Back in Business Watching Collectible Jazz Vinyl

Bet you’re wondering if I’m OK. I am. Just been a busy period before the holidays. It’s been so long since I’ve posted on Jazz Collector or even been on eBay that all of the items I was watching are now closed. Which gives me a nice opportunity to give a big review, starting with:

Horace Parlan, Us Three, Blue Note 4037. This was an original West 63rd pressing in what was described as VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It also had the original shrink wrap, if that means anything to anyone. I guess it means the cover was well protected for all of these years. The top bid on this was a very nice one, $1,136. But guess what? It didn’t meet the seller’s reserve price, so it didn’t sell. We’ve seen this one sell for as much as $1,725 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so I guess the seller had certain expectations. I had a copy of this record in very nice condition, mentioned it on Jazz Collector and was offered $1,500 to sell it. I did. Haven’t missed it since, to be perfectly honest.

Similar situation with this one from the same seller: Sonny Clark Trio, Blue Note 1579. This was an original West 63rd pressing. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover looked to be VG. The top bid was $717 but, again, it failed to sell because it didn’t meet the seller’s reserve price.

This one did sell and I thought it might fetch a higher price: Sonny Clark, Sonny’s Crib, Blue Note 1576. This one was in VG++ condition for the record and probably similar condition for the cover. It was offered by one of the top eBay sellers and sold for $1,405. A nice price, but we’ve seen this one sell for more than $3,000 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.

Here’s an interesting one: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. Remember how Columbia had the plastic inner sleeve. Well this copy not only had the plastic inner sleeve, but the inner sleeve was sealed, so the record was virtually new. And it was an original pressing to boot. It sold for $417. Whaddya think? I think the person who bought this never plays it, keeps it sealed till he goes to his grave. He probably has another copy that will be his listening copy. That’s what I would do.  I mean, it’s not so hard finding a nice listening copy of Kind of Blue, is it?

Here’s one of my favorite records that doesn’t have tremendous cachet as a collectible, although it should: Sonny Rollins, Rollins Plays for Bird, Prestige 7095. This was an original New York pressing in M- condition for the record and VG++ or so for the cover. It sold for $261, which, to me, is a bargain. Why? Hey, it’s a great record. Vintage Rollins, vintage Kenny Dorham and a very underrated Wade Legge. I’m particularly fond of the Bird Medley, closing with a very powerful Star Eyes. Hmmm, think I’m going to stop writing now and put this one on the turntable.


  • Hi Al, good to see you back. The site, without its animator, was lingering a bit.
    Always nice to see that my appreciations and apprehensions are shared by others.
    I have several vintage Miles on Columbia, which are still sealed and my heirs will find them exactly in that state. I have even several playing copies, European and US. Will always fetch the European one, more familiar.
    The two-tier market is still very much there, Blue Notes and the rest. In the rest one finds such gems as Rollins plays for Bird. A shame that such beauties don’t fetch more.
    What do you guys think of the Christmas/New Year season for sellers? Should one wait to put records for sale, until early Feb.? Or put them on EBay right now, when people have more time to browse and more money (bonus season, but also more expenses?

  • Thanks Rudolf. I’ve always felt that it was difficult to time any trends on eBay. I’ve always noticed fluctuations and assumed that, perhaps they were in the summer when people were on holiday, or perhaps this time of year, when people are spending money on others. Then when I would do my Price Guide I’d see there was never any rhyme or reason to the flows. If you’re ready to post records on eBay, I would just do it. You can always put in a reserve price.

  • Good to see you back, Al. Thankfully I have all the records featured in this post on CD, including a few bonus cuts here and there 😉 so I can listen to this music whenever I want to, but boy would I love to have these beauties on vinyl! One thing though: you don’t miss Parlan’s Us Three? I love it and the cover is monumental 😀

  • The cover for Parlan’s album is amazing, one of my favorite album covers of all time. Sadly, to me the music isn’t anywhere near as fresh and exciting. The title cut is great, but after that I think the album falls off. Parlan’s playing is pretty mediocre, but I feel that way about most of Parlan’s output.

    Great cover though, amazing.

  • With the Parlan, the $1,500 was the most I ever received for an album, and much less than I ever paid for any album. Last night I put the Rollins Plays for Bird record on the turntable. I had been listening to music through my computer on the same system. The difference in sound quality was simply incredible — the vinyl sounded so much better, warmer, crisper, cleaner. Sometimes I use other formats for convenience, but if you’re really going to spend time with a record to listen carefully, vinyl is the only way to go. Listening to this record so closely, again, for probably the 100th time at least, confirmed to me what I said the other day, that this is, indeed, a great record.

  • I found a VG+ copy of Horace Parlon “C Jam Blues / Up in Cynthia’s Room” Blue Note 1770 (61st St label).
    A friend of mine tells me it’s very collectible. Is it? Is it of any value?
    Thanks for any info you may be able to give me.

  • the Parlan original pressings have an amazing bass sound which I assumed was one reason this lp brings high price. I would never let go of mine!

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