So, yesterday I had either an extraordinary epiphany or an utter psychotic episode, depending upon your point of view. Let me set the stage by going back about 30 years to the time when I borrowed $10,000 from family to acquire my first record collection, 1,000 records that seemed like a poor investment at the time, paying $10 apiece. At the time I probably had about 1,000 records of my own and I wound up with many duplicates. There was no e-Bay at the time, of course, and the best way for a collector like myself to get rid of duplicates was to work the record shows that took place on the weekends. Between Long Island and Manhattan, at the time, there was probably a show every month or so, but I would be selective and do one or two a year. Sometimes I’d take my daughter and she would hang out and, when she got older, sometimes follow in her father’s footsteps and go out and seek some scores of her own. In between these record shows the duplicate records would sit in boxes somewhere in my house. Over the
Spent the day in Brooklyn yesterday with a table at the WFMU Record Fair, which is being held at the Brooklyn Expo Center in lovely downtown Greenpoint, where my father spent his youth and learned to love jazz. It was a weird day, a bit unlike the other record fairs I’ve attended. Usually, there’s a ton of action before the doors open, with a lot of transactions between dealers, but even more among the dealers and heavy-duty collectors who don’t have tables but purchase expensive early admission passes or pretend to be with dealers that have tables. There was none of that yesterday, and not even a lot of action when the doors opened for early admission at 4 p.m. There was a full crowd at 7, but not a preponderance of jazz collectors.
I know I haven’t posted in a while when every item in my eBay watch list is no longer active. Here are some of the highlights that I’ve missed, starting with Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, etc. The seller listed the vinyl in VG++ condition and the cover as VG+/VG++, but the picture clearly shows that it’s not VG++, so that might cause some concern about the vinyl grading as well. It would concern me, that’s for sure, particularly at that price, which was $2,524. Not that I would ever pay that price anyway, nor would I pass judgment on anyone that would
Here’s another Blue Note that ended up in the $1,000 bin: Lee Morgan, City Lights, Blue Note 1575. This was also an original West 63rd Street pressing. The vinyl was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++. The final price was $1,081.
Just to close the loop on yesterday’s post. Yes, indeed, I went back to the town dump to see if there were any more treasures to be found and to see if there was anything I had inadvertently left behind. There was nothing new there, but I did wind up taking a few more CDs, not just for myself but for a few friends as well. I’m in a band up here with three other musicians and we had practice so I brought some CDs and told them they could take whatever they wanted. Some of the CDs, it turned out, were just the cases, but most of them had CDs, including all of the boxed sets. So, now that I’m settled in and had a chance to go through my score, here is the final tally:
You’re really not going to believe what happened to me yesterday. I’m up at my house in The Berkshires and we were hosting some friends for brunch. I did some cleanup in the morning and decided at the last-minute that I would have to go to the town dump to get rid of some garbage before I guests arrived. So I piled some garbage into the car, loaded my dog Marty onto the front seat and headed for the dump. In our local town here, there’s a small shack at the dump where people get rid of stuff they don’t want so that others who may be interested can just take it, free. They call it a swap shop and, occasionally, I’ve found some odds and ends in there, a couple of records, some decent speakers, nothing special. Yesterday, because I was in a bit of a hurry, I wasn’t even going to check, but it only takes a minute and it’s hard to resist. You never know what’s going to be there.
Time to catch up on some of the jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching from eBay, starting with this whopper: Donald Byrd, Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill, Transition 17. This was an original pressing with the booklet. Everything seemed to be in M- condition. The final price was $3,839.10. Definitely a new high for this record for the Jazz Collector Price Guide, although I was surprised to see that this record has sold for more than $2,600 in the past.
