Oddities and Ends, So to Speak

Wait a second. Did you see what happened with this record I mentioned the other day: Clifford Brown Quartet, Blue Note 5047? This was an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing. Original Blue Note, but, as noted by Rudolf, a reissue of the French Vogue material. Anyway, this one was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover and we were watching the auction with about a day left and there were still no bidders at a start price of about $500. I wasn’t sure if the record would sell at all. It did, for the whopping price of $1,535. There were two bidders and three bids and they all came in the last few seconds as snipes, I would presume. Talk about a bidding war. Wow!

I had thought about bidding on this when the price was relatively low, but I never would have won it anyway:

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Back In Business: Bird, Blue Notes and More

birdI actually have more I want to say about the Coltrane documentary, which I will do in a subsequent post, but today I promised Jazz Collector readers a regular post and that typically means looking at some rare jazz records on eBay. As I type this I have a random playlist on in the background and Bird just came on playing “Confirmation.” So let me pause for a moment. Okay, back with you all.

Well, perhaps there is something in the air. First record I went to on eBay is: Charlie Parker, Bird Blows the Blues, Dial 901. This is an original pressing with the red vinyl. I believe we have established here on Jazz Collector that this was the first 12-inch vinyl record ever? I add the question mark because I’m still not sure. Anyway, I have never owned a copy of this record, and won’t own this one. The starting price is $1,500 and it’s only in VG condition. Even worse, the seller doesn’t include an original picture. That very clear, really enticing picture accompanying the listing, and accompanying this post, is actually copied from a book. For $1,500, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the real deal, not that I would ever pay $1,500 anyway.

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Nothing Aberrant in These Prices

duke-jordan-jazz-vinylI’d like to get back to some of the records we were watching, starting with Duke Jordan, Flight to Jordan, Blue Note 4046. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that was in VG+ or better condition for the record, and probably around VG++ for the cover. When we looked at it the bidding was in the $300 range and we were surprised it was that low, expecting it to eventually end up at or near the $1,000 bin. It did, selling for $960. So what may have seemed like an aberration, was just a product of later bidding, which has been de rigueur on eBay for many years, so no surprises. Same with this one: Doug Watkins at Large, Transition 20. This was an original pressing with the booklet. The record, cover and booklet were all in about VG+ condition. The bidding came in late, but about as expected, with the record selling for $809.

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A Prestige Pair; a Bird Autograph?????!!!!!!!!!

clifford-brown-jazz-vinylWe’ll start the week with a couple of nice Prestige records on eBay and then move on to a possible autograph (?) by Charlie Parker. First up is the Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Prestige 7055. This is an original New York yellow label pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding starts at $155 and so far there has been no action. The auction closes in a bit more than two days. This has never been one of the Prestiges overly coveted by collectors, but I would still expect it to sell for a decent price, in the $300 or more range. We’ll see. Clifford is one of the greats, so it has always eluded me why collectors might be willing to pay a higher price for a Moondog Prestige versus a Clifford Brown. I guess it’s supply and demand, but you’d think the demand for a great Clifford record would be higher.

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A Post About Ballads

Ballads John Coltrane Jazz VinylI go to sleep to music each night. I am still archaic enough to have an iPod and I have created about 50 playlists, all ballads and soft music, and I rotate among them and put them on random play. I find it quite soothing and relaxing and, apparently, so do my usual bedfellows, which would be The Lovely Mrs. JC and the two dogs Marty and Gordon. So last night I was listening and, at random, there came “Who Can I Turn To” by Dexter Gordon and then “Say It (Over and Over Again)” by John Coltrane, and I was listening very closely and both performances were quite lovely and brilliant in their own ways. And, of course, it got me to thinking about who are my favorite ballad players and what are my favorite ballad performances. And, of course, I couldn’t fall asleep because I was mentally going through all of my records and trying to pick out my favorite artists and performances. In the end, before I eventually nodded off, I came up with some thoughts and decided to share them here with you this morning. Read more

Bud, Ella, Bird, Jackie: A Day on eBay

Bud Powell Jazz Vinyl copyI’ve been off eBay for a few days recovering from my Bronx adventure, so today I will go back to my watch list and take inventory of what I have missed, starting with The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 2, Blue Note 5041. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in near mint condition for the record and probably M- or VG++++ for the cover. It had a start price of $595 and did not get any bids. On the one hand I’m surprised because you just don’t find many 10-inch Blue Notes in this kind of condition. And this is a great record, with a great cover. On the other hand, $600 is still a lot of money.

