Less Than 50 Copies? Really??????

Ornette Coleman jazz vinyl on jazzcollector.comHere are some odds and ends from the jazz vinyl world on eBay, starting with Ornette Coleman, ESP 1006. This is an original pressing with the silkscreen cover. The record is listed in Ex+ condition, which I interpret to VG++ in the terms we use here at Jazz Collector. The start price is about $700 and so far there are no bids. What struck me about this listing were that the seller described it as a “holy grail” LP, which is a term I have come to detest after all these years watching eBay. The second thing that struck me was that the seller states as fact that there were less than 50 of these pressed. I find that hard to believe. I feel like I’ve seen at least 50 of these on eBay these past dozen or so years. I tend to doubt it’s the same 50 records going back and forth between collectors. Clifford would probably have a better sense of the veracity and reality behind this record, so please enlighten us when you get a chance.

This one looks appealing, particularly since I still don’t have an original pressing:

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Lee Morgan, Indeed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lee Morgan Jazz VinylPeople have already commented on this, but it must have its own post. That Lee Morgan record I mentioned the other day, Lee Morgan, Indeed!, Blue Note 1538. If you recall, I kind of joshed with the seller, chiding him for stating that his copy was “the finest on planet earth.” Apparently the hyperbole worked quite well, indeed! There were at least nine bidders that I could identify and 25 bids. The final price was, get this, $7,786. Not counting that weird Hank Mobley Blue Note 1568 from a few months back that got a bid of more than $11,000 — which turned out to be not a real bid, but some kind of barter — this is the highest price we can recall seeing for any jazz record. I hope the buyer gets a lot of joy out of it. I’m sure the seller already has.

In a Mellow Mood

HodgesThe other night I was sitting in the living room with The Lovely Mrs. JC and we she was reading and I wanted to put on some music. I asked what she would like and she asked for something mellow. I said I could do that. So I went up to the shelves and stared for a while, you know, how you just stare at an open refrigerator waiting for inspiration. For “mellow” my go-to choices would typically be Bill Evans or Coltrane Ballads or perhaps a Chet Baker, since The Lovely Mrs. JC is a fan of all of the above. But I wanted something different and I somehow settled on a Johnny Hodges record, In a Mellow Tone, Norgran 1092. Normally, Hodges is not someone that I would put on the turntable, but she asked for mellow and mellow was actually in the title of this record and it had always been one of my favorite Hodges LPs. Listening to it was quite a revelation. The music is of a pre-bop vintage, but it is actually quite timeless and absolutely beautiful. If you have it, put it on, and perhaps pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy. From there, I wanted to move to something a little bit more modern and I chose

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Searching for Bargains and Deep Grooves

Informal Jazz copyInformal JazzHere are a few more rare jazz records worth watching on eBay, starting with Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7043. This looks to be an original New York yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. This one just came onto eBay and has a start price of $380. It also has a “but-it-now” price of $700. I have a feeling, once people start reading this article, someone just might swoop in and buy it. The $700 price tag actually seems pretty reasonable for this very rare LP. I, fortunately, have my own copy now, courtesy of the family of Bruce W. West in Baltimore. Also from Prestige: Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This is an original deep-groove purple label pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. There are five days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $565 range, on its way up into somewhere in the $1,500 to $3,000 range for its final price.

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Tracking Jazz Vinyl To The Ends of The Earth . . . . . . (And Perhaps Beyond)

Frank Foster Jazz VinylBack in action again. Working out of my apartment this week in Manhattan. There’s a construction project next door, so I’m sitting here with headphones to block out the noise. Right now it’s Bill Evans “I Loves You Porgy.” There are worse ways to work. Now, on to eBay, starting with Here Comes Frank Foster, Blue Note 5043. This is an original 10-inch pressing with the Lexington label. The seller misspells the name as “Forster.” Can’t imagine that would affect searches, but you never know. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The starting price is about $300 and so far there are no bidders with more than three days left. I imagine, in this condition, this record will get some decent action. I have seen Japanese reissues of this record, but was it ever issued on Blue Note in the U.S. on a 12-inch LP? Same with the Dizzy Gillespie Blue Note, Horn of Plenty. I don’t recall seeing that on a 12-inch LP. Any other Blue Notes in a similar category? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, although I’m sure there are more.

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Guest Column: Adventures in Jazz Collecting, Atlanta Variety

Jazz Collection AtlantaBy Dave S.

Honey, how much money do we have in our bank account? I want to buy some jazz records.” That was what I asked my wife, the darling Mrs. JC-A, two weeks ago.

There was a rumor circulating around town that there was a pretty nice collection of records up for sale by a private seller. Seems he had spoken to all the record stores in the area. A few of them had been out to his house to inspect the collection, but no one was willing to either commit to what he was looking to get for the records or had turned him off. Imagine that. A record store employee with an attitude. A friend of a friend who worked at a local record store finally squeezed a phone number for the seller out of his boss at the store, when they also decided to pass. Over a thousand records in the collection, but no way for a record store to quickly get in and out of the transaction was the explanation. Atlanta is a mediocre jazz record town, with rock and southern blues (think the Allman Brothers) being the local taste. People like you and me are certainly the exception.

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High Priced Vinyl? ‘Tis in the Eye of the Beholder

Tommy Flanagan Jazz VinylJust checked my eBay watch list and came right up with a pair of high-priced items that we had mentioned here before, starting with Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. This was an original deep groove New York yellow label listed in M- condition for the record and Ex for the cover. When we first saw this record, the bidding was more than $1,000 and it hadn’t reached its reserve price. The record eventually surpassed the reserve price and beyond, selling for $3,938.

