Here’s a nice one for a rainy Tuesday here in The Berkshires: Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban Blue Note 5065. This is an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Not to hype things for the seller, but how many M- copies of this record do you think there are, anywhere in the world? Could there be 100, 200? Doubtful it would be more than that. I have a copy, but the condition is VG for the vinyl, and I was happy to get it for about $35 maybe 25 years ago in a store in Los Angeles.
Charles Mingus, Pithecanthropus Erectus, Atlantic 1237. This was an original black label pressing in VG condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $150, somewhat surprising given the condition. Interesting seller who seems to be selling all kinds of stuff all the time, nearly 110,000 feedbacks. He had a couple of other items I had spotted, but when I went back to search I didn’t have time to go through the various Judge Dredd bikes or Predator wolf masks to find a stray Mingus or two.
I didn’t think this one was a collectible, but there it is being auctioned by the Jazz Record Center with a start price of $100, so it must have collectible value to someone somewhere: Boppin’ With the Chet Baker Quintet, Prestige 7512. This is a stereo pressing with the purple label. I can’t recall any purple label Prestige selling for $100 or more, so I am somewhat surprised to see this one here. We’ll see what happens. On a side note, I saw the Chet Baker bio-pic the other day, Born to Be Blue. Very good film, well done, with a nice performance by Ethan Hawke as Chet. I also saw the Nina Simone bio-pic, Nina, with Zoe Saldana in the title role. There was a lot of controversy about this one because they chose a very light-skinned actress with very white features to play Simone. Anyway, I can’t believe I made it through the whole movie. It was so bad. Don’t bother. And, if you’re a Simone fan, REALLY don’t bother. It will just make you angry. I just noticed that the new Miles Davis bio-pic, Miles Ahead, with Don Cheadle as Miles, is playing up here in The Berkshires this weekend, so that may be next on my agenda.
Sorry. I haven’t been on eBay in so long all of the auctions I was watching have already ended. Good thing I wasn’t looking to buy anything. Here are a few to share: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This was an original pressing with the yellow labels and New York address. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was VG. You can see cover wear in the picture. The record sold for $295, which still seems pretty low to me in spite of the cover. If I didn’t have a copy, I’d probably take it for that price. Of course, I do have a mint copy now, courtesy of my excursion to Baltimore two-and-a-half years years ago. There was also this one from Jackie: Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,125. I wish this one had been in the Baltimore collection, but, alas, my own copy is not an original and it is not in great shape. Not that I would spend $1,125 to replace it.
One of our readers living in Japan recently sent a note with a story to share so I said, please, write it up. He did and here it is:
By Stuart Levine
I am a regular reader (living in Japan), who especially enjoys Al’s record-collecting adventures. Well I have one of my own to share with the Jazz Collector community. It all started last September in Tokyo. I had heard of Disk Union and wanted to see it for myself. Perhaps, I could score on a nice LP. When I got off the train at my exit, I could immediately see it to my left – an impressive brick building with a large Disk Union window sign. The only problem was this was not the store noted for its jazz inventory. The real deal, Disk Union “Jazz Tokyo” was about six blocks away. Had it not been for a fellow Southern Californian (wearing a Dodgers cap) walking me over to the right store, I would have come away from this experience very disappointed. My good fortune really started when I was introduced to the head buyer of used jazz vinyl, a soft-spoken gentleman named Katsu. He invited me to come back three months later on Dec. 19th when the store was having a big Blue Note record sale, to the tune of 500 original mono and stereo LPs. Read more
Sorry, again, for the gap between posts but, as I said, the workload has been particularly heavy lately. Thanks to ceedee for his occasional emails keeping me up on things I may have missed. He sent me two this week, the first being: Red Rodney, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ for the record and VG+ for the cover. The final price was $1,413.99, so I can see why he sent it. That’s the highest price I recall seeing for that record, although a quick search over to Popsike shows that there have been several higher and this one falls right into the normal range, although that VG+ cover would be of concern, at least to me, at least if I was paying $1,400, which I would never do anyway.