This one is destined for the $2,000 bin and perhaps even joining the Byrd record in the $3,000 bin: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. this is an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in VG++ condition for
Just spent some time perusing eBay and added a few more items to our watch list, which is not the same as our wish list. Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching, starting with The Duke Pearson Quintet, Hush, Jazzline 3302. This is an original pressing of a record that you hardly ever see posted on eBay. This one is in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover, depending upon your level of discernment. For me, it’s VG+. The bidding is in the $300 range and there are still more than two days to go. If you check out this record, check out the seller’s other listings. It is one of the dealers from Italy who often has very nice listings. In addition to Hush, for example, you will see Paul Chambers, Go!, VeeJay 1014. This is an original pressing with the maroon label and deep grooves. It looks to be in M- condition for the record and the cover. The price is
Here’s a nice one that I don’t recall seeing in the past: The Essen Jazz Festival All Stars, Debut 131. This record features Coleman Hawkins, Bud Powell, Oscar Pettiford and Kenny Clarke. I’ve always known this by the Fantasy issue in the U.S., which, if I recall, was colored vinyl in the original pressing. This looks to be the original Dutch Debut pressing, which was in stereo? Not familiar with it, although it is somewhat surprising that stereo would be the original release in 1960. Anyway, I like this cover a lot better than the U.S. cover. This copy is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover and has a start price of $400 with nearly six days left on the auction.
Another day, another batch of records to watch on eBay. Today let’s start with Introducing Lee Morgan, Savoy 12091. This is an original pressing with the red label. All in all it looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $500 previous in the Jazz Collector Price Guide and it looks like this copy will set a new high point. The bidding is already more than $560 and there are still four more days left on the auction. This seller often has nice items and his listings wind up making our posts fairly frequently, although we’ve never dealt with him directly. Here’s another one of his nice records on eBay this week:
Let’s catch up on some rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This was an interesting one because it looked to be an original first pressing and the record had never been played. When this album was first issued, Columbia used a plastic inner sleeve that had a seal. I know that from a couple of albums I purchased in the Baltimore collection. On this particular copy of Kind of Blue, the seal had never been broken. The cover also looked to be quite pristine and was graded in M- condition. The record wound up selling for $510, a fairly hefty price for the highest selling jazz record of all time. The question is, what will the buyer do with the record? Will he/she open it and play it, thus potentially lowering the value? Or will he/she put it on the shelf for posterity and listen to a different copy of the record, which is so readily available?
Here’s another one from my want list, and this one may even get a snipe: Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. This is an original pressing with the Lexington Avenue address, deep grooves, ears, etc. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is just fair, with seam splits. The cover condition doesn’t bother me so much, but the price may. So far this is at about $250 with more than two days left on the auction. We’ll see. I would love to fill this gap in my collection, and I do love this record.
Here’s another one from the same seller: Dexter Gordon, Our Man in Paris, Blue Note 4146. This is probably an original pressing with the Van Gelder in the dead wax, although there is no mention of the Plastylite ear. The bidding is a bit more than $110 and there are also two days left in this auction. If I were to bid on this, which I won’t, I would at least inquire about the ear. Never hurts to ask.
One more Blue Note, while we’re on the subject:
Four Listings: Two That Are New To Us, One On Our Want List and One That Doesn’t Make a Lot of Sense
We’ve got some interesting jazz vinyl in the Jazz Collector watch list on eBay, including a couple we’ve never seen before. Let’s start with one we’ve seen many times, but still don’t own: Cliff Jordan and John Gilmore, Blowing in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This is an interesting listing because the seller was able to post really clear pictures of the record and the label. It also raises an interesting question for the Blue Note diehards out there: One side of this record has the New York 23 address, the other just has West 63rd. Is it an original pressing. In my book it would be, but I didn’t write the book on Blue Notes. In any case, this one is listed in VG+ or VG++ condition for the vinyl and VG for the cover and the price is in the $225 range. The auction closes later today and the bidding has not yet reached the seller’s reserve.
Now for the two that are new to us:
Back in business, back on eBay, back to posting more regularly. First let’s catch up on some of the items we had been watching, starting with Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The seller had described the record as Ex and the cover as VG++, but it was clear from the pictures that the condition was less than VG++. At the time we first posted this record, the start price was around $500 and there were no bids. In the end there were four bidders, six bids and a final price of $1,075. I’m sure the seller was quite pleased. Hopefully, the buyer was as well.
Bill Evans, Explorations, Riverside 351. This was an original mono pressing with the blue label, deep grooves and reels/microphone logo. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+ and the final price was $504.90. It looks like this record, and a few others we were watching, were purchased by one of our readers, so congratulations. Here’s another one of his scores: Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Prestige 7129. This was an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record and cover were both listed in M- condition, and the pictures accompanying the listing certainly made it look quite pristine. The final price on this one was $1,037.99. Welcome to the $1,000 bin.