This one sold for more than $2,000 but, frankly, I thought it would sell for more, given it’s rarity: Kenny Dorham, Harlem Youth Unlimited, Jazz at P.S. 175. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. I asked in the previous post: Is this the rarest of them all? No one seemed to say no, so I’m assuming perhaps it is. It did not get the highest price of them all, although the price was quite high, $2,225, in fact. I would LOVE a copy of this record, but not at $2,225, thank you.

Let’s check out the e-mail bag:

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Jazz Auctions on a Summery Day (in November)

Anos-l1600ther unseasonably warm day in New York – which, at least for me, makes it harder to stay inside after work with a nice whiskey and a stack of jazz records – but I suppose that is the direction we’re headed at this latitude. Meanwhile, here are a few of the things I’ve been watching on eBay (and in keeping with the ‘oddball’ directive):

First up, from our friend bullsite2000 in Italy, is this copy of Illumination! from the Elvin Jones-Jimmy Garrison Sextet. This was an original Impulse! mono pressing from 1963 and was listed as M- for both the record and the cover. It’s a really nice, albeit brief session with Prince Lasha, Sonny Simmons and Charles Davis on reeds and McCoy Tyner on piano. The feel is much more like a Lasha-Simmons date than the music that Jones and Garrison would record later for Impulse! and Blue Note. I picked up a copy about 20 years ago in similar condition for about $5. That’s far less than the whopping $228 it went for here; though we’ve noted the steady climb of Coltrane and Oliver Nelson Impulse! albums, it’s a little uncharacteristic to see these obscure, perhaps also-ran LPs reach similar heights.

The same seller also had a nice-looking example of Booker Ervin’s lone date as a leader for Savoy, Cookin’, which is an album I’ve never owned (though I would like to). I do have his co-leader LP with Bill Barron, The Hot Line, though it’s been a while since it’s been on deck. We’ve certainly seen original pressings of Ervin’s records on Bethlehem and Prestige do some wallet damage before, and the Savoy is seemingly rarer than any of those albums. While I like Ervin, I understand others’ criticism that his albums are relatively interchangeable – nevertheless, that didn’t stop someone from forking over nearly $500 for a copy that was probably VG++ for the record and M- for the cover.

From France, a seller was offering what appeared to be a pristine copy of one of my favorite records, pianist François Tusques’ first session as a leader, titled Free Jazz, on the small label Disques Mouloudji. It’s an excellent and actually rather tightly-arranged 1965 sextet featuring a fine crop of French modern jazz musicians. I thought about getting into the fray just to get a copy with the booklet (that brochure is impressive!), but the price was a little out of my range. From what I understand, only a few came with the brochure, which might’ve been a promotional addition. It ended up selling for $661 and I’m sure the buyer will be happy.

The same seller also had a nice-looking copy of Boston saxophonist Abdul-Hannan’s only recording, titled Awareness and privately released on his imprint The Third World. It’s the first appearance on disc of tenor saxophonist David S. Ware and was recorded in 1968 (with one track from ’71). It’s an interesting, albeit very low fidelity, album and one I’m happy to have in my collection. The record and hand-assembled cover were both probably in VG++ condition, and it sold for a respectable $386. These private-press jazz albums from the ’70s are pretty hard to find, and compared to the stratospheric prices on jazz records from a decade or so earlier, almost seem reasonable.

In any event, happy bidding and happier listening!

Some Jazz Records That are in the $3,000 Value Range; And Some That Aren’t Close

Doug Watkins Jazz VinylHere are a variety of jazz records from my eBay watch list, as I still get back into the swing of things following my trip to Italy and subsequent return to reality. Let’s start with Doug Watkins at Large, Transition 20. This was an original pressing that looked to be in absolutely pristine condition, including the record, cover and booklet. Even the labels seemed to be intact. Potential bidders probably assumed, and probably correctly, that this may be the cleanest version of this record to come on the market some 60 years after its original release. So it sold for a whopping $3,161.

While I’m looking at whopping prices, here’s another: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves, ears, West 63rd address, etc. It was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $2,750.

And then there are some records that don’t sell at all, or sell for relatively low prices. To wit:

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Is This The Rarest of Them All?

Kenny Dorham Rare Jazz VinylBuongiorno! Back from Italy and a little bit worse for the wear. My flight home was delayed because a horse was acting up in cargo and they had to remove all of the luggage, then remove the horse and then reload all the luggage. Yes, that really happened. Then I got a nasty cold, but I’m starting to feel better and finally am able to look at eBay to see what’s going on. I want to thank Clifford Allen for filling in while I was away. Clifford, I really appreciate it and you did a great job — please feel free to continue posting at any time. I think it adds a lot of value to the site to have another perspective.

I did a search on eBay and found an extremely interesting record, which is: Kenny Dorham, Harlem Youth Unlimited, Jazz at PS 175. This is a live recording from 1964. I was told by a reputable dealer several years ago that this is possibly the rarest jazz record of them all. Has anyone else heard that? I’ve been looking for a copy for more than 30 years — ever since I learned about it — and have never seen one. In fact, this is the first one I’ve ever seen even on eBay. I will be very curious to see what this record sells for, particularly now that I have called attention to it. This one is in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. The start price is about $900 and there are nine days to go on the auction. I’m curious if anyone in our community owns this record and how it sounds.

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