Tracking Obscure Jazz Vinyl on eBay

_12Greetings, fellow jazz collectors. It’s been a while since I’ve popped in other than the occasional comment, I guess, though most of my buying lately has been in shops, through friends, or on Discogs. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few sellers on Discogs that have been exceedingly accurate and fair, which has resulted in adding a number of nice items to the racks that I never thought I’d see. That said, a significant aspect of this site is tracking jazz vinyl on eBay from the classic era, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a couple of things.

As my collecting interests have generally been shifting to the other side of the pond(s) over the years, even in mainstream jazz, things like this record tend to be of interest. Moseholm directed the Radiojazzgruppen in Copenhagen, which performed weekly workshop broadcasts and occasionally toured elsewhere in Europe. The music was generally composed by members of the group and others in the local Copenhagen jazz scene – for example, trumpeters Hugh Steinmetz and Palle Mikkelborg, or reedist Sahib Shihab. This, their second LP for the Danish Debut imprint, was listed as VG for the vinyl and VG+ for the cover and one has to assume that the record itself was pretty well used (especially considering that Debut pressings aren’t the highest quality). It’s a very rare album in any condition and hopefully the buyer was satisfied at $350.

Speaking of Sahib Shihab, the same seller also had a copy of the reedist’s excellent Debut LP, Sahib’s Jazz Party, on offer. However, this was a bit of a mongrel with a Dutch Fontana cover (the original Debut had a sticker over the Fontana logo) and vinyl from a late 1960s German reissue, which was retitled Conversations. My assumption is that somebody had a nice cover with a broken or destroyed record and a coverless copy of the German pressing and mated them together. Nevertheless, with the vinyl in M- condition and the cover in VG++, the seller got a cool $710. I guess my Japanese repress will have to do.

One of my favorite US jazz records from the late 1960s is the second LP under tenor saxophonist Marzette Watts’ leadership. A student of trumpeter-composer Bill Dixon, Watts was also an abstract painter and later a recording engineer for many loft-jazz sessions in the 1970s. Dixon produced The Marzette Watts Ensemble for Savoy and conducted a rendition of his “Octobersong” that starts off the LP. The rest of the album features spirited small-group playing, not too ‘free,’ and a gorgeous version of “Lonely Woman” with lyrics written and sung by Patty Waters. Our friend nobbyknucks had one listed in M- condition for the record and VG– for the beautiful textured cover, which netted $315.

Hopefully everyone is finding records of interest out there and, just as importantly, squirrelling away time to listen to them!

28 comments

  • It isn’t an old album but I picked up Winds and Skins by Sabu and Sahib, from a 1978 radio broadcast and released on cd and vinyl in 2008. Very heady mixture of percussion with flute, sax, and even electronic sax. Its short but Im very pleased by the album.

  • Ah, nice — I’ll have to be on the lookout for that one. I have the Sawano reissue of the Shihab/Radiojazzgruppen LP, which is nice, the UK Youngblood pressing of “Seeds,” the Rearward reissue of the Vogue “Jazz Joint” set, and a Japanese Overseas version of the Storyville album, “Sentiments.” For some reason I’ve never had his Savoy record, but the others are superb.

  • Talking of Shihab – Sawano did a great job with their Danish Radio Jazz Group Oktav LP reissue. Don’t think I’ll ever get to see an original of that one in any condition.

  • The Marzette title is indeed nice; I scored my copy around 10-15 years ago in a trade and it’s in absolute pristine condition. I had found a rare electronic record for $50 that I got about $1000 in trade value for! Unfortunately finds like that do not happen as often for me these days…but they sure helped me in my early days of collecting.

  • @Mark — yeah, that kind of situation is rarer now indeed. I think I got mine around ten years ago as well.

    @sidewinder — haven’t seen an original Oktav of that Shihab in real life, though I guess it comes up on eBay from time to time. They can’t have made more than a couple hundred in the first place, and even the reissue is fairly limited if memory serves…

  • Clifford, good to hear from you again. I appreciate the fresh leads on great jazz.

  • The Palle Mikkelborg “Mysterious Korona” with the Radiojazzgruppen on the danish Debut label is also very interested.

