In Appreciation of Bill Evans

Bill evans jazz vinylI’ve been on a bit of a Bill Evans tangent recently. If you’re going to be on a tangent, you could do a lot worse. I’ve been listening to a lot of Evans, mostly the Riverside records,  and then I also put on Kind of Blue the other night and I recall thinking to myself that, in many ways, Kind of Blue sounds in some places more like an Evans album than a Miles album. I know there’s always been a bit of controversy about who actually wrote Blue In Green, but all it takes is a cursory listen to hear that it seems more Evans than Miles. Anyway, I’m not looking to open up old wounds or start new controversies. But I want to do two things: 1. Point you all to this very interesting article on the Influence of Evans, The Bill Evans Legacy, by Doug Ramsey in The Wall Street Journal the other day. It’s nice that his genius remains recognized and appreciated and still discussed in the mainstream media. 2: I wanted to post the great recording of My Foolish Heart from Waltz for Debby, just because I love it and wanted to share it with a bunch of my friends. So, enjoy:

A Boxed Set, An Autographed LP, a Mega-Rarity

Stan Getz copyDon’t see a lot of Stan Getz records in the higher price ranges, and we’re seeing fewer Norgrans in there as well, so I have my eye on this one: Stan Getz at the Shrine, Norgran 2000. This is a boxed set with two LPs and a beautiful booklet and all of it looks to be in M- condition and original, with the yellow labels on the vinyl. The bidding is in the $240 range and there are more than three days left on the auction.

Here’s another one you’re not going to see too often: An autographed copy of Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Riverside 315. The Bill Evans signature is on the back cover and it is dated from 1974. The record is an original pressing with the deep grooves and blue label and it seems to be in about VG++ condition for the vinyl and VG+ for the record. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is in the $150 range with 13 bids and what looks to be eight different bidders. Wouldn’t mind this one myself. Hmm — birthday is coming up.

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Now Here’s a Rare Jazz Record

Clark copyHere’s something I would love to hear and own: Bill Evans Acetate, US Army Dance Band Jazz 1951. This seems to be a legitimate recording of Bill Evans in 1951. The problem for me is that the start price is $1,000 and that seems too high unless I planned to do something with it, like transfer it to digital and make it available for broader consumption. I would be willing to do that, but not at that price. It makes me think that we should form some sort of non-profit Jazz Collector collective to acquire some of these rare items to share and preserve them. If you recall, there was also a very rare J.R. Monterose recording  of him as a teenager that we had an opportunity to acquire, as well as a recent Dizzy Gillespie concert and I’m sure many others.

This seller has some interesting items, including Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This looks to be an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover. The bidding is in the $450 range and there are still two days to go on the auction. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $3,000 on many occasions in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. One of the things I find interesting about this auction is

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Top 5 Live Albums From The Jazz Collector Era?

sarah copyI was lying in bed at about 3:30 in the morning unable to sleep so I put some nice ballad music on my iTunes and the song “Detour Ahead” came on from the Sarah Vaughan album After Hours At the London House and I thought to myself, gee, that is one of my favorite live albums of all time. It’s great music and there’s those outtakes on “Thanks for the Memory” and the whole concept was quite unusual, setting up a live recording date at a club in the wee small hours of the morning and inviting other musicians who had finished up their gigs to make up a large portion of the audience. And then, still unable to sleep, my mind started racing through its database of jazz records to come up with my favorite live recordings and the next thing I know it’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m still not asleep. But at least I have an interesting post for Jazz Collector, and that is my list of favorite live jazz albums. I decided to take the Sarah record off the list and just concentrate on instrumental records. Perhaps I’ll do the vocals at a later date. Meanwhile, I offer for your perusal:

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Miles Way Ahead

milesHere’s an interesting one I seemed to miss: Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, Columbia 1041. This is an original pressing but that’s not what makes it interesting. On the back cover are six signatures: Miles Davis, Julian” Cannonball” Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers. The signatures are all in blue ballpoint pen. The seller admittedly had no idea of the provenance of the signatures or whether they were legitimate. Seems that he picked up the record at a yard sale or estate sale.  The cover was probably in VG+ condition with a seam split on the bottom. There were 39 bids on the item and in the last hour it went from about $2,000 to its final price of $3,100.99. Imagine if the signatures aren’t legitimate? Or, on the other hand, imagine what this would have fetched if the signatures were 100% verified. I do have a question, however. Why would Jimmy Cobb sign his name “Jimmie Cobb?” Are there other circumstances where he went by Jimmie, as opposed to Jimmy or, as on Kind of Blue, James Cobb?