We haven’t had a guest column in a while, but here’s one that came in recently. I will let it speak for itself:
How I met Bill Evans…
First let me introduce myself… I am Mervyn de Gannes from Trinidad & Tobago. Born in the 1920’s, I am the third child in a family of seven kids and the first born boy. In those days, there was a piano in most homes and the girls always took lessons to learn to play. Even at the age of ten when the tutor came to our home, I would be listening in, and whenever my sisters were practicing and played anything incorrectly, I would let them know what they were ‘playing wrong’. Obviously this didn’t go over well with them as I never took lessons. By my late teenage years, by just listening to records and playing by ear, I was performing at friends’ parties until I got married at 26. My idols then were Bill Evans along with Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson.
I think my work workload is slowing down so, not making major promises, but I think I’ll be back to posting more regularly. At least I certainly hope so. In the meantime, it’s nice to see everyone commenting and keeping the action alive. I was able to swing over to eBay and add some items to my watch list. This is a great record, and one that has certainly gone up in value in the past few years: Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Prestige 7129. This is an original pressing in M- condition for the record and the cover. The seller was able to get some great pictures, which aways helps. The bidding is now in the $440 range and the auction closes later today. I had Miles on my mind because I was just taking a walk in my neighborhood and passed a street called “Miles Davis Way.” Yes, I live near Miles Davis Way. Nice, huh? It is a single block — 77th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Miles had an apartment there at 312 West 77th Street. Apparently there was something of a battle to get the street named after Miles, who lived there for about 25 years and enjoyed hanging out on the stoop and chatting with neighbors. Miles? Man, I would have loved to have seen that. Next time I pass the sign, I’ll take a picture and post it here.
Allow me to take you away from your favorite subject for a moment and catch up on some items in the Jazz Collector inbox. First are a couple from our reliable friend CeeDee, who always has something interesting to offer. This one is Johnny Griffin, Lady Heavy Bottom’s Waltz, German Vogue 17164. I’ll admit I’ve never seen or heard of this one, but I do imagine that the title song would be interesting. It’s a recording from 1968. This one was in M- condition for the record and the cover and it sold for $240.37. CeeDee also sent this one: Jazz by Sun Ra, Volume 1, Transition 10. This was an original pressing with the booklet. The record and the cover both looked to be in about VG++ condition. The price was $660, which CeeDee considered to be something of a bargain. I wouldn’t really know myself because I’ve never been a collector of Sun Ra records and actually only own one or two. I guess I’m missing something. I also had many opportunities to see Sun Ra, but never did.
Forty-eight comments (and counting) on the last post. And the traffic on Jazz Collector has been as high as normal. Thank you all for keeping the discussion going while I was pre-occupied last week with doing my real job, the one that pays for the mortgage and the Blue Notes around here. This week I will be under similar pressure, so please feel free to comment on this post and take the discussion wherever you would like. I see that a lot of the previous discussion was a reprisal of a familiar theme, the ability of one particular seller, bobdjukic, to get prices that seem otherworldly to the rest of us in the Jazz Collector world. I personally have no beef with him, never met him, never dealt with him. He does seem to have some magic formula for getting top prices, but I imagine his customers are satisfied because the only way to get those prices is to have repeat business. In any case, after reading the comments, I took a look at his latest auction results to satisfy my own curiosity. Here are some of the ones that caught my eye:
Here’s some more jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This was an original black label pressing. It was listed in Ex condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. With three days left in the auction the action was so light that I thought, perhaps, I would even have a chance for this at a price that would fit my sensibilities. Fat chance. It wound up selling for $822.
I’ve bee noticing that this one seems to fetch a bit higher prices than some of the other Dexter Gordon Blue Notes and I can’t figure out why: Dexter Gordon, One Flight Up, Blue Note 84176. This was an original stereo pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $360, which is up there for a stereo copy.
