Apr 10, 2013 News
I’ve never been a big fan of social media. I’ve had a Facebook page for a few years, but I post just a few times a year. I experimented early with Twitter, but don’t use it other than for work. But . . . yesterday I was procrastinating and avoiding a writing project so I decided to go to Twitter and Facebook and finally set up accounts for Jazz Collector. I can’t promise how often I will tweet or post, but I am now there for you to find and befriend. The Twitter handle is aljazzcollector and the Facebook page is Jazz Collector and if I attract some friends I will put up some links to interesting auctions I see on eBay and other items of interest related to the world of jazz and Jazz Collector. Speaking of which . . . did you know that April is Jazz Appreciation Month? We even have a logo on our site from the Jazz Journalists Association to prove it. You can click the link to find out more information about what you can do to appreciate jazz. As for me, I think I’ll put on a record. Or two. Or perhaps a few hundred.
Mar 7, 2013 News
I got into jazz in the summer of 1970, when I was 17 years old, and I was stuck alone in the house with my father’s records. I have told this story before, quite elegantly I may add, and it can be seen here if you are interested: Song For My Father. Prior to that, like most kids my age, I was into rock and my favorite musician was Alvin Lee, the great guitar player from Ten Years After. If you listen to the album “Undead” you will hear a guitarist who was heavily influenced by jazz and was playing some great jazz-infused, soulful, bluesy and always swinging music in a rock and roll band. Sorry to say, Alvin Lee passed away yesterday. If you’re not familiar with his playing, check this out: 01 I May Be Wrong, But I Won’t Be Wrong Always.m4a 2.
Oct 31, 2012 News
Good morning everyone from soggy New York City. I just received word that the WFMU Record Fair, scheduled for this weekend, has been cancelled. There is still no power in the area, subways and Path trains are down, and still no planes flying into New York City. It’s really a mess. The organizers are promising to refund everyone’s money, unless he or she would like to apply it to the 2013 fair.
Tags: WFMU Record Fair
So the other day I’m sitting home working and I get a forwarded email from The Lovely Mrs. JC about a John Coltrane Festival taking place in New York between October 18 and November 3 and on that very night there will be something called a “listening party” with the saxophonist Gary Bartz and it is free and it is three subway stops away at Jazz At Lincoln Center at Columbus Circle. So I do a quick search on the Internet and it turns out that Bartz has a new album out called “Coltrane Rules: Tales of a Music Warrior,” and at this listening party he will discuss the album and play some tracks. Now I am a big fan of Gary Bartz, ever since I saw him three nights running at Bradley’s down on University Place at least 20 years ago and was blow away by his sensitive, passionate and inventive playing, the closest thing on alto to Sonny Rollins. So, I went down to Jazz at Lincoln Center and I went to the listening party and it was terrific. There were maybe 30 people in the place, a small studio with folding chairs, and at the front there were Bartz sitting on a chair with
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Aug 27, 2012 News
CeeDee mentions the impending shutdown of Colony Records in Reader Forum: Music Shop Recognizes Somber Tune: It’s Final Coda. Other than the requisite sadness of the closing of an institution affiliated with the music of our era, I will shed no tears for the closing of Colony. In my 40 years of jazz record collecting I don’t think I ever purchased a single record there. The prices were always way out of reach, the condition of the records spotty, and the attitude of the store personnel was marginal, at best. In the past few years what little vinyl they actually sold was not on display and you had to basically make an appointment to see a bunch of overpriced records in the basement.
Tags: Colony Records
Mar 24, 2012 News
Just received a note announcing the Annual Jazz Record Collector’s Bash in New Jersey. It will be June 29 and 30 in Iselin, NJ, wherever that is. I’m hoping to attend this year, but it’s my normal time to be in The Berkshires so that may not be possible. This is the 38th annual event and I haven’t been in probably at least a dozen years, although I do have good memories of attending in the past, particularly the one year I was able to score some original Prestige and Swingville records for $5 each. Plus a nice Sonny Criss 10-inch on Clef. Its’ funny how we remember where we scored our records, down to the details of which record, where, when and how much. It’s part of what makes collecting fun, right? Here’s the link for the Jazz Record Collector’s Bash in case you’d like to attend.
