I was off eBay for a few days and missed a few big-ticket items, starting with Cliff Jordan and Jon Gilmore, Blowing in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This was an original pressing with the New York 23 logo. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+ with some water stains on the back. The final price was $2,200, the first time to my recollection that this record has ended up in the $2,000 bin. I still don’t own an original pressing of this record and it seems pretty obvious (to me at least) that I won’t be buying one on eBay. This one falls into the same category: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $2,750, not too bad for a seller with only 98% positive feedback.
An Interview with John Scheinfeld, Writer and Director of Chasing Trane, The New John Coltrane Documentary
Some of you may recall that I had a bad reaction to the election in November and had a bit of a breakdown, totally justified as subsequent events would have it. One thing that helped me through the worst of it was going to the Doc NYC festival and seeing a new John Coltrane documentary called “Chasing Trane.” It was a beautiful and inspirational film that helped me heal and even sent me on a more spiritual path, which surprised the hell out of me. Here’s the original essay I posted on Nov. 25: “Chasing Trane: A Review, An Appreciation, A Spiritual Awakening.”
The essay found its way to the writer and director of “Chasing Trane,” John Scheinfeld, who sent me a lovely follow-up note telling me that he had shared the piece with many people, including Bill Clinton. He even used the word: “Bravo.” I was quite thrilled. Now “Chasing Trane” is set to make it’s theatrical release: It opens this Friday at the IFC Center in New York and the following week in Los Angeles, followed by a broader release across the country. I can’t wait to see it again and I’m strongly encouraging all of you to see it as soon as you get the chance.
In anticipation of the rollout, the film’s publicists reached out to see if I would be interested in doing an interview with Scheinfeld. Of course. So we did call a couple of weeks ago. It was supposed to be 20 minutes but it lasted 40. Scheinfeld was eloquent and passionate and it was exciting for me to learn about the creative process that went into making this wonderful tribute to one of my heroes. A summary of our conversation follows. All direct quotes are Scheinfeld’s. Read more
I got up early on this beautiful Sunday morning, and got The Lovely Mrs. JC up early as well, to go out for a nice walk and breakfast and an 11 a.m. showing of the Lee Morgan documentary, “I Called Him Morgan” at the Film Society at Lincoln Center. So we had our stroll and our meal and were in the theater by 11 sharp and we sat through about 10 minutes of previews and were settled in nicely and the film started and it was out of focus. I mean, really out of focus. So I went to management and told them and, yada yada yada, we didn’t see the movie. They said it might be ready for the 3 p.m. screening, but they could not make any promises. We hung out for a bit and had a nice conversation with three other disappointed jazz lovers, and then took the stroll back home. I don’t think we are going back today: Instead, I may try to sneak off from work tomorrow morning. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll have some updates for you this week on the John Coltrane documentary Chasing Trane. Stay tuned.
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.
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:
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.
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.
“That,” I said. “That thing Getz just played. It was unbelievable.” Read more
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.
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
Two 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.