I had a fun-filled evening listening to some lovely jazz vinyl last night. I had planned to stay up in the country to get some writing done – in the real world I get paid to write about information technology and business. For those of you who didn’t know that, now you do. I’ve had an inordinate amount of assignments lately, which is why I’ve been blogging less often than usual on Jazz Collector. When you’re writing 1,500 to 2,000 words every single day about some esoteric business or technology issue, sometimes the last thing you want to do is sit at the computer and compose something new. At least, that’s how it is for me. Anyway, I was expecting to experience the first tastes of spring up here in The Berkshires, but instead we’ve had a couple of days of snow and quite frosty temperatures. There must be 5-6 inches of snow on the ground. No spring at all. Anyway, I am up here alone together with my dog Marty, which means I can play whatever music I want at whatever volume I want. Marty is very considerate that way. I have a very nice system with a Linn Sondek turntable, Macintosh integrated amp and Wilson Sophia speakers. I also have about 6,000 records to choose from and, for last night, there was the availability of fresh stimulants for the mind, which never hurts either. Read more
Catching up on some more jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with this from the seller bill-sf, who is a regular reader and commenter here at Jazz Collector: Sonny Rollins Plus 4, Prestige 7038. This was an original pressing with the yellow New York label and the first cover. The record was listed in a strong VG+ condition with an Ex cover. Surprised to see this one sell for Just $249.99. To me it’s one of the classics of the era and kind of a “must have,” if there is such a thing. When I compare this price to the price of some of the other records of this era, it looks like someone got a great bargain. To wit, as someone else mentioned, that copy of Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601, which was in VG+ condition for the record and VG for the cover, sold for $2,400, nearly 10 times the price of the Rollins. For what it’s worth.
Let’s catch up on some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with a dash of pepper: Art Pepper Quintet, Discovery 3023. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in M- condition for the record and probably about VG+ for the cover. The final price was $481. This is not one that comes up when you think about rare records but, honestly, I can’t recall the last time I saw a copy of this on eBay. I had a copy once. It had a scratch that caused several skips. I had a friend who was a Pepper fan and he offered me $50 for it. I think he wanted the cover and probably to listen to the side without the scratch. And then we are back in the nearly $3,000 bin with Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $2,700. This was the same record that ostensibly sold for more than $3,500 last week but something must have gone wrong and it was back on eBay. Perhaps the first buyer missed the line about superficial hairlines, which may take it out of the M- category.
Like many of you, I’ve been watching the auctions of a Maine dealer under the handle “the-things-that-are” and his or her impressive list of 1960s underground jazz rarities and European small-press records. Initially the seller put up an impressive buy-it-now list with rare early recordings from Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, and the composer Moondog. Most of these did not sell at fixed prices, although a few choice pre-production and very ornate-looking copies of Ayler’s Bells moved at $1,250 and $1,050, respectively. One seemed to be hand-printed on clear plastic, a variant that I’ve never seen before. These limited-run early versions of Bells surely made their intended mark at the time of release in 1966, and once ESP put it into production the record saw numerous variants of clear and colored vinyl and regularly printed or screen-printed color combinations. At auction, the seller did well with a number of interesting versions, even bringing in the ducats on a couple of damaged multicolor copies and 1970s stereo pressings (which normally don’t go much over $40). Read more
Let’s start the day with one of the rarest of the rare, although as rare as it may be, copies seem to be up on eBay quite often: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address and, for those who really care, the New York 23 label on one side. This copy is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover, although based on the pictures the cover may be more in the VG+ range with some damage on the back. The seller is not an eBay regular and has only 11 feedbacks. This one closes Saturday night and is currently in the $2,000 range.
While we’re on Mobley, there is also: Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This is an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, Van Gelder, ear, etc. This one is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price is $1,250, but so far there are no bidders. This seller has three other records on eBay now, all with starting prices of more than $1,000, all with zero bids as of now. One more, for the record: Bill Evans, Waltz For Debby, Riverside RS 9399. This is an original black label stereo pressing. It is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The start price is $1,100.