It felt so good clearing out portions of my inbox yesterday, I’m going to the same today, starting with a couple of items about one of my heroes, Sonny Rollins. The first comes from an article by Amanda Petrusich in the New Yorker from April 5. (I told you I was way behind on my email). It is about a movement, now in its early stages, to rename the Williamsburg Bridge in honor of Sonny. The Sonny Rollins Bridge: Now this is an idea we can all get behind. The idea is the brainchild of a guy named Jeff Caltabiano, who has established something called The Sonny Rollins Bridge Project. When we get a chance we will reach out and find out if he has made any progress. Read more
Just back from a brief holiday in San Francisco and lovely Creede, Colorado, where my son directed a play. I seem to be picking up exactly where I left off, with another note from Ceedee bemoaning, in a jocular way, the latest adventures in Blue Note prices. Let’s start with Miles Davis, Volume One, Blue Note 1501. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for the record and Ex for the cover. The final price was $1,125. No surprise there. I have to admit to you all that I recently passed on a lovely collection that contained a copy of this record in even better condition. The records in the collection were in beautiful condition but, unfortunately for me, there weren’t enough records that I didn’t already own to make it worth my while. I would have had to spend months on eBay to get back the return on my investment and I would have added some gems to the collection but, as you can probably surmise, I am just too busy with my regular work to devote my energies to selling records these days.
Here’s one you don’t see very often. In fact, I don’t recall every writing about this record before: Wade Legge, New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5031. This is an original Lexington Avenue 10-inch pressing. The record and cover are both listed in Ex condition by a very reputable seller. The bidding is in the $280 range with about four days left on the auction. Wade Legge was not recorded very often and died young, at just 29 years of age. I just did a Google search and, it turns out, with shared the same birthday. I am a big fan of his playing on a couple of Sonny Rollins albums, Rollins Plays for Bird and Sonny Boy. I didn’t recall that he was on the Charles Mingus Tonight at Noon Album, so I will have to go back and listen to that, as well as a couple of others. I highly doubt that I will be getting the 10-inch Blue Note record anytime soon, given that I never see it and typically avoid paying top dollar on eBay.
This is also one I don’t see very often, but I’ve never viewed it as a record that was particularly favored by collectors:
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.
Here’s a nice rare Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Speakin’ My Piece, Blue Note 4043. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing with the deep grooves, ear and RVG stamp in the deadwax. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover is VG++. The start price is $700 and there are four days left in the auction, with no bidders yet. We are starting our post today with this because we just saw the news that Horace Parlan passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Or course Parlan is well known in the Jazz Collector world for the albums he recorded on Blue Note in the early 1960s. I was originally going to mention six albums, but I looked at his discography and came upon the album “Happy Frame of Mind,” which I had forgotten about because it wasn’t issued until the 1980s. In any case, we mourn the passing of another one of the fine musicians of the era. I recall seeing Parlan in the 1970s and was quite impressed with his musicianship and percussive style, and the fact that he was limited to the use of just two fingers on his right hand. RIP.
Here’s another one of those cool Esquires with a cool cover: Sonny Rollins Quintet, Esquire 20-080. This is the original U.K. version of the Prestige record Moving Out (Prestige 7058). This one is in M- condition for both the record and the cover. There are two days left on the auction and the bidding is already close to $700. What I said in my previous post about getting a good deal on these Esquires? I only wrote it a week ago. Have times changed that quickly, or does it have to do with immaculate condition of this record? Or, perhaps, a little of both?
Meanwhile, it seems as if the bidding has barely begun on this original original Prestige: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This looks like a beauty, graded M- for the record and VG++ for the cover. There seems to be shrink wrap, which would not have been the packaging medium when it was first introduced, but that wouldn’t scare me off at all. With more than three days left, the bidding is at just $45. I would expect it to increase markedly as we get close to the end of the auction.
Catching up on my eBay watch list, and starting with this one because I dig the cover and don’t recall ever seeing it before: Miles Davis, Dig Featuring Sonny Rollins, Esquire 32-062. This was an original British pressing and there’s just something cool about these Esquire covers. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The final price was $182.50. For those of you commenting on the earlier posts about alternatives to paying top dollar for U.S. originals on Prestige, these UK pressings look like a pretty good deal to me. And from my experience, the sound is equal to the U.S. pressings. (But, alas, there is no comparable alternative for the Blue Note fanaticos out there, is there?)
Speaking of original Prestiges, there was also this on our watch list: Read more
Sorry, again, for the paucity of posts and thanks, again, to Clifford for pitching in. There’s a lot to catch up on so let’s begin, starting with Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. I think we may be seen a new paradigm taking shape in our Jazz Collector world. This copy was in extremely nice condition, graded M- for both the cover and the vinyl. It sold for $1,002.99, which some might think would be a bargain price for an original of Saxophone Colossus, and, of course, that would be accurate. But this was not an original pressing, but instead was a yellow label New Jersey pressing. I think we’re starting to see the rise of the second — and later — pressings because the originals are so expensive and so hard to come by, particularly in near mint condition. Makes me regret that I sold so many of my Liberty Blue Notes for $20 or so when I was selling regularly on eBay in the first part of the 2000s. Then again, the reason I was able to sell those Liberties was because I had acquired original pressings and no longer needed them, so nothing really to complain too strenuously about.
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.
Sorry for the long delay between posts. The Lovely Mrs. JC and I took a much-needed vacation and I am just getting settled back in. Didn’t go too far, just to Provincetown on Cape Cod, but it felt like a million miles away. Anyway, I’m going to swing over to eBay now and see what may be of interest to me and, of course, to you loyal readers who keep the site going even whilst I’m away. So, thank you all.
Here’s one from near the top of my want list: Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, which sounds like VG++ to my grading sensibilities and nomenclature. The bidding is in the $470 range with more than a day left, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. Read more