A Bird in Hand?

BirdHere are some jazz vinyl auctions to watch and record (for Jazz Collector) on eBay:

Charlie Parker, The Bird Blows the Blues, Dial 901. This is quite a rare find. I’m pretty sure we’ve established here on Jazz Collector that this was the first 12-inch jazz LP ever released, by Ross Russell at Dial as a promo with no cover. This particular copy is on red vinyl and is listed in VG condition with lots of scratches and no skips. The auction closes in less than two days and the bidding is in the $100 range.

Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Volume 1, Blue Note 1515. This looks to be an original pressing with the Lexington Avenue address and deep grooves. The seller lists the record and cover in VG+ condition, but if you look at the description in the listing it really reads a lot more like VG, with visible wear and audible noise. There are more than four days left in the auction and the bidding is in the $250 range.

Seldon Powell, Roost 2205. This is an original deep groove pressing. The record is VG+ and the cover is VG. The seller has a start price of around $350 and so far there are no takers. Think it will sell? I don’t. We haven’t seen it sell for more than around $220 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, and that was in better condition.




Collectibility in the Eye of the Beholder

I imagine this is a great record, but someone needs to refresh my memory as to why it is so highly coveted by collectors that the price for this is now nearly $400 and will likely exceed $500 or much more when all is said and done: Wynton Kelly, Kelly at Midnight, Vee Jay 3001. This is a stereo pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Is it the stereo pressing and the “stereophonic” lettering on the cover? Vee Jays usually don’t have this type of cachet, nor do Wynton Kelly trio records.

Think this one will sell? Presenting Ernie Henry, Riverside 222. This is a blue label pressing so it is not an original, which would have the white label. The record and cover are in VG+ condition. The seller has set an opening bid of about $200 and so far there are no bids at all, with the auction closing later today. My take: If it was in M- condition as a blue-label second press it might sell for $200, but in VG+ condition, I have my doubts.

While we’re not on Blue notes, here’s another:

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Some 10-Inch LPs and Some Bird Envy

Here are some of the results from the Jazz Record Center auctions we were watching, including the one with the cover that has some of our readers weirded out. Let’s start with Kenny Dorham Quintet, Debut 9. This is an original 10-inch pressing, quite rare, that looked to be in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $960.

Charlie Mariano, Mariano, Bethlehem 1022. This was another 10-inch record from the collection of Tom Stewart and like the others the record was in M- condition and the cover probably VG++, with the owner’s name written in ink. This one sold for $355.

Now for the one with the weird cover, Red Mitchell, Happy Minors, Bethlehem 1033. This was from the same collection, M- for the record, VG++ for the cover. It sold for $333.88. So far I haven’t found a copy in my own collection. If I didn’t buy it originally for $50, I can say for pretty sure that it was because of the cover. Not one of my favorites, to be sure.

Speaking of covers, check out the next listing, and we will show a picture of the cover below:

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More Jazz Vinyl For the $1,000 Bin

Let’s catch up on some of the rare jazz vinyl records we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with: Charlie Parker, Bird Blows the Blues, Dial 1. This is the first 12-inch jazz record ever and it was issued without a cover. It usually fetches a nice price when it lands on eBay, and this one was no exception. It was in VG+ condition and sold for $1,643.49. There were only two bids, which always makes me a bit suspicious when a record sells for this much money. It’s usually a bidding war that drives prices this high.

This is one that’s new to me, but it got a huge price: Rosemary Squires, My Love is a Wanderer, MGM 3597. Looks like this one was in M- condition for the record an the cover, other than a cutout hole on the cover. Rosemary Squires was a British pop star, and I’m not quite sure what makes this record so valuable and so desired by collectors, that they would drive the price all the way up to $1,580.55. I’m sure someone out there will be happy to enlighten me.

Here’s another for the $1,000 bin:

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The Cats, Bird, Miles and Trane

I said I’d post a few more from the Jazz Record Center auction last week, so here ’tis:

Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and cover. It was also a review copy. It sold for $535. I’ve had this record for a while. I traded it for it years ago: I had a broken leg at the time and was stuck in my friend’s basement with all of his records, Blue Notes, Prestiges, the whole works. I was very good and just looked. In my collection I have this one with my Flanagans, although the temptation is to put it with the Coltranes. I’m often reorganizing, so maybe I’ll move it around some day.

This is one of my favorite jazz collectibles, although it’s not jazz vinyl: To Bird With Love, by Francis Paudras. This is a book from 1981, about the most loving tribute to Bird you could find this side of Irving Kalus’ Ornithology. As noted by Fred in his listing, which you should take a look at, the book was printed once with no more than 1,000 copies, probably 500. I bought this when it first came out, from Fred, and I’ve treasured it ever since. It now has a prominent shelf on my new shelves in The Berkshires.  This one sold for $887.79.

