Are you guys familiar with the Web site Wolfgang’s Vault? Among other things, they purchase the rights to older concerts and make them available for downloads (for a price) or just for a listen while you’re online. I mention them because they have acquired rights to a bunch of concerts from the Newport Jazz Festival and have posted a couple of dozen on the site already. As I type this I am listening to the Horace Silver Quintet playing Sister Sadie from July 3, 1959. The clarity of the recording is fantastic. They also have Dizzy, Monk, The MJQ, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Oscar Peterson and others from the same concert. I’ve listened to some of the Monk and some of the Blakey (“Moanin'”) and the sound quality was equally good. This is definitely worth your time to check out.
It’s been more than a month since the now-famous — or perhaps infamous — auction from the seller Nautiluso. I use the words famous and infamous quite loosely, of course, but it was certainly a major topic here in our limited world of Jazz Collector. Anyway, there is no feedback yet from this auction. None, zero, nil. I reached out this morning to someone who knows someone who knows someone who won a record and the record has not yet arrived. Hmmmm. I know many of you were suspicious in the first place and I’m sure this information does nothing to dispel the whiff of fraud you perhaps had scented in the air. If anyone in our audience has first-hand knowledge of anything — a record that arrived, or a record that clearly didn’t arrive — please let us know. At some point, if there’s no information forthcoming, we will contact eBay directly and see what they may have to say about it. For those of you new to the site and unaware of this auction, just type “Nautiluso” in the search bar at the top right of the page and you’ll be able to see all of the articles and comments dating back to our first post on the topic from October 5.
I don’t get out to see live jazz nearly as much as I would like. It’s tough when most of your favorite musicians are dead. Someone did send me a link, however, to let me know that Sonny Rollins is giving a concert in Tarrytown, NY, on Dec. 6. This is one I will make every effort to attend: Don’t know how many more chances there will be to see Sonny and, the truth is, his playing is still amazing. I saw him at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival a couple of years ago and he was creative, inventive and full of energy and musicianship. This is a benefit concert for an environmental group and for a premium ticket of $500 you get to meet Sonny. There was a time when you could see Sonny in a club and just chat
So there’s more on the big auction last week by the seller Nautiluso: The buyer who left the negative feedback yesterday? He has rescinded the negative feedback. His exact comment is: “Seller now agrees to accept Pay Pal. Emails appear to be legitimate.” It will be interesting to see what happens and whether the buyers are happy with the condition of their records. I will say that there is a strong tendency in the community to suspect fraud: In addition to what appeared on the Jazz Collector site, I received a few emails from people quite skeptical that this auction was for real. My personal feeling was to give the seller the benefit of the doubt, based on the fact that he
Remember that monster jazz vinyl collection last week from that seller in South America/Germany? Remember all of those records that sold for more than $1,000, some for more than $3,000? Remember all of the comments from Jazz Collector readers expressing skepticism? One of the buyers from this auction has expressed negative feedback on the eBay Feedback Forum. The crux of his complaint is that he received emails of questionable origin and the buyer was asking for a bank check as opposed to Pay Pal. This doesn’t mean the records don’t exist or that winning bidders won’t get what they paid for. But it certainly raises a red flag. We would love to hear from other winners from this auction about their experiences. We generally shy away from allowing readers to use this site to comment on buyers or sellers — we don’t want it to be a place for the airing of personal grudges — but this is one time when we do want to hear about what is going on.
If you were to honor one living jazz musician for his lifetime contributions to the music who would it be? To me, the answer is simple: Sonny Rollins. He is one of the all-time greats, a constant innovator, a true master. So I was a bit disappointed again this morning to see that the Kennedy Center, which honors individuals for their contributions to the American performing arts, had once again chosen not to recognize Sonny. They did choose a jazz musician this year, and a deserving one, in Dave Brubeck. But to choose Brubeck over Rollins is, to me, a real stretch. I looked up the list of prior winners and out of 168 previous honorees there were eight who could be considered jazz musicians, or at least jazz-affiliated musicians. The awards were first issued in 1978 and the honoree must be living, so that precluded such likely honorees
News travels so fast these days: I go on Facebook and there are notes from a bunch of people that Les Paul has died. He was not a great jazzman, but he was an innovator and certainly influential. Now that I convinced my friend Dan Axelrod to write something about Tal Farlow, I will ask him to do something about Les Paul, because I know he has a few personal stories.