Modern Art Treated Like Modern Art

Art Pepper Jazz Vinyl copyHere’s an interesting one: Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This looks to be an original pressing. The seller says it is in VG+ condition, but he also mentions that it has “many light scratches and marks.” What’s interesting is that the seller states the cover has been “restored” by a company called Fourth Cone Restoration in Los Angeles. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a jazz record that had been professionally restored, as if it were a rare painting. Given the value of some of these records, it’s really not a bad idea, is it? I’d love to somehow see the before and after, but, alas, I can’t see me bidding on this record, even though I don’t own an original pressing. The “many light scratches and marks” has danger written all over it. The start price for this record is in the $500 range and so far there are no bidders. One other point: The seller calls this a 1951 pressing. Is that possibly true? I didn’t think they were making 12-inch vinyl in 1951, except for that one Bird promotional record on Dial.

While we’re on the subject . . . .This is one of the records from The Jazz Record Center Auction: The Return of Art Pepper, Jazz West 10. This is an original pressing that is probably in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is in the $250 range.

Jackie McLean, Lights Out, Prestige 7035. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. The record is listed in VG+ condition and the cover is VG, although the picture looks quite nice on the listing. The seller says he hasn’t been able to listen to the record but that the record is “returnable” if the buyer is not satisfied with how it plays. We assume returnable is synonymous with refundable, right? The start price is $345 and so far there are no bidders.



  • discogs lists the pepper release year as 1954. interesting. perhaps it was RECORDED in 1951? or was previously released on 10-inch? beats me.

  • AS far as your general comments about 12″ vinyl, Columbia released several of these in 1951: the earliest was Benny Goodman Combos. Also, there were several 12″ LP’s of Bessie Smith released in 1951

  • Modern Art: the album was recorded during sessions in 1956 & 1957. On the back slick it says COPYRIGHT 1951 by INTRO RECORDS, INC. Which is impossible, as the material was recorded 1956/57. Mis-print on the cover?

  • sleeves matter more and more, since the music is available anyway. To be efficient the sleeve restoration centre should be next door.
    Re Modern Art, definitely mid-fifties. 1951 was in his pre-Discovery period.

  • I think it’s likely that the 1951 date refers to Intro Records incorporation date

  • I’ve often wondered how restoration affects the value of an LP. I’ve had several rare covers restored by Jaime Mendez Restoration in CA (cleaning, color touch-up, corner and edge repair, etc.). He does astoundingly precise work at a reasonable price. Paintings and movie posters are often restored without depreciation of value. Why not covers, as long as it is disclosed to the potential buyer? I’m not bothered by it personally.

  • Jeff: how would he repair a seam split?

  • He uses acid free paper stock that is selected based on weight and texture, and repairs the split meticulously, gluing in the paper. He then airbrushes the seam to blend in color.

  • Anybody know of anyone in New York who does this kind of work? I’d love to check it out.

  • Jeff: very interesting. I am afraid this side of the pond, this craft nowhere to be found.

  • Rudolf, i think any decent book restoring workshop in europe should do the trick. Maybe without airbrush. I would even rather do without airbrush, as i couldn’t say how it stands the time or maybe affects the other materials. I have pondered the idea frequently, but i guess a thorough restoring of a cover will cost so much, it will only be reasonable with top-tier collectables.

  • Jeff: I went to the Mendez repair site and I could imagine sending over a box of sleeves for repair and having it returned with “as new” copies. I am tempted to ask for a quote.

  • You just never know about those surface scratches. I bought an old Pacific Jazz Chet Baker at a recent record show for $2. The dealer sold it to me so cheap because the record had so many scuffs and marks, but when I got home and cleaned it up and played it, it sounded remarkably good. I was very surprised. On the other hand, I’ve bought records that look great on the surface, but when played, the record sounded poor. So sometimes, one can not tell by visual alone. The proof is in the listening.

  • Rudolf: I’ve never been disappointed with Jaime’s restoration work, and his prices are more than fair. I’ve even had him remove a black Sharpie “X” mark on a cream-labeled 45, and retouch with airbrushing. I could not tell there had been a mark on the label, and the color match was exact. He is that good. Best approach is to email him high resolution photos of the item you want restored. He’ll provide an estimate. It may take a few months for the return, so be patient. He does work for Christies (the auction house), so he stays pretty busy.

  • Al: I learned of Jaime’s work from the proprietor of Fab 4 Collectibles, a top tier Beatles collectibles dealer in NY. You might give Thomas Vanghele a call. You think vintage jazz LPs are expensive? Take a look at some of Thomas’ prices.

  • Jeff: I asked for a quote at Jaime’s and will let you know. A book repair shop is a good suggestion too. I know a lady who repairs vintage books and she is 1 1/2 hours drive from here. Might try that as well.

  • Thanks for the recommendation Jeff. I sent Jaime my sleeve for Jutta Hipp with Zoot. It has a split spine. He says he can fix it. I cant wait to see. I will report back

  • Hi Mike, if you don’t mind me asking what was the ballpark estimate for something like that? Trying to determine if this is something I should explore as well.

  • 150 but the split is pretty bad and he is going to fix the chipping.

  • I got a quote of $ 125 for the repair of a 4″ seam split on a 12″ sleeve.

  • Mike, Rudolf: In my experience, Jaime will also look at any glaring issues when he has the cover in hand, and will give you the option to fix. He takes great pride in his work, and wants each client to be satisfied. I hope it works out well for you both.

  • My recent history of Jazz:West and Intro has all of the details regarding this release.

  • Coming late to this discussion, just found the site. I believe that Earl is correct. Leo and Eddie Mesner launched the Intro label in mid 1951 to promote hillbilly and western artists, strictly single releases on 78 rpm. The Mesners resurrected the Intro imprint in 1957 when Don Clark was hired as A&R to continue the jazz program that Herb Kimmel started with his Jazz:West imprint. The original Modern Art on Intro (ILP-606) fetches high prices for mint copies, and the same could be said for the recycled Modern Art on Score (SLP-4030).

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