Cut-outs have been one of the mainstays of crate-diggers and general music freaks since the dawn of the 78 rpm platter. What this means is, is that when a title is dropped from a labelâ€™s catalogue, it is â€œcut outâ€ of it. The returns from retailers and other remaining copies in stock are then sold off to wholesalers at big discounts. That discount is -- usually -- passed on to consumers.
In the CD era, especially in the realm of jazz, titles go into and out of print with stunning regularity. Blue Note and Fantasy Prestige (now owned by Concord) have both taken catalogue items, issued them in limited runs, had them remastered, or deleted them altogether. These days, labels put out special editions of classic titles, and/or issue box sets that combine individual titles. In many cases, the leftovers from previous editions are sold off in big lots to those who specialize in items like this.
The coolest and best-priced cutout of 2007 has to be Joe Henderson's The Milestone Years, an eight-CD box that contains representative tracks from all of the albums the late great saxophonist cut for the imprint from 1967 to 1976, as well as several guest appearances he made on the recordings of others. The list price on this baby was $124.98. As of this writing, it has already shown up on eBay in their 99-cent bids, as well as in cheap â€œbuy nowâ€ items from several sellers there, and at other online retailers -- including some non-big box indies! The going retail is anywhere from $26-$40, with $30 being the mean. Check the AMG review of the set here. These won't be around long, so get on it if you are even remotely inclined to -- the holiday season is about on top of us.