Sorry I haven’t posted all week. I have moved, once again, this time in the city and I’ve been quite busy, as you can imagine, packing and unpacking records. We have moved from one small place into another small place and decided to keep just one record cabinet with room for about 1,500 records. You can see it in the picture, and perhaps make out a record or two — I see Jackie McLean, Lights Out and also the Cecil Payne on Signal. Anyway, I had to go through the process of weeding out and deciding which records to keep in the apartment, and which to move to other locales. I decided to keep the collection in the city focused primarily on original pressings from the 1955 to 1970 era, and to weed out some of the vocals to make this portion of the collection more bop/hard-bop specific. I also had to remove some of the traditional artists, such as Louis Armstrong and Count Basie, in order to have enough room for the records I wanted to keep here. I also nixed the idea of organizing the records by label and continue to have them alphabetically by artist. This way I’m less compelled to keep around records and artists in which I have less interest, either musically or as collectibles. Anyway, I don’t want to get into all of that, just wanted to explain why I’ve been absent from my post and my posting at Jazz Collector. But I’m back now, ready to once again explore, unearth and expound upon the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of the Jazz Collector world.
Tags: Jazz Vinyl
Interesting article in The Wall Street Journal on Rudy Van Gelder, New Jersey Jazz Revolution. Here’s an interesting quote about Alfred Lion that kind of summarizes why Blue Note tends to be the more collectible label versus Prestige: ”Alfred was rigid about how he wanted Blue Note records to sound. But Bob Weinstock of Prestige was more easygoing, so I’d experiment on his dates and use what I learned on the Blue Note sessions.”
Jan 15, 2012 News
Have you seen the latest controversy? Musician Nicholas Payton is leading a movement to get rid of the word “jazz.” His argument is that the term “jazz” is racist and that deeply embedded societal oppression of black Americans necessitates a reclassification of the music. Check out this article: A Controversial Proposal Would Redefine Jazz. At one point in his blog or in a tweet Payton states: “The j-word is dead. It died in 1959. Those who celebrate it are worshipping a zombie.” Not exactly sure why Payton chose 1959. That was the year of Kind of Blue. Coltrane hadn’t even recorded any of his masterpieces on Impulse. Think of all the Blue Note records we all love and enjoy post-1959. Anyway. Payton advocates that the music we know of as “jazz” be reclassified as Black American Music. He uses the acronym BAM. Does this mean I have to change my site to BAM Collector? And sell my Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims and Tal Farlow records? Something about that doesn’t seem quite right. I’m sure this audience will have some opinions on the topic, no?
Dec 29, 2011 News
Now that Sonny Rollins has been honored by the Kennedy Center as one of the leading performing artists of our time, who would be the next jazz musician in line for the honor? One of the obvious ones, not based on his music as much as his contribution to reviving jazz commercially, would be Wynton Marsalis. He’ll get his eventually, but he’s a relatively young guy and should have to wait. Among musicians here are a few names to ponder: Horace Silver, Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter. To me, those are the most viable candidates. I would imagine Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea would also get consideration. None of them, in my eyes, is in the same category as Sonny Rollins but, to be fair, a few years ago the honor went to Benny Carter and I didn’t think he was worthy either. What do you think?
Dec 28, 2011 News
Did you watch the Kennedy Center Honors last night? It was great to see Sonny Rollins being recognized on national television and in front of the President and the world’s artistic community as one of the most important and influential artists of the past half -century. It was certainly moving and well deserved and, knowing how humble Sonny is, it must have been a tribute that he felt deeply. As I fan, I know I did. I had goose bumps just seeing Sonny up there.