The Miles Davis Columbia records with Coltrane, and even the next generation, are becoming more collectible it seems. The music is certainly uniformly great. Here are a few from the Jazz Record Center auction:

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Guest Column: Ornithology, By Irving Kalus

As promised, here is the paper written by Irving Kalus on Charlie Parker, dated December 22, 1949. I have to really admire that Irving caught on to bebop so quickly and ardently, and he recognized the genius and contribution of Bird. You can see that this paper is written with tremendous passion and feeling and probably some hyperbole that can be easily excused by the exuberance of youth. As Irving’s son Gary told me, Irving was a fan of Benny Goodman . . . well, read it and see. I’ve reprinted the entire paper below and I’m also attaching it as a downloadable PDF (Ornithology). It’s remarkably similar to the article I wrote in 1975, when I was 22 and had the benefit of 20 years of history after Bird had died. You can find my article here: An Old Jazz Collector Tribute to Charlie Parker. Irving was neither a writer nor jazz critic by trade, but he certainly had a gift for both and, from now on, perhaps forever, whenever anyone does a Google search linking on Irving Kalus, the names Charlie Parker and Irving Kalus will be inextricably tied together. It’s a nice thought and a pretty apt tribute, wouldn’t you say?

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In Memory of a Jazz Collector

Irving Kalus

Irving Kalus was 82 years old when he died on December 22, 2011. It was early in the evening and he had just gone to the record store around the corner, Infinity Records, in Massapequa Park on Long Island. He bought a Miles Davis record and was crossing Sunrise Highway when he got hit by a car and was killed instantly. I didn’t know Irving Kalus personally, but I seem to know him quite intimately now, at least in connection with one particularly important area of his life: His love of jazz. It was Irving Kalus’ collection that I purchased a few weeks ago and I would like to share what I have learned about the man and his life-long passion for jazz.

Irving fell in love with jazz when he was a teenager. His son Gary remembers him telling stories about musicians he had met – the time Sarah Vaughan kissed him on the cheek, the times Dizzy Gillespie would talk with him outside a club before or after a gig. Bud Powell once fixed him a drink: “He called it a Joe Louis because he said it will really knock you out,” Gary recalls his father telling him. Irving picked up on bebop quite early and it clearly had a profound influence on his life.

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An Old Jazz Collector Tribute To Charlie Parker

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. When I was breaking in as a journalist my first job was as the jazz critic for the Syracuse New Times, an alternative newspaper in Syracuse, NY. I did a bunch of interviews — Charles Mingus, Chick Corea, Larry Coryell, among others — record and concert reviews and other features. I once posted my Mingus Interview here at Jazz Collector. Most of the articles are long gone, not in my files, certainly not saved in any digital format — this was the early 1970s, nothing was digital then. However, I did save a copy of an article I wrote about Charlie Parker, which was timed to coincide with the 2oth anniversary of Bird’s death in 1975. I recently dug up the article and painstakingly retyped it into my computer and now it will be saved digitally forever and ever. And now, when people do a search of Charlie Parker and Al Perlman, I will forever be associated with Bird. It’s enough to put a big smile on my face, that thought. Me and Bird. I like it. Anyway, it’s a pretty well written article, if I must say so myself, but there are clearly youthful indiscretions and probably a little too much borrowing from Ross Russell’s Bird Lives, including the opening scene and some idle speculation that Bird got his nickname because he loved fried chicken. There are many stories to go with this article and how it got published — and how I got away with using the word “motherfucker.” But those are for another day. Oh, and I didn’t put that stupid headline on the article nor did I get to approve it. I’ve attached the article as a PDF to download for simple viewing. Here it is: Charlie Parker Article. I’m also going to see if I can post it below here without screwing up Jazz Collector and, to prove there really was an article to begin with, we have a picture of the original, from April 13, 1975. If you are going to comment, please be kind. I was only 22 years old at the time. Read more

A Little Bird, A Little Philosophizing

Glad to see there is still some collector interest in Charlie Parker. I had heard this theory, and once discussed it here, that there’s a window of about 50 years for interest in a performer/musician and after that period the people who actually could remember him are no longer around and the influence that he or she engendered, no matter how profound, would eventually fade or be forgotten in the afterglow of artists who succeeded them. This seemed particularly apt in the case of popular artists — a Bing Crosby or Fred Astaire, for example — but it also seems to have impacted the jazz world as well. You don’t get the sense that collectors and even aficionados today have the same esteem for, say, Duke Ellington or Count Basie or even Lester Young that collectors and aficionados had 20 years ago. I think about this a lot and wonder, not just about my collectible records (and their value), but about how history will treat earlier artists and whether their contributions will be remembered in the perspective of their era and the eras that came subsequent to their contributions. Artists like, say, Johnny Hodges or Art Tatum or even Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Getz (and no, I’m not just focusing on the Verve label, although those provide good examples). This came to mind because

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A Really Rare Record & an “Insanely Rare” Record

Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching now on eBay, starting with: Charlie Parker, The Bird Blows the Blues Volume 1, Dial 901. This is the original 1950 pressing and is, to our collective knowledge here, supposedly the first 12-inch LP ever. Based on the description, it sounds as if the record is in VG++ condition. I wouldn’t mind having a copy of this (which I don’t). This one closes in more than three days, is at a little bit more than $100 and has a reserve price, which has not yet been met. Hmmmmm.

From the same seller is Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This is another one I once owned and now regret selling. This one looks to be in VG condition, perhaps VG+, but probably VG. It is about $120 with a few days left to go.

If it’s “insanely rare” it must be the seller bobjdukic, who is back with a bunch of records, including:

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