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
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
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;
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
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
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
The seller bluenote5 has some interesting and high priced records on eBay now including this one: Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Stereo Records 7018. So this is not the Contemporary version and it has the original loose plastic seal with a promotional card for the label inside. The seal is unbroken, so the record is in new condition and the cover is probably close to that as well. Here’s the conundrum with this record: When it was first issued on Contemporary it was 1957 and the labels weren’t producing stereo copies yet, at least not to my knowledge. This was probably the first Stereo release of this record, so in that way it is an original. But it was also probably released at least a couple of years after the original mono recording. You can see in the listing that it doesn’t have the red and blue writing on the back that would make it an original on the Contemporary label. I’m sure this copy is extraordinarily rare and nearly impossible to find sealed like this. As for me, Id rather have the Contemporary. BTW, my copy of this record was from the Bruce M. West collection in Baltimore and it also had the loose polybag cover the cover with the Contemporary promotional card inside. I removed the cover — after all, it was almost 60 years old and quite filthy — but I keep the promotional card inside. It was quite cool to see it in this condition, as if it were sitting on the shelf of a record store in 1957 The start price on the sealed Stereo version in this listing is $1,00. So far there are no bidders.
If yesterday was a Prestige day, let’s make today a Blue Noter, starting with Here Comes Louis Smith, Blue Note 1584. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The bidding is in the $175 range with about four days to go. We were watching a different copy of the same record a few days ago and that one was in just VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It wound up selling for $561, so I would expect this one to fetch a higher price. Will it enter the $1,000 bin? Could be. According to Popsike, the highest recorded price for this record is $1,514. Not owning an original copy of this record myself, I haven’t listened to it in a long time. When I put a record on the turntable, I usually prefer an original pressing. But perhaps I will make an exception. After all, the personnel includes one of my all-time favorite alto players, none other than the infamous “Buckshot La Funke.”
Let’s look at a few from Prestige and related labels today, starting with Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This was an original New York yellow label pressing listed as being in “pristine” condition from a reliable seller. The final price was $715.99, which strikes me as quite a bargain for this record in this condition. Or at least as much as any record for $715 can be a bargain. With this personnel — Mobley, McLean, Byrd, Barry Harris, Doug Watkins and Art Taylor — what would this record go for if it was on the Blue Note Label. I think we’d probably be looking in our metaphorical $2,000 bin.
Let’s start the day with a couple of 10-inch LPs we are watching on eBay: Gigi Gryce and his Orchestra with Clifford Brown, Jazz Time Paris, French Vogue LD 173. This is the original French pressing, issued before the Blue Note version in the U.S. The record and cover are both listed in VG++ condition. This one has just been posted on eBay and closes in seven days. There are already 15 bids and the price is in the $115 range. Here’s the question: Would you rather own the French pressing or the Blue Note? I know, most of us would say “both” but that is not an option. I have to admit, I’d go for the Blue Note. I can’t say why, other than I always have a big smile on my face when I go through my 10-inch records and come across an original Blue Note in beautiful condition. The Vogues, of which I have a few, don’t have nearly the same effect.