Having said that, I found both the biographical tribute and the musical tribute to be really uninspired and disappointing. This was the one opportunity to explain to the country why, among all of the thousands of jazz musicians in the world, it was Sonny Rollins who was being honored on that stage. Even in just a couple of minutes with the opportunity Bill Cosby had in his introduction and in the video tribute, there was so much that could have been said that wasn’t. Here are some of the things I would have said:
Dec 22, 2011 News
One more reminder for our readers in the U.S.: The Kennedy Center Honors featuring the tribute to Sonny Rollins will be broadcast on Tuesday, Dec. 27, at 9 p.m. I’ll probably do one more reminder on the day of the broadcast. At one of the events, Sonny was toasted by Bill Clinton. I always figured that Sonny would have been honored while Clinton was President since he was a sax player would and have obviously known about Sonny’s importance in the history of jazz. But I don’t think the President actually has that much influence in who gets selected. In any case, Clinton clearly does know the music, as can been seen in the toast below:
Oct 11, 2011 News
If you’re in the New York metro area this week I can recommend a very interesting jazz-themed play for you to see called Central Avenue Breakdown. The play is a musical and it is affiliated with the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2011 and is only playing through Sunday at the Signature Theater on West 42nd Street. The story is centered on two jazz-playing brothers in Los Angeles in the mid-1940s, around the time of the birth of bebop. The older brother is a swing-oriented player, on tenor, and the younger brother plays alto and is influenced by the new music. The story touches on many themes and the jazz backdrop and the very strong playing by the band will make it a natural for the Jazz Collector audience. The music is all original by Kevin Ray, who is clearly quite talented, and, to my extreme pleasure, the depiction of the bebop sound was spot-on. They could have used real bop numbers such as Groovin’ High or Hot House but instead chose to use original music that accurately captured the sound. A special tip of the hat to the alto player, Mike Migliore, who was quite Bird-like while also being quite original within the bop medium. Most of the music is not bop, but is a cross section of sounds, from R+B to bop to scat to straight-ahead blues, with a couple of nice ballads thrown in as well. But when it bops, it really bops.
Sep 7, 2011 News
Good news for regular readers of Jazz Collector and for the jazz world at large. The Kennedy Center has announced its 2011 winners of the Kennedy Center Honors awards and guess what: Sonny Rollins is one of the five honorees! We say this is good news for Jazz Collector because we’ve been vocal advocates that Sonny needed to be honored as the greatest living jazz artist, and it’s so nice to see that we may have had even the most marginal of impacts just by mentioning it in the first place. It’s great for the jazz world because we will now get to see our music and, in particular, the music of Sonny, celebrated as a prime time television event for all to see. We’ll post more on this story as we let it all sink in, but we wanted to share the information just now, as we heard it. Congratulations to Sonny, of course, for an honor that is well-deserved and long overdue.
Mar 2, 2011 News
Thanks to Don-Lucky for the heads-up that Sonny Rollins is being awarded today with the National Medal of Arts — the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government. I am doubly pleased to see that Sonny is being honored along with James Taylor, one of my all time-favorite artists outside of the jazz sphere. On Sonny’s official Web site, this is what he had to say: “I’m very happy that jazz, the greatest American music, is being recognized through this honor, and I’m grateful to accept this award on behalf of the gods of our music.”
This is the citation read at the ceremony:
“Sonny Rollins for his contributions to American jazz music. Widely recognized as one of the most important and influential jazz musicians of the post-bebop era, Mr. Rollins’ melodic sensibilities, playing style, and solos have delighted audiences and influenced generations of musicians for over 50 years.”
Here are some details about the honor, as well as past jazz winners:
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Sep 10, 2010 News
I just did that post on Sonny Rollins a few moments ago and, in looking through the archives I found this piece bemoaning the fact that the Kennedy Center Honors last year once again failed to honor Sonny: Kennedy Center Honors: Where’s Sonny? So just for the hell of it, I went over to the site for the Kennedy Center Honors and it turns out they just announced this year’s recipients. And guess what? Still no Sonny. I, for one, believe this is an outrage. Sonny has not only been a leader and innovator in jazz for more than 60 years, he is a link to Bird and Dizzy and the bop era and he is still playing as well as ever. His influence is really unparalleled and he deserves the kind of broad recognition and acknowledgement that goes with this honor. The honorees this year are Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Merle Haggard, Jerry Herman and Bill T. Jones. Let’s see if we can somehow use the power of the Jazz Collector community to see if we can push for Sonny to be honored next year. I think this would be a worthy effort, don’t you?
