanup in the morning and decided at the last-minute that I would have to go to the town dump to get rid of some garbage before I guests arrived. So I piled some garbage into the car, loaded my dog Marty onto the front seat and headed for the dump. In our local town here, there’s a small shack at the dump where people get rid of stuff they don’t want so that others who may be interested can just take it, free. They call it a swap shop and, occasionally, I’ve found some odds and ends in there, a couple of records, some decent speakers, nothing special. Yesterday, because I was in a bit of a hurry, I wasn’t even going to check, but it only takes a minute and it’s hard to resist. You never know what’s going to be there.

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A Boxed Set, An Autographed LP, a Mega-Rarity

Stan Getz copyDon’t see a lot of Stan Getz records in the higher price ranges, and we’re seeing fewer Norgrans in there as well, so I have my eye on this one: Stan Getz at the Shrine, Norgran 2000. This is a boxed set with two LPs and a beautiful booklet and all of it looks to be in M- condition and original, with the yellow labels on the vinyl. The bidding is in the $240 range and there are more than three days left on the auction.

Here’s another one you’re not going to see too often: An autographed copy of Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Riverside 315. The Bill Evans signature is on the back cover and it is dated from 1974. The record is an original pressing with the deep grooves and blue label and it seems to be in about VG++ condition for the vinyl and VG+ for the record. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is in the $150 range with 13 bids and what looks to be eight different bidders. Wouldn’t mind this one myself. Hmm — birthday is coming up.

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Review: Rosemary Clooney Mosaic Boxed Set

Rosemary copyLet’s move off jazz vinyl for a day. I’ve been listening to a recent Mosaic release: The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-61. This is a five-CD set of 104 songs recorded by Clooney for three CBS radio shows produced by Bing Crosby. Why have I been listening to these CDs when I could have used the same time to place original Blue Notes or Prestiges on my beautiful refurbished Lynn Sondek turntable? Two reasons:

One: I happen to be a huge fan of Rosemary Cooney—not her work in the 1950s when she was a pop icon, but the series of albums she made for Concord Jazz starting in 1977 and ending with her death in 2002. These, in fact, are some of my favorite vocal records in my collection, particularly Everything’s Coming Up Rosie, Here’s to My Lady, Rosie Sings Bing, For the Duration, and Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Irving Berlin. I like them all, to be honest. It helps that on these albums she is typically accompanied by top-flight jazz artists such as Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Nat Pierce, John Oddo, Chuck Israels and many others too numerous to name. But it’s not the accompaniment that knocks me out. It’s the singer. The simple, clear, moving and heartfelt presentations of the songs, each one sung as if the singer had lived and experienced them deeply—and had also experienced quite a bit of life along the way. Which, of course, was exactly the case with Rosemary Clooney.

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Catching Up on Some Odds & Ends

Here are some non-Blue Note odds and ends we’ve been watching:

Blue Mitchell, Blue Soul, Riverside 309. This was one of the ones from the recent bobdjukic auction. It was listed in VG++ condition for both the vinyl and the cover and it looked to be an original deep groove, blue label pressing. It sold for $275. One of the reasons I was watching this is that I just bought another small collection and a nice original mint copy of this record was in the batch. There were also a few original Blue Notes so, if I ever get back to selling records on eBay, I’ll have some nice items to start with . . . . or if I have Jazz Collector readers come to the house, as previously proposed.

Harry Carney With Strings, Clef 640. This looked to be an original pressing, although there was no picture of the label, with a beautiful cover illustration by David Stone Martin. It was listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover and sold for $110.50. You have to wonder how much longer there will be a market for Harry Carney LPs. Case in point: The Astaire Story. This was the original Mercury boxed set in beautiful condition, signed by Astaire, with the Stone Martin illustrations and the exclusive photos. In M- condition, this would have sold for somewhere in the range of $2,000 just a few years ago. Now, the seller had a start price of $800 and there were no bidders.