Back on eBay, Finally

bill evansCatching up on a few remnant items on my watch list, then will plow forward with some records that are on auction this week, which is also the week of the WFMU Record Fair, which is where I will be on Friday and Friday only.

Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original white-label promo copy listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The seller’s description made it seem as if he undergraded the condition, but, as a bidder, I would trust the actual grade over the description. So, if you trust the grading, the VG+ promo copy of Waltz for Debby was a $1,025 record.

Duke Pearson, Profile, Blue Note 4022. This looked to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, ears, Van Gelder. The record and the cover both appeared to be in VG++ condition. The final price was $366. Given what we’ve seen in the market lately, does that seem a little low.

Here’s another Blue Note of the same time frame:

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Yet Another Jazz Vinyl Porpourri

Bud Powell jazz recordHere are updates on some of the jazz records we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Piano Interpretations by Bud Powell, Norgran 1077. I was watching this because I’m getting the sense that Norgrans are being devalued a bit, but then I realized this was not an original pressing. Oh well. Watching it anyway. This one has the black label, whereas an original would have the yellow label. This one looked to be in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $79. It does have quite a lovely David Stone Martin cover.

Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets Volume 1, ABC Paramount 122. Is it really necessary to label this is Volume 1, since there was never a Volume 2, 3, 4 or any other number? This one looked to be in VG+ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $364.

Sonny Clark Trio, Blue Note 1579. This is the one

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Shopping eBay For Rare Jazz Vinyl

Bill evans jazz vinylHere are some of the jazz records we are watching on eBay as we enter a new week at Jazz Collector, starting with Bill Evans, New Jazz Conceptions, Riverside 223. This is an original pressing with the first cover and the white labels. The seller has his own grading system. Based on what he says, I would guess that the vinyl is in VG++ condition and the cover is VG or VG+ with cutout holes through the center of the cover and the label. Not an attractive feature, as we all know. This one closes later today and the bidding is in the $340 range. We may have discussed this already here, but does anyone out there know why Riverside changed the cover so early on this one, as well as on the Thelonious Monk Plays Ellington album? Both went from covers with very cool pictures to less appealing (IMHO) illustrations.

Art Blakey Quintet, A Night At Birdland Volume 1, Blue Note 5037. This is an original 10-inch pressing listed in excellent condition for the record and the cover. The buyer says “search your life you won’t find a nicer copy.” Fortunately, I just have to search my shelves for one. I also Read more

A “Rare” Evans And Really Rare Blue Notes

bill evansCeeDee is back with another missive under the subject “Bob dj strikes again!!!!!” Attached is a link to the following record: Bill Evans, Trio 64, Verve 8578. This was an original stereo pressing. It has never really fetched collectible prices, being a later Verve and pretty readily available for many years. It is a terrific record, however, one of my personal favorites among the Evans trio records. This one happened to sell for $153.50, due, of course, to whatever black magic it is that bobjdukic uses to get higher prices than anyone else selling jazz vinyl in eBay. The record was in M- condition and the cover was listed as VG++. Point of fact, for those of you interested: When I write about bobjdukic auctions, which I do just as a matter of course, the traffic on Jazz Collector tends to spike a bit. Why do you think that is?

I imagine Mr. Djukic would have liked to be selling this one: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is already at $3,100 and there’s still nearly 20 hours to go. Wow.

This one also fetched quite a nice price:

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A Random Assortment of Jazz Vinyl

eddie costaHere are a few more jazz records we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Duke Ellington & John Coltrane, Impulse 30. This was an original white label promo copy listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover, although it would be hard to tell from the main picture accompanying the listing. When selling on eBay, always strive for a nice clear picture. Although this one failed in that regard, it didn’t fail to achieve a nice collectible price, which was $316.

This is one I actually bid on: Eddie Costa, Guys and Dolls Like Vibes, Coral 57230. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. I own the record, so why did I bid on it? Well . . . it was sitting with no bids with three hours left on the auction and a start price of just $10. The seller didn’t include the important information that Bill Evans is the pianist on this record, which adds to its value and, more importantly, adds to its musical quality, which, of course, is excellent. A really nice record and for my bid of $20, what would be so bad having two copies? Read more

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