As promised, here is the paper written by Irving Kalus on Charlie Parker, dated December 22, 1949. I have to really admire that Irving caught on to bebop so quickly and ardently, and he recognized the genius and contribution of Bird. You can see that this paper is written with tremendous passion and feeling and probably some hyperbole that can be easily excused by the exuberance of youth. As Irving’s son Gary told me, Irving was a fan of Benny Goodman . . . well, read it and see. I’ve reprinted the entire paper below and I’m also attaching it as a downloadable PDF (Ornithology). It’s remarkably similar to the article I wrote in 1975, when I was 22 and had the benefit of 20 years of history after Bird had died. You can find my article here: An Old Jazz Collector Tribute to Charlie Parker. Irving was neither a writer nor jazz critic by trade, but he certainly had a gift for both and, from now on, perhaps forever, whenever anyone does a Google search linking on Irving Kalus, the names Charlie Parker and Irving Kalus will be inextricably tied together. It’s a nice thought and a pretty apt tribute, wouldn’t you say?
So Don Lucky was asking me offline about something to do with Prestige, and I suggested he contact Rufolf, and Rudolf replied with this fascinating tale of how he ended up at the Prestige warehouse, and Don Lucky and I said Rudolf you have to write this up for the rest of the Jazz Collector audience, and Rudolf said sure, and here it is. Enjoy.
Treasure Hunt — Prestige
How a Courtesy Call Turned Out to be the Discovery of the Cave of Ali Baba
By Rudolf Flinterman
In the ‘50s/early ’60s a simple catalog of say Prestige, Blue Note or Contemporary could be of invaluable worth. Without, one simply could not know what was in the market. There were no discographies like Jepsen and Ruppli and no Internet, of course. At the time I would regularly write to Prestige, Pacific Jazz, Blue Note, Atlantic and Contemporary requesting to send me a catalog, which they all did. Lester Koenig always wrote a kind letter. Nesuhi Ertegun of Atlantic was so kind to send me copies of deleted items, for free!
In 1959 Prestige sent me an offer to become a free member of their Jazz & Folk Record Club in Teaneck, N.J. The formula was simple: Pay for two, receive three. Especially for New Jazz, with a list price of $3.98, that was an interesting proposition. I still have the box of the first shipment from Prestige. For three records I paid 2-X-$3.98 plus 89 cents postage, i.e. $2.95 per album, which was the equivalent of 10,75 Dutch florins. At the time the list price in Holland was 18 Dutch florins. No wonder that I became a frequent buyer at Prestige throughout the ‘60s, despite the fact that the sea transport and customs took more than two months.
In 1969 I made my first trip to the U.S. We stayed for one week in Manhattan. I travelled with the then-Mrs.-Rudolf. The first day we made a boat trip with the Circle Line to have a general idea of the city. I then proposed to her to make a courtesy call to a certain Mr. Bob Weinstock – “who would be most happy to make our acquaintance,” I assured. She could hardly object to this great idea. So the next day she found herself in the bus at the Port Authority to go to Bergenfield, N.J.
Mar 6, 2012 Guest Columns
We haven’t had a guest column in a while, but here’s a good one from a reader who asks that we refer to him simply as Scott. Enjoy.
It started with a broken turntable. The new turntable my wife bought me at the HiFi shop some three years ago sat unused, not properly set up, broken. I know, I know. Just too busy. High stress military career, moving, a combat tour in Iraq, and two teenage boys got in the way of my budding interest in vinyl. The day finally came and the turntable was fixed. Off I went to the estate sales as usual. Not to find vinyl, but to search for tube HiFi gear or vintage speakers.
This particular sale — just last week — was in a 1930s Tudor of perhaps 3,500 square feet. The owners had obviously lived there since the ‘50s. A sweep of the house revealed no tube equipment, no speakers, and nothing much else of interest. I did note several stacks of records against the wall of one of the bedrooms upstairs. I now had a turntable so I went to look. I sat on the floor next to another fellow and asked him what was good. He talked about the Riverside label and we chatted. He picked out several and cut his stack to ten records, paid, and left. The stacks were almost all ‘50s jazz with hip covers. I selected ten, paid the lady the two bucks a record, and went home and played one.
