A Brief Adventure

Monk Jazz VinylI had another one of those fortunate coincidences yesterday that sometimes seem to cause some sort of envy around here, but which I shall share nonetheless. So I am up at my home in The Berkshires, and The Lovely Mrs. JC works in Manhattan and sometimes she takes the train up and I meet her at the station in Hudson, N.Y., about an hour from our home. And yesterday she was arriving at 6:30 but I decided to leave a bit early because there is a major construction project along the way and I didn’t want to be delayed, anxious to see her and all that. But there was no traffic and I made it to Hudson with about 15 minutes to spare and I know that there’s a record store in Hudson and as I was driving past it I figured, OK, if I can find a parking spot in front, I’ll go in. And there, of course, was a spot right in front, so it was no hassle. Now, I’ve been to this store several times before and I have never purchased anything. They have come vintage jazz and their prices are fair, but they aren’t bargain prices by any means. Except . . . So I’m going through the bins and the first interesting item is a Milt Hinton original pressing on Bethlehem. And I don’t own this particular record and the price is $50, which is about what you would expect, but just because I don’t own this record doesn’t mean I have to own it, so I look at it, put it back and move forward. Then I come upon this record: Thelonious Monk, Monk, Prestige 7053. And I see the price is $25, so I figure it must be an OJC pressing or it must really be in poor condition. I mean, if the store owner knows enough to charge $50 for the Milt Hinton record, you would figure he knows enough not to charge $25 for an original pressing of Thelonious Monk, Monk, Prestige 7053, which of course is not just a great record featuring Monk and Sonny Rollins, but it is also a record with cover art that is partly the work of Andy Warhol, which adds quite immensely to its value. So I pull out the record without any great expectations and the cover is in not such great shape, but not very bad either, something I would rate as VG+ without much hesitation. Then I pull out the record and, to my great surprise and pleasure, it is an original pressing with the yellow label and the New York address. And the light is not very good in this particular store, but I hold the record at all sorts of angles and I can’t see any marks or scratches, and certainly not anything resembling a mar that would cause the record to be priced at $25. So I resisted the urge to jump up and down and scream and I casually walked over to the counter and handed over the record and my credit card and chatted briefly with the co-owner and walked out with quite a prized possession in my hand. Best of all, somehow, someway, I had never owned an original copy of this record. I’m really not sure how it eluded me all of these years, but it is now on my turntable, and it sounds absolutely perfect. And I am quite pleased that the lovely Mrs. JC took the train to Hudson, and I left a little bit early to get her, and I found a parking spot right in front of the record store.

8 comments

  • Nice score, I would love to have that record on my shelf (especially at that price!) but a heads up that that is a second pressing, the original has a photo of Monk on the cover. I actually prefer the second Warhol cover myself.

  • Gregory The Fish

    now that is a nice record. cheers!

  • ahhhhh i know the store you speak of. i used to frequent it way back. was good for psych obscurities. the owner is an odd but nice fellow who used to let me behind the counter and dig through unsorted 45s. glad you did well though.

  • Nicely done. That’s why it pays to always comb through the stores. It happens!

  • one has got to be on the right spot at the right moment. Well done and congrats.

  • Wow! That’s a fantastic score.

  • Purple with envy, BUT: even though it’s that sought after Warhol version, I have to rain on your parade just a little bit, Al, ’cause did you know that this is not the first pressing of that title? (Unless I’m massively wrong).

    I have one and you can see all the photos of my copy by clicking HERE.

    It is my understanding that the copy that I have was the first one; the one with the Warhol, therefore, must be a 2nd pressing. And since we’re all chasing first pressings, I’m a little less purple with envy now 😀

  • Nice find! These days record store are pretty bad. Usually overpriced junk, at least in Chicago. The exception here is Dusty Groove which is a great store. My best find ever was in about 1986 when I found Sonny Rollins Plus Four and his Tenor Madness lp each priced at $10 at Jazz Record Mart. They were in solid NM condition with the yellow NY label. I’m sure that the owner Bob Koester wasn’t the one who priced these!

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