Nov 23, 2014 Features
It wasn’t until early January that the second batch of records arrived. As I did with the first batch, I recorded the unveiling for posterity. This is what I wrote:
The final batch of records has arrived. The guy from the shipping department in the building just brought them up on a hand truck. Three boxes – those banker’s box file boxes, the brown and white ones you get in Stapes. They’ve never been good for storing or transporting records, but hopefully this batch made it through safely. Opening the first box. There’s a sheath of what looks to be sheepskin or some kind of cotton on top. Nice. The records seem safe. On top, an Errol Garner record. No big deal. Going through the records. Each has the same type of soft plastic cover: I have a feeling these were the original covers on the records. In the 1950s and 1960s they didn’t use what we have come to know as shrink wrap, but they used a cover and it fit loosely over the records, just like these. They certainly seem old enough, and dirty enough, and covered with enough dust to have been original covers from the 1950s. No matter. Getting through the box, one by one, record by record.
Nov 22, 2014 Blue Note, Features
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..
Nov 21, 2014 Blue Note, Features
Well, yes. Yes, I would be interested in the records at around the price that we had discussed nearly two months earlier. Now, recall, I had still never seen the records. They were in Toronto and I was in New York. The guy selling them admittedly didn’t know much about them, other than what he had gleaned from the Jazz Collector Web site and the Fred Cohen Blue Note book. He also told me that many of the records were from England and South Africa, which meant that it was still possible they were not original pressings. If it wasn’t a big investment for me, I wouldn’t have cared that much. But we were talking about a hefty hunk of change, a few thousand dollars, for essentially 25 or so records. This was definitely a risk on my part. So I made a suggestion: I would send him one third of the total price and he would send me 25 records, of which there would be at least 10 of the Blue Notes. If the records were as he said—original pressings, nice condition—I would then send him the rest of the money and he would send me the rest of the records. There were some more negotiations. Again, I won’t bore you with the details. Eventually we struck at deal. I took a deep breath, wrote out a check, put in the mail and waited.
Nov 19, 2014 Blue Note, Features
What’s the saying: A little knowledge is a dangerous thing? Unfortunately, I was the inadvertent cause of my own undoing, at least temporarily. By publishing a price guide on Jazz Collector with very specific details on pressings and condition, I was able to provide enough knowledge for my new friend in Toronto to be a little bit dangerous, at least dangerous to the prospect of my ever getting my hands on his records. I will spare you all the grim details, but we went through several weeks of negotiations and couldn’t agree on a price. I still hadn’t seen the records, but I had pulled enough information that I had a good sense that most of the Blue Notes—but not all of them—were original pressings, including Cool Struttin’ and Byrd in Flight, among others. And I was promised that the records and covers were in excellent condition.
Nov 18, 2014 Blue Note, Features
There were several things that struck me about the latest note from my new friend in Toronto, the one with the 25 Blue Notes he was looking to sell among a batch of other jazz records. One was that he had taken the time to do the research and come up with some potential values for the records. Two was that he had taken the time to catalogue them and even listen to a few. And three was that he was asking if I knew a Jazz Collector who might be interested in the collection. I liked that he capitalized Jazz Collector, because that would be me and not just any jazz collector, and he said that his dad would have loved for these records to go to a real collector who would appreciate them. I took all of this as an indication that, all things considered, he would like to sell the records to me.
Nov 17, 2014 Prestige
We interrupt our Adventure in Jazz Collecting to bring you the following news bulletin. The copy of Tommy Flanagan Overseas we were watching on eBay sold for $3,506.78. We now return to our regular programming.
Nov 17, 2014 Blue Note, Features
Toronto. That’s where the records were located. In Canada.
So a few thoughts went through my head. First, how long does it take to drive to Toronto from New York City? From my recollection, it was about 10 hours. I checked on Google. Only eight hours. Not bad, but not great. Then, what’s it like crossing the border hauling hundreds of records. Granted, this was only 200 records, but what would happen? Would I be stopped? Would I have to pay some kind of tax? Would the border guard be a closet jazz collector anxious to confiscate my one and only treasured copy of Cool Struttin’?
