A Potpourri of LPs

I went away for the long Memorial Day weekend and didn’t look at eBay for three days. Here are some of the things I missed:

 

Howard McGhee, Music From The Connection, Felsted 7512. This was in nice condition and sold for more than $1,000.

 

Benny Carter, Cosmopolite, Norgran 1070. This was an original yellow label copy, autographed by Carter and, according to the dealer, directly from Carter’s own collection. A nice collectible, indeed. Read more

Happy Birthday, Miles Davis

In my haste to keep an eye on eBay this week, I somehow missed Miles Davis’ birthday, which was Tuesday. He would have been 78. Here are some random riffs on Miles. You’re all welcome to share your thoughts.

Here’s the thing about Miles. He was a great musician, a true pioneer and innovator. He produced some of the finest music of the 20th Century and discovered and nurtured many of jazz’s best musicians. But even more than that, Miles may have been the coolest man who ever lived. I don’t say that lightly, for there is perhaps no quality I admire more than cool.

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Filling in Some Blanks

As we go through records preparing to sell them on eBay, we always seem to find a few that fail to list the accompanying musicians. When this happens, we go through our source material to try to fill in the blanks. Among the resources we use most often are The Jazz Discography by Tom Lord, which we have on CD-ROM; various Internet sites, such as The All Music Guide; plus several discographies we have in our collection, including those for Blue Note, Savoy, Prestige, Verve, Clef and Norgran.

Whenever we find this information we will post it on the Website. So here are some of our recent findings: Read more

Grading Records

Many dealers, including our partner AJ Doctor, use the Goldmine Grading Guide as a guideline to grading records. Goldmine is a biweekly record collectors magazine in the United States that also publishes price guides. The following is an excerpt from their Grading Guide:

 Mint (M): Absolutely perfect in every way – certainly never played, possibly even still sealed. Should be used sparingly as a grade, if at all.

 Near Mint (NM or M-): A nearly perfect record. Many dealers won’t give a grade higher than this implying (perhaps correctly) that no record is ever truly perfect. The record should show no obvious signs of wear. An LP jacket should have no creases, folds, seam splits or any other noticeable similar defect. No cut-out holes either. And of course, the same should be true of any other inserts, such as posters, Read more

Signed LPs By Phil Woods, Tal Farlow

Today we’ll spend a little time watching eBay.

Here are some of the interesting items from the past couple of days. I especially like the LPs autographed by Woods and Farlow, not just because of the signatures, which are cool, but also because the records seem to be in nice condition.

 Phil Woods, Warm Woods, Epic 3436, in M- condition and autographed by Woods. Price: $395

 Tal Farlow, Fascinatin’ Rhythm, Verve 8011, in M- condition and autographed by Tal. Price: $149.95

 Here’s another interesting guitar collectible. I know there are stories out there about Dick Garcia, so maybe one of our guitar collectors can help us out. We have a Guitar Corner section in the Forums section of the Website, but so far the traffic’s been pretty light. Read more

Remembering Elvin Jones

Today we turn things over to some readers. The death of Elvin Jones inspired a couple of people to write: “The loss of Elvin Jones is indeed a blow to the jazz world.  I feel lucky to have seen him for the first time in Minneapolis last fall.  I was downtown and, to my surprise, The Dakota, formerly a St. Paul jazz club, had opened a club right on Nicollet Mall, just a few blocks from my hotel.  I thought they were expanding. As it turned out, they had moved their location.  To my surprise, the Grand Opening act was Elvin Jones and The Jazz Machine.   Being a swing drummer, Elvin was not at the top of my list of influences, but I knew enough to know that if I ever wanted to see him, this was the time.   Read more

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

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