The first record I put on was Helen Merrill (yeah that one). I loved it. I put on another. This one a Blue Note. Wow. Cool. Remember, I didn’t know a Blue Note from a blue bird, but I do know what I like. I went back and bought another 18 just because I liked them including 11 first-issue deep-groove, Blue Notes including BNs 1509, 1518, 1537, 1578, 1537, 1540, 1513, 1545, 1560, 1544, 1560, 1562. Remember, I have no idea what these LPs are selling for.
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Sep 27, 2011 Guest Columns
by Jason Sweet
Digging for records can be hard, but rewarding, work. A lot of times it’s right place, right time. You have to have knowledge though, players, producers, labels, and the like. To me, there is no better feeling than combing tiny shops from Indianapolis to Iceland, looking for a record that may only exist in my imagination and finding it. Have I bought records off eBay? Yes I have, though not many. The biggest problem I have with eBay is that I’m being asked to buy something sight unseen. And why relinquish the thrill of the hunt? Buying music on eBay is like trolling Internet pornography: A means to an end, but it will never replace the intimacy of the real thing.
The other day, I stumbled upon one of those “imaginary” finds that keeps us going. I’m a big
May 11, 2011 Guest Columns
Nick from Brooklyn is back with another Tales of the Hunt. You’re going to like this one, but Don-Lucky, it’ll break your heart.
Tales Of The Hunt: The day I met my IDOL!
Like I have mentioned in previous Tales of The Hunt, I used to send postcards to record companies, etc, with these Tales of The Hunt. I had found a great rock instrumental and the BMI publishing company was in a residential area of Brooklyn, so I sent a postcard to the address requesting records. Around a month later I received a phone call wanting to know why I had wrote him. I explained that I found this record and that I sell records and wanted to know if he had any more of them left. He said he might and we set up an appointment. When I arrived at his house his wife answered the door, she greeted me with a big smile and invited me in, we had coffee and were talking about the music business, he then pulled out a few boxes of 45 RPM records and told me to take what I could use. I asked him how much and he waved his hand as to forget it. He then pulled out some records
May 4, 2011 Guest Columns
Nick From Brooklyn is back with another in his ongoing Tales of the Hunt series. Enjoy.
It was, I believe, 1993 and a friend had called me and asked me to track an arranger by the name of Larry Lucie. At the time I did not know it would be the most rewarding journey I would have of all the people I came in contact with in the music business. After looking for a couple of days on and off, I came up with his name in New York’s Union Book for musicians under “Guitar.” I called his home phone number and explained that I was a dealer and collector of jazz. As soon as I said jazz he invited me over to his home, which I think was on 43rd Street and 9th Avenue. When I arrived it was like I was a lost friend, he greeted me with a welcome I will always remember, he was what I call a Teddy Bear of a guy. We went up to his apartment, we started talking about jazz and he started telling me stories about who he played with, and I sat there
Tags: Louis Armstrong
Apr 25, 2011 Guest Columns
Our friend Nick from Brooklyn is back with another Tales From the Hunt:
Besides collecting Jazz I also collected literature on record companies, music publishers, etc. I used to send out between 10 to 20 postcards a week, all over the United States requesting records. Companies and people that were in New York City or in New Jersey I would search out myself. I had sent a postcard to this record company in upstate New York called Chroma Records. Now many companies I never heard of and I did not have a clue what type of music they had. A couple of weeks later I get a tape and it says our latest release and the price, which is $2. It was Country and it was not my cup of tea. I go to throw the letter in the garbage and it gets stuck in my hand. To me this was a omen.
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Tags: Jazz Vinyl
Mar 20, 2011 Guest Columns
Nick From Brooklyn is back with another Tale From the Hunt. I’ll call this one “A Spree Grows in Brooklyn.”