The idea of Toronto didn’t thrill me, but I wasn’t at the stage yet where I had to worry about that. I still hardly knew anything about the records. That issue was cleared up just a week later in the next e-mail. The owner had taken my advice and purchased Fred Cohen’s Blue Note book. He had taken the time to go over each of the records and provide me with a full list. He had gone through the Jazz Collector Price Guide to come to an approximate value for each record.
Nov 15, 2014 Blue Note, Features
So yesterday I was in my apartment in New York and I had 45 minutes to kill and I decided to put on a classic Blue Note record I hadn’t listened to in a while, if ever. I went through the collection and stopped at Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559, and I put the record on the turntable and it is quite an interesting record, with early Coltrane and lots of up-tempo material, particularly The Way You Look Tonight. And one other interesting thing is the presence of Art Blakey in the rhythm section, who has an ability to make every session sound like one of his own, with that perpetually driving beat and heavy accents. And I’m listening to the record, and I’m looking at the cover, and I’m reading the liner notes and I’m thinking to myself: Where and when did I get this record? And therein lies a story.
Nov 14, 2014 $1000 Records, Blue Note, Prestige
Back on eBay after an extended absence, for which I apologize once again. Took a quick check of some listings and found this: Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. This looks to be an original New York pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding ends tomorrow and it is already more than $1,000, perhaps on its way to the $2,000 bin. Interesting thought about this record: Did Prestige ever issue this on the yellow New Jersey label? I don’t recall ever seeing one or hearing about one. I guess it’s possible they just issued it once in the original format, which is what makes it so rare and so treasured by collectors.
Our friend Serge in Canada has several nice records on eBay now, including Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Blue Note 1515. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing in VG++ to M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The bidding is in the $450 range, but it hasn’t yet reached the seller’s reserve price.
My goodness, look what happened to this one:
Nov 6, 2014 Blue Note, Prestige
A few more jazz vinyl pieces from the Jazz Collector eBay watch list.
Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing, listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The auction closes in two days and the bidding is close to $700. Given the current market it would be a real shocker if this doesn’t sell for more than $1,000.
Here’s one with similar personnel from the same era: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Jazz Message #2, Savoy 12092. This is a sealed copy and this is the seller’s story: He recently purchased a bunch of sealed Savoys and opened one, which was an original red-label pressing. He’s not opening the others, because he is assuming that they are all original pressings. He is saying that he “guarantees” that the rest are original pressings. As a potential buyer, which I am not, I’d be
Nov 4, 2014 $1000 Records, Blue Note
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.
Oct 29, 2014 Autographs, Blue Note, Features
So yesterday afternoon I was walking my dog Marty, the one who has accompanied me on my recent record scores, and we passed Barnes & Noble two blocks away and there in the window was a notice that Herbie Hancock would be appearing in the evening at 7 p.m. to discuss his new biography in conversation with Larry Blumenfeld who, I subsequently found out, is a jazz writer for, among others, The Wall Street Journal. Of course, this was of great interest to me so I left my house at 6:40 or so to venture the two blocks to Barnes & Noble and I took the escalator to the area where the discussion would be and, to my great surprise, the room was completely filled and overflowing, to the point where I actually had to stand outside the main area to hear and see the discussion. There must have been between 200 and 300 people in attendance. I don’t know why, but I expected a much smaller crowd. I never entertained the idea of leaving, because I wanted to hear what Herbie had to say and because I had also brought two of my rare Blue Notes for him to sign, which, as you can see in the picture, was a successful outcome. I was pleased that a good portion of the conversation was around Hancock’s time with Miles and, especially, his time with Blue Note. I will share one of the interesting Blue Note stories he told.
Oct 27, 2014 Autographs, Blue Note, Price Guide, Promo Copies
Let’s close the loop on some of the rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching here at Jazz Collector, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia, 1656. You may recall this was the record with the inner seal and signed by Miles, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and JJ. Johnson. When we first looked at this record there was one day left in the auction and the bidding was in the $300 range. The record wound up selling for a whopping $2,091.75.
