Checking Out the Avant-garde Jazz Listings on eBay

s-l1600It looks like it may be a banner week for avant-garde and free jazz auctions, at least if you take a look at the chunk of nice records that sometime JC poster nobbyknucks has on offer. I’ve got my watch on several of these titles but would not be surprised if I come away empty handed (not that I need any more records in a cramped Brooklyn apartment, mind you).

First up is this fine trio date led by saxophonist Byard Lancaster, Us, with drummer Steve McCall and bassist Sylvain Marc, on the French label Palm. The LP is listed in NM- condition and the cover VG- (although apparently it’s just an unglued Euro sleeve which, pasted back together, would probably be a VG+). It also includes the funky 7″ in NM- condition as well. I’ve been trying to get a copy for years and usually it’s held at around $250, though given the fact that with just under a day to go it’s already at $207, I’d have a hard time believing it won’t do serious wallet damage. It is one of the tougher records to find on Palm, which was the label run by French pianist-composer and bandleader Jef Gilson.

The auction for bassist Henry Grimes’ The Call, recorded in 1965 and his only leader date until resurfacing out in LA in the early 2000s, has me a bit perplexed. It’s a wonderful album with clarinetist Perry Robinson and drummer Tom Price, part of the famed early ESP run (the money ran out sometime in 1968), and it appears to be a 1970s pressing with an alternate label design. Normally I would think a record like this would run you about $40; however, this VG+/VG+ copy is holding tight at $111, and I’d be surprised if there isn’t a little bit of insanity in the final moments driving it even higher.

Reedist Peter Brötzmann’s Machine Gun is a classic German free jazz session, an example of which should be in every home in America… or at least those homes that appreciate rather dense improvised music. It was originally issued on Peter’s own BRÖ imprint in 1968-69, apparently in two pressings (one with a top-loading sleeve, the other with a normal side-loading sleeve). FMP reissued it in 1972 and there were several FMP editions into the late 1980s. The copy on auction here is probably a first FMP, so third pressing, and is also priced at $111, though that’ll probably change by Monday afternoon. The vinyl is listed in NM condition and the matte cover looks to be about a VG+ to VG++ with some wear. I’ve got a clean later FMP copy and am holding out for a crisp original BRÖ. Maybe the Mrs. Clifford will find one for my Christmas present this year?

I’m proud to own a copy of Opium/For Franz, a collaboration between Austrian trumpeter-composer Franz Köglmann and the great American trumpeter-composer Bill Dixon. Privately released on Köglmann’s own Pipe label, each copy has a different hand-painted sleeve and is signed on the back by Mr. Köglmann (the one I acquired has a bit of newspaper glued onto it, giving a collage-like effect). It’s a beautiful album from a musical perspective as well as visually, and this is a pretty fine example on offer… $90 doesn’t seem too bad for a NM copy with a VG++ cover, but who knows what the final price will be.

As always, happy collecting and happier listening!


  • Gregory the Fish

    i actually happened to score the copy of “music is the healing force of the universe” from nobby for what seems to me a fair price.

  • I have all of the Palm albums that I want, and that does not include “us”. I had a pretty nice copy many years ago but sold it because I don’t think it’s that amazing; I found the 7″ was the most interesting and was content with the reissue 7″. I just relistened to the LP on my hard drive(recorded it before selling of course) and my opinion remains. A decent session but not worth the dough IMO.

    I sold my copy of “opium” to Mats Gustafsson many years ago; I do sort of regret that one even though I enjoy “flaps” more from a musical perspective.

  • @Mark is the 7″ reissue still available to purchase online by any chance?

  • Sorry have no idea! Bought it when it came out…

  • The piece “For Franz” is amazing — Köglmann, Dixon, Silva, Steve Horenstein and Walter Muhammad Malli. I would say it’s more Dixonian than Köglmann-esque (for obvious reasons) — had the bittersweet treat of seeing it performed at Dixon’s memorial service by Horenstein, Ken Filiano, Warren Smith and Stephen Haynes in 2010.