I would like to thank Al for giving me the chance to re live some of my experiences with records. And to all of you collectors for your nice comments. I used to have a loose-leaf book that I used for my notes on tracking records. Everything was in order from A to Z. I was going through one of my music books. I used to have a lot of Billboard International Buyers Guides, which listed record companies, music publishers, arrangers, etc. I also had Local 802 musician books; also I had BMI, ASCAP, SESAC Books, and a lot of other literature on music. I was trying to see if I could get a lead on a particular record label called Celeste Records, which put out some dynamite group records in the mid-1950’s, one in particular The Mellows. From all of the notes I kept on Celeste, I was able to track the owner to an address on Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn’s Bedford/Stuyvesant neighborhood so off I went looking. At this time the records on this label were bringing big bucks. I got to the address. The building was
Mar 8, 2011 Guest Columns
Nick from Brooklyn is back with another from his ongoing Tales of the Hunt series. I don’t have a title for this one, but I will apologize in advance if it offends any little people, drag queens, call girls or anyone else. Nick from Brooklyn, as previously noted, has become an irresistible force and I hate to stifle his creativity with too much editing. This one is pretty much as he wrote it with some minor modifications.
This is going to be three stories that happen in the same building, months apart in the late 1970’s. The building that these three stories happen is around two blocks from the old Madison Square Garden on 49th St and 8th Avenue. I believe the address was 888 8th Avenue. The first story is about a call I get from a record producer his name I have forgotten, telling me he got my postcard and that he has produced hundreds of records and for me to drop by his apartment. We set up an appointment. It was a Saturday, I remember this as if it was yesterday, getting off of the elevator I’m all excited I knock on the door it opens and I am staring straight ahead at nothing but a wall, oh as I look down, it’s a dwarf. He sort of looked like the actor from the old Phillip-Morris cigarette ads. Nick come in, I’ve been waiting for you, tea, coffee, can I get you anything, I thanked him and told him tea. He is talking a mile a minute about this recording artist, this record, that artist, and how he has been in the music and circus business for over 50 years. After finishing the tea and listening to him for close to an hour, I told him excuse me, do you have any records I can look at, he gets up goes in the hall opens the closet
Feb 28, 2011 Guest Columns
I get the feeling Nick from Brooklyn is becoming an irresistible force. Here he is, back again with a new Tales of the Hunt guest column. I’m calling this one “Beware a Woman Scored.”
Still More Tales of The Hunt by Nick From Brooklyn
This is going to be a quick story. I wanted to get it to Al before I forgot it. I used to advertise all over New York City, I had cards made up, I used to stick flyers all over, did a lot of newspaper ads, etc. Because you never know who is going to call you and with what. One day, I think it is around 1995 or so, I am in my house doing some research. The phone rings. I answer it. On the other end is a woman and she is screaming YOU WANT JAZZ RECORDS WELL COME AND GET THEM and hangs up. I laugh to myself because over the years not every call or deal is a winner and a lot of people like to play games and in reality many people really do not know what jazz is. Around an hour later the phone rings again, it’s the same woman and she is still screaming and yelling (some voice) WELL WHERE ARE YOU. I try to talk to her, but she hangs up again. I go out for around two hours, when I get home my wife tells me a woman called and she gave me the number. I ask her was she screaming and yelling, she says no, she was pretty nice. I call the woman, she answers and she is very calm, and tells me she was sorry about the last two calls. I tell her don’t worry about it. And then I ask her what do you have?
Tags: Tommy Flanagan
Feb 24, 2011 Guest Columns
Nick has been posting a bunch of long anecdotes on various comments under the moniker “Tales of the Hunt” so I suggested he send them to me first and I would post them as guest columns. I’ll see about pulling them together in one spot for those interested. In the meantime here’s this one, which I think of as “Guys and Dolls and Records.”
More Tales of The Hunt, by Nick from Brooklyn
One thing good about trading records with another collector who does not collect the same music as you do, both of you should feel like winners in the end. I spoke about Joe Rocco before who was a big Doo Wop collector and was part owner of Strider Records in Greenwich Village. Before he opened Strider Records, Joe worked for The House of Oldies also in the Village. And I did a lot of trading when I found Doo Wops with him there and in his home. One day Joe calls me – I think it was in the early 1980s – and asks, do I want to look at a collection with him in Queens. We drive out to Atlantic Avenue and I believe around Sutphin Boulevard very early in the morning. We meet this guy who has just purchased a building off of HUD for $5,000. As we approach the building it is a two-story building and it looks as if it was there for over 100 years, and this guy is talking a mile a minute and I’m trying to keep up with him. As he starts rolling up the gate my eyes start to blink. Here is this storefront with a huge neon sign in green – RECORDS – to the right of the door. Above that is another sign with an arrow pointing up that says “Dolls Repaired.” In the left side window is another smaller neon side that says Records.