Here are a few from the recent Jazz Record Center auction, starting with Red Rodney, 1957, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in M- for the cover and probably VG++ for the record. We were commenting that there was no action in the auction but, of course, there was quite a bit at the end. The record wound up selling for $1,324.50. Thelonious Monk, Monk, Columbia 2291. This would not normally appear on a list of collectible records, but this was a promo copy with the white labels. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $114.37. From the same auction there were also . . .
Oct 24, 2014 $1000 Records, Blue Note
Here’s something I would love to hear and own: Bill Evans Acetate, US Army Dance Band Jazz 1951. This seems to be a legitimate recording of Bill Evans in 1951. The problem for me is that the start price is $1,000 and that seems too high unless I planned to do something with it, like transfer it to digital and make it available for broader consumption. I would be willing to do that, but not at that price. It makes me think that we should form some sort of non-profit Jazz Collector collective to acquire some of these rare items to share and preserve them. If you recall, there was also a very rare J.R. Monterose recording of him as a teenager that we had an opportunity to acquire, as well as a recent Dizzy Gillespie concert and I’m sure many others.
This seller has some interesting items, including Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This looks to be an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover. The bidding is in the $450 range and there are still two days to go on the auction. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $3,000 on many occasions in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. One of the things I find interesting about this auction is
Oct 22, 2014 Blue Note
I’m watching the current auction from the Jazz Record Center, which closes in two days, and I am left to wonder: Where are the bidders? Perhaps they will show up at the end, as the often do. But, after seeing so much action on other auctions, I’d expect to see more on this one, considering the sterling reputation of the seller. We’ll see what happens. Some of the records I’m watching from this list:
Bennie Green, Back on the Scene, Blue Note 1587. This is an original pressing in what looks to be pristine condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is $300 and so far there are no bidders. I recently purchased a copy of this record in my Baltimore purchase, so I don’t need it, but I’d be happy to get a copy in this condition for anything less than $500, which may seem possible.
Art Taylor, AT’s Delight, Blue Note 4047. This is also an original deep groove pressing in what looks to be M- condition for the record and the cover. The start price is $250 and there are no bidders as of now. Huh? This is a great record. I happen to own a copy signed by Art Taylor, which is quite precious to me.
Oct 15, 2014 Blue Note, Prestige
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:
Oct 14, 2014 $1000 Records, Blue Note
I step away from eBay for a few days and come back and my watch list looks like it has exploded with records in the $1,000 and even $2,000 bin. First there was this from our friends at Euclid Records: J. R. Monterose, In Action, Studio 4 100. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $2,175. We have seen this one sell for more than $2,000 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but this is a new high for us. To me, it’s almost always a surprise when a record sells for more than $2,000. You’d think I’d be used to it by now.
Speaking of $2,000 records, there was also Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ or M- for the cover. In a previous post I admonished the seller for the poor quality of his picture. Turns out the seller is one of our regular readers and, in fact, someone I have had very pleasant dealings with over the years. So I will be a little bit more circumspect in some of my comments. Although, it really was a poor picture. No matter. The record sold for $2,181.
Oct 8, 2014 Norgran, Prestige
Haven’t checked the old Jazz Collector mailbox lately, so let’s see what some of our readers have sent us.
We can always count on our friend CeeDee for something interesting. This one came under the heading: “Prez gets a nice bid.” The link is to Lester Young, Norgran 1022. This was an original yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the beautiful David Stone Martin cover. It sold for $532, quite a nice price for an old Pres Norgran indeed. The other day I was listening to Stardust from the Lester Young and Oscar Peterson record on Norgran. His playing from this period is so sad and melancholy it almost makes me cry.
Jason sent me a link to this listing: Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane, New Jazz 8276. This was a sealed copy, which the seller insisted was an original pressing. How? He felt through the cover and, like braille, read the deep grooves. He also compared the weight to a later pressing and attested that the sealed copy was heavier. Whatever. I’d have been cautious as the seller and, in fact, I would have broken the seal and opened the record. And if it was an original, I would have put it on the turntable, played it, and stuck it where it belongs, right on my shelf within my collection. This one sold for $185.51 and, I have a feeling, may never be opened.
