Mail: Byrd, Monk, Sun Ra

Catching up on some email. Here’s the story of a fun score from a new reader:

“Hi, I am fairly new to jazz vinyl collecting and listening. I have been drawn to the 50’s and 60’s jazz and LOVE your site. Unfortunately so much of this vintage jazz is way out of my budget. I have been buying when and what I can afford. Wanted to share this: This past weekend I was in a vintage shop with my wife and wasn’t sure I would find anything. In the back was a small box with some records. I start flipping through them like I always do when I find records in vintage/antique shops. I run across a Donald Byrd – Royal Flush BLP 4101 original pressing. The vinyl itself is VG in appearance, plays somewhere between VG and VG+ and the cover is VG+. The price on the album was $10. I was elated and couldn’t get the money out of my wallet fast enough! Hope I didn’t bore you. Thanks for your site and keep the posts coming as it is helpful in my jazz education!” Read more

What’s A Signature Worth, And What If It’s More Than Just An Autograph?

Joe Henderson AutographHere are a few odds and ends from the Jazz Collector in box. Mark sent us this link: Joe Henderson, In ‘N Out, Blue Note 84166. The back cover is all messed up with writing all over it. Except, here’s the explanation from Mark: “So the seller claims the notes and signature are by Joe..an inquiry made to the seller revealed that this album came from the collection of a fellow who booked shows for the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore.  Apparently there were many signed albums in his collection along with a photograph of Monk and Wynton Kelly sitting on his own couch! Anyway..interesting piece…” I kind of have a soft spot for memorabilia such as this, although I don’t actually collect it. The record and cover looked to be an original stereo pressing. The final price was $275. Not sure if the writing and signature ensured a higher price, or whether it actually diminished the price. I would guess a stereo copy would get less than $275, so someone probably through the writing was worth something. That’s how I would view it.

There was also this signed record, noted by one of our readers:

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A Day at the Town Dump, Redux

Just to close the loop on yesterday’s post. Yes, indeed, I went back to the town dump to see if there were any more treasures to be found and to see if there was anything I had inadvertently left behind. There was nothing new there, but I did wind up taking a few more CDs, not just for myself but for a few friends as well.  I’m in a band up here with three other musicians and we had practice so I brought some CDs and told them they could take whatever they wanted. Some of the CDs, it turned out, were just the cases, but most of them had CDs, including all of the boxed sets. So, now that I’m settled in and had a chance to go through my score, here is the final tally:

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One Man’s Junk; Another Man’s Treasure

rp_CDs-copy-1024x517.jpgYou’re really not going to believe what happened to me yesterday. I’m up at my house in The Berkshires and we were hosting some friends for brunch. I did some cleanup in the morning and decided at the last-minute that I would have to go to the town dump to get rid of some garbage before I guests arrived. So I piled some garbage into the car, loaded my dog Marty onto the front seat and headed for the dump. In our local town here, there’s a small shack at the dump where people get rid of stuff they don’t want so that others who may be interested can just take it, free. They call it a swap shop and, occasionally, I’ve found some odds and ends in there, a couple of records, some decent speakers, nothing special. Yesterday, because I was in a bit of a hurry, I wasn’t even going to check, but it only takes a minute and it’s hard to resist. You never know what’s going to be there.

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Review: Rosemary Clooney Mosaic Boxed Set

Rosemary copyLet’s move off jazz vinyl for a day. I’ve been listening to a recent Mosaic release: The Rosemary Clooney CBS Radio Recordings 1955-61. This is a five-CD set of 104 songs recorded by Clooney for three CBS radio shows produced by Bing Crosby. Why have I been listening to these CDs when I could have used the same time to place original Blue Notes or Prestiges on my beautiful refurbished Lynn Sondek turntable? Two reasons:

One: I happen to be a huge fan of Rosemary Cooney—not her work in the 1950s when she was a pop icon, but the series of albums she made for Concord Jazz starting in 1977 and ending with her death in 2002. These, in fact, are some of my favorite vocal records in my collection, particularly Everything’s Coming Up Rosie, Here’s to My Lady, Rosie Sings Bing, For the Duration, and Rosemary Clooney Sings the Music of Irving Berlin. I like them all, to be honest. It helps that on these albums she is typically accompanied by top-flight jazz artists such as Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Nat Pierce, John Oddo, Chuck Israels and many others too numerous to name. But it’s not the accompaniment that knocks me out. It’s the singer. The simple, clear, moving and heartfelt presentations of the songs, each one sung as if the singer had lived and experienced them deeply—and had also experienced quite a bit of life along the way. Which, of course, was exactly the case with Rosemary Clooney.