Feb 15, 2011 Guest Columns
We seem to be inspiring our readers these days. We have Nick’s Tales of the Hunt in some of the comments, and now Dan Forté, who wrote a guest column last week on Ed Beach, is back with a new column on buying records in New York when vinyl was king. This one brings back a lot of nice memories for me. Here’s Dan:
All Sales Are Vinyl – On the Hunt for Jazz LPs During the 1970s in NYC, by Dan Forté
Before the invention of the CD player in 1982 and prior to the major jazz record labels beginning their exhaustive reissue programs in earnest, there was little else one could do but search the dusty bins of the friendly, neighborhood record stores for those coveted out-of-print jazz LPs to add to their collection. For jazz vinyl lovers in New York City on the prowl for “cut-outs” of out-of-print (hereafter referred to simply as OOP) releases during the early 1970s (way before Fred Cohen’s Jazz Record Center and eBay), there was a wide range of record emporiums sure to strike a responsive chord in the memory banks of those old enough – and fortunate enough – to remember them. Here are a few:
Feb 6, 2011 Guest Columns
A relatively new Jazz Collector reader, Dan Forté, has asked if he could write a guest column in tribute to the late Ed Beach, so here’s Dan. The accompanying picture of Ed Beach is courtesy of Marc and Evelyn Bernheim/Rapho Guillumette
A Tribute to Ed Beach, or How I Got Hooked into Jazz and Vinyl Collecting, By Dan Forté
Time: Mid-Late 1960s, Weeknights, live from 6-8 pm
Place: The Big Apple/ WRVR, 106.7 on the FM Dial
Cue-Up Opening Theme Music: Wes Montgomery’s “So Do It” from his Oct. 12, 1960 Riverside LP Movin’ Along, RLP 342; 9342 Stereo
About 30 seconds into the theme, the imposing voice of our subject lets us know we’re listening to “Just Jazz, Ed Beach with you, for the first part of a two part feature on….”
And, like magic, we knew we were in capable, swinging hands and all was well with the jazz world. Unlike some other long-winded jazz jocks who liked to impress their listeners with their knowledge of jazz minutiae and didn’t know when to shut up and just play the music, Ed always knew it wasn’t about him. Rather, it was ALWAYS about the music.
Ed Beach passed away quietly on Christmas Day 2009 in Eugene, Ore. just three weeks shy of what would have been his 87th birthday. If you dug jazz and lived in New York City from 1961-1976, you were blessed to hear “Uncle Ed” and his Just Jazz program on radio station WRVR, call letters standing for Riverside Radio, as in the Riverside Church, with studios located in upper Manhattan at 85 Claremont Avenue.
Ed was trained as an actor and he also had an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz. Every time you listened to his meticulously researched show, you knew you were in for a treat. For every live, two-hour program that Ed produced,
Tags: Ed Beach
Mike Falcon has promised a review of the new Fred Cohen book, and here it is:
Blue Note Records A Guide to Indentifying Original Pressings
A Review By Mike Falcon
For as long as I have been collecting Blue Notes there has been a large chorus asking for a complete guide to navigate the complexities of what constitutes a first pressing. And now they have it. Frederick Cohen has given us “Blue Note Records, A Guide to Identifying Original Pressings” an authoritative manual on the Blue Note discography. This includes the EPs, 10” LPs, and all of the pre-Liberty LPs in both Mono and Stereo.
I first went to the Jazz Record Center in 2002. I had never seen a record store like it. Everywhere I looked was something interesting and new to me. I spent a long while thumbing through records looking at the photos and memorabilia on the wall, and thinking that if I ever win the Lotto I’ll be back here first. I’ve never won the lotto but I’ve been back a few times, always with less money than I would have liked. I had spoken to Fred a few times and was always impressed by how informative he was. I would think, “This guy should write a book”. Well he has.
