. . . And a Quartet for New Year’s

Happy New Year to all. Looks like our friend Rudolf had a pretty good start to the year selling some vintage and rare jazz vinyl, including Elmo Hope Quintet with Frank Foster and Freeman Lee, Blue Note 5044. This was an original 10-inch pressing that looked to be in beautiful pristine condition, perhaps unplayed after being placed in storage many years ago? Rudolf, I don’t recall if you shared the story of how they ended up in storage, but I would love to hear it (again?). This one sold for $1,054.99. Do you think there are many left in the world in this condition? I also had a pristine copy, which I sold in 1990 for $400, which seemed like a lot at the time and, in fact, was a lot. But the $400 came and went and I’ve never found another affordable copy of this record in the 27 years since.

This one came from the same batch and I was quite surprised to see where the bidding ended up, since I’ve never viewed this one as particularly coveted by collectors:

The Jazz Messengers, Columbia 897. This was an original pressing with the red six-eye label. It was also listed in pristine condition, straight from storage. The final price was $255.  As they say, condition counts, right? Here’s one more: Johnny Griffin and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, Tenor Scene, Prestige 7191. This was an original yellow label pressing with the New Jersey address. It was also in M- condition and sold for $172.50. I love the Griff and Lockjaw records, on Prestige, Riverside and Jazzland, but they typically don’t sell for collector’s prices. Then again, they are not typically in pristine condition.

Here’s a personal favorite of mine that didn’t sell and is back on eBay for those who may be interested: Eddie Costa, Guys and Dolls Like Vibes, Coral 57230. This was an original promotional pressing. It was listed in VG+ condition for the vinyl and VG for the cover, but based on the seller’s experience and description, I would wager that the grading is very conservative. Anyway, this did not sell and is back with a start price of $122. Oh yes, it features some great Bill Evans in addition to Costa on vibes. A really nice record.


  • Nice sell for the Elmo Hope Blue Note 5044 10″: condition, condition…
    Collectors pay very high price for Mint collector items. I see this phenomena usually on eBay but also in record fairs: in Utrecht Mega Record Fair for example ( probably the biggest record fair in the world BTW ) you see that dealers ask and get paid for an immaculate collector item sometimes 2-4 times the price of a nice NM one.

  • You are right. In Utrecht you pay a lot of money for records in dubious state. It really is cheaper and safer to buy online

  • I do see a lot of advertisements on eBay and Discogs for items in “virgin state” although only rarely do they meet what I’d actually call as-new condition (sometimes quite far from it). Nevertheless, such claims do drive the price.

  • That Jazz Messengers date on Columbia is a good one, and I never understood why it DOESN’T usually sell for collector-ish prices. It has a killer lineup (nearly identical to Blue Notes 1507, 1508, and 1518 save for Byrd instead of Dorham), was recorded with great Columbia engineering, and released was on a 6-eye pressing. Features the original version of Nica’s Dream (if I’m not mistaken). What’s not to like?

  • Gregory the Fish

    i have an NM original copy of that messengers record. i got it about a year ago ebay for like $25. wow! crazy.

  • The Costa/Evans is a terrific date.

  • Al: For years I have been running (flying) around like a mad man for long stints in OPEC and COMECON countries, which made it impossible to listen to my huge collection, if I wanted some form of “normal” family life when I touched base in the home country. The records continued to flood in but went on the racks after a visual inspection.
    Then came the moment in the late seventies of an expatriation to North Africa. Excluded to take my collection with me. I put it in a storage facility used by diplomats for antiques etc. The storage has lasted for over 35 years and I am only now discovering my own collection and the doubles, triples, quadruples, quintuples, sextuples etc.
    As an example, I had this Elmo Hope on Blue Note and on U.K. Vogue and on French Jazz Sélection with three different covers. I sold the Vogue a couple of years ago, nice sleeve pictures in red and blue by Francis Wolff though. With two left, I decided to keep the Jazz Sélection for the simple reason that the sleeve, different from the two others, pleases me most. Also pictures by Francis Wolff, but an absolute gorgeous design and scarcer than the original Blue Note.
    The N.J. Saxophone Colossus I just sold: I still have the NY pressing, which I played quite a lot in the fifties, but in excellent state, I have the Danish Metronome pressing – NM, same cover design, and a mint Esquire version with an alternate cover design. I acquired the mint N.J. copy, which I now sold for $ 1311, by telephone during a company retreat/seminar. I knew there was a guy who had a huge collection of doubles, who had no gramophone and who was in divorce proceedings. My middleman did not have the funds to buy this collection. I gave him financial backing over the telephone against a right of first pick. I still have many items left from this collection.
    Still more than half of my collection has never seen a turntable. And the ones I dig, are on it all the time, like the fantastic “Portrait of the Artist” by Brookmeyer on Atlantic. There is only so much you can absorb or open up to.

