Happy Holy Grail Day

Catching up on my watch list after a few days off eBay, starting with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition and Ex for the cover. Looks like there was a three-way bidding war for this LP and it wound up selling for $2,700.

Here’s one for those of you who like to use the term “Holy Grail,” although it is a term I normally avoid, except for a few seconds ago: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is listed in Ex condition by the seller and, based on his key, that seems like it would be a very strong VG+ using standard Goldmine grading. This one is already in the $1,360 range with more than a day left on the auction. It will at least join Peckin’ Time in the $2,000 bin and will probably sell for quite a bit more, based on past history with this record. 

Here’s another of similar holy grailiness from the same seller: Tina Brooks, True Blue, Blue Note 4041. This is an original pressing that looks to be in VG+ condition for the record and probably around VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the $1,000 range, but probably won’t stay there for very long.

And then there is Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. The record is listed in VG+/VG++ condition and the cover is listed as VG+, although the picture shows some definite issues with the cover, which, as a buyer, would make me skeptical of that VG++ part of the grading on the record. Well, to be honest, it would make me skeptical period. Perhaps I’m not the only one. This one has a start price of $1,400 and so far there are no bidders.



  • That Saxophone Colossus cover is rough. Looks like a VG- to me.

    Has anyone done business with the Ad Lib 6601 seller? They have a lot of nice items up for sale. I sent them a couple of questions, but I haven’t received a response.

  • The Rollins has caveat emptor all over it. The cover is nowhere near VG+ as you mention, but the seller also says labels are “absolutely clean with no spindle marks” — unless you count the white worn circle around the hole which says to me it was played a lot. This listing is full of question marks. Any coincidence that the name “Bob” is written on the back cover?

  • Note that the Mclean cover has been restored: reglued, coulored up, note the back spine… I didn’t see a mention of this. Suspect.

  • Sharp eye Jonas B! It appears that the bottom seam has also had quite a bit of touch-up.

  • That’s the second cover for Saxophone Colossus, the first is more greenish-blue but both had the W.50th St. back slick. The first lp should also have a flat edge.
    First time I saw an original cover I was amazed at the detail in Rollins shadow.
    Possibly my favorite Prestige cover.

  • I’ve done business with the seller keca222. I bought a copy of Dial S for Sonny that I ended up paying a lot of money for. It was listed as EX when in fact it was VG at best with groove wear. I returned it for a refund and just noticed that it has currently been relisted at the same grade! The seller didn’t even bother to reduce the grade, so clearly this is an EBay cash grab. And what’s up with the stock photos being included??

  • The Peckin’ Time seller has sold some choice records over the past few months, lots of the classical Holy Grails.

  • That Rollins is torched. Bummer.

    The seller of the McLean oddly uses weirdo washed-out images from other auctions as a placeholder and I find that suspect. Sure, you can click through and find the actual item’s images but I still find that quite agitating (in a very mild and brief way).

  • Gregory the Fish

    Jonas B.

    I’m quite unfamiliar. can you give us some more detail on how exactly you know restoration has taken place, what visual cues to look for, etc? seems a good thing to know.

  • I’m not Jonas B but if you look at the pictures, especially of the bottom seam, the recoloring is quite evident.

  • Gregory, bottom spine, look at the colours, purple should be uniform, but is not. Looks VERY MUCH like a ‘touch-up’ job after regluing a broken / damaged spine. Seems like the spines were originally taped taped, tape then removed, and damaged parts re-painted. I’ll even bet alot of the tiny dots are done in hand. I cannot of course be 100% sure from these pics, but it sure looks like it. I’m curious why the seller wouldn’t mention this, and this could easily cause him / her trouble. And potential heartache for the buyer.

  • Seller never answered my questions so no bids for me on his items (although apparently I wouldn’t even be close….$,3,348 for Whims of Chambers!).

  • Re: Jackie Mac Ad Lib lp:
    Looks like a $5000.00 bin needs to be started.
    Wonder if $ will actually change hands on this one.

  • CRAZY money for the McLean!!!!!!!

  • Caroline Somerset

    I would add that the spine of the McLean looked suspect to me as well. With normal wear and tear, almost all spines of this age suffer some minor delamination or cover art wearing off due to repeated rubbing and handling, and this eventually exposes the cardboard colored substrate underneath the art. In this case, if you look at the photo of the spine, it is clear the rubbed, exposed areas are not cardboard colored, but bright white, meaning that they have been inpainted/touched up to minimize the appearance of any damage from normal wear and tear. Furthermore, the entire spine shows even discoloration top to bottom – this most likely from the glue which has destabilized over time. I messengered the eBay seller about this, and they responded “…Hi, I’m not entirely sure. I just bought the record and listed it. I just double checked and to me it seems genuine. If it is indeed restored. It is very well done because I can’t really tell. I can’t guarantee you if it is restored or not. Thank you!…” That answer was enough to put me off bidding (although I wanted to bid!). C

  • $1800 for Soul Samba. I fold. Jesus.

  • And perhaps for me the pity of it is that I had the McLean Adlib lp 40 or so years ago.
    Too bad I didn’t think to hang on to it, for it only brought me a pittance when I sold it in the 70’s.

  • Clifford – You mentioned above that you found the Soul Samba/Jackie McClean’s postings suspect that he uses stock photos for his first image.
    Well, this gets evens stranger…
    Yesterday’s CollectorsFrenzy ebay high-end sales for the day listed 15 lps from this seller.
    Then if you go to CollectorsFrenzy top sellers for June 23 you see 10 lps with the exact same photos and layout including 4 of the same titles from yesterday.
    However, even though these are only a month old the Ike Quebec, Sonny Rollins, Sonny Clark, Joe Henderson, do not show up in an Ebay end of sale search for these artists.
    All four titles sold for significantly more just a month later. If a bidder used CollectorsFrenzy or Popsike to research the value of these records they would be influenced by the June 23 numbers even though I assume the sale never went through.
    Obviously I overthink everything but…………….

  • As for the McLean Adlib, I would accept the cover being repaired/retouched/restored, IF it were disclosed by the seller. Years of hunting and collecting movie posters has conditioned me that, if done by a professional firm, restoration can add value to a piece. I have had several LP covers professionally restored, and have always been pleased. It’s funny, for movie or other vintage posters, major restoration is sometimes required, involving piecing together scraps, painting in missing paper, filling in pinholes, etc. and this does not detract (but will actually enhance) the value. For an LP cover, the corners can be restored to squareness, seam splits repaired, ink marks or other stains removed, ringwear removed, missing art restored, etc.

    No issue for me, if I know in advance before buying, and there is a return privilege.

  • I bought a w63 copy of Monk ‘Genius of Modern Music’ from the same seller as the ‘New Tradition’ lp. My copy was (apparantly i’m in the minority) accurately graded, but the seller took over 5 days to ship it and charged $8.00 for shipping that was clearly marked ‘media mail’ on the shipping label. I consider myself lucky to have just gotten burned on the shipping- not the lp, and prob won’t buy from him again.

  • @Woody, that’s crazy. Perhaps they were returns? Who knows, but it’s all very strange. Thankfully he isn’t selling any European or Japanese modern jazz grails and I’ll be avoiding at all costs.

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