“Blue Note Records, A Guide to Identifying Original Pressings” is a nicely bound 6 ½” x 9 ½” inch black book with the Blue Train label with red arrows pointing to the various identifying features on the cover. It’s written more like a compendium or research paper and is not in the narrative form. It starts with an introduction, preface, and acknowledgements, before getting to the list of illustrations and glossary. The glossary and illustrations are necessary to understand what you are reading when sorting through the pressing guide. The illustrations show what is meant by all of the famous Blue Note esotery. This includes examples of the famous
Collecting Blue Note Albums on Compact Disc
Guest Column by Mattyman, The Netherlands
First of all a big thanks to Al for giving me the opportunity to tell y’all something about collecting Blue Note releases on CD, which I’ve been avidly doing since the early nineties. Since I couldn’t think of a ‘logical line’ in my column, I decided to randomly describe a few of the things that I pay attention to before I buy a CD and to make things more clear, I have once again created a photo page that y’all can use while you read the story. The few photos that I included in this story are only meant to literally jazz up the look of the column. I will continuously refer to that photo page as well, so maybe the best way to do this is to open the page in a new window.
Here we go, folks!
The first jazz album that I ever bought was John Coltrane – Blue Train, in 1992. There was a reason why I bought it. My favorite Dutch writer (and known jazz collector, drummer and DJ), Jules Deelder, has written many long and short stories about his deep love for jazz, how he first heard it as a little boy and how mesmerized he was by the voice and trumpet playing of, as he’d find out later, Chet Baker. His endless hunts for vinyl are the most fun to read, since I had been digging like that myself for seventies funk. I wanted to know more about jazz, ’cause if Jules Deelder dug so frantically, it had to be good. I honestly had not listened to one jazz album in my entire life before 1992. So I went to my favorite record store and grabbed Blue Train, simply because
In a comment last week one of our loyal readers asked if he could write a guest column about his experiences buying vinyl in Japan. So without further ado, we offer:
Record Shopping in Japan
By Mike Falcon
For most of my adult life I have been very interested in Japanese culture. I love their movies, art, food, culture, and overall aesthetics. I studied Japanese while in college as my obligatory foreign language and have traveled there a few times. Something I have found very interesting about Japan is how they appreciate American and Western culture. Japan is very different from America or Europe but as a society they have a very deep appreciation for key things from these cultures. It was so amazing to me to eat various Western foods in Japan and find that the Japanese do Italian, French, Brazilian, and Spanish food more authentically than is available in the U.S. I ate in a small Italian restaurant where the chef took pride in his Italian food on a level I think could only be found in Italy itself. For me the Japanese appreciation of Western culture is most evident in three of “my favorite things:” Jazz, vinyl and baseball. I will save you from my interesting and wonderful experiences with Japanese baseball and other observations because this in an article about vinyl hunting.
The Japanese, relative to the U.S., have a lot of record and CD stores. I don’t believe they have suffered the same setbacks as the American record industries have, as the music store business seems much healthier. In Tokyo you can find corporate-owned music and DVD stores eight stories tall that would take a day or more to explore. These places were interesting but I found the small record stores
“Greetings! The Cannonball/Evans LP is a favorite of mine, just beautiful. Thought you would like this review I wrote some time back for a Martin Logan owner Website under my other alter ego, Miles Ahead. – ceedee
The month of February, 1961 was a busy one for Bill Evans. It saw him finish a recording session with his critically acclaimed trio – that with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian – which was issued as Explorations (Feb. 2)), bolster a date rightfully called a classic by any measure, Oliver Nelson’s Blues And The Abstract Truth (Feb. 23) and also find the time to accompany his old bandmate from the Miles Davis Sextet, Cannonball Adderley. Cut on Feb.21, this was one of three sessions that would eventually yield Know What I Mean? for Riverside. It does not match up to the other dates mentioned (how many records could?), but proves itself worthy of a listen and not just for the Bill Evans fan (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
Cannonball and Bill were ‘simpatico’ while with Miles — the seminal Kind Of Blue was not yet two years behind them – and their musical bond continues here. Evans’ Waltz For Debby leads off the date, an interesting choice. Nearly six months before
A couple of weeks ago friend of Jazz Collector Erich Schultz asked why we never wrote about collecting jazz 45s here at Jazz Collector. We said that we didn’t collect them ourselves, we didn’t know of any collectors and no one had ever even asked. We also invited him to write a post on the joys of collecting jazz 45s and, voila, here it is. Erich, it’s all yours:
Collecting Jazz 45 RPM Records, by Erich Schultz
Although I have a large library of jazz 10” and 12” 33 RPM records, I also have over 1,000 jazz 45 RPM records as well. I starting collecting these 45’s about five years ago, and I have picked up most of them in the Los Angeles area when I visit my two children (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.) I also get them sometimes through bulk sales on ebay. My reasons for collecting them include:
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Tags: Jazz 45-RPM Records
The other day we mentioned the idea of posting guides to record stores in various cities to help traveling jazz collectors all over the world. Our first response is from Maarten Kools with this guide to shopping for jazz vinyl in Amsterdam and nearby environs. Enjoy.