  • Oh, I forgot: HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.

  • Rudolf – that is an incredible story and it sounds like you have led a fascinating life! Happy New Year to you as well!


  • Happy New Year Al & Rudolf ! (& to the rest of the Jazz Collective out there) Cheers !

  • Great story Rudolf! Having an amazing collection in great condition is hopefully a small reward for leading such a crazy and exhausting life.

  • Gregory the Fish


    i would love to read some sort of essay or short story about these acquisitions!

  • Acquiring large collections is certainly the best way to get a nice collection for yourself…keep the best and make money on the rest. Unfortunately one needs the capital to make these purchases! I’ve missed two opportunities to buy great jazz collections simply because I could not come up with enough money at the times…

    If money is no issue then the Jazz collecting world is yours!!

    Happy new year everyone…

  • Rudolf, as someone who has been collecting jazz records for only the last 16 years it’s great hearing these stories. Happy New Year all!

  • Rudolf, let’s hear more about your travels and exploits in amassing this collection! Also, may I suggest you give us JC readership an advance notice of your next eBay sales? Please?? 🙂

  • To skip back to the top of the thread, I imagine many things are more expensive in Utrecht. It is a beautiful, laid back city and an under appreciated gem in the Netherlands. The museum of modern art there is terrific and architecturally interesting too! I’d also like to hear some of Rudolf’s expat stories.

  • I’m glad Al & gw mentioned the Eddie Costa / Bill Evans lp. I haven’t listened to my copy in 15 years, but I played it earlier today. It really is an outstanding lp and it may be the only time those two guys played together.

  • Happy New Year to all.
    I know this is somewhat off topic, but tonight I am listening to MJQ Concorde. Mint Copy 1st press and I think this LP is fantastic. I know it’s not a $5,000 Hank Mobley but how many out there also enjoy this and any other MJQ ?

  • Oh I should add…. Always have been a sucker for Vibes………. 🙂

  • Joseph, great choice of music. The price of an LP does not always reflect the musical value 😉

  • Joseph, I know what you mean about the vibes. Ever since I heard Eric Dolphy’s “Out to Lunch”, I’ve been mesmerized by the vibraphone. I have a bunch of easy to find Red Norvo records, even some hard to find. I also have two Vic Feldman records, “Mallets A Fore Thought”, one mono and one stereo (in glorious colored vinyl) on Interlude, but the original Mode record eludes me.

    I’ve been looking for the Costa-Evans record for some time now…….

  • I enjoy the MJQ too. Concorde, Django, the one with Giuffre etc.

    How about the vibes of Walt Dickerson on N.J.? He really is something else.

  • Gregory the Fish

    Not a huge MJQ fan, but I do have DJANGO and the self-titled atlantic LP with no text on the cover, both originals. i enjoy those, but i don’t feel the need to seek out more. if i stumble on it, i might grab it, though.

  • Rudolph: I completely agree with you, Walt Dickerson is perfect for late night listening. I also have a weakness for Lem Winchester who plays in the same style…. his date with Benny Golson is sweet.

  • I really like Django also.
    Anders , I agree about $ value. I would say quite often this is the case.
    I think everyone on this board could give example after example.
    Listening to Jackie Mclean & Co. Prestige 7087 – Ray Draper on Tuba. Not crazy expensive LP but one I really enjoy. Tuba !!!! 🙂

  • Rudolph:

    MILT JACKSON . . . At The Museum Of Modern Art LIMELIGHT ?

    Great record.

  • I have the Lem Winchester with Benny Golson record (only an OJC) – can’t play it, it won’t fit over my spindle!

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    Richard–grab a Ticonderoga or similar pencil and put it into the spindle hole, a few twists and you should be able to spindle the LP. My TT has a slightly large spindle and I have to do this frequently

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