Back To Reality: Coltrane Time

I plan on deleting the previous post this weekend, so if you want to comment on it speak now or forever hold your peace. Meanwhile, back to the real world, starting with one of the all time classics: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77. This is an original mono pressing that looks to be in perhaps M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $435. I own both a mono and stereo pressing of A Love Supreme and I’ve never actually sat down and compared the two. Typically, I prefer mono pressings. For those of you out there who care about these things, which version do you find preferable?

Here’s a copy of Coltrane’s first album as a leader: Coltrane/Prestige 7105. This was an original New York yellow label pressing that looked to be in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $540.

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A New Perspective on Jazz Vinyl

We will being today’s post with two of our favorite records, starting with Donald Byrd, A New Perspective, Blue Note 84124. As you can see from the “8” at the beginning of the catalogue number, this is a stereo pressing. It is an original, with the New York USA label, the ears, Van Gelder, etc. This is being offered by the seller anilin1000 from Germany, who has been selling off his collection due to age — his own and not the records. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is in the $150 range, which is somewhat surprising, since the stereo pressings don’t usually sell for that much. I see one stereo pressing on Popsike for about $125, and one for a bit higher that was autographed. Hey, it’s a great record so I don’t begrudge anyone willing to pay top dollar for it. I often play “Cristo Redentor” for people who don’t really know jazz, and without exception (so far) it always gets a very strong positive reaction, probably more so than any other jazz record I can think of.

This is another favorite that just came onto eBay:

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RIP, Nat Hentoff

The other day I was listening to Giant Steps, yet again, and this time I pulled out the album and re-read the liner notes. I was amazed at the prescience and knowledge of the writer. Here are the first two paragraphs:

“Along with sonny Rollins, John Coltrane has become the most influential and controversial tenor saxophonist inn modern jazz. He is becoming, in fact, more controversial and possibly more influential than Rollins. While it’s true that to musicians especially, Coltrane’s fiercely adventurous harmonic imagination is the most absorbing aspect of his developing style, the more basic point is that for many non-musician listeners, Coltrane at his best has an unusually striking emotional impact. There is such intensity in his playing that the string of adjectives employed by French Critic Gerard Bremond in a Jazz-Hot article on Coltrane seemed hardly at all exaggerated. Bremond called his playing ‘exuberant, furious, impassioned, thundering.’

“There is also, however, an extraordinary amount of sentimentality in Coltrane’s work. Part of the fury in much of his playing is the fury of the search, the obsession Coltrane has to play all he can hear or would like to hear — often all at once — and yet at the same time make his music, as he puts it, ‘more presentable.’ He said recently, ‘I’m worried that sometimes what I’m doing sounds like just academic exercises and I’m trying more and more to make it sound prettier.’ It seems to me he already succeeds often in accomplishing both his aims, as sections of this album demonstrate.”

I looked down at the bottom to see which Jazz journalist had written this piece back in 1959 and, to no surprise at all, it was the great Nat Hentoff. When I woke up this morning, there was news in The New York Times that Nat Hentoff had died at age 91.

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Chasing Trane 3: For the Love of Jazz

Me left, Dan right, circa 1977

Me left, Dan right, circa 1977

By Al Perlman
Editor and Publisher, Jazz Collector

So last night I was in bed with The Lovely Mrs. JC and as is our usual custom we were listening to a random playlist of ballads as we went to sleep. The shuffle landed on Stan Getz playing “Body and Soul.” We were listening and it was just sheer beauty and at the end of the second verse Getz goes into this run that is absolute genius, and I don’t use that term loosely, but, with Getz, I know that it applies. I don’t have the language, either in words or music, to describe what it is that Getz does, but, to me, I think of a figure skater taking off in full flight, doing three turns and three axels with pure grace and beauty and then landing on her feet as if it were all perfectly natural. You can listen to it here and perhaps you will hear what I heard.

I listened to this passage and I started laughing because I hadn’t heard it in a long time and I was flabbergasted and in awe at what just came out of the speaker.

The Lovely Mrs. JC rose from a slumber and asked: “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing,” I replied.
“Why were you laughing?”
“Did you hear that?” I replied.
“Hear what.”
“That,” I said. “That thing Getz just played. It was unbelievable.” Read more

Chasing Trane 2: A Love Supreme Trumps Hate

a-love-supreme-albumBy Al Perlman
Editor and Publisher, Jazz Collector

To my regular Jazz Collector readers, I promise I will be back with a normal post on Tuesday. In the meantime, I ask for one final indulgence for this one final post so I can close the book on this Chasing Trane diversion.

First of all, I would like to let you all know that I am doing well. Since the election I have not turned on the television news or read any news or opinions in any periodical — print or online. It has been a blessing. My head is not clogged with useless information, my guts are not wrenched with fear, my vision is not clouded with images of people who spew hatred, vitriol and divisiveness.

Even better, I have begun to channel the spiritual awareness that the Coltrane documentary helped to inspire. I am walking down the street with a new energy that seems to be apparent because people are smiling at me and talking to me as never before. I am chatting with people in the elevator. I’ve reached out to friends that I have been estranged from for years. Plus, with my head cleared, I’ve had a burst of creative energy. The previous post on Chasing Trane is just one example. I am also doing great work for my clients and I am doing more writing on the side.

