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Collect jazz LPs on a budget, Part I

If you are like most music collectors, you don’t have an unlimited supply of money, and you try to find the best pieces you can at the lowest price. Learn great tips now from Lynn McCutcheon!

Is your last name Gates, Vanderbilt, or Rockefeller? If so, stop reading right now. You can afford to pay big bucks for Blue Notes and top dollar for the rarest of Riversides and the most out-of-the-ordinary Argos.

But, if you are like most of us, you don’t have an unlimited supply of the green stuff, and you try to find the best pieces you can at the lowest price.

I love finding those classic jazz LPs by “Jug” Ammons, Dexter Gordon and the Modern Jazz Quartet on major jazz labels like Prestige, Blue Note and Atlantic. But, I get a special kick out of finding a record that is both enjoyable and more or less unknown.

I have two well-worn price guides, the pages of which contain many penciled-in entries — records that don’t exist, at least according to the price guides. Because they are not listed in the guides, collectors tend to overlook them when they show up in thrift stores. Some owners of used vinyl stores know little about jazz, so when they can’t find the record in their price guide, they assume it is no good and consign it to the “cheapie” bin.

You have to do a little searching through some vinyl fool’s gold to unearth these unpolished gems, and you have to carefully read liner notes and be willing to invest 50 cents now and again on a record that may or may not turn out to be worthwhile. But, isn’t that part of the fun of being a record collector?

Listed and described in Part I of this look at rare jazz LPs are a few of the many unknowns I have managed to rescue from yard sales, thrift stores and used vinyl emporiums. One of these set me back $5, but most found their way into my collection for a dollar or less. The majority of them are records that I have seen but once in the dozen years or so that I have been collecting jazz LPs.

Intrigue With Soul

Perry & the Harmonics

Mercury 21037

Personnel:Clarence Perry — tenor sax, Richard McCrea — organ, Paul Pratt — guitar, Maurice Wells — drums, Ed Townsend – piano.

The theme is James Bond music, played in a jazz/soul fusion style that evokes imagery of Ramsey Lewis accompanied by organ, sax and guitar.

The “Goldfinger” theme is a familiar one — I found their treatment of it to be quite refreshing. “007,” from the movie “From Russia With Love,” features solos from Perry and Pratt, and “James Goes to Soulville” is a catchy theme nicely developed by Perry, Pratt and organist Richard McCrea. Is this Ed Townsend the same guy who a few years earlier crooned the beautiful “For Your Love?”

More importantly, what happened to this group? None of the five names show up in my jazz price guide that covers recordings released through 1990. These unanswered questions make Intrigue With Soul more intriguing today than it was in the late ’60s when it was released.

Thoughts of a Gentleman

Dave Bendigkeit Quartet

Quartet 1002

Personnel: Dave Bendigkeit — trumpet and flugelhorn, Smith Dobson — piano, Larry Grenadier — bass, Vince Lateano — drums.

OK, repeat after me, “I don’t like the Dave Bendigkeit Quartet.” Keep telling yourself this over and over, and don’t ever listen to this recording, because if you ever hear it, you are going to like it.

Bendigkeit’s sound is crisp and clear. You hear a player who is sure of himself, and you hear a supporting cast