Jul 2, 2010 Guest Columns
There’s been a lot of chatter on Jazz Collector this week about record stores in various locales, including New York and San Francisco. One of our regular readers and commentators, Jason, has submitted a guest column on jazz in Boston — not the stores, but the music itself from the 1950s and 1960s. So here’s Jason:
“When I first thought of writing a post about jazz in Boston during the 50s/60s, I thought it would be easy. It wasn’t, and the problem is Boston itself. When one considers jazz and geography it is usually New Orleans, Chicago, Kansas City and New York come to mind as sources of talent and innovation. Not Boston. New Orleans could claim Dixieland. Kansas City had
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Jun 25, 2010 Guest Columns
Thanks again to Rudolf for his very special guest column on French Vogue. It is garnering quite a bit of attention and conversation. We will be offering a few more guest columns in the next week. One of our regular patrons, Don-Lucky, is at the Ottawa Jazz Festival and has promised some reports and another regular patron, Jason, offers up this item about a recent trip to New York, where he paid a visit to the famous world headquarters of Jazz Collector. Here’s Jason:
“After several 84-hour work weeks I’ve finally gotten around to accepting Al’s offer to blog about my trip to NYC. Last April the wife and I made our way from Boston for a show at the Apollo. Since the show wasn’t until much later I thought I’d make a first time trip to Infinity Records out on Long Island after reading about it here. Only I never made it.
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Our friend Rudolf Flinterman has written a comprehensive treatise/opus/tribute to the French Vogue label and has graciously asked us here at Jazz Collector to publish this and make it available to fellow jazz collectors all over the world, which we are pleased to do. We are attempting to publish this in two formats here, one as a post, below, and separately as an attached PDF file that you can download and print and save. So, without further ado, we turn it over to Rudolf, with all due respect and appreciation:
Tags: French Vogue
Apr 22, 2010 Guest Columns
A ‘Blues Walk’ in NYC…
“Lou Donaldson at the Vanguard on Tuesday April 6th, 2010 was one of the best sets I’ve seen there in a while and well worth the long drive down to NYC from Ottawa. The first set began with Lou’s theme song Blues Walk and escalated through a series of standards and into Alligator Boogaloo from there. He was accompanied by Randy Johnston on guitar, Pat Bianchi on the organ, and Fukushi Tainaka on the drums… It didn’t stop there, Dr. Lonnie Smith dropped in to pay his respects for the second set, along with a quick cameo by Roy Hargrove, and a few vocals by singer Champion Fulton. Definitely worth the trip. Although Lonnie seems to think I owed him money from the last time he was in Canada. Don’t ask me why !
As for the rest of the trip, I did manage to drop in on Rudy Van Gelder at his fabled studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., on the way out Wednesday morning. That’s the studio in the picture above. Rudy wanted
Apr 19, 2010 Guest Columns
When we started Jazz Collector we invited members of the community to contribute to the site and, if you check out the About page, we apparently still do. To date, no one has really taken us up on the offer and all of the posts have been written by yours truly, which has been fine. The other day, however, we got a note from one of our readers asking if he could post an item and, of course, the answer was yes. So here it is:
“Greetings-my name is Ceedee and I’m a jazz collector. I’ve been using this music and the never-ending search for the next ‘must-have’ as a source of pure pleasure and inspiration for nearly 40 years now. And if the latest list of items I’m watching at eBay is any indication, it’s a search that’s not about to end any time soon. It’s the access to collections and collectors worldwide that eBay has made possible – not to mention great web sites such as Jazz Collector – which go a long way towards enabling this ‘healthy’ habit.
Before the 12-step analogy goes any further, let me assure you that for me, it has been necessary