There’s a seller on eBay now with a bunch of the U.K Esquire pressings of the original U.S. Prestige records. I never really had access to seeing these covers until eBay and, I must say, they are quite appealing. I find the artwork on the covers to be really cool. And it helps that the sound on these pressings, at least from what I’ve heard, is comparable to the original U.S. issues. Here are a couple from this auction, staring with: Sonny Rollins, Worktime, Esquire 32-038. This is an original Esquire and it is listed in M- condition for the vinyl and Ex for the cover. There is one bidder at approximately $115 and the auction closes in a couple of days. I know it’s not an original U.S. pressing, but it’s a pretty nice package and pretty rare, to boot. Hard to imagine that an early pressing like this from the 1950s won’t go up in value.
Glad so many of you are having fun playing with The Stupid List and enjoying it in the context in which I put it out there. Meanwhile, my watch list on eBay is overflowing and I will start with Lester Young and Teddy Wilson, Pres and Teddy, Verve 8205. This is an original pressing with the trumpeter logo. It is listed in what looks to be M- condition for the record and VG for the cover. The start price is about $10 and so far there are no bids, with five days left on the auction. This is not a record I would normally be watching here and, in fact, the only reason I noticed it was because I am watching some of the seller’s other items. A couple of things strike me. So far, in all of the comments on The Stupid List post, not a single respondent has mentioned Lester Young as a top five favorite jazz artist, which seems somewhat incredible. If Jazz Collector had been around 30 years ago, Pres probably would have been as predominant on the lists as Coltrane or Rollins. It shows how tastes change and, as time gets further away from the musician’s primary artistic contributions, people tend to either forget the influence, or diminish it or, perhaps, just move on to other artists. Louis Armstrong
I was watching that Clifford Brown autograph (as well as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, et al), but didn’t have enough interest to actually bid on it. To my surprise, there were only five bidders altogether, which would seem to indicate minimal interest at that price, which turned out to be $482.11. I did casually mention when I wrote the earlier post that Clifford was probably among my top five musicians of all time and that I would ponder that and do another post on it this weekend. Sometimes, as we all do, I say and do stupid things. It was stupid to even suggest that I could create a list of top five favorite musicians, when there are so many musicians I love and each musician brings something different and special to my life and my enjoyment of music. Last night I was listening to the Dexter Gordon record, Getting’ Around, Blue Note 4204, and I was thinking about how much I love Dexter and how much I treasured seeing him as often as I did in the early and mid-1970s, particularly his very first club date when he began playing again in the United States. And, goodness, what an amazing ballad performance on “Who Can I Turn To.” And then I put on two Miles Davis records, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain, and I thought
Sometimes you’re on eBay and you’re browsing and then along comes an item and it’s like, wow, I would really like to have that. And thus it is with me and this item: Brown and Roach Incorporated, Emarcy 36008. This is a Canadian pressing in G condition for the record and the cover. Not too appealing so far, right? Well, here’s the thing: The record is signed. Not just signed, but signed by Clifford Brown. If you think about when Clifford died, 1956, and how young he was, 25, you would have to think that there are very few Clifford Brown autographs anywhere. Not to mention that he is probably one of my top five favorite musicians of all time (actually, I will think further on that subject and do another post on it this weekend). So this record has Clifford’s signature and also signatures by Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, George Morrow and, presumably, Richie Powell. A few things, however, do make the record somewhat less appealing to me. One is I don’t actually collect autographed records as do some other people — hello, there, Don-Lucky. But I would love to have a Clifford Brown autograph. Two is that it seems the owner
So we are now in late December 2011 and I am going through the box of records that was delivered to my apartment in New York City and I am recording my discovery in real time for posterity. Here goes:
Let’s keep digging.
