Whither the 16-RPM Jazz LP?

miles-davis-16-rpm-jazz-vinylHere are a few collectible rare jazz records we are following this week on eBay, starting with  Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 3. This is the 16-RPM version of the record and it is, of course, an original pressing. The condition doesn’t look so great and the seller is asking for a starting price of $400 so it is not going to be of interest to me as a potential buyer, but I do have interest in the record as an oddity. Does anyone own this record and, if so, have you ever listened to it — indeed, do you have equipment to listen to it? Is the sound better, worse, the same as a 33-RPM record? And finally, does anyone have any idea why Prestige issued this record and several others in the 16-RPM format? Inquiring minds want to know.

Here are a couple more nice Prestiges from the Jazz Collector era:

Read more

DG, or Not DG

eric-dolphy-jazz-vinylI’ve been off eBay for a few days and I would once again thank Clifford for filling in. It’s always great to see so much interest in his posts, particularly since he covers an area of the jazz collector world that is pretty foreign to me. Anyway, before I left I had a watch list on eBay, and here are some of the items I was watching, starting with: Herbie Hancock, Takin’ Off, Blue Note 4109. This one had a comment in the listing that caught my eye. It looks like an original pressing with the New York USA label, ears, Van Gelder in the deadwax, et al. The seller says that there is a deep groove on side 2. I had thought the pressings after around this era no longer had deep grooves, but apparently I was mistaken. I looked at my copy and there seems to be some kind of groove, although not nearly as pronounced as the one in the picture on this listing. I looked it up in Fred Cohen’s book and it does seem that an original pressing of Takin’ Off does have a deep groove on side 2. Anyway, it’s very hard to get all of the DGs straight, even, apparently, when you’ve been blogging about this stuff for nearly 10 years. Anyway, this one was probably in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $521.

Eric Dolphy in Europe, Volume 1, Prestige 7304. This was an original pressing with the yellow label and New Jersey address. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover looked to be about VG+, based on the picture, with some ring wear and fraying at the bottom. The record sold for $344, about what you would expect, right? Read more

Tracking Obscure Jazz Vinyl on eBay

_12Greetings, fellow jazz collectors. It’s been a while since I’ve popped in other than the occasional comment, I guess, though most of my buying lately has been in shops, through friends, or on Discogs. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few sellers on Discogs that have been exceedingly accurate and fair, which has resulted in adding a number of nice items to the racks that I never thought I’d see. That said, a significant aspect of this site is tracking jazz vinyl on eBay from the classic era, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a couple of things.

As my collecting interests have generally been shifting to the other side of the pond(s) over the years, even in mainstream jazz, things like this record tend to be of interest. Moseholm directed the Radiojazzgruppen in Copenhagen, which performed weekly workshop broadcasts and occasionally toured elsewhere in Europe. The music was generally composed by members of the group and others in the local Copenhagen jazz scene – for example, trumpeters Hugh Steinmetz and Palle Mikkelborg, or reedist Sahib Shihab. This, their second LP for the Danish Debut imprint, was listed as VG for the vinyl and VG+ for the cover and one has to assume that the record itself was pretty well used (especially considering that Debut pressings aren’t the highest quality). It’s a very rare album in any condition and hopefully the buyer was satisfied at $350.

Speaking of Sahib Shihab, the same seller also had a copy of the reedist’s excellent Debut LP, Sahib’s Jazz Party, on offer. However, this was a bit of a mongrel with a Dutch Fontana cover (the original Debut had a sticker over the Fontana logo) and vinyl from a late 1960s German reissue, which was retitled Conversations. My assumption is that somebody had a nice cover with a broken or destroyed record and a coverless copy of the German pressing and mated them together. Nevertheless, with the vinyl in M- condition and the cover in VG++, the seller got a cool $710. I guess my Japanese repress will have to do.

One of my favorite US jazz records from the late 1960s is the second LP under tenor saxophonist Marzette Watts’ leadership. A student of trumpeter-composer Bill Dixon, Watts was also an abstract painter and later a recording engineer for many loft-jazz sessions in the 1970s. Dixon produced The Marzette Watts Ensemble for Savoy and conducted a rendition of his “Octobersong” that starts off the LP. The rest of the album features spirited small-group playing, not too ‘free,’ and a gorgeous version of “Lonely Woman” with lyrics written and sung by Patty Waters. Our friend nobbyknucks had one listed in M- condition for the record and VG– for the beautiful textured cover, which netted $315.

Hopefully everyone is finding records of interest out there and, just as importantly, squirrelling away time to listen to them!

Seeking Recommendations: Original Jazz CDs

ballads-copyThe other night I was listening to Karrin Allyson, Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane. This was a 2002 Concord Jazz release that celebrated the great John Coltrane Ballads album on Impulse. I love the Allyson version, particularly since I really had never heard the lyrics to a couple of these songs, including Say It (Over and Over Again) and Too Young to Go Steady. Allyson uses three horn players on this record, Bob Berg, Steve Wilson and James Carter, and they each approach the Coltrane material in a very personal way. Her vocal interpretations are absolutely terrific. This is a great album and I recommend it highly. Which brings me to the point of this post. I’ve always been focused on vinyl and I never really took to CDs. I managed to buy a lot of CDs in the day, because they were convenient and I could put six into one of those Sony multi-players or into my car stereo and I wouldn’t have to get up off the sofa or fiddle around with the radio dial in the car. But whenever I wanted to really listen to music, it would always be vinyl.