On the other hand, this one sold for less than expected:
Forgive me for my lack of familiarity with this record and this artist: Fats Sadi, The Swinging Fats Sadi Combo, Blue Note 5061. I guess I must have seen this record somewhere on a discography or on The Blue Note Story, but, honestly, seeing this record on eBay, I thought it was a mistake. Then I did a Google search and Fats Sadi was a Belgian vibist who played with a wide range of artists, including Django Reinhardt, Don Byas and, later on, the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band. I don’t know anything about this 10-inch record or how it came about that Fats Sadi recorded for Blue Note in the early 1950s. I do know that this copy of the record is listed in VG+ condition for the record and Ex for the cover and has a start price of about $80. With more two days left on the auction there are no bidders.
This one went for a pretty steep price:
If I had a want list, this record would be at or near the top of it: Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. This copy was an original pressing with the Lexington Avenue address that looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. A very nice copy, indeed. When I first put the record in my eBay watch list, the price was less than $400 and I very briefly considered a snipe. But I knew that my highest bid wouldn’t even put me close. And I was right. The record sold for $1,437. So I will save $1,437-plus and also have my Japanese pressing for listening pleasure, so I have no complaints.
I’m surprised this one isn’t getting any more action with just one day left on the auction:
Miles, His New Quintet, Esquire 32-021. This is the U.K. pressing of the first of the Miles Davis Quintet records featuring John Coltrane. This copy was in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $145.44.
Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Esquire 32-068. This was also an original U.K. pressing in VG+ condition for the record and VG for the cover. This one sold for $77.44. I will say that the cover on this one is slightly less appealing, for whatever reason.
Then there was this one, from a different seller:
Here are some of the results from the Jazz Record Center auction that closed the other day, starting with Charles Mingus at the Bohemia, Debut 123. This was an original pressing that looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. When we first observed this record a few days ago, there were no bids at a start price of $200. We expected that the action would get hot and heavy and it did. The record wound up selling for $1,333.
Clark Terry, Serenade to a Bus Seat, Riverside 237. This was an original pressing with the white label. This is another great and underrated record by Terry, who died last week (the funeral is today in harlem, by the way). I thought I had this record, and I’m pretty sure I did have it at one time, but I don’t think I have it anymore. I was looking for it to review the liner notes. I had never thought about the title of the record before,
I’m actually cleaning out my eBay watch list in preparation for finally doing a modest updating of the Jazz Collector Price Guide. So, as I clear out records, I will just post some random results for the next couple of days, starting with one for the $1,000 bin: Paul Chambers Quintet, Blue Note 1564. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address. The record looked to be in VG++ condition and the cover was probably VG. It sold for $1,203. This came from the same seller: Kenny Burrell at the Five Spot, Blue Note 4021. This was an original West. 63rd Street pressing that looked to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $334.
Another Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Headin’ South, Blue Note 4062. This was
Oh, those Blue Notes. Look at this one: Horace Silver, Blowin’ the Blues Away, Blue Note 4017. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, ear, etc. It was listed in M- condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $355 with only four bidders. This is a great album, one of Silver’s very best, but I’ve never viewed it as a top-shelf collectible only because it seemed to be more available than many of the other Blue Notes. Perhaps I had an assumption that because Silver was one of Blue Note’s most popular artists they would have printed more copies of his records. Plus, this one had what would prove to be a jazz classic in Sister Sadie. I realize I have not been diligent in updating the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but still the highest price we had recorded for this record was just about $200. Does this new high-water mark surprise me? Not at all. Hey, it’s near mint, it’s a great album, it’s an original Blue Note. Nothing would surprise me. As they say in the commercials: “Priceless.”
I had my eye on this Blue Note beauty, but wouldn’t pull the trigger:
Here’s an interesting one: Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This looks to be an original pressing. The seller says it is in VG+ condition, but he also mentions that it has “many light scratches and marks.” What’s interesting is that the seller states the cover has been “restored” by a company called Fourth Cone Restoration in Los Angeles. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a jazz record that had been professionally restored, as if it were a rare painting. Given the value of some of these records, it’s really not a bad idea, is it? I’d love to somehow see the before and after, but, alas, I can’t see me bidding on this record, even though I don’t own an original pressing. The “many light scratches and marks” has danger written all over it. The start price for this record is in the $500 range and so far there are no bidders. One other point: The seller calls this a 1951 pressing. Is that possibly true? I didn’t think they were making 12-inch vinyl in 1951, except for that one Bird promotional record on Dial.
While we’re on the subject . . . . Read More..