The Byrds is Coming

donald-byrdTraffic’s been a little light on Jazz Collector the past few days. In retrospect, perhaps the “When Your Smilin'” headline did not quite capture the zeitgeist of what is going on around here, and around the world. In any case, I have been able to return do eBay after a few days in a dark hole, figuratively of course, and I will once again look to jazz and my records for comfort and  safety and inspiration. This is a record I was watching with interest on eBay: Donald Byrd, Byrd in Paris Volume 1, Signature 1039. For some reason I had always thought of this as a MAJOR collectible, but I guess I was wrong. This copy was listed in VG+ condition for the record and the cover and, based on the seller’s more detailed description, this sounded reasonable. The record sold for $100. At first I thought the price was missing a zero, but then I went to Popsike and discovered that, while this was on the low side, it wasn’t completely unreasonable. Live and learn.

Then there was this weird Donald Byrd record:

Donald Byrd, Byrd’s Word, Savoy MG 12032. This was a sealed record. The seller is careful to say that it is “new sealed,” and doesn’t claim that it is original, which is nice, although he does say that he has reached his own conclusion but does not wish to share it. Experienced collectors will conclude that this is not a first pressing because of the way the cover sits with the white border, as well as the fact that they probably were not using shrink wrap when this record was first issued. To the community’s credit, there was not a bidding war for this record, just a single bidder at $89.99, who is probably very pleased to have a sealed copy of this record regardless of its provenance and, IMHO, will probably never even open it. Then, again . . . . on eBay I once purchased a sealed copy of Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre on Verve. I was 100% sure this was an MGM pressing based on the listing and the picture. One hundred percent. I bought it for like $20. I got it, opened it and, tada, it was an original trumpeter logo pressing. So, I guess, even when you are sure you know, you don’t always know.


  • I had no idea there were vintage domestic pressings of the Byrd In Paris sessions. Always assumed Brunswick (FR) was the only game in town.

  • Al, the Byrd in Paris was a re-listed auction. I won the lp the first time for 400. The seller had originally listed it as VG++ and based on his feedback I took a chance. Unfortunately, upon receiving the lp it was in VG condition with scratches that caused repitive ticking in spots. The cover also had a split that was not mentioned or pictured in the listing.
    To his credit, the seller was very friendly over the phone. He issued an immediate refund and seemed like a nice guy.
    I’m certain the bidding this time around was tempered by the fact it was relisted.
    It was regraded this time around as VG+ which was still overgraded.

  • I bought the Byrd in Paris LP not long ago for $50…VG cover with tape on seams but the vinyl was a nice clean EX.

  • BTW — I don’t have time to do a real post today because I have a lot of real work, but I was truly fortunate to see a new John Coltrane documentary last night in New York City. I will write about it the first chance I get, probably tomorrow morning. A great movie, and truly inspirational at a time like this. Keep an eye out.

  • Also, BTW — Any comments on the headline I wrote for this post? I kind of like it — not that I’m fishing for compliments or anything, it just kind of worked for me.

  • Love the headline Al!

  • Shouldn’t the verb be plural ‘are’ rather than singular ‘is’?
    Or perhaps “The Byrds be Coming?”

  • “The Byrds is coming” is a takeoff on the original advertising for the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Birds.” My assumption, Lennib, is that you are not old enough to remember. 🙂

  • That is one hell of a buy for Herb Ellis Meets Jimmy Giuffre!

  • Mr. Al sir, appy polly loggies (reference “A Clockwork Orange”) re implying an error in your headline. Didn’t mean to impugn your journalistic abilities nor editorial understanding.
    Having been born in June of 1952, “The Birds” could be part of my memory, as original issue of said movie occurred in 1963. And I am sure I saw such in a movie palace, for theatres in Chicago were such grand venues, with staircases and chandeliers, yet that was decades ago, another lifetime and thus I neglected to immediately pick up on your reference, hence my error in posting.
    I will refrain from causing such offense in the future.

  • Lennib — I remember when I was a kid — I was born in February 1953 — and the advertising for the movie came out — “THE BIRDS IS COMING.” I couldn’t believe how stupid they were. Don’t they know it is supposed to be “the Birds ARE coming?” I don’t think I really figured it out until many years later — Oh, that’s what they meant!
    BTW, I owe you all a post on this new Coltrane documentary. I need time to sit with it because it has had a profound impact on me. When I write about it, hopefully tomorrow, I want to do it well and express why it was so meaningful to me. If not tomorrow, definitely sometime this week. Promise.

  • What is the name of this Coltrane documentary?

  • “Chasing trane”

  • Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary. It is not out yet in general release. I saw it at DOC NYC, the New York Documentary Film Festival. Here’s a trailer:

  • Alright so I know this is way out of the jazz collector era, but did any of you guys see this incredible find? I know it went for over £1000 but that doesn’t seem much for this!

  • Lennib — just curious. Are you, like me, an aficionado of the miraculous Damon Runyon? I detect a familiar lilt that I, too, have attempted to embrace through the years, albeit with a mere modicum of success.

  • Never saw the advertisement for The Birds but have seen the movie — not in a while, however. It’s a wild one.

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    Rob, thanks for sharing that! The sound clip sounded fantastic even just on mobile headphones, so I can only imagine how it would sound on a nice system. Definitely a one of a kind item, very cool. This past summer I found that “Knee Drops” 78 and others at a thrift store, best thrift find to date

  • Can’t wait to see that Coltrane documentary! Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Aaron
    I have thebritish parlophone 78, pressed from the master in the early 40s, and also the louis hot jazz classics 4 78 album that I think has it on, but that really is a stunning item isn’t it? I love 78s and have recently put some jazz ones on, and other stuff in the listening room at

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