    Pretty much every Lancaster session is a little on the rough side, but there’s something about him that is intriguing nonetheless. I did “win” the record somehow.

    I am almost surprised that the copy of Nation Time didn’t do more damage than $511 although it was “only” VG+ and didn’t have the sick hype sticker.

  • I still rue the day I passed on a NM Palm Vendemaire original of “funny funky rib crib” for $200 🙁

    I had just bought the reissue upon release and came across the original literally weeks later so was still in the “reissue good enough” mindset haha…

  • Clifford Allen

    Yeah, actually got Funny Funky pretty cheap — it’s a very good record.

  • Sellers alert: EBay now charging a 10% final value fee on funds received for postage and shipping.

  • Rudolf, thanks for the post
    I’m hip to the fees. Sold a copy of Gryces’s New Jazz lp for $115.00 plus $4.00 for shipping; eBay took $11.50 for record fee and $.40 for shipping fee. This merde doesn’t include what Paypal’ll take. Methinks selling on eBay is over for me.
    Anybody want that New York Art Quartet Call It Art box set from Triple Point Records? #501 of 665, unopened unplayed unheard(by me). $266.00 plus $15.00 for shipping. Or make offer. Lists around $350.00.
    I’m not a huge volume seller on eBay, however this being nickel’d and dime’d is getting old.

  • Rudolf. They’ve been doing this for quite some time. Pay pal too.

  • Don’t think it was always a flat 10% like it is now. However, i’m wrong on most matters so this may be no different

  • Clifford Allen

    I have the NYAQ but someone should grab at that price.

  • Bill/Lennib: Paypal I knew, there is some logic in it, commission on received funds, but EBay’s behaviour like vultures
    I already noticed that shipment from the US to Europe, used to be around $ 15, creeping up to $ 20 – 25. Sellers are including the extra commissions and the obligatory tracking crap.

  • Rudolf, I agree re behavior. This taking from funds specified for postage borders on illegality. If my postage costs is $3.30 say, and I charge that and then eBay and Paypal take out a chunk, I’m losing money on shipping.
    That’s why sellers almost have to charge more than the exact postage in order not to lose money on shipping. .

  • Also the New York art 4tet Call it Art is listed on eBay,( I know, but i’d like to sell it to buy some sax stuff and eBay is what it is).
    I’m seller bsidechi.
    Price reduced to $225.00 or best offer.

  • Forgot to add, if you’re interested in that box set, let me know via this network and we can do it off eBay via Paypal friends and family which means you send the money for free and I get all the money you send.

  • lennib: we are in absolute agreement, but what does it change? They are out there making the laws and if you don’t like it, go elsewhere.

    I have a practical question which is totally unrelated, but concerns EBay. I sold a record and the buyer gave me reasons why he wants to return it. I agreed and pushed the “accept return” button. Therafter I found an arrangement with the buyer that he would keep the record and receive a partial refund. Now the problem arises that due to the started return procedure the funds are blocked, so I cannot give a partial refund and we cannot get out of the deadlock of the return process. We are blocked and the binary system of help and assistance does not provide any opening. Do you have ideas?

  • Yes, they are the sheriff in town and if you don’t like it, leave. Which I’m most likely doing.
    Re return, help from eBay is a misnomer. I’ve been there and the only thing I could do was work with the buyer and instead of having them actually return the record, I stated via the system that the record was received and then all the funds went back to the buyer. They then returned money to me after the agreed upon partial refund was taken out. This works only if there is a level of trust, I had sold to this buyer for several years.
    In your case, I think the dominoes have begun to fall and you have to go through the process

  • Gregory the Fish

    in my experience, if you call eBay and speak to a person they can fix this for you. it would be in their interest, since they will keep some money on your new deal.

  • NYAQ set sold

  • lennib/GtF: thank you both for your input

  • Hey, guys, I have a copy of Marcus Belgrave’s Gemini for sale up on ebay right now, if anyone’s interested

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