  • Is incredible $710 for the Sihab’s Conversations reisssue with the original cover of the Shahib’ s Jazz Party

  • I agree, Joaquim!

  • I have bought one original Fontana dutch pressing of the Shahib’ s Party three years ago in NM condition for 350€.

  • I have some high end records right now that I don’t want to place on eBay due to the fees they charge. I actually don’t even want to post them on Discogs either…Do you guys know anyone who is interested in Hank Mobley 2nd Message. First press, NM- (Record / VG++ (Cover).

  • jason, i certainly am!

    email trout (at) susqu (dot) edu.

  • Hi Jason, I’m interested in what you have, too…if Gregory didn’t already snatch up that Mobley!

    Email me at david (at) immaterial (dot) net

  • On the subject of European records I recently came across several Dutch original Impulse! LP’s. They have the first pressing Impulse! jackets, but the labels are Philips hi-fi. Has anyone else come across these? I assume they are first Dutch pressings. Impulse! must have sent the jackets overseas, but Philips pressed the records locally. Sound is first rate.
    On the subject of Sahib Shihab I don’t think he ever made a less than stellar record. Ditto for the Kenny Clarke- Francy Boland Big Band of whom Shihab was an important member.

  • Seems correct to me. I know that Philips/Fontana also manufactured Riverside albums from the same period, though in some instances the jacket art was different.

  • That’s funny: I live Holland but I’ve never seen a Dutch Impulse!/Philips pressing!
    Dutch or English Riverside pressings are more common. Some of them, e.g. Waltz For Debby, sound MUCH better than the original American pressings…

  • Yeah, I saw a Dutch Philips of the Sonny Stitt “Now!” LP in the bins once and was intrigued. It certainly had a glossy US gatefold jacket. Unfortunately the record was trashed, otherwise I would’ve picked it up for the cost of $5 or so.

  • Hey David – I tried to email you but it bounced back undeliverable. do you have another email address?

  • Hi Jason,
    Would be interested in Mobley’s 2nd Message too, if it is still available…
    My email address is dejong.p.a@planet.nl …just in case…
    Regards,
    Peter

  • On the subject of non bluenote lps, Jazz Record Center has a new auction on yaBe of nice avant items

  • Anybody else see that Wolfgang’s Vault is putting up the inventory they bought from Jazz Record Mart’s closing?

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    I have a handful of the made in Holland, Philips Impulse LPs. They sound great as a second option, and I don’t mind having them around because the jackets are the same as the US version.

    My Philips of Mingus x5 (stereo) was acquired cheaply and sounds excellent despite not being a van gelder mastering. I wonder what tapes they shipped over to cut the lacquers

  • yeah, that JRC auction has some nice bits. There’s one I’m watching; all the others I have and can recommend!

  • Hi Jason try me at dharleyserlin (at) geemail. Thanks.

  • Hey folks – I sent you guys an email on the list of current LPs I have available. take a look and let me know what you think.

  • Hi Jason, I’ll jump in to the bidding pool! Please email me at andyecon@gmail.com

    Thanks,
    Andy

  • I guess there’s interest in a NM- of Mobley 2nd Message…but no willingness to take the plunge into the depths of $1,000 for it. If there is, you can always reach out to me at hulenje (at) gmail (dot) com

  • Hi, I have an original copy of Poll Winner 59, Bent Axen, Allan Botschinsky, Bjarne Rostvold and Erik Moseholm, Fona-klubben LPJ 416. I don’t believe in such thing as Mint but this copy is to the best of my ability Near Mint ++ – like new in cover and vinyl – which means of cause NO (for this record notorious) bubbles in the vinyl at all.
    I also got Eric Dolphy in Europe, Vol. 2, 1965, Prestige 7350 (with Bent Axen, jorn Elniff and Erik Moseholm). Cover VG+ – Vinyl NM+. As well as the Eric Dolphy in Europe, Volume 3, 1965, Prestige 7366 Still sealed. I have reasons to believe that not any of these records have ever been played.
    If the price is right I might sell these amongst others – rare Coltrane, Bill Evans, Monk…

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