Charles Mingus: Sacre Bleu!

Mingus Jazz Vinyl on ColumbiaThe funkyousounds auction from the Dr. Herb Wong collection seems to have been brought out the Charles Mingus fans. Here’s Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um, Columbia 8171. This is an original stereo pressing with the six eyes. The record and cover are both in M- condition and there is some shrink wrap, which for some reason seems to be an enticement to some collectors, although I cannot fathom the reason. This one has more than a day left on the auction and the bidding is now over $400. I resisted the urge to put an exclamation point after the $400, but only barely. The old newspaper editor in me, I guess. Here’s another one worthy of an exclamation point, from the same auction: Charles Mingus, Blues and Roots, Atlantic 1305. This is also a stereo pressing, but not a first press. It is also in M- condition for the record and the cover, and it also has shrink wrap. This one is in the $300 range! BTW, did I ever mention the time I was writing about Mingus here and I left out the “G” and wrote it as “Charles Minus.” I did that and one of our French-speaking readers chastised me with the term “Sacre Bleu!,” which is one you don’t hear very often these days, but was certainly well deserved in this particular instance, don’t you think?

Here’s a nice copy of Sonny Clark, Sonny’s Crib, Blue Note 1576. I guess this is a second pressing with the West 63rd Street address and not the New York 23 labels. To me, this is still a highly sought-after collectible. This one is M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is in the $600 range with more than a day to go. I guess with the New York 23 labels you might be looking at a $3,000 price tag, or higher.

Anyone interested in a copy of Tina Brooks, True Blue, Blue Note 4141? This is an original pressing. The record looks to be in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. The bidding is in the $660 range, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price.



  • That auction is serious nuts. I picked up a NM mono bullseye of Blues & Roots last year for $50, and thought I might have overpaid!!! I guess not.

    In that same auction, the copy of Pitchecantrophus Erectus is a third pressing, but is currently at >$300. Crazy town.

  • Original Ah Um would have deep-groove, no? This one doesn’t appear to…

  • The Mingus doesn’t look like it has a DG…isn’t the original a DG copy? I have a white label promo that has the DG…

  • Wow I have a black label copy of Pitchecantrophus Erectus which I paid around 100 bucks for a while back. I thought that seemed like a lot…

  • I think the “Schrink / NM” factor is important in the Wong auction. We know it s becoming harder and harder to find excellent quality records. The record we are talking about are fairly common. Some years ago, you would find many first press Mingus on Atlantic or Kind of Blue, or Bill Evans Vanguard in ex or better condition. This is not the possible today. Only a few copy are still attractive. So i can understand prices are raising. Anyway, prices for second or third press are silly.

  • Despite ludicrous auction bids I am really glad that there seems to be a strong interest in Mingus. Of all jazz cats he really deserves it. I mean, many guys were great players, or unique, or made the right album at the right time, but Mingus was a monster: writing, playing, conceptualizing. It’s one thing to say that a guy has a lot of good albums as a leader, it’s another to say that he wrote darn near every song on each and often quite unique and challenging songs, too. Mingus the underdog!

  • Beneath the Underdog

  • You know there’s something wrong with the Universe when a non-deep groove copy of Charles Mingus is at $401 with one day to go and Bobdjukic only got $205 for a DEEP GROOVE pressing only a month ago.

  • Deep groove in your wallet! Perhaps there is a NM copy of Lawrence Welk plays Bird! This really is the “Wong” auction to bid on!

  • Ha! Great point Woody!

  • I’m not a big Mingus fan. I like and admire his music, but I saw Mingus play live and he was dis-respectful to the audience, and worse, to his sidemen. It was brutal. I got the feeling this was a regular occurrence with Mingus. To his credit, when Charlie Parker could barely play and Bud Powell was so drunk he attempted to stumble off stage in the middle of a performance at Birdland, Mingus implored the audience with “Please don’t associate me with any of this. This is not jazz. These people are sick”.

  • The Sonny Clark is the same copy that ended on Dec 19th for $2,358. I’m curious if the original winner didn’t pay or if he/she wasn’t satisfied with the condition and returned it.

  • The seller of the Sonny Clark has, on the face of it, good feedback. However, his DSRs are are pretty low, including a 4.6 for “Item as described”. For a top-end LP seller, I’d like something higher than that.

  • I’ve always felt like it’s a plus to have a record still in the shrink, at least when I’m selling. Aesthetically it may be a bit distracting, especially if it’s picked up some grime over the years, but in most cases it’s served as a protective barrier to save the surfaces from excessive wear. You can always tear it off.

  • Woody: it’s maybe because the winner realized it wasn’t a first pressing and knew he/she paid too much. 1576 should have a NY23 label on both sides.

  • Fredrik: I think you’re probably right. The odd thing is that although the sale never went through it’s already listed on Popsike as selling for $2,358. Going forward anyone checking Popsike to evaluate the value of Sonny’s Crib will assume that it did sell for this.
    I’ve seen this happen before to records that I was following on Ebay.

  • Gregory The Fish

    WOODY: I recently made a best offer on a record that was listed at $25 and got it for 20, but the exact listing went to popsike and it says it sold for $25. i wonder how often this happens?

  • It has been written here before – popsike does not record when a record goes back to the seller etc etc. Or when there is a refund or partial refund when a record is not up to description. I’m very sure it happens quite often. It sure has happened to me a lot of times. And the silent agreement is to never post negative feedback…..

  • The Sonny’s Crib second pressings are commanding $2000+ prices when they are in NM condition. This is a difficult LP to find in this condition, especially since the cover has so much white area. Finding one that is milky white on front and back is a challenge. Condition is adding a high premium to these early titles.

  • I personally think people go a little too crazy over an lp having a NY23 or not.

  • JOK — did you ever see the article I wrote about Mingus in my youth:

  • Jason – I have this exact record, in stereo, with DG. I believe it should have DG, yes.

  • Al, you summed up Mingus very nicely. There is the old adage about genius and mental health issues………

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