Adventures in Jazz Collecting: The Auction, Part 6

Now we get to the batch of records that turned out to be the most pleasant surprise of all. There was at one point a group listed as such: Bill Evans, Seven Riverside LPs. There was a picture on the Web site and there was a copy of Waltz for Debby in there and perhaps an original pressing of New Jazz Conceptions as well. Anyway, I was hoping to steal this one, but once the bidding surpassed $400 I realized there was no steal to be had and I had better keep my mouth shut. The package eventually went for $650. Ah, well. However, about 15 minutes later there was another group of LPs, described as such: Bill Evans, Eleven LPs, Eight Verve and Three Riverside. There was no picture or other description. I won this lot at $80, so my total for these 11 records was $93.60. This is a great batch of music, and each record is in

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Adventures in Jazz Collecting: The Auction, Part 5

All right, let’s do some more of this Jazz Auction stuff. So, by this point in the auction I have purchased eight lots and I am clearly on a roll and forgetting about the 17 percent surcharge and figuring, “What the heck, I’m already paying for shipping, let’s buy some more records.” And so I did.

Gerry Mulligan, Seven LPs. Price: $46.80. Why? There is no good answer to this question. I certainly have all of these LPs, and probably don’t even want to keep all of these LPs, and there is probably not that much of a market for these LPs on eBay. The best of the records, from a collectible standpoint, is The Gerry Mulligan Songbook on World Pacific. There’s also a nice Mulligan on Emarcy with Zoot Sims. There’s a copy of Mulligan and Stan Getz on Verve, but it’s an MGM pressing. Really, there was no rhyme or reason to bidding on these — and actually winning — other than the adrenaline rush of buying more records.

Sonny Rollins, Three RCA Victor LPs and Lester Young For LPs. Price: $93.60. This fits into

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Adventures in Jazz Collecting, The Auction Part 4

OK. The auction records are here, in a newly created bin on the floor of my music room/office. It’s fun looking through the records, of course, encountering pleasant surprises, but what I am most looking forward to is listening to them. That’s the best thing about getting new records, or even getting new copies of old records: Exploring and discovering (or rediscovering) the music. As I type this I’m listening to Wes Montgomery Full House and it’s probably the first time I’ve listened to this LP in 10 years or more. With 10,000 records a lot of great LPs wind up sitting on the shelf. I remember the first time I heard this record. I was in a car with my friend Dan and we had the radio on and we heard a Wes solo and we knew immediately it was Wes and then the tenor player starting playing and we were both blown away because he was really cooking and we couldn’t figure out who it was. It was, of course, Johnny Griffin. And now I am listening to this beautiful near mint copy of this record again and, ah, what a nice way to start a gorgeous Sunday morning. Anyway, back to the auction items:

The next one I purchased was listed as: Stan Getz, Three Verve LPS with Trumpeter labels. Price $40.95. These turned out to be For Musicians Only with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt;

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Adventures in Jazz Collecting: The Auction, Part 3

Guess what came in the mail yesterday? Remember that Jazz Auction in which I participated a few weeks ago. Well the records are here and now I can tell you how I did. Remember, I bid blind on these records, based on the written descriptions, and I gambled on quite a few of the packages. I was competing with a bunch of sellers/dealers who were at the scene and had the opportunity to physically view the records. Also, I paid an extra 17 percent above what I bid because that was the fee taken by the auction house. In any case, here are the results, part one of three: Live vicariously through me if you please. The prices listed below include the 17 percent extra fee, so they are the amount I actually paid for each package. Also, the listings as I describe them below are similar to the way they were listed in the auction itself.

Wes Montgomery, Full House. Price: $70.20. This is an original blue-label Riverside

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Adventures in Jazz Collecting: The Auction, Part 2

Sorry to leave you hanging on Part 2 of this story. So I am on the phone listening to the auctioneer in the background. He is describing each lot – Here’s Number 14, Kenny Burrell on Blue Note, do I hear one hundred, a hundred ten, a hundred twenty, a hundred thirty, two hundred, two ten. This is going by in what seems like nanoseconds. For me to get in a bid I have to decide quickly how much, then I have to react quickly and, in the end I have one or two seconds to decide as the auctioneer is getting ready to close the auction. It’s a bit of an adrenaline rush, as you may imagine. Anyway, I lose out on all the Burrell records and I’m feeling a bit guilty about tying up the phone line and the next thing I know I’m bidding on a couple of Wes Montgomery records and the guy on the other end of the phone, who is the brother of the auctioneer, is telling me it looks like I’m going to win these records. And I do. One is Full House, a great Riverside record featuring Johnny Griffin. The other is The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery, also on Riverside. I have bid $60 for

