Catching Up On Some Rare Jazz Vinyl

Sonny Clark copyI know I haven’t posted in a while when every item in my eBay watch list is no longer active. Here are some of the highlights that I’ve missed, starting with Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, etc. The seller listed the vinyl in VG++ condition and the cover as VG+/VG++, but the picture clearly shows that it’s not VG++, so that might cause some concern about the vinyl grading as well. It would concern me, that’s for sure, particularly at that price, which was $2,524. Not that I would ever pay that price anyway, nor would I pass judgment on anyone that would

Here’s another Blue Note that ended up in the $1,000 bin: Lee Morgan, City Lights, Blue Note 1575. This was also an original West 63rd Street pressing. The vinyl was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++. The final price was $1,081.


Here are two we were watching that ended up selling for a bit more than we expected: Paul Chambers, Go!, VeeJay 1014. This was an original pressing with the maroon label. It looked to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. If it were recorded on Blue Note, it would likely be a $1,000  record. On VeeJay I would have expected it to selling the $100 range, but it wound up selling for $281.95. Yusef Lateef, Prayer to the East, Savoy 12117. This was an original red label pressing in M- condition for the record and the cover. Same situation: On Blue Note this is a $1,000 record. On Savoy it sold for $491, still quite high in my estimation.


  • Can we please collectively put together a list of LPs which, if on Blue Note, would sell for many times more than they do because they are on other labels? This topic has fascinated me since I started collecting seriously, and would love to get recommendations from all of the incredibly knowledgeable readers of this fine blog. Other than the two that Al has noted above, here are two others:
    (1) Bennie Green – Bennie Green, Time 52021 (1960). With Sonny Clark on piano and featuring nice versions of both Sonny’s Crip and Cool Struttin’. It’s a very good record, and the Time pressing sounds wonderful. If it were on Blue Note under Sonny Clark’s name and was called “Sonny’s Crip,” it would be a $1,000 record.
    (2) Frank Strozier – Fantastic Frank Strozier, Vee Jay 3005 (1960). With Booker Little, Paul Chambers, Wynton Kelly, and Jimmy Cobb. Put it on Blue Note under Paul Chambers’ name and call it “Waltz of the Demons” and it is in the $1,000 bin. And it’s a killer record, with Booker in scintillating form.

  • I think the cover on the 1588 is VG++, almost flawless with some spots on the back? Definitely VG++. Looks to be no seam wear or other apparent wear on the corners etc. VG+ to me is a cover with some wear on the seams and maybe some small writing on the back, corners a bumped etc. VG, maybe partial seam splits, wear on the seams, lamination flaking, more writing on the back. A NM cover to me is that 1588 cover without the spots. M- is a perfect cover with no flaws except for maybe some tiny, tiny spots from age or some yellowing. Maybe some minuscule mark on the front or back.

  • Fredrik. Upon further viewing I see your point. I always think of VG++ as having perhaps one minor flaw, such as small writing on the back. The back cover of this particular record seemed to have more than what I would expect of a VG++ record, but I could be otherwise convinced. It would help to actually see the cover, wouldn’t it? But that would be an expensive proposition.

  • Yeah, the only thing you really can go on is the images. The actual grading is so subjective. You can’t know, even when the sellers mention that their grading scales are Goldmine standards or something. The covers, if the images are nice and clear, are pretty easy to get a good feeling for, I think. The vinyl condition though, is an entirely different story. That will be a nice or nasty surprise when you get the record home and put it on the turntable. That anticipation is always thrilling. Your torn between hope and despair or something like that. The satisfaction of getting a really nice copy, that you’re happy with, from a seller you don’t know or have dealt with before is pretty sweet.

  • Joe L :

    – The Tommy Turrentine and Stanley Turrentine on Time : both wonderful harbop record that could easily fetch 1000 if on Blue Note.

    – Don Sleet, All Members

    – Many Riversides

    – Many Jazzlands

    -Many Savoys


  • I just score JR Monterose The Message on Jaro. I would say this session is far superior to his Blue Note Session but doesnt go for as much

  • Jaro is indeed very rare. (or very rare here on the West coast). Nice score Mike.

  • Yes the Jaro is rare ! And a beautiful session, too. Fantastic score Mike.

  • The Jaro is great; I only have a dodgy repress but would love to one day find a clean original at less than four figures.

  • Another completely overlooked session (in fact two sessions) is “Naturally” by Nat Adderley. Worth less than 20 $ and matches any Blue Note if you like trumpet quartet.

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