Mingus, Big Maybelle and Other Points of Interest

We all appreciate knowledgeable dealers who understand what they’re selling and can provide us with insight about the collectibles market. Here’s an example: I was recently looking through eBay and saw a Charles Mingus record I had never seen before. The title is “Music Written For Monterey, 1965. Not Heard … Played In Its Entirety at UCLA,” East Coasting 12.001.

 The dealer offering this LP was Stereojacks, which I happen to know through my many travels to Boston.  Stereojacks is based in Cambridge and is one of the more reputable and knowledgeable dealers in the country. This is their explanation of the record: Read more

Goodbye, Elvin Jones

I was poring through eBay this morning, preparing today’s update, when my wife came into my office. “Did you see The Times?” she asked. “There’s an article that Coltrane’s drummer died.”

 It’s not surprising that The Times would refer to Elvin Jones as “Coltrane’s drummer.” That’s the way many of us came to find his music, on those great Atlantic and Impulse LPs of the early and mid 1960s. Jones’s contributions to Trane’s seminal quartet did more to influence the music than anything he might have accomplished before or since. Jones, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison – they all must have known at the time that Trane was taking them on explorations that were redefining the music.

 I turned to my record collection and searched for my favorite Elvin moments from that era. Two albums caught my eye: Africa/Brass, Impulse 6, about which, ironically, I wrote last week; and Coltrane Live at Birdland, Impulse 50. The live LP, particularly the track “Afro-Blue,” exemplifies the way in which Jones drove the quartet to places no other drummer of the era could have taken them. Here’s an excerpt from the original liner notes to this 1963 LP, courtesy of LeRoi Jones: Read more

Donald Byrd! Transition! $5! Wake Up!

I went to the country for a couple of days and stayed off eBay, cold turkey. I had no outward signs of withdrawal, but my wife swears I was up in the middle of the night screaming incoherently about missing a Donald Byrd record on Transition for $5. Anyway, I’m back and looking at some of the items I was watching over the weekend to see what I might have missed. Here are a few things that are catching my eye: Read more

For the Love of Vinyl

I often wonder why, for me, listening to jazz means putting on a record and not popping in a disc. I know I prefer the sound of the record, but I’m no audiophile and, to be honest, I’m not sure if given a blindfold test I would necessarily be able to tell the vinyl apart from the CD. My preference, as I’m sure it does for all record collectors, goes beyond the sound.

 There’s the tactile: The actual feel of the record and the placing of it on the turntable and the taking of the needle and the placing of the needle on the first groove. Read more

“Charlie Yardbirdaronee”

 

My friend Dan called the other day. He’d just bought a copy of “Slim’s Jam”, the original 78 on the Bel-Tone label, featuring one of Charlie Parker’s early recorded solos recorded in December 1945 when he was in Los Angeles. Dan paid 40 bucks on eBay for the 78. I don’t have a copy of the 78, but I do have the cut on the original Savoy 12-inch LP, The Genius of Charlie Parker, Savoy MG-12014, so I put it on. This is a classic, of course, featuring Slim Gaillard introducing each of the musicians in his own inimitable style: “Here comes Zutty in the door with his brushes . . . This is a fun, Jack McVouty and his tenor.” And, inevitably, “Charlie Yardbirdaroonee,” who, as we soon learn, was “ havin’ a little reed trouble.”

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In Search of Barney Kessel Clef EP

Yesterday we answered some questions from readers. Today we have a question we would like to throw out to the community and see if anyone else has the answer. We’re starting to get a little action on the forums, so if you have questions like these please put them there and we can start building a clearinghouse of information for collectors.

 

On to today’s question, from Pete aka “Bongo Pete the Drummer”:

 “Hello. I have for years owned a 45-RPM EP on Clef Records called Introducing Barney Kessel and have never found any info on it. I also own the 10-inch LP Barney Kessel Volume 1 on Contemporary, which mentions in the liner notes that it is Barney’s first album – but that’s what it says on the back of the Clef 45. I know Barney just passed away on the 6th of this month. Do you know anything about this Clef EP? Read more

Is That Bill Evans With Tony Scott?

Today we answer a couple of questions from readers and keep our ongoing eye on eBay.

 Q. It always drives me crazy when records don’t list all the musicians. I was recently listening to a copy of The Touch of Tony Scott on the RCA label. The pianist sounded like Bill Evans, but I wasn’t sure. Can you please tell me who is on this album?

A. Good ears. The pianist is Bill Evans, very early in his career. You can hear him very effectively on “Round Midnight.” The album was recorded by three different bands on three dates in 1956. Read more

Infinity Records on Long Island — A Favorite

Riffs

 

            Went to my favorite local record store the other day, Infinity Records on Long Island, and walked away with some nice things. Joey, the owner, always seems to be able to find nice jazz and he’s usually fair and reasonable with the prices. He also knows what he’s doing, unlike some dealers who rely on outmoded and outdated price guides and wind up dramatically overpricing records. Anyway, I hadn’t been to the store in a few weeks, so there was a lot of new stuff to choose from. Here are some of the morsels I bought: Read more

Interesting Quotes from ’50s Downbeat Issues

I couldn’t sleep again the other night so I went into my music room and started poring through the batch of 115 Downbeat and Metronome magazines I bought at the WFMU Record Show in New York last week. Most of the magazines are from the 1940s and 1950s, with a few Downbeats from the 1960s thrown in. I love these things because they give you a real view of the history of jazz as it was happening. I’m always surprised that so few people seem to be collecting the old magazines. It’s okay, because the prices are always reasonable and it would be nice if they stay that way. Anyway, over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some of the interesting items I find as I go through the magazines. Here are a few snippets: Read more

Our First Newsletter, May 9, 2004

Welcome to Jazz Collector. If you’re receiving this, then you’ve been selected for a free subscription to our daily email newsletter. For more information come to our web site at jazzcollector.com. Otherwise, please read on. Woke up in a generous mood this morning, so I delved into the collection and came up with an item to give away to a lucky subscriber.  Here it is: Gene Ammons, Live! In Chicago, Prestige 7495. This is an original 

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