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Chasing Trane: A Review, An Appreciation, A Spiritual Awakening

chasing-traneBy Al Perlman
Editor and Publisher, Jazz Collector

It is the day after Thanksgiving here in the States and one of the things I am grateful for is the new John Coltrane documentary Chasing Trane, written and directed by John Scheinfeld. I was fortunate to see this film on the closing night of DOC NYC, the New York documentary film festival. It was a week ago last Thursday and it has had a deep emotional impact on me that is still resonating, which I will discuss in a bit. But first let me tell you about the film.

First off, Scheinfeld is a terrific documentary filmmaker, IMHO. I am a huge fan of two of his earlier movies, The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who is Harry Nilsson . . .? I knew virtually nothing about Nilsson when I watched that film and I’ve since recommended it to all of my friends and family, and now to all of my readers here at Jazz Collector. Perhaps because of Scheinfeld’s reputation, the Coltrane family welcomed him to do this film and gave him access to Coltrane’s music, archives and even home movies.

In Chasing Trane, Scheinfeld has created a moving and inspirational tribute to one of the great musicians and spiritual influences of our times. He uses film footage and photos of Coltrane, some never before seen, interspersed with comments from a wide range of friends, family, fans, biographers and other admirers. I was personally moved by the comments from Coltrane contemporaries and close friends, Jimmy Heath, Benny Golson and, especially, Sonny Rollins. And I was surprised and impressed by the depth of knowledge and connection to Coltrane’s music and spirit expressed by former President Bill Clinton. But I was not surprised by how often some of these commentators were at a loss for words to describe Coltrane’s music or his influence because, as Sonny says, the only way to truly understand and feel the music is Read more

Here Are Jazz Collectibles You Won’t See Every Day

test-pressing-jazz-vinyl-a-love-supremeTwo of our regular readers, Clifford and Michael, separately sent me links to this rare jazz collectible, wondering if it was legitimate: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77, Test Pressing. Take a close look at it. Does it really say “Ken” Coltrane? Anyway, it looks legit to me. Unfortunately, it was only in VG condition and, of course, it didn’t have a cover. The final price was $300, which seems pretty reasonable to me for what I imagine is a pretty rare collectible.

One of our readers, Dave Sockel, recently was in touch with a relative of Duke Pearson and sent me a PDF of this very cool collectible — duke-pearson-session-book-1969-1970. It includes rehearsals, musicians and their fees, session dates, comments on the sessions and dozens of signatures from the various musicians, confirming their payments. Thanks to Dave for sharing and allowing me to post this on Jazz Collector.

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Whither the 16-RPM Jazz LP?

miles-davis-16-rpm-jazz-vinylHere are a few collectible rare jazz records we are following this week on eBay, starting with  Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 3. This is the 16-RPM version of the record and it is, of course, an original pressing. The condition doesn’t look so great and the seller is asking for a starting price of $400 so it is not going to be of interest to me as a potential buyer, but I do have interest in the record as an oddity. Does anyone own this record and, if so, have you ever listened to it — indeed, do you have equipment to listen to it? Is the sound better, worse, the same as a 33-RPM record? And finally, does anyone have any idea why Prestige issued this record and several others in the 16-RPM format? Inquiring minds want to know.

Here are a couple more nice Prestiges from the Jazz Collector era:

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Seeking Recommendations: Original Jazz CDs

ballads-copyThe other night I was listening to Karrin Allyson, Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane. This was a 2002 Concord Jazz release that celebrated the great John Coltrane Ballads album on Impulse. I love the Allyson version, particularly since I really had never heard the lyrics to a couple of these songs, including Say It (Over and Over Again) and Too Young to Go Steady. Allyson uses three horn players on this record, Bob Berg, Steve Wilson and James Carter, and they each approach the Coltrane material in a very personal way. Her vocal interpretations are absolutely terrific. This is a great album and I recommend it highly. Which brings me to the point of this post. I’ve always been focused on vinyl and I never really took to CDs. I managed to buy a lot of CDs in the day, because they were convenient and I could put six into one of those Sony multi-players or into my car stereo and I wouldn’t have to get up off the sofa or fiddle around with the radio dial in the car. But whenever I wanted to really listen to music, it would always be vinyl.

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Tracking a Trio of Jazz Vinyl Gems

Tina Brooks Jazz VinylBack to eBay: Tina Brooks, True Blue, Blue Note 4041. This was an original pressing. The record was listed in VG condition and the cover was listed as VG+. The seller intimated that the record might be closer to VG+ than VG, but the pictures of the cover made it look like the cover was closer to VG than VG+, so if I were bidding I would have stuck with the VG. The final price was $1,390.

Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original purple label deep groove pressing that was listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. This record, of course, features John Coltrane as a sideman. This copy sold for $410. This is one of those records that has really increased in value and demand during the time period (eight-plus years) we’ve been doing the Jazz Collector site on a regular basis.

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