Greetings to the fellow jazz collectors out there, and hopefully everybody stateside had an enjoyable, vinyl-filled holiday weekend. I did stop into the Jazz Record Center last week and picked up a few things, including a couple of CDs for my dad, who recently celebrated his retirement from four decades of work in the mental health field and a return to his avocation — playing the piano and composing jazz tunes.
While we’re on the subject of the Jazz Record Center, they’ve been auctioning some nice and uncommon avant-garde titles from the 60s and 70s in recent months. Many of these appear to be from the same collection, and I’ve picked up a few nice bits. The latest list features a clean promo copy of Steve Lacy’s Sortie on International Polydor (Germany). The original issue was on the Italian GTA label, which is what I have in the racks, but even the 1969 Polydor pressing is tough to find and it features a rather interesting cover image. The music is rather inspired collective improvising, and was recorded in Italy in 1966. The record and cover are listed in M- condition and the bidding is around $73 with two days to go, though I’d expect it to end around $250.
The Don Heckman-Ed Summerlin Improvisational Jazz Workshop is an odd one, issued privately in 1967 and featuring Steve Kuhn, Joe Hunt, Ron Carter and others. The group was connected to Charlotte Moorman and avant-garde performance art in late-60s downtown lofts, and while the music isn’t much to write home about, it’s a fascinating document of the jazz-art collaborative environment at the time. The bidding starts at $50 for this M- copy and there are no takers thus far; I wouldn’t mind a clean example of this one myself.
One item being sold overseas I’d been watching but at the end of the day decided my pockets weren’t deep enough was this one, from the German singer Inge Brandenburg — It’s Alright With Me on German CBS, featuring some fine performances by the Gunter Hampel Group (one of the earliest avant-garde jazz groups in Europe). The copy listed was in M- condition or thereabouts for the vinyl and maybe a strong VG++ for the cover, and the final price was $360. The price seems comparatively cheap considering the item’s rarity, but dry-voiced German jazz singers on obscure mid 60s major-label releases may not get others’ juices flowing like Blue Notes and such often do.
Finally, I guess the original Danish Debut pressing of My Name Is Albert Ayler has been a high-priced record for a while now, but it’s still impressive when a copy fetches something the high hundreds — like this one, which was probably in all around VG++ condition, closing in the last moments at $800. While far from Ayler’s definitive recording, it’s an interesting document and defines the early development of the Scandinavian avant-garde just as much as it does the burgeoning American free music climate of the 1960s.
At any rate, happy bidding/hunting and even happier listening!