This is one of our favorite records: Benny Golson, The Modern Touch, Riverside 256. It is a very nice sextet recording from 1957 with an all-star lineup: Kenny Dorham on trumpet; Golson on tenor; JJ Johnson on trombone; Wynton Kelly on piano; Paul Chambers on bass, Max Roach on drums. Love Dorham’s playing on this LP, JJ as well, and the arrangements are solid. It’s also one of those records on which both sides are equally good and listenable. We highly recommend it and we know we are going to keep it in our collection. The issue, however, is this: We have both an original pressing of this record on Riverside as well as a reissue on Jazzland: Reunion, Jazzland 85. The reissue is in a little bit better condition and, to be honest, they both sound about the same to us on our equipment. So which to keep, the one in better condition or the original?
This is one that is quite similar to the Seldon Powell Roost jazz vinyl LP we put up yesterday: Paul Gonsalves, Cookin’, Argo 626. It is also a quite rare and collectible record in nice condition by a tenor player who is excellent but not quite in the same category as the greats. This is also a record that has sold for more than $200 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. As well, it is a record for which we have no particular attachment: We purchased it a couple of years ago as part of a small collection. This has a price tag on it and it also has a better cover than the Seldon Powell: An action picture of Gonsalves and the “Daddy-O Presents” tag, which makes it quite interesting. Nice package and a nice record.
Here’s the record: Seldon Powell Sextet, Roost 2220. We had this one in a pile to sell. Why: Well, we have no personal attachment to the record, can’t even remember when or where we bought it. We had never listened to it despite owning it for several years. Seldon Powell is a nice tenor player, but, face it, he’s not Sonny Rollins or John Coltrane. The sidemen are good, but nothing special: Jimmy Cleveland, Freddie Green, Aaron Bell, Roland Hanna, Osie and Gus Johnson. Most importantly, this is a record that is quite collectible and could fetch a fair price. In the Jazz Collector Price Guide we’ve seen it sell for more than $200. So, we put it on the turntable this morning with the expectation that we would most likely be selling this record on eBay. So, what’s the verdict?
When people ask me about my record collection or even my taste in jazz, I often kid around and tell them it ends in 1964. There is quite a bit of truth in that, however. My taste generally runs to bop and post-bop and, as I’m getting older, I’m finding it going more backwards into mainstream jazz than towards anything current. Anyway, this is a roundabout way of saying I recently picked up a bunch of albums on the Impulse label and am in the throes of deciding what to keep and what to sell. I put this one on the turntable yesterday: Archie Shepp, Fire Music, Impulse 86. It seemed promising: A 1965 LP with tracks such as Prelude to a Kiss and The Girl From Ipanema. The record is in beautiful condition and I’m sure it is a classic of its genre. But
We were cleaning this record yesterday to put it up on eBay: The Chico Hamilton Quintet With Strings Attached, Warner Brothers 1245. It is an original pressing in pretty nice condition. It was in a pile of records to sell. It was not one I was even considering keeping, so it wasn’t even going to get a mention in the Jazz Vinyl Countdown. Then I looked at the liner notes, where it mentions a “newcomer” on reeds by the name of Eric Dolphy. I had forgotten about Dolphy getting started with Hamilton. Anyway, I decided to give this record a second chance. I put it on the turntable. Quite interesting Dolphy — he plays mostly straight, but you can absolutely hear the direction he will head towards in the next few years. So, after listening to several tracks, what’s the verdict?
Here’s an interesting test: With this winnowing down of the jazz vinyl collection, are we still a collector or have we morphed into something else — perhaps a dealer-slash-collector-slash-aficionado or something other equally endearing term? Well, we have two copies of this pretty rare 10-inch record: Jay McShann, Kansas City Memories, Decca 5503. This record is noteworthy because it is the first studio recording of one Charles Christopher Parker Jr. Bird’s solos on The Jumpin’ Blues and (especially) Hootie Blues usher in a new era in jazz. It doesn’t get any better than that, does it? Both of our copies of this record are in pretty nice condition, but one of them has a bonus feature: An autograph on the back by
We were watching this record carefully on eBay: Ike Quebec, It Might As Well Be Spring, Blue Note 4105. It was an original pressing in M- condition, both the record and the cover. It sold for $276, which is about as high a price as we’ve seen for one of the Ike Quebec LPs on Blue Note. We figured perhaps it would be a good time to sell our copy as well. Turns out, we don’t have a copy. We have three other Ike Quebec Blue Notes: Blue And Sentimental, Blue Note 4098; Heavy Soul, Blue Note 4093; and Soul Samba, Blue Note 4114. Anyway, we figured we’d try one out and see if it will make the cut as we reduce our collection to 1,000 records. The one we chose is Heavy Soul, figuring this was the least likely to stay, since the rhythm section
Okay, this was a close one: Jackie McLean, 4, 5 and 6, Prestige 7048. I’ve had a copy of this in my collection forever, an original New York pressing. I probably listened to it once when I first got it. Someone had placed about 10 stamps on the back cover: “Club Soulville.” I recently saw a copy on eBay — VG on the vinyl, VG+ on the cover. For $60 or so, I was able to get it for a nice cover upgrade and get rid of Club Soulville. This morning I got up real early and took a look at both records, figuring now was the time to figure which one to sell. Quite unfortunately, they both looked quite marked up. The one I bought on eBay was not really a VG, it was more like a VG-, with lots of marks. The one I had in my collection — the Club Soulville copy — didn’t look that much better. Could it be that I would be in a position to get rid of both copies? Alas, thank goodness for the heavy vinyl on
This is one I had on the to-get-rid-of list for sure. I’ve owned a mint copy for 25 or so years and never listened to it. I found a second copy and put it on eBay last night. In order to list it on eBay I finally put it on the turntable. You know what? I’m selling the one on eBay and keeping the one in my collection. This is quite a nice record, Serge was some player and the bari version of Body and Soul is certainly worth the price of admission. Now I’ve got to give a second listen to Blue Serge before I get any thoughts about getting rid of that one as well. That may be harder to keep, since it is now selling for several hundred dollars in today’s market. I’m hoping that during the course of this process I’ll discover music that’s been sitting around the collection for awhile. I had the same experience with
As you may expect, the whole idea of permanently and arbitrarily shrinking my record collection, which has taken close to 40 years to accumulate, is causing quite a bit of trauma around here, around here being inside my very guts. So, if you’ll excuse me, I will ease into the process over the next few days before undertaking any gut-wrenching decisions. Therefore I shall start with one of my all-time favorite records: John Coltrane, Settin’ the Pace, Prestige 7213. This is a great record, probably my second favorite of all the Coltrane Prestiges (right behind Soultrane). The first “Arthur Schwartz” side, with the amazing ballad “I See Your Face Before Me” and the incredible “If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You” is all-time great Trane. The challenge is not deciding whether to keep this record for a collection of 1,000 — if the collection were to be shrunk to 20 records, this would probably still make the cut. The question is merely