Aug 17, 2010 News
CeeDee beat me to it, but there’s an interesting article in today’s New York Times: Great Jazz, Long Unheard, Is Rediscovered. It is the story of an audio engineer named William Savory, who recorded live radio broadcasts in the late 1930s. What is particularly compelling is that he used 12-inch and 16-inch disks and even used the 33-1/3 RPM format so he could record extended performances and solos that were much longer than the standard three minutes or so that were captured at the time on a 78. The music has been donated to the National Jazz Museum in Harlem and presumably will make its way to the public, although there are questions raised in the article about copyright and ownership. Among some of the performances mentioned are a live version of Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit” and a six-minute Coleman Hawkins solo on “Body and Soul” It’s worth a read. The article includes audio clips.
Jun 9, 2010 News
OK, in response to some of your suggestions, we’ve made a slight adjustment on the site. On the Reader Forum, the comments are listed with the most recent on top and the oldest below. This will simplify searches and make it easier for those of you using portable devices. On all of the other items, the comments will be listed sequentially, with the most recent on the bottom. This is to satisfy my belief that the comments flow better from top to bottom and, when read sequentially, help tell a bigger story than what I may have posted originally. We’re also looking into a Forum plug-in for WordPress, so if any of you have seen ones you like elsewhere, just let us know.
May 31, 2010 News
Before I get into my theory or theories on some of the lower prices on eBay for mid-tier collectibles, which I will do later this morning, let me inform you of a recent slight change we’ve made to the Jazz Collector site. After we started the Reader Forum a couple of months ago, we set up the site so that comments would appear in a different order, with the most recent on top. We did this to make it easier to use the Reader Forum without having to scroll through to the bottom. However, we spent some time on the site last night, just perusing old articles and it all seemed a bit out of synch and counter-intuitive. When you look at the articles, as well as the Reader Forum, there’s a certain flow wherein the order of the postings is part of telling the entire story. Anyway, we decided to go back to showing the comments in the order they were posted, top to bottom, the way it is handled on most Web sites. It may be a little bit more hassle reading the Reader Forum, but for me, as a reader, it enhances the overall storytelling.
Tags: Jazz Collector
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve heard anything new on the Nautiluso Jazz Vinyl Fraud. We’ll place a call into eBay after the holiday weekend to see if they have more information, but there has been no new feedback on Nautiluso and nothing from the Berlin police about any arrests. We imagine eBay would like to put this to rest and has probably paid off all of the victims. One of our readers and loyal commentators, Gregorious, was doing a blog entry on the fraud for The Our Stage Blog and asked us for some comments on the fraud. This is what we said:
“I’m always watching records for the Jazz Collector site. When I saw the group of records that Nautiluso had for that week I was pretty stunned: It was probably the best collection I’d ever seen in one week. I posted an item about it and immediately started getting comments and emails from collectors who
As Rudolf pointed out in a comment yesterday, Nautiluso, perpetrator of the Jazz Vinyl Fraud of 2009, is no longer a registered user on eBay, so the public information about him is slowly starting to disappear. There was a point at which he had a My World page, but that is gone. You can still see on eBay that he had been a member since June 8, 2003 – in Germany. Personally, I’m not sure he was ever based in Brazil: It’s likely he had an accomplice mail from a Brazil mailing address because he believed it would provide a safe haven. The thing about this guy is, for several years he was probably a legitimate seller and probably used his real name in communicating with customers. I will tell you the name he used: Thomas Lamprecht. If you had any dealings with him, please let us know. What’s also starting to disappear from eBay are
Tags: Jazz Vinyl Fraud
Here’s a quick update on the Nautiluso Fraud:
I contacted media relations at eBay on Monday with a bunch of questions. Still no response. I’ll follow up today. Still trying to find out if they are acknowledging a fraud, if they are pressing charges against the perpetrator and if they are consistently reimbursing victims.
There are two new instances of negative feedback on Nautiluso if you check out his profile here. These are from a classical buyer from the same auction. He was ripped off to the tune of about $3,400 and says on his feedback that eBay refunded his money. So far, everyone we’ve heard from directly has