Another beauty. Donald Byrd, Byrd in Flight, Blue Note 4048. This is another one I’ve never owned, certainly never an original pressing which . . . this is! Sweet again. I just did a post on this record on Jazz Collector, just a week ago. A copy in near mint condition sold for more than $1,700 on eBay. This one is also in near mint condition, at least it is for the record. The cover is at least VG++, perhaps even M-. Perhaps this won’t top the market, but it’s got to be worth at least $1,200 in today’s market. Will I sell it? Will I sell the Griffin? Not a fucking chance. I’ve been waiting more than 40 years to get original copies of these records for my collection. And now . . . finally. They are mine.
Let’s keep digging.
A bunch of Blue Notes all in a row: Read more
I spent some time on eBay the other day and wound up putting a bunch of Blue Notes into my watch list, starting with Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes later today and the bidding is already more than $1,000.
Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This looks to be an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes later today and so far there are no bidders at a start price of about $750. I would expect this one to sell, wouldn’t you?
This seller has a lot of nice items on eBay this week, including Art Blakey, A Night at Birdland Volume 2, Blue Note 1522. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price is $350 with no bidders so far. There is also a buy-it-now price of $700.
Quite an interesting set of jazz vinyl we’re watching now on eBay, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia 1656. This one has the rare combination of being both autographed and sealed. The autographs all look legitimate and they are on the back of the cover, featuring Miles, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb, Wynton Kelly, Hank Mobley and JJ Johnson. As for the seal, when Columbia issued records in this area they often had an inner sleeve that was sealed. I know this because I recently purchased a copy of a similar record. So in this case, the record is unplayed, and the cover has autographs of some of the greatest icons of jazz. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is in the $300 range.
Here’s one that says “Org” in the listing, which I assume means original, which is a bit of an overstatement, unless you take the seller at her word and accept that it’s an original New Jersey pressing, which it is, just not an original first pressing: Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. It’s a nice Jersey pressing, in M- condition for the record and the cover. And, for a non-first pressing, it will reap a hefty price as it is already in the $400 range.
Here are a couple ending later today:
Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay now, starting with Sonny Rollins Plus Four, Prestige 7038. This looks like an original pressing to me with the first cover illustration, which means it is probably the original frame cover. The seller admits he doesn’t know much about jazz records, but he has this listed in VG++ condition for the vinyl and Ex for the cover and it’s certainly a fine-looking record. The start price is $250 and so far there are no bidders. Am I missing something, or will the bidding just come in late?
Among all kinds of weird stuff, this seller has mixed in a couple of 10-inch jazz gems, including Miles Davis, Young Man with a Horn, Blue Note 5013. This looks to be an original 10-inch pressing. In one place the seller lists it as VG+, and in another he has the vinyl as M-. Quite a difference. The start price for this is about $500 and there is one bid. From the same seller is Miles Davis Volume 2, Blue Note 5022. This one has a similar issue, listed as VG+ in one place and VG++ in another. This one has a start price of around $400 and there is one bid.
I’m back from vacation and what am I greeted with — a real-life and genuine, if fully trumped up, jazz controversy. I am referring to the fervor being generated over a column several days ago in The New Yorker titled: Sonny Rollins: In His Own Words. The article appeared in the “Shouts & Murmurs” section, which is a longtime humor column in The New Yorker. In the article a writer under the pseudonym Django Gold attributes a number of ridiculous statements to Sonny. Samples: “The saxophone sounds horrible. Like a scared pig.” And: “Jazz may be the stupidest thing anyone ever came up with.”
Hey, everyone. Checking in from vacation. Just spent three lovely days in Creede, Colorado, and I’m now in sunny San Diego, where, apparently, there is an excellent record store I should be checking out. And perhaps I will. In the meanwhile, I’m sneaking in some time to take a look at my eBay watch list and see what I’ve been missing. BTW, I am not here for the Comic-Con convention. One crazy obsession is enough for one lifetime.
Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This was an original deep-groove pressing listed in M- condition for the record and the cover, although the cover seemed slightly less to me. I’d love to own this record someday. Hard to imagine that it’s eluded me for more than 40 years, but that’s part of the joy of collecting, isn’t it: To always have something to look forward to. This one sold for $1,136.11.