Everybody’s favorite, bobdjukic, was back with some auctions and, as usual, some hyperbole. This was a highlight from Ella Fitzgerald, and I will give the full title because it is quite a weird mouthful: Miss Ella Fitzgerald and Mr. Gordon Jenkins (with His Orchestra and Chorus) Invite You to Listen and Relax, Decca 8696. According to the listing this is “Easily and By Far Ella Fitzgerald’s Rarest Studio Album in Existence!” I love that stuff, and then it gets topped off with the old standby “ultra-rare.” Somehow this stuff actually works. The record and cover were graded VG++, although the description makes it clear that VG++ for the cover is a wild stretch, since there is actually a partial seam split. Anyway, some how, some way, someone bid $259 for this record. I think I got my copy, in better condition, for $5 at a record show, which was not far from the going rate a few years back.  Read more

All I Want for Christmas

Redd copyActually, I don’t even celebrate Christmas, but that’s quite beside the point, isn’t it? I spent a couple of hours today just looking at my records and going through the shelves, one by one. It’s a pretty damn good collection, I must say. Although it is not complete. Not even close. So, when I do look at the collection, what’s missing. Or, more to the point, if I were to make a Christmas Wish List, what would I put on it? Here we go, all original pressings, of course.

1. Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. Yes, I’ve been searching for this record for years, and yes, I could just pay the price and buy a copy on eBay. But that takes out all of the fun. Now, if The Lovely Mrs. JC would be interested in a gift for my upcoming birthday, I wouldn’t complain about that at all, no matter what the price.

2. Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. No the list will not be all Blue Notes, but it could be if I wanted to go there. This happens to be another favorite. I’ve owned a Japanese pressing for years. Two, in fact. But an original on my shelf would be quite appealing.

3. Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. No I don’t have it. If I did, whenever someone would ask me what’s the most valuable record in your collection, I could point to that. Right now, when someone asks, I don’t know exactly what to say. The music is pretty good too, no?

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Jazz Vinyl From Some of Our Favorite Cats

The Cats New Jazz VinylI’m cleaning out my eBay watch list so here are various odds and ends from the past six weeks or so, starting with Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves and the purple labels. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition, very nice indeed. Of course, one of the attractions of this record is that it  features John Coltrane. When I acquired this record I filed it with my Coltranes because I was just building my Trane collection and every collectible record with Coltrane was a treasure to me. I hate to tell you when this was, but it was more than 40 years ago. I can’t believe I’m that old. Anyway, now that my Coltrane collection is more robust, this is properly filed with the Flanagans. This copy sold for a very nice $600. Nice for the seller and I’m sure very nice for the buyer, who will have a lovely record for his turntable and collection.

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For Discussion “At the Table” — What Is the Responsibility of the Critic?

At-The-Table-poster-1024x662 copyMy son, Michael Perlman, has written and directed a new play called “At the Table,” which is being produced at the HERE Arts Center in New York. I’m stating that up front because when people do searches for the play on the Internet I want them to find this article. But, before I get to “At the Table” by Michael Perlman, let me get to the point as it relates to my friends and readers here at Jazz Collector.

My very first paying job as a journalist was while I was still in college. I was the jazz writer and critic for The Syracuse New Times in Syracuse, New York. It was 1973. I was 20 years old. The job was a blast. I got to interview Charles Mingus, Chick Corea and Larry Coryell when they came through town. I got to write a fun essay on Charlie Parker. I wrote an article on 25 records to get started on jazz. And, whenever the record labels would send over new jazz records, they would come to me. For a vinyl addict, what could be better?

At some point I was sitting in my dorm room and I was doing a review of a new Dexter Gordon album. It was Ca’Purange (Prestige 10051 for those of us who like to keep track of such things). I didn’t think the album was all that great, particularly in comparison to Dexter’s previous Prestige albums, most notably The Panther!, which was one of my favorites. I’m at my typewriter and writing about Dexter being a disappointment on this record, and commenting negatively on the other musicians, who happened to be Thad Jones, Hank Jones, Stanley Clarke and Louis Hayes.

And I look down at the paper, and the realization hits me: Who the hell am I to be criticizing Dexter Gordon or any of these amazing artists?

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Let The Insanity Continue

Bird copyForty-eight comments (and counting) on the last post. And the traffic on Jazz Collector has been as high as normal. Thank you all for keeping the discussion going while I was pre-occupied last week with doing my real job, the one that pays for the mortgage and the Blue Notes around here. This week I will be under similar pressure, so please feel free to comment on this post and take the discussion wherever you would like. I see that a lot of the previous discussion was a reprisal of a familiar theme, the ability of one particular seller, bobdjukic, to get prices that seem otherworldly to the rest of us in the Jazz Collector world. I personally have no beef with him, never met him, never dealt with him. He does seem to have some magic formula for getting top prices, but I imagine his customers are satisfied because the only way to get those prices is to have repeat business. In any case, after reading the comments, I took a look at his latest auction results to satisfy my own curiosity. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye:

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