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Adventures in Jazz Collection: The Auction, Volume 1

I participated in a jazz auction the other night. Not an eBay auction, but a traditional auction with real people and an auctioneer and a gavel. Here’s the story: A few weeks ago I got a call from a guy named David Quinn who said he ran an auction house and had in his possession a collection of jazz records and CDs from an estate sale. I helped David out with some information about the jazz collectibles market and he told me he’d send me a list and let me know when the auction was taking place. It was in the Washington DC area. I couldn’t make it down there, so I asked if I could be on the phone and perhaps bid on a few items. He arranged it and when the first item was put on the block at about 6:30 on Wednesday night, there I was on the phone, bidding on items I hadn’t actually seen. This put me at a pretty stark disadvantage, because there were about 30 people physically in the room at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Va. These people could physically see the items: I was going on guts and instincts and whatever pictures were available online. The thing with this type of auction, the auction house gets

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Full House: Two Byrds and Three Blue Notes

Back on eBay again after yet another unexpected absence, which are becoming all to frequent, unfortunately. Anyway, here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching, starting with a pair of Byrds: Donald Byrd, Byrd in Paris, Brunswick, 87 903. This is an original French pressing listed in VG+ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. Actually, the seller lists the record in VG++ for the record, but states that the audio quality is just VG+ with some background noise. Somehow, for me as a collector, I’d prefer that the record sound good as opposed to look good. Anyway, this one has a start bid of $349 and a buy-it-now price of $500, which is the top price we’ve seen for this particular pressing on Popsike. I don’t own this particular record, but I have a beautiful pressing of the other Byrd in Paris Brunswick record, the one with the picture of Byrd on the cover eating French Fries. That one has already broken the $1,100 bin. Not sure if it’s the music that is more enticing, or the cover.

The other Byrd is Byrd’s Eye View, Transition 4. The record looks to be in VG++ condition, based on the seller’s description, and the cover looks to be about VG+. There is also the booklet, which is described as being in “perfect” condition. Bidding is in the $525 range and, by the time most of you read this, the auction will probably be closed. This one is a regular visitor to the $1,000 bin, so I certainly won’t be surprised if this copy ends up there as well, considering the condition.

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Promo Day

Promo records have never seemed to be a big thing in the Jazz Collector world, at least not compared to other genres, but there are some promo records that seem to catch collector’s eyes, including Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This looks to be  an original mono pressing with the red and white promo labels and the 6-eyes. The seller talks about the record being in “nice shape” but doesn’t actually give a grade and mentions a scratch that cuts across side B. All of that would be somewhat OK for gamblers, but it is also a seller that does not accept returns. A lot of risk to ask, IMHO, for a record that has a start price of $600. So far there are no takers. A quick view over at Popsike shows that a promo copy of Kind of Blue recently sold for $2,700, so the seller is probably not coming from left field with that price tag. We’ll keep a watch and see if it sells. My bet? Yes, it will.

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Happy Holy Grail Day

Catching up on my watch list after a few days off eBay, starting with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition and Ex for the cover. Looks like there was a three-way bidding war for this LP and it wound up selling for $2,700.

Here’s one for those of you who like to use the term “Holy Grail,” although it is a term I normally avoid, except for a few seconds ago: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is listed in Ex condition by the seller and, based on his key, that seems like it would be a very strong VG+ using standard Goldmine grading. This one is already in the $1,360 range with more than a day left on the auction. It will at least join Peckin’ Time in the $2,000 bin and will probably sell for quite a bit more, based on past history with this record.  Read more

A Not-Quite Adventure In Jazz Collecting

So I placed some bids on the Omega Auctions auction last week. And I struck out completely. There was nothing in the collection that really caught my eye, but I wanted to participate to see if I could perhaps buy something at a lowball price. Part of it was the fun of being in the hunt; part of it was to understand the experience to share with you all here at Jazz Collector. So I went through the entire auction list and marked about a dozen items and put in bids that were low but not completely unreasonably, particularly if the action was light. I wasn’t able to do the auction live, so these were all online bids. If I had been able to do it live, who knows what would have happened. Here’s a bit of a summary: Read more

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