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New Ella, If You Can Find It

Have you read about the newly discovered and newly released Ella Fitzgerald Boxed Set from 1961 and 1962? It’s called Twelve Nights in Hollywood and it features 76 songs recorded at the Crescendo in Los Angeles. I read the article in The New York Times on Sunday and was pretty excited and I was a little down today and I figured, well, what could be better on a down day than Ella. There are plenty of places that sell CDs near where I live — I’m in the New York metropolitan area, so really, they’re all over the place, or at least they used to be. And it’s Christmas shopping season, so every place should be fully stocked, right? Well, so far I’ve called six different stores and not a single one is carrying this item. Zero. They all told me to go online and I could get free shipping. So why bother having a retail store at all?

If You’re Looking For Mosaics . . .

Just got an email from our friends at the Jazz Record Center. They have put up another auction on eBay, this time it’s all boxed sets from the Mosaic Label. Among the items are sets from Tina Brooks, Charles Mingus, Art Pepper and Lee Morgan. There seem to be 31 sets in all. If you’re interested you can view them here. We’ll keep track on the prices of some of these so that we can add them to the Jazz Collector Price Guide. We also have a bunch of Mosaics of our own that we will be selling soon.

Time for Another Free Record

Okay, here we go again. So far we’ve given away three free records and now it’s time for number four: Leo Parker, Rollin’ With Leo, Blue Note BST 84095. This one actually has a little bit more credibility as a collectible than our previous giveaways. This is the 1986 release of this LP, which was the first time it was released with the cover art and catalog number that was originally intended by Blue Note in 1962. What’s more, this is a promo copy, with a promo stamp on the cover. The record is in VG+ condition and the cover is M- and it’s being offered free to one lucky reader of Jazz Collector. As before, the rules for entering this contest are very simple: All you have to do to be eligible to win the record is to post a comment on the Jazz Collector site any time between now and when the contest ends, which is the end of day February 26.  You can post a comment on this post or anywhere else on the site and we’ll enter you into the drawing. If you win the record we even pay for shipping, anywhere in the world. This is a very nice record, worth having for sure. In addition to Parker, it features Dave Burns, Bill Swindell, Johnny Acea, Stan Conover, Bill Lucas, Purnell Rice and Wilbert Hogan.

Speaking of Leo Parker, someone recently sent us a link to this eBay auction:

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Today on eBay, Some Jug and Dizzy Reece

A few nice items on eBay today, including a nice bunch closing soon from our friends at Euclid Records. There may even be another one for the $1,000 club, this one: Dizzy Reece, Soundin’ Off, Blue Note 4033. This is an original pressing in M- condition, both record and cover. The current price is more than $600 and there have already been 17 bids, so it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that this could hit four figures. Also from Euclid and Dizzy: Dizzy Reece, Star Bright, Blue Note 4023. This is also an original pressing. The record is listed as M- and the cover is listed as VG+. The current price is in the $250 range. One more from this batch: Jammin’ in Hi-Fi With Gene Ammons, Prestige 7110. This is an original pressing with the New York label. The record and cover are in M- condition. The current price is just more than $200. 

Another one we’re watching at Jazz Collector is Zoot Sims, Cookin’ Fontana 123. This is an original British pressing. The record looks to be VG and the cover is VG+. It’s currently around $50. We’ve seen this sell for more than $200 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but those earlier copies were in better condition.

Mosiac Boxed Sets (Our Own) For Sale

As always, we try to keep an eye on interesting collectibles on eBay. We noticed last week that a couple of the nicer Mosaic boxed sets — actually, all of the Mosaics are nice — were available in nice condition and sold for pretty high prices: Lee Morgan, The Complete Fifties Blue Note Sessions, Mosaic MQ6-162, sold for $520 and Miles Davis, The Complete Miles Davis Plugged Nickel, Mosaic MQ10-158, sold for $565.35. Now, we are a big fan of the Mosaics, and have been collecting them since the company first launched. However, we are downsizing and trying to drive traffic to the site and trying to get some attention, so we thought, hmm, here’s a good opportunity to see what happens when we put some really good items on eBay. So we did. We put up our mint copies of these same records, The Complete Blue Note Lee Morgan Fifties Sessions and The Complete Miles Davis Plugged Nickel. Both are on eBay now and both have a start price of $300. Let’s see what happens.