The Gift Of Hindsight

One of the pleasures of having an extensive jazz collection is that it gives you the opportunity to go back and review the history of jazz in real time, as it was happening. This is particularly the case when you look at old issues of Downbeat or Metronome, or review old liner notes, an art form that began approaching extinction with the advent of the compact disc format. In any case, allow me to share some interesting stuff from my archives.

           

Downbeat, January 18, 1962

Review: John Coltrane, Africa/Brass, Impulse 6

 

This record was a departure for Coltrane: The first time he ever played with a brass section. It is now regarded as a classic, rightfully so, particularly the title cut, which makes up the entire first side of the album. At the time, however, the Downbeat reviewer, Martin Williams, didn’t see it that way.  He gave it only two stars, out of a possible five. Here’s a sample from the review:

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Hot Records, High Prices

Back home after a weekend away. Let’s see what happened on eBay the past few days.

 The seller JBLD44000 out of Seattle, who has been selling some nice records the past few weeks, had a bunch of items up this weekend, with mixed results. A few of the records sold for high prices, including:

Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031, for $1,337.28

Kenny Drew, Walkin’ and Talkin’, Jazz West 4, for $532

This dealer also had several high-ticket items that didn’t get bids at all. Based on our previous experience watching his auctions, we anticipate that these records will be back on eBay in the near future with somewhat lower start prices and, perhaps, Buy-It-Now prices. Among those records are: Read more

A Potpourri of LPs

I went away for the long Memorial Day weekend and didn’t look at eBay for three days. Here are some of the things I missed:

 

Howard McGhee, Music From The Connection, Felsted 7512. This was in nice condition and sold for more than $1,000.

 

Benny Carter, Cosmopolite, Norgran 1070. This was an original yellow label copy, autographed by Carter and, according to the dealer, directly from Carter’s own collection. A nice collectible, indeed. Read more

Remembering Elvin Jones

Today we turn things over to some readers. The death of Elvin Jones inspired a couple of people to write: “The loss of Elvin Jones is indeed a blow to the jazz world.  I feel lucky to have seen him for the first time in Minneapolis last fall.  I was downtown and, to my surprise, The Dakota, formerly a St. Paul jazz club, had opened a club right on Nicollet Mall, just a few blocks from my hotel.  I thought they were expanding. As it turned out, they had moved their location.  To my surprise, the Grand Opening act was Elvin Jones and The Jazz Machine.   Being a swing drummer, Elvin was not at the top of my list of influences, but I knew enough to know that if I ever wanted to see him, this was the time.   Read more

Goodbye, Elvin Jones

I was poring through eBay this morning, preparing today’s update, when my wife came into my office. “Did you see The Times?” she asked. “There’s an article that Coltrane’s drummer died.”

 It’s not surprising that The Times would refer to Elvin Jones as “Coltrane’s drummer.” That’s the way many of us came to find his music, on those great Atlantic and Impulse LPs of the early and mid 1960s. Jones’s contributions to Trane’s seminal quartet did more to influence the music than anything he might have accomplished before or since. Jones, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison – they all must have known at the time that Trane was taking them on explorations that were redefining the music.

 I turned to my record collection and searched for my favorite Elvin moments from that era. Two albums caught my eye: Africa/Brass, Impulse 6, about which, ironically, I wrote last week; and Coltrane Live at Birdland, Impulse 50. The live LP, particularly the track “Afro-Blue,” exemplifies the way in which Jones drove the quartet to places no other drummer of the era could have taken them. Here’s an excerpt from the original liner notes to this 1963 LP, courtesy of LeRoi Jones: Read more

For the Love of Vinyl

I often wonder why, for me, listening to jazz means putting on a record and not popping in a disc. I know I prefer the sound of the record, but I’m no audiophile and, to be honest, I’m not sure if given a blindfold test I would necessarily be able to tell the vinyl apart from the CD. My preference, as I’m sure it does for all record collectors, goes beyond the sound.

 There’s the tactile: The actual feel of the record and the placing of it on the turntable and the taking of the needle and the placing of the needle on the first groove. Read more

Our First Newsletter, May 9, 2004

Welcome to Jazz Collector. If you’re receiving this, then you’ve been selected for a free subscription to our daily email newsletter. For more information come to our web site at jazzcollector.com. Otherwise, please read on. Woke up in a generous mood this morning, so I delved into the collection and came up with an item to give away to a lucky subscriber.  Here it is: Gene Ammons, Live! In Chicago, Prestige 7495. This is an original 

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Quiet Kenny at a Bargain Price?

eBaying

Missed out on a few interesting items the past few days. In some cases the prices got a little too rich for my blood, in others I forgot to bid. My friend recommends buying Sniper software, which I plan to do today. I’ll let you know how it works out. Anyway, it was a busy weekend on eBay for some high-end collectibles. Here are some examples.

Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225

This was an original pressing in M- condition, record and cover. Price: $787.

If you watch eBay very closely, your point of view can get distorted. Case in point: I look at this and wonder if the buyer got a bargain at $787. Here’s why: Last week the same item in virtually the same condition sold for $1,261. It’s hard to conceive of $787 for one record as a bargain, but the reality is that prices are set by the market, especially on eBay. Seeing this record sell twice in the past week breaks my heart. I had an original mint pressing of this LP, which I sold years ago for a fraction of these prices. I used the money partially to buy a boat. Two months later, the boat sank. To this day I’ve never been able to replace Quiet Kenny. Here are a few more examples of wild market swings. This weekend one dealer sold the following records for the following prices:

Dexter Gordon, Dexter Calling, Blue Note 4083. Record and cover were M-. Price: $395

Sonny Rollins, Moving Out, Prestige 7058. Also M-. Price: $295

Donald Byrd, The Cat Walk, Blue Note 4075. Also M-. Price: $325

Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. Also M-. Price: $510

Pretty hefty prices, right? Here’s what’s more remarkable: One of these was not an original pressing: The Rollins LP had the New Jersey label, not the New York label. Also of interest of the weekend: The very rare Jackie McLean record on Ad Lib was up for sale. The record was in G condition, the cover VG-. The bidding topped out at $588.75, but the record didn’t sell because it didn’t meet the dealer’s reserve price. This is another one of those records I sold years ago to buy that damn boat. Ugh! At Jazzcollector.com we keep an ongoing tally of collectible record prices on eBay. We update it at least once a week. Here’s a look at the latest prices. Here’s a look at the larger database.

Upcoming on eBay

There always seem to be items of interest on eBay. I fully believe that if you had enough money, time and interest, you could buy up the entire Blue Note and Prestige catalogues in near mint condition. Anyway, here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days:

 John Coltrane, Giants Steps, Atlantic 1311. This is an original mono pressing with the bulls-eye logo. Last time I looked the price was $99. I recently bought a stereo copy with the bulls-eye logo for $50. This dealer also has a nice copy of Soultrain, Prestige 7142 and some other good items. After you look at Giant Steps click view seller’s other items to see what else he has.

 The dealer who sold Quiet Kenny also has some interesting items this week. He sold a bunch of original Blue Notes and Prestiges last week, all in beautiful condition. His next auction this week is Hank Mobley, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. The start price is $850. After you look at this, also check out his other items.

Here are a few more upcoming items to whet your appetite:

Bud Powell, The Scene Changes, Blue Note 4009

Ray Draper, Tuba Sounds, Prestige 7096

Serge Chaloff, Complete  Sessions, Mosaic 147

We can’t vouch for any of these dealers, but they all seem reputable and we’ve had successful dealings with some of them. In all cases, you should look and see what else they have for auction this week. It never hurts to look.

 

 

 

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