Perusing Jazz Vinyl on eBay

Was perusing eBay this morning, taking a break from my real work, and these are some of items I stumbled upon:

Coleman Hawkins, The Hawk Flies High, Riverside 233. From my experience, we don’t see too many Coleman Hawkins records garnering collectible prices these days. We only have a few mentions of Hawk in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. So I was surprised to see that the bidding for this record had already surpassed $150, closing later today. I was surprised again to see that the record was not an original pressing — it has the blue label as opposed to the white label. It is in nice condition, however, M- for the cover and the record.

This record was closing just as I was perusing, not that I would have bid on it: Charlie Mariano With His Jazz Group, Imperial 3006. This was an original 10-inch pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It was sitting at $95 with three minutes left and wound up selling for $180. It also had more than 150 page views, which surprised me. Glad that people are still interested in 10-inch Charlie Mariano records.

Here’s a record that’s not graded and the description says that it plays great with minor surface noise in spots. No mention of the condition of the cover: Everybody Digs Bill Evans, Riverside 291. The auction is closing later today and the bidding is in the $150 range. For me, I’d rather have a little more information before plunking down $150 or more sight unseen for a record.


  • Hi Al, it’s two times the Mariano-link, so there’s no accurate link to the Evans record.

  • The Coleman Hawkins is not even a first pressing. It is a second pressing, blue label. Great music in any version though.

  • Mosaic is releasing a Hawkins set soon that I plan on getting that will fill my knowledge gap on pre-50s Hawkins. I definately dig most of what I’ve heard, but lack any knowledge of Hawkins from his “prime” in the 30s where he was such a major influence on so many tenor players.
    My favorite Hawkins album is “Sonny meets Hawk” but to me Paul Bley steals the show here. Also I’m constantly fascinated by the interplay between Sonny and Hawk which is really strange in a good way. It feels sometimes like Sonny is showing off for his idol almost and Sonny was in such an interesting place musically.
    I’d love to hear others opinions about Hawk and there favorite albums of his.

  • Mike F,
    I can’t help you too much about Coleman Hawkins pre-50’s. The earliest I have is a JATP, “The Coleman Hawkins Set”, great stuff but not well recorded.
    If you can, try to hear “Accent On Tenor”, Urania 41201,”Timeless Jazz”, Jazztone 1201 (my favorite), or “Think Deep”, Riverside 3049.
    None of these does justice to his in-person performances, often with Roy Eldridge. When he got going, he could ad-lib chorus after chorus, as I saw him do once with 13 choruses of “Poor
    Butterfly”, sometimes imitating the styles of other tenormen.
    Eldridge went over and sat down at a nearby table during the show.
    That’s one reason to love jazz.

  • Hawkins had a long career and a remarkably long prime. The Mosaic set should take care of the highlights from the pre-war era. John has mentioned some good ones as well. He recorded some of the first bop sides with Monk and Fats Navarro. They are wonderful and easily available in many forms. His 50’s and 60’s output was also extraordinarily good. Almost any title on Verve but particularly the ones with Roy Eldridge (there are two different versions of the same album; one in mono and the other in stereo) or Ben Webster. On Prestige, and their related labels, everything is worth hearing, especially At Ease, Night Hawk, and With Red Garland. He did two albums for Crown with Thad Jones that are excellent. His Impulse records are spotty but Today And Now with Tommy Flanagan is a classic. My personal favorite is on Felsted, called The High And Mighty Hawk with the tune Bird Of Prey Blues. And don’t pass on the Capitol sides with Howard McGhee. Hawkins left us with quite a remarkable ouvre.

  • Looking forward to the Mosaic.
    I see that elke-isa-szabo continues to get high prices for his records, and his descriptions still claim that “if you want pristine records, look elsewhere.” As a potential bidder/buyer, that concerns me. Has anyone here had any experience with his records and their condition? I would expect them to be overgraded…

  • Thanks everyone for there recommendations. I think I’ll start with the Verve Eldridge work and go from there. The album I have with Hawkins that I wasn’t very impressed with was “Today and Now” on Impulse. The only music of his that I have thought was just okay and no better. I like “Wrapped Tight” and don’t really remember “Desfinado”. I have it somewhere.
    I’m looking more forward to the Mosaic Hawkins than anything they’ve done in a year or so. Sometimes they put out boxes where I have the majority of the stuff, and can’t justify buying it for a few tracks. The Hawkins(like the great Ellington box last year, and Armstrong the year before). Putting out boxes of music that was originally on 78 fills my jazz education gaps and gives me tons of nice music.

  • re: elke-isa-szabo
    I’m not sure if I have ever purchased anything from him but I think that he may take some of the best photos of covers around. I look at his auctions and without reading the description I say, “I want that now!”.

  • I have bought numerous LPs from elke-isa-szabo and have been very happy.

  • I love Hawk’s work on ‘Monk’s Music.’ It is neat to hear the contrast between his playing and Coltrane’s on the same classic album.

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