Read more

Nuts, Wow and Crazy

kenny-dorham-jazz-vinylAs prices continue to rise, readers are sending me more and more emails calling particular records to my attention. This one came from Clifford, with the simple note: “nuts!!!”: Kenny Dorham, Afro Cuban, Blue Note 1535. This was an original pressing, or at least the original 12-inch pressing, and it looked to be in VG++ to M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The final price was $3,819. There were 22 bids and 13 bidders and it went from about $1,700 to the final price in the last few seconds. So, clearly, there were two bidders that really, really, really wanted this record, but that is quite a dear price to pay, IMHO. A commenter on the previous post also pointed to this one, with the simple words “Wow!” and “Crazy!”: Harold Vick, Steppin’ Out, Blue Note 4138. This was an original pressing from the same seller as the Dorham record. The record and cover were both in M- condition. The final price was $720.

Read more

A Matter of Prestige?

bennie-green-jazz-vinylAre we finally starting to see the Prestige records follow the same path as the Blue Notes? I’ve been quite surprised at the price of several Prestiges recently, including the Sonny Stitt record I mentioned last week and this one that sold yesterday on eBay: Bennie Green With Art Farmer, Prestige 7041. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was excellent. Great pictures from the seller are always helpful in achieving high prices. Still, I wouldn’t have pegged this record to sell for $860, which was the final price. Careful readers may recall that I purchased an original copy of this record for 25 cents. It was sitting in the bargain bin at Mr. Cheapo’s record store in Mineola on Long Island. I typically never looked in the 25-cent bin because it was always junk. But this day I was looking to kill time and not go back to work and, voila, there was Bennie Green With Art Farmer. Now the condition was just VG for the record and VG for the cover. But it was literally a quarter, the same as the parking meter outside the store. Still have it. The record, not the quarter.  Read more

Mint Rarities Sitting in Storage

sonny-red-jazz-vinylBack to eBay. Here’s a beauty, which, if I recall my eBay sellers properly, is from our friend Rudolf: Sonny Red, Out of the Blue, Blue Note 4032. This is an original pressing that looks to be in pristine condition. The bidding is in the $160 range with more than two days to go, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see this eventually end up at or near the $1,000 marker. I’m noticing that this is part of a “rare storage find,” so that in itself is quite intriguing. Perhaps Rudolf can shed some light for us. I would love a copy of Out of the Blue, especially since I once had a beautiful copy and traded it not realizing, at the time, how valuable it was and how valuable it would eventually become. I’ll point out one more beauty from the list: Art Blakey, Buhaina’s Delight, Blue Note 4104. This is also an original and it also looks to be in pristine condition. The bidding right now is in the $50 range, but it should sell for a lot more. I would love a pristine copy of this record, since it is one of my favorite Blue Notes of all time. Perhaps I will get in on the action, although I really haven’t been buying at all, and especially not at eBay prices.

Read more

Stitt and Braith and What is Collectible (and Why?)

sonny-stitt-jazz-vinylInteresting discussion on the previous post about buying/selling records on eBay and dealing with returns. I haven’t sold on eBay in about six years, ever since my real business took off, but when I did I offered a full return policy and typically also included postage. I had a couple of people take advantage, but most transactions went very smoothly. Like Bill, I tended to under grade the records a bit just to avoid any problems. If I felt anyone was scamming me, or if they were returning records frivolously, I blocked them so they couldn’t bid on any more of my records. Anyway, back to business: Sonny Stitt, Stitt’s Bits, Prestige 7133. This was an original New York yellow label. It was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover, but it’s clear from the photos that the cover is not M-. This record sold for $405. I don’t recall too many of the Stitt records selling for this amount, and not this one. I’m a Stitt fan, but I know he’s never been popular among collectors, so what is the story here?

This one also fetched a relatively hefty price, all things considered: Read more

Nothing Aberrant in These Prices

duke-jordan-jazz-vinylI’d like to get back to some of the records we were watching, starting with Duke Jordan, Flight to Jordan, Blue Note 4046. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that was in VG+ or better condition for the record, and probably around VG++ for the cover. When we looked at it the bidding was in the $300 range and we were surprised it was that low, expecting it to eventually end up at or near the $1,000 bin. It did, selling for $960. So what may have seemed like an aberration, was just a product of later bidding, which has been de rigueur on eBay for many years, so no surprises. Same with this one: Doug Watkins at Large, Transition 20. This was an original pressing with the booklet. The record, cover and booklet were all in about VG+ condition. The bidding came in late, but about as expected, with the record selling for $809.

Read more

Keeping an Eye on Jazz Vinyl Pricing Trends

stan-getz-jazz-vinylThe seller Bullsite2000 has several interesting auctions closing today. I’m surprised at some of the bidding — at both levels, some higher than expected, some lower than expected. For example, Stan Getz, More West Coast Jazz, Norgran 1088. This is an original yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding has reached nearly $200, which is more than you would typically see for this record, which has never seemed to be one of the Getz records that has been particularly coveted by collectors. The seller took some nice pictures, and the condition does look pretty flawless, so there’s that. Then again there is Read more

1 2 3 164