Strange Hank Mobley Peckin’ Time Activity?

s-l1600Michel pointed this one out in the comments on the latest Duke Jordan 10″ thread and I’ll admit to being similarly confused by it: Hank Mobley Peckin’ Time. From the looks of the label, it does seem like the deep groove was somehow hand-carved. I’ve never seen one look this sloppy, certainly not when you’re talking about an imprint of a record-stamping machine, though I guess it’s possible. The RVG is hand-etched, where according to Cohen’s book it should be stamped. The dead wax also has some other weird scratched-out etchings. The labels themselves are worn but do look ‘correct’ from my point of view, and the cover looks right as well (though admittedly I’ve never held an original Peckin’ Time to compare). The LP is graded about a VG+ and the cover M-. I can’t imagine someone goofing around and making their own deep groove on, say, a Japanese reissue record (which should have a registration mark anyway) and sliding it in an original cover, but stranger things have happened – in fact, the world of psych and garage bootlegs is full of this kind of stuff. This seller, Vinyl House, also got five figures for a BN 1568 not all that long ago, though it was apparently worked out in a ‘trade.’ There’s something fishy going on here, in any event.

For comparison, I’ve found an example of what an original Peckin’ Time LP should look like in the following sale, though keep in mind that it’s for a record without a cover and someone is trying to flog it for $3,000+.

Now, this record is clearly an original, though $500 is a lot of money to part with for an LP and cover in VG condition at best: Sonny Clark Cool Struttin’. By now it’s been pretty well documented that clean originals of this album can go for some serious change, around ten times what this went for on a good day, so maybe $500 is a steal? I’ve bought a few avant-garde jazz LPs from this seller, cityvillerecords, and they’ve all been very conservatively graded so if it were my money I’d at least know that the seller is trustworthy, but a VG record, even a nearly sixty-year-old one, is still a VG.

Records are a strange business to be in.

Quickie Quiz

One of our readers poses a question on the previous post about the Blue Note sessions on which John Coltrane appears. He lists Blue Train, Johnny Griffin’s A Blowing Session, Whims of Chambers and Sonny’s Crib. That’s all I can think of as well. That’s not the quiz. The quiz is this: On how many Blue Note sessions does Cannonball Adderley appear?

Quickie Quiz

This is a complete non-sequitor from what we mostly do here these days . . . but, I was in my storage unit the other day and I noticed a box full of old magazines I hadn’t looked at in years and I stuck them in the car and drove them up to the country and now, when I am supposed to be working, I am looking at old magazines and procrastinating. And I came to this Downbeat from December 1967 and on the cover was the announcement of the Jazzman of the Year. And I thought to myself, hmm, if you would have given me 20 guesses I would have never come up with that name. So, I will put it out there to all of you in the Jazz Collector audience. Want to guess who Downbeat named as its 1967 Jazzman of the Year? No peeking: We are on the honor system here.

Quickie Quiz

I’m listening to an old Prestige LP now and I’m reading the liner notes and it talks about the artist having been an inspector of blueprints at a Sperry gyroscope factory. I may have known this at one time, but at this stage I’ve probably forgotten more than I remember. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to who this is?

Favorite Jazz Ballad Vocal Performances?

I was sitting on the porch at my lakehouse with the lovely Mrs. JC yesterday afternoon and we were listing to a playlist I had made for my iPod of various ballad performances. Yes, I do have an iPod and other various digital devices and I do not only listen to music playing on a turntable, although that is always the preferred method when available. Anyway, as we were listening, one of the tracks was “Jim” from the Sarah Vaughan album with Clifford Brown, Emarcy 36004. I mentioned quite randomly that many jazz fans and jazz collectors consider this track to be one of the greatest jazz vocal ballad performances of all time. I’m not sure where I came up with that information, but it was definitely lodged in my brain somewhere: Perhaps there was a vote somewhere, or perhaps it had just come up in late night discussion over a few beverages. Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting topic for a lazy weekday afternoon in August, so I’m throwing it out there for the Jazz Collector community. Favorite jazz ballad vocal performances. Okay, go!

What Makes a Collectible a Collectible?

In another post (A Visit To A Record Store, Part 2), Jan poses an interesting question, addressed to experienced and serious collectors: What do you consider to be collectible and how do you decide if a second pressing of a record is collectible or not?

I am not, I must admit, among the most serious of collectors. I know this sounds odd coming from the guy who writes about jazz records every day, pores over eBay listings to decide which records to put in the Price Guide and writes articles under the headline “Confessions of a Vinyl Addict.”

However, and this gets to Jan’s point: The copy of Saxophone Colossus in my collection is a Bergenfield, N.J. pressing. Same with Tenor Madness. I have the Bergenfield copies, they are in great condition, they have yellow labels, this is enough for me. I have the music in an early pressing, it sounds great, I’m OK. Would I like a New York pressing of both of these records? Yes. Would I ever obsess about it? No. Would I ever pay the going rate on eBay for them? Not a chance.

The people I’ve always considered to be “serious collectors” wouldn’t accept these second pressings and are constantly hunting for the original pressings and would not be content with anything but an original. I do think, however, things are changing and the

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More Blue Note: Another Exception

The Blue Note information provided by Larry Cohn has been invaluable and yet, it seems, there is always more to learn. We noticed this tidbit in a posting by Fred Cohen at the Jazz Record Center, which has a new auction on eBay this week: Wayne Shorter, Adams Apple, Blue Note 8232. This is listed as an original mono pressing with the Liberty label. Under normal circumstances you would expect this to be a New York USA label, based on the catalogue number. However, Fred points out

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Blue Note Deep Groove: All You Need To Know

Last week one of our readers asked about deep grooves and flat edges. Another reader reached out to the Blue Note expert Larry Cohn for the answers. Last week we posted the answer about the Blue Note flat edge LPs. Here is Larry’s response on the deep groove. Thanks to Larry for being so generous with the information and to Don-Lucky for reaching out.

“Put simply, there were special dies attached to the pressing machine, that held down the stampers for Side A and Side B during manufacturing.  These dies traditionally cut the deep groove into the label during a pressing.  In 1961 new dies were created that were more streamlined, holding down the stampers in place but putting the mere slight indentation into the label – what we see on modern pressings and call NO DG.

“These parts were interchangeable and compatible with the machines, so for the period

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Blue Note Flat Edge: All You Need To Know

We have the full, complete, unassailable answer to all questions about Blue Note and the flat edge, thanks to the Blue Note expert Larry Cohn and Don-Lucky for reaching out to Larry. We will also be posting Larry’s comments on the deep groove as well. Here’s the information on the flat edge:

“Here’s some information on the Edges/Rims. The change from Flat Rim (aka Flat Edge) to Safety Lip occurred in 1957. It was in response to new industry standards, occasioned by the popularity of automatic changers, whereby disks were routinely stacked and would fall on each other, the way we recall handling 45rpm disks. To lessen the damage to the LPs, the Safety Lip, also called a Groove Guard by one of the companies, was created at the edge of each side of the disk to keep the actual surfaces of the two disks from touching each other when they came into horizontal contact. It also protected the needle, since

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