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
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
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.”
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
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
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
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
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
Today we turn things over to some readers. We appreciate all of your letters and the great support we’re already getting from the community after just two weeks. If you sent us a note and we haven’t replied, it’s just because we’re a little overwhelmed right now. Here are some of the things our readers have shared with us:
“It’s great to read your newsletter. I feel the same way about my father as you do about being introduced to jazz. I was hearing jazz at my house as a kid way before I migrated to my generation’s rock music. I eventually came back to jazz I my 20s and have stayed there since. Read more
Missed out on a few interesting items the past few days. In some cases the prices got a little too rich for my blood, in others I forgot to bid. My friend recommends buying Sniper software, which I plan to do today. I’ll let you know how it works out. Anyway, it was a busy weekend on eBay for some high-end collectibles. Here are some examples.
Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225
This was an original pressing in M- condition, record and cover. Price: $787.
If you watch eBay very closely, your point of view can get distorted. Case in point: I look at this and wonder if the buyer got a bargain at $787. Here’s why: Last week the same item in virtually the same condition sold for $1,261. It’s hard to conceive of $787 for one record as a bargain, but the reality is that prices are set by the market, especially on eBay. Seeing this record sell twice in the past week breaks my heart. I had an original mint pressing of this LP, which I sold years ago for a fraction of these prices. I used the money partially to buy a boat. Two months later, the boat sank. To this day I’ve never been able to replace Quiet Kenny. Here are a few more examples of wild market swings. This weekend one dealer sold the following records for the following prices:
Dexter Gordon, Dexter Calling, Blue Note 4083. Record and cover were M-. Price: $395
Sonny Rollins, Moving Out, Prestige 7058. Also M-. Price: $295
Donald Byrd, The Cat Walk, Blue Note 4075. Also M-. Price: $325
Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. Also M-. Price: $510
Pretty hefty prices, right? Here’s what’s more remarkable: One of these was not an original pressing: The Rollins LP had the New Jersey label, not the New York label. Also of interest of the weekend: The very rare Jackie McLean record on Ad Lib was up for sale. The record was in G condition, the cover VG-. The bidding topped out at $588.75, but the record didn’t sell because it didn’t meet the dealer’s reserve price. This is another one of those records I sold years ago to buy that damn boat. Ugh! At Jazzcollector.com we keep an ongoing tally of collectible record prices on eBay. We update it at least once a week. Here’s a look at the latest prices. Here’s a look at the larger database.
Upcoming on eBay
There always seem to be items of interest on eBay. I fully believe that if you had enough money, time and interest, you could buy up the entire Blue Note and Prestige catalogues in near mint condition. Anyway, here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days:
John Coltrane, Giants Steps, Atlantic 1311. This is an original mono pressing with the bulls-eye logo. Last time I looked the price was $99. I recently bought a stereo copy with the bulls-eye logo for $50. This dealer also has a nice copy of Soultrain, Prestige 7142 and some other good items. After you look at Giant Steps click view seller’s other items to see what else he has.
The dealer who sold Quiet Kenny also has some interesting items this week. He sold a bunch of original Blue Notes and Prestiges last week, all in beautiful condition. His next auction this week is Hank Mobley, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. The start price is $850. After you look at this, also check out his other items.
Here are a few more upcoming items to whet your appetite:
Bud Powell, The Scene Changes, Blue Note 4009
Ray Draper, Tuba Sounds, Prestige 7096
Serge Chaloff, Complete Sessions, Mosaic 147
We can’t vouch for any of these dealers, but they all seem reputable and we’ve had successful dealings with some of them. In all cases, you should look and see what else they have for auction this week. It never hurts to look.