A Monk Autograph (and More)

Monk copySo what are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay as we head into what promises to be a lovely weekend as autumn sets in here in the Northeast region of the U.S. of A.? Let’s start with a little Monk: Thelonious Monk, At the Blackhawk, Riverside 323. This looks to be an original pressing with several unique characteristics. For one, it ostensibly comes from the collection of the jazz pianist Frank Strazzeri, who passed away a few months ago. More importantly, the record contains an autograph by Monk, signed on a separate piece of paper and attached to the record by scotch tape. Given the provenance you would think it would be perfectly legitimate, but not being an autograph expert, I leave that to others to debate and discuss. Don Lucky, are you out there? This one has two punch holes on the cover, and the vinyl is listed in VG++ condition by Atomic Records, which, in my experience, is one of the more reputable sellers on eBay. The current price is in the $400 range and there are more than two days left on the auction.

Speaking of Monk, there is:

The Unique Thelonious Monk, Riverside 209. This is an original white label pressing with the original photograph cover. The record is probably in the VG++ range. The seller calls it M-, but then says that the audio is Ex. Seems to me that the audio is slightly more important than the appearance of the record. The cover is listed as M-, straight-ahead with no explanations. This one has less than a day to go on the auction and is also close to $400.

Here’s one that’s new to me: Starring Zoot Sims, London Ducretet-Thomson D-93099. This is a 10-inch record issued in the U.K., featuring Jon Eardley and Henri Renaud. A quick Google search confirms that the record has been reissued in CD format, but what about vinyl? Can anyone tell us? This copy is in M- condition for the record and cover and has a start price of $300 with no takers, so far.



  • The seller of the Unique Monk knows how to list records; many clear photos, proper detailed listings. That’s how you do it.

  • the Zoot Sims on Ducretet-Thomsonalbum was originally issued in Paris as a 10″ album. Simultaneously Ducretet-Thomson in London also issued the album, also in 10″ format. I have never seen or heard of any later vinyl re-issue.

  • M- for the cover of The Unique Thelonious Monk? I don’t think so, look at the marking pen used to cover the wear on the bottom seam!

  • The Zoot Sims 10″ was reissued in Japan a few years ago, but with the original French sleeve: http://www.popsike.com/ZOOT-SIMS-Ducretet-Thomson-HENRI-RENAUD-10Reissue-JPN/250995813476.html

  • There is an original French pressing on ebay at the moment too, by the way: http://www.benl.ebay.be/itm/Zoot-Sims-henri-Renaud-ULTRA-RARE-10-DUCRETET-THOMSON-250-V-023-1956-/171470463760?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item27ec6fa310

    At 900 USD in VG- condition I doubt it will sell, though.

  • Yes, You can sometimes get lucky.
    I found a beautiful copy of The Unique Thelonious Monk, with White Riverside Label, some four years ago at a Sally Anne for $1.99

    That will not happen again…….

  • Lander: thank you for this info re Zoot. Your contributions gives rise to two questions;
    -is a facsimile issue a re-issue or a non-defined strange animal, which does not belong in any category?
    -is a simultaneous original issue in another country a re-issue or an original (cf. Prestige and Esquire)?

  • to me, the first issue the country of origin is the original.

    fascimile issues are proper reissues.

    that’s my two cents.

  • @Rudolf:

    In my opinion, a ‘foreign’ issue that is released at the same time as the domestic issue is an original pressing. (For example: When I sell records, I use the term ‘Dutch original’ for eg a 1950s Fontana pressing of Miles’ Kind Of Blue, as this record was released at the same time as the US first pressing). Anything that is issued later is a reissue, even if it’s a facsimile issue.
    This article from two weeks back notes the difference between a repress and a reissue: http://waxtimes.com/repress-reissue-and-remaster-explained/

  • Lander: I am of your opinion that a simultaneous European issue of a US recording is to be considered an original. Your Fontana example is a good illustration. (Die Philips jongens in Baarn leverden overigens voortreffelijk werk.)
    I appreciate though that an American would look at this differently and consider an outlandish pressing to be a re-issue by definition.
    Any later pressings, of course, incl. facsimile, are re-issues.

  • Well, it looks like I am late to the party on this as usual Al !!! That Thelonious Monk autograph looks legit to me, and I would have definitely tossed in a bid if I had caught it sooner. Too busy working on my listen room here at home this weekend… Not to mention the fact that a local record shop has recently undergone a phenomenal renovation, and in the process, doubled in size by expanding into the store next to them. Vinyl is definitely making a come back now, in an age of downsizing retail music chains… But I digress. That Thelonious autograph went for a song !

  • I am not familiar with the value of autographs but would it be worth more if it was placed directly on the cover, not on the attached piece of paper? I believe signed photographs / artwork fetch for higher prices than usual signatures on blank paper?

  • That Zoot looks cool. I’ve never had either pressing though was familiar with the French version. I actually like the look of the UK pressing a bit more.

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