I’m always pleased to see my little love notes from CeeDee, although I usually expect to see them when I’m hardly posting. That hasn’t been the case this week, but I got a couple anyway, with links to a bunch of records that typically defend the sensibilities. The first such record this week was an auction from December, so I’m curious about the delay. Anyway, Yusef Lateef, Before Dawn, Verve 8217. This was an original pressing with the trumpeter label. The condition looked to be around M- for the record and the cover. This one sold for $350 and, yes, that is an unexpectedly high price for a Yusef Lateef record on Verve, IMHO.
This one also comes from December: Roland Alexander, Pleasure Bent, New Jazz 8267. This was an original pressing with the purple labels and deep groove. The record was in M- condition and the cover was Ex. The final price was $293. High? The last time I went to the WFMU Record Fair in Brooklyn I purchased a mint copy of this record for $50. That was in May 2015. I guess the value has gone up in less than three years. A lot.
Catching up on a few remnant items on my watch list, then will plow forward with some records that are on auction this week, which is also the week of the WFMU Record Fair, which is where I will be on Friday and Friday only.
Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original white-label promo copy listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The seller’s description made it seem as if he undergraded the condition, but, as a bidder, I would trust the actual grade over the description. So, if you trust the grading, the VG+ promo copy of Waltz for Debby was a $1,025 record.
Duke Pearson, Profile, Blue Note 4022. This looked to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, ears, Van Gelder. The record and the cover both appeared to be in VG++ condition. The final price was $366. Given what we’ve seen in the market lately, does that seem a little low.
Here’s another Blue Note of the same time frame:
Time to catch up on some more jazz vinyl auctions starting with this one sent by our friend CeeDee: McCoy Tyner, The Real McCoy, Blue Note 4264. This was an original Liberty pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $171.05, quite a high price for a later Liberty, although this one has the advantage of at least looking like a Blue Note from the pre-Liberty era. We’ll ask CeeDee why he felt that this one should be called out for scrutiny?
I had thought this one might make the $2,000 bin, but it fell short: Tina Brooks, True Blue, Blue Note 4041. This was an original pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,790. This one also made it into the $1,000 bin: Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original pressing in VG+ condition for the record and just VG for the cover. It sold for $1,035.
I did that post earlier today and mentioned that Downbeat had done a whole feature asking various artists about their favorite Blue Note records. I was able to dig up my copy of the magazine — I don’t have a subscription anymore, but I had purchased this one on the newsstand because of the cover. It was from March of 2009. The cover, as you can see, has Joe Lovano with his favorite Blue Note: Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Free For All, Blue Note 4170. It’s quite gratifying to see his picture with a vinyl pressing, and a mono vinyl pressing at that and perhaps even an original mono pressing. Inside, the magazine asked a variety of other jazz artists to name their favorite Blue Notes as well. Here are their replies:
SHHHHHHHHHH. It’s so quiet on eBay today we wouldn’t want to disturb any of the sleeping buyers and sellers. I have a sense that the economy is starting to wreak a little havoc on the jazz collectibles market — not on the high-end collectibles — but in the mid-tier. We’ll see. These things tend to go in cycles. Perhaps it’s a good time to be buying. Anyway, it is quite quiet on eBay today, but there are a few things worth noting, including:
Curtis Fuller, Bone and Bari, Blue Note 1572. This is an original pressing in M- condition, both record and cover, and it features an autograph by Curtis Fuller. Not to mention the presence of Sonny Clark on piano. The opening bid price for this record is about $140 and, as of now, there are no bids. In the Jazz Collector Price Guide we’ve seen this record sell for nearly $700 in M- condition without an autograph. So maybe it is a time to be buying.
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