Song For My Father

A Jazz Memoir By Al Perlman

Jazz was always in my life. It was my father’s great love. I grew up in a tiny first-floor garden apartment in Bayside, Queens, five of us with one bathroom, a small kitchen, two bedrooms, two closets, a living room and another family living in equally cramped quarters directly above us. There wasn’t much space and my mother made it even smaller by banning us from the living room. This was our “show” room to be kept in pristine condition and used only when we had guests: We weren’t permitted to sit in it or talk in it or eat in it or do anything in it. My mother kept plastic on the furniture and took it off only when there was company. The one exception was when my father was home and wanted to listen to jazz. That’s where he had his great big Fisher console with the hi-fi and radio.  Read more

A Few Items To View

 After a few days off, I finally got to catch up a bit on eBay this week. Here are some of the items worth looking at today. If you check out the first item, from Atomic_records, you should also look at “View Seller’s Other Items.” As is often the case, this seller has a lot of nice records for auction this week.


Jackie McLean, New Soil, Blue Note 4013

 This is a new seller that has some interesting items at fairly high starting prices. This one, for example, is in nice condition, but it’s not an original pressing: Miles Davis, Cookin’, Prestige 7094.

 Here’s one that might be a bargain: Sonny Rollins, Sonny Boy, Prestige 7207. This is an original pressing. For some reason, this LP doesn’t command a high price. Some of the material was issued earlier, but some of it is new, including a beautiful version of “The House I Live In.” Does anyone know of  any other jazz version of this song?

Illinois Jacquet and his Tenor Sax, Aladdin 708.

Reflections From Sonny Rollins, Part 2

Yesterday we offered a quote from an interview by Joe Goldberg with Sonny Rollins from Downbeat August 26, 1965. Here’s a second quote from the same article.

 “The thing to do is to work on myself, so I can play me. The audience can tell that. I remember one night, on the first tune, something went wrong with the rhythm section I was working with. They weren’t together at all, not with me, not with each other. We were playing Lover, I think, and there was this shambles behind me, and all I was trying to do was keep things from falling apart. I was playing as hard as I could, but I couldn’t get anything going; I didn’t play a thing. Finally we got through it, and I’ve never heard an audience applaud like that. I thought about it later, and I decided that they felt how hard I was trying, and they responded to that. It’s the same thing when an audience is talking and drinking while you’re playing. It’s a challenge to make them stop and listen. You can do it with tricks, but I’ve learned that it’s better to do it by playing something you really mean. Then they’ll listen. I can usually accomplish that, when I try.”

Reflections From Sonny Rollins, 1965

I must admit, I’m putting a lot of time into my regular gig these days, and not spending too much on eBay. So, this morning, looking for something quick and simple to write, I came upon an old Downbeat from August 26, 1965, with a cover story titled: “The Further Adventures of Sonny Rollins: A revealing conversation with the controversial tenor saxophonist, by Joe Goldberg.”


Without doing major analysis, I will offer a couple of revealing quotes: One today and one tomorrow. Here’s today’s:


“The average Joe knows just as much as I do – he knows more than I do. I’m the average Joe, and I think people recognize that. That’s why I play standards. Everybody knows Stardust. These guys who play only their own tunes, they can cover up a lot of things, but if you play the melody of Stardust, everybody can tell whether you’re doing it right or not. I’ve called tunes like that to guys who didn’t know them. How can you call yourself a professional musician if you don’t know all those songs?”

A Milestone for Milestones

I can’t pinpoint exactly when this happened, but sometime over the past couple of years it seems the Miles Davis Columbia LPs crossed the $100-barrier for original mono pressings in nice condition. Kind of Blue has gone way beyond that. Here’s a recent copy of Milestones, Columbia 1193. Price: $102.50

 And here’s Round Midnight, Columbia 949. Price: $122.49

 Here’s another we were watching. Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This was an original New York pressing, but it was not in great condition. The seller listed both the record and cover as a cross between VG and VG+. I don’t know this seller, but in most cases, that means closer to VG. Still it went for the hefty sum of $510.

 Here’s one that went for a higher price than usual: Stan Getz Quartets, Prestige 7002. This was in nice condition and was offered by a very reputable dealer. Price: $282


Advice to Sellers on Ebay

Jazz Collector Newsletter, July 2005

Welcome to Jazz Collector. We’ve been very good about updating the web site every day, so if you haven’t been visiting, please take a look: There’s been some interesting discussion and we’ve been watching some nice items on eBay. Speaking of eBay, as we often do, we start this newsletter with advice to sellers, which we hope will generate some reader response. We also have our usual assortment of upcoming items, some new LPs in our Price Guides and an all-time favorite music clip.

I was recently talking to a subscriber who is interested in selling his collection on eBay as a retirement business. Here’s the main advice I gave him:

Read more

High Prices for Prestige Jersey Pressings

Greetings. In addition to our regular monthly newsletter, we are sending out occasional email alerts when we post new items in Latest Prices or when we see particularly interesting auctions on eBay or if we happen to visit a new record store. This alert is to let you know that we’ve just posted more than 100 new records in Latest Prices. Among the ones that interested us were copies of Sonny Rollins’ Saxophone Colossus and Tenor Madness that sold in the $300 price range – for New Jersey pressings. Prices seem to keep rising. We’re going to try to post new price listings every other week and we’re now updating the Web site every day with fresh material. Have you been following the eBay debate on It’s been interesting and we’ll be posting more letters next week. 

More on the Great eBay Debate

Jazz Collector Newsletter, June 2002


We have some positive changes coming at Jazz Collector. We’re updating the Web site and starting Monday we’ll be posting new items each weekday. Plus, we’ll be giving away free collectibles from the site periodically. Finally, we’re going to post more articles and commentaries from readers and increase activity on the site’s Forum. The hope is to create a hub for the Jazz Collector community, so please use the site and offer up any suggestions. The site upgrade won’t affect the newsletter, which will still come out once a month. We have more than 800 subscribers now and the roster keeps growing. Obviously, jazz vinyl is alive and well.

Read more

Quiet Kenny and a Few Blue Notes


 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: Read more

What’s A Signed LP By Frank Sinatra Worth?

Here are the results of some of the items we were watching yesterday on eBay:


Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This was an original pressing of this very rare record. The dealer uses different terminology than we use for grading, but it seems like the record was what we would call VG++ and the cover was VG+. Price: $798


Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This was an original pressing from the same dealer as the Jackie McLean record. This was in VG++/VG++ condition. It sold for $713. We expected this to go for a higher price. In our Price Guide Read more

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