This will be fun. Last night I had another one of those very pleasant listening sessions up in The Berkshires, fueled by a few beers, a few vapes and the knowledge that I could play my music as loud and late as I pleased with no neighbors or anyone else to complain. I was watching politics on television as I do so often these days, taking particular delight in the latest polls showing that the blowhard, maniac, crazy man at the top of the Republic ticket is in steep decline and, IMHO, may not even make it to election day without having some kind of collapse/mental breakdown, if, indeed, we could even tell the difference between a nervous breakdown and the behavior he exhibits every single day on the campaign trail. After a couple of hours of this I had enough and decided to enjoy some music. Read more
So, back in the Bronx, I had a pile of about 50 records. Of the records in that pile there were probably about 10 that I really wanted. But I sensed that the woman wanted to get rid of records and taking more seemed like the right approach. So I made an offer that I thought was fair, considering the condition of the records and the reality that many of the records in the pile were relatively worthless. The offer came out of my mouth and the words were still just hanging in the air when I could see the woman physically recoil as if she had just swallowed a platter full of insects. She repeated the number I had just said and gasped: “The Jackie McLean record alone is worth more than that!” Which, to be fair, would have been true if the Jackie McLean record was in excellent condition. But it wasn’t. Then she started going through a list that she had compiled with values for some of the key records. But there was clearly a disconnect. All of the values she had compiled were for records in M- condition. The records in the pile were not in M- condition. None of them.
OK, I have another story. This one starts, as usual, with an e-mail. The first e-mail came back in April 2015. I replied, but nothing ever came of it. Then, just a few weeks ago, there was another e-mail from the same person, totally of the blue. This was the text, verbatim:
“Top jazz artist’s
Cotrane , gerald wilson ,st you’d, ray brown, jimmy smith, felonious monk, Eddie Harris , carmen macrae, jazz laboratorylaboratory, gene Simmons, Dexter gordon , stan gets ext.
Give me good price I’ll sell.
‘Miles Davis,chico hamilton about 80 or more.”
I wrote back, asking for more detail and perhaps some pictures. The first photo came back and it didn’t show much at all. No valuable Coltrane, Stan Gets, or Felonious Monk in the picture. Instead there were a lot of records by Gloria Lynne. I wrote back asking for more details and pictures of the Coltrane or Dexter Gordon or Miles Davis. A few more pictures came back. This was the first one:
Obviously, my correspondent had done a little homework between the first few emails and this one. So, of course it is Jackie McLean, The New Tradition on Ad Lib, and yes my interest was piqued. Who would have thought, one of the rarest of the rare jazz LPs among a collection previously highlighted by titles such as Gloria Lynne Intimate Moments and Miss Lorraine Ellison Heart And Soul?
I don’t want to interrupt the discussion on the previous post, so please keep it going. With all of the action the past few days, we’ve reached somewhat of a milestone here at Jazz Collector. According to the statistics compiled by WordPress, yesterday we went over 2 million page views since we began tracking such things back in the fall of 2008. Our first month we had 296 page views and last month we had about 40,000.We are now averaging more than 1,350 page views every day. In all we’ve had 1,557 total posts, of which I have written all but seven (although, to be fair, we’ve had several guest columns in which I have been the poster, but it’s been someone else’s words). Anyway, I feel pretty good about all this, how we’ve been able to build the community organically all these years and how we’ve been able to keep the site independent and fun and still just a hobby. No plans for any major changes from my end.
Now, back to jazz vinyl. I see that our friends at the Jazz Record Center have a new auction with a few nice items, including:
I’m back from a brief respite. Went to an old mining town in southwestern Colorado called Creede, where my son directed a wonderful production of Our Town. A theater in an old mining town? Indeed. The story is that when the mining business began declining, town leaders put out a call for help asking for ideas on how to keep the town alive and attract residents year-round. A group of theater students from the University of Kansas decided to open a theater there. That was 50 years ago and the theater is still alive and kicking. They had done a production of Our Town back in their first season and had Michael come and do a new production this year.
Just spent some time perusing eBay and added a few more items to our watch list, which is not the same as our wish list. Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching, starting with The Duke Pearson Quintet, Hush, Jazzline 3302. This is an original pressing of a record that you hardly ever see posted on eBay. This one is in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover, depending upon your level of discernment. For me, it’s VG+. The bidding is in the $300 range and there are still more than two days to go. If you check out this record, check out the seller’s other listings. It is one of the dealers from Italy who often has very nice listings. In addition to Hush, for example, you will see Paul Chambers, Go!, VeeJay 1014. This is an original pressing with the maroon label and deep grooves. It looks to be in M- condition for the record and the cover. The price is
I was watching that Clifford Brown autograph (as well as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, et al), but didn’t have enough interest to actually bid on it. To my surprise, there were only five bidders altogether, which would seem to indicate minimal interest at that price, which turned out to be $482.11. I did casually mention when I wrote the earlier post that Clifford was probably among my top five musicians of all time and that I would ponder that and do another post on it this weekend. Sometimes, as we all do, I say and do stupid things. It was stupid to even suggest that I could create a list of top five favorite musicians, when there are so many musicians I love and each musician brings something different and special to my life and my enjoyment of music. Last night I was listening to the Dexter Gordon record, Getting’ Around, Blue Note 4204, and I was thinking about how much I love Dexter and how much I treasured seeing him as often as I did in the early and mid-1970s, particularly his very first club date when he began playing again in the United States. And, goodness, what an amazing ballad performance on “Who Can I Turn To.” And then I put on two Miles Davis records, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain, and I thought
The Jazz Record Center has an auction closing tomorrow and, as is usually the case, there are some interesting records worth watching, including Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This is an original pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is now in the $520 range. In the past I would have said that the Jazz Record Center auctions get top dollar, which makes watching them valuable in tracking the market, but I don’t think that is the case any longer. I think not taking Pay Pal eliminates a portion of the buyers, but it probably eliminates some of the risker potential buyers as well.
This one is from the same auction and the action, so far, is surprisingly subdued: Cannonball Adderley, Somethin’ Else, Blue Note 1595. This is an original pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. With the auction closing tomorrow, there is only one bid at $200. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $1,000 several times in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so we’ll see what happens with this copy.
Here’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?
Here’s some nice jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay now, starting with: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This is an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It is a relatively new listing, with more than six days to go, but the price is already in the $800 range with 16 bids as of this writing. Has the makings of a bidding frenzy, perhaps.
Charlie Rouse, Bossa Nova Bacchanal, Blue Note 4119. How often do you get to write the word “bacchanal?” This one is in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It is an original pressing and there are four days left on the auction. Bidding is in the $190 range.
Hank Mobley, Workout, Blue Note 4080. This is an original New York USA pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The auction closes later today and the bidding is in the $350 range.