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Potpourri: Kenny Burrell, Max Roach, Roland Kirk

maxJazz Collector is on the mailing list for a number of news releases and updates from record companies, such as Mosaic, although we never seem to be able to get on any lists for review copies of anything (hint, hint if anyone from Mosaic is paying attention). Anyway, a few things that have come into the mailbox have intrigued us lately, so we will depart from our usual eBay watching today to share some stuff.

Kenny Burrell — To Preserve ‘America’s Gift to the World’ A Jazz Elder Becomes a UCLA Professor

This is an interesting article on Kenny Burrell and his longtime commitment to jazz education. Definitely worth a read.

Max Roach — Relevatory Archive of a Giant of Jazz

Interesting stuff. At their peak the Brown-Roach Quintet was making $500 total for two nights at Basin Street, $900 for six days at the Cafe Bohemia. Today, there are single copies of records recorded at the Cafe Bohemia that sell for more than that.

Roland Kirk — The Limelight/Verve Years

This is a limited edition LP box set. The email containing the reminiscence by Michael Cuscuna caught my eye. I, too,  Read more

Adventures in Jazz Collection: The Auction, Volume 1

I participated in a jazz auction the other night. Not an eBay auction, but a traditional auction with real people and an auctioneer and a gavel. Here’s the story: A few weeks ago I got a call from a guy named David Quinn who said he ran an auction house and had in his possession a collection of jazz records and CDs from an estate sale. I helped David out with some information about the jazz collectibles market and he told me he’d send me a list and let me know when the auction was taking place. It was in the Washington DC area. I couldn’t make it down there, so I asked if I could be on the phone and perhaps bid on a few items. He arranged it and when the first item was put on the block at about 6:30 on Wednesday night, there I was on the phone, bidding on items I hadn’t actually seen. This put me at a pretty stark disadvantage, because there were about 30 people physically in the room at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Va. These people could physically see the items: I was going on guts and instincts and whatever pictures were available online. The thing with this type of auction, the auction house gets

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On eBay Now: Duke, Fuller, Newk

In addition to having an occasional existential crisis, I have also been putting some interesting items on eBay that are worth watching. Here are a couple:

The Complete Capitol Recordings of Duke Ellington, Mosaic MD 5-160. I got this a dozen years ago and never even opened it, so I figured it might be time to sell it. The CDs are unopened and the price is close to $100. Also: The Complete Blue Note/UA Curtis Fuller Sessions, Mosaic MD3-166. Similar situation as the Duke, with the CDs unopened. This one is currently at $50, but I’m hoping it goes for a lot more.

I had this one hanging in a frame above my desk: Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This is an original New York pressing. It is

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If You’re Looking For Mosaics . . .

Just got an email from our friends at the Jazz Record Center. They have put up another auction on eBay, this time it’s all boxed sets from the Mosaic Label. Among the items are sets from Tina Brooks, Charles Mingus, Art Pepper and Lee Morgan. There seem to be 31 sets in all. If you’re interested you can view them here. We’ll keep track on the prices of some of these so that we can add them to the Jazz Collector Price Guide. We also have a bunch of Mosaics of our own that we will be selling soon.

Today on Ebay, January 19, 2009

Things are kind of slow on eBay today, but there are definitely a few items of interest for those of us in the Jazz Collector world. Of particular note are several Blue Note test pressings from the seller Bluenotesound, which, we believe, is affiliated with Mosaic Records. This one is of the Jackie Mclean Quintet, listed as Blue Note BST 84116. It was recorded in 1962 — the record has the date 9-2-62 — but wasn’t released until the 1970s. It features Kenny Dorham and Sonny Clark and, according to the seller, Blue Note only issued 25 test pressings of each LP, so it would be extremely rare. In addition to this Jackie test pressing, there are two other test pressings available: Leo Parker, Rolling With Leo,  and a copy of the Sam Rivers LP Dimensions and Extensions. All of these are in near mint condition. It’ll be very interesting to see the final prices. 

Among the more conventional jazz collectibles are:

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