Judd sent me this one and I found it so ridiculous I wasn’t going to post it, but, obviously have relented:
Oct 6, 2014 Blue Note, Prestige
How desperate are you for one of the rarer of the Blue Notes, Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590? This looks to be an original pressing with all sorts of issues. The cover is VG and the record has two skips. Hmm. Someone has bid $300 for the record but the seller has a reserve price that has not yet been met. Seems like the seller can’t afford a camera so perhaps that’s why he’s holding out for a higher price.
Here’s another one with camera issues: Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York 23 labels. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is listed as VG++ or M-, although it would be hard to tell from the cover picture, which seems as if it was taken in a coffin. This bidding has topped $500 for this record, but, alas, it has also not reached the seller’s reserve price.
The same seller put up a fine picture of this record: Donald Byrd, Byrd Jazz, Transition 5. This is an original pressing
Oct 5, 2014 10-Inch LPs, Blue Note, Prestige
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.
Sep 30, 2014 Autographs, Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside
Let’s update some of the records we were watching on eBay, starting with: Tadd Dameron and John Coltrane, Mating Call, Prestige 7070. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was just a shade below, probably VG++. The record sold for $393. I listened to this recently and had forgotten just how good it is. It was released before Coltrane’s first record as a leader on Prestige, but his playing is much more confident and assured than on the earlier Miles record or even the contemporaneous jam session records such as John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Tenor Conclave, Prestige 7074, which was sold by the same seller in the same lot. This one was in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $420.
Sep 26, 2014 10-Inch LPs, Autographs, Riverside
So what are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay as we head into what promises to be a lovely weekend as autumn sets in here in the Northeast region of the U.S. of A.? Let’s start with a little Monk: Thelonious Monk, At the Blackhawk, Riverside 323. This looks to be an original pressing with several unique characteristics. For one, it ostensibly comes from the collection of the jazz pianist Frank Strazzeri, who passed away a few months ago. More importantly, the record contains an autograph by Monk, signed on a separate piece of paper and attached to the record by scotch tape. Given the provenance you would think it would be perfectly legitimate, but not being an autograph expert, I leave that to others to debate and discuss. Don Lucky, are you out there? This one has two punch holes on the cover, and the vinyl is listed in VG++ condition by Atomic Records, which, in my experience, is one of the more reputable sellers on eBay. The current price is in the $400 range and there are more than two days left on the auction.
Speaking of Monk, there is:
Sep 24, 2014 $1000 Records, Blue Note, Prestige
Let’s catch up on some of the jazz records were were watching on eBay before we were so rudely interrupted by life.
Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Study in Brown, Emarcy 36037. This is, of course, one of the classic records of the era. I haven’t noticed it selling for big prices in recent years, but perhaps that’s just me not noticing. Looking in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, I see we have several instances of the record selling for between $400 and $700. This looked to be an original pressing in just VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. I was surprised to see that it sold for $280.55, which is why I was watching it. I thought it would sell for less.
I thought this would sell for less as well: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch LP in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $504.99. That seller did well not just with the Monk and Clifford records, but also with the Sun Ra records he had and some of his other 10-inch LPs, including Dexter Gordon Quintet, Dial 204. This was an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $333.
Here’s one for the $1,000 bin:
Sep 18, 2014 10-Inch LPs, Blue Note, Prestige
Here are some of the items we’re watching on eBay now, starting with some 10-inch LPs: Clifford Brown, New Star on the Horizon, Blue Note 5032. This is an original pressing listed in VG condition for the record and VG for the cover. There are three days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $50 range. Lately, we’ve been seeing high prices for original 12-inch Blue Notes, even those in not-such-great condition, like this one. I have a feeling we won’t see the same phenomenon for the 10-inch records, simply because they are a greater risk to begin with. They typically have more surface noise anyway, at least to these ears. Not sure why that is. Readers? Watching the auctions from this seller will give us a sense of the market, since he has a lot of nice 10-inch LPs in similar shape, including Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. Actually, this one is in better shape, graded at VG+ for both the record and the cover. The bidding, so far, reflects the better condition. This one is now in the $70 range.
I was also watching this one from the same seller, and I was surprised it fetched as high a price as it did: