Labor Day Blues: Kind of Blue, Candy, Monk & Sonny

Here’s some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching over this Labor Day weekend here in the U.S., the nominal end of summer:

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This was an original promo pressing with the white and red label and six eyes. For the most part, promo copies of jazz records don’t necessarily add to the value. With Kind of Blue, however, that is not the case: We usually see the promo copies selling for a premium. I can understand why: It looks way cool and has the smell of authenticity of an original pressing. This copy was in M- condition for both the record and the cover, with a very nice picture, and it sold for $555. There were 31 bids. quite a high number.

There’s been a lot of chatter on the Jazz Collector site about the auction last week by the seller bobdjukic, who always seems to generate a lot of interest, partly because of his extensive use of hyperbole but moreso, methinks, because of his ability to generate high prices. Here are a couple of his auctions we were watching:

Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins, Prestige 7075. This is an original pressing with the New York address and deep groove. Of course, it is described as both “megarare” and “insanely rare.” I’m not sure which is rarer, mega or insane. What do you think? Maybe we can have a vote. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover the same, although I wonder about the cover from the picture. This one sold for $542.12. We did a post on this a couple of weeks ago, when a copy of this same record from The Jazz Record Center — the most credible dealer of all, right? — sold for only $192.50. See what we mean about this seller being able to generate high prices. Not bad, although, to be fair, this record should be a high-priced collectible, in my humble opinion. This next one, “insanely rare,” got a very high bid but did not make the seller’s reserve price: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. It looked to be an original pressing and it was listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The top bid $1,815. Interesting that the seller notes, in response to a question on this, that he does not play grade the records. I find it hard to accurately grade records without at least putting on a track or two, and I tend to be especially careful with high-end records that fetch top dollars. But I don’t do it for a living and I don’t deal in the same volume as a seller such as this.

14 comments

  • These high-priced are always interesting–to watch, anyway. Thank God my vinyl addiction is not so out of control that I’d get sucked up into them. I hope I am always blissfully happy with the reasonable facsimile reissues that are in abundance in the shelves of good record stores these days.

  • Yeah–I was watching this one, Monk 5 by 5: http://www.ebay.com/itm/160640463493 seems like it sold for a huge premium. I own a VG+ copy and keep on eye on the auctions. I hadn’t seen it get nearly this high.

  • Bob D is definitely controversial. The hype is over the top and there can be inaccuracies as to claims of first pressings. I have bought from him in the past and have found the quality to be slightly overgraded – VG++ may be VG+. But he does a nice job a describing any flaws, so pay more attention to the text and the detailed pictures than the grade for VG++ types (seam splits are described – I wouldnt call anything with a true seam split VG++). But his NMs or Exs I bought are in nice shape and I have been a happy customer. Also note that he offers discounts (up to 12% for total purchases above $1,000) but you need to do reflect them in your paypal payment – sort of a pain but worth the effort. If you are a careful buyer (know what is a true first press, read condition details, check all pics) you can get a nice LP, some of which are genuinely rare…though probably not a steal.

  • original first pressing by mighty Bob:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/CANNONBALL-ADDERLEY-SOME-ELSE-ORIG-BLUE-NOTE-MONO-LP-NM-/140547292992?pt=Music_on_Vinyl&hash=item20b9457f40#ht_5105wt_1107
    New York one side, 47 West INC the other, dubious deep groove.
    a real authentic first pressing.
    for $ 202,00
    good catch !

  • I always find it a little interesting that every record he sells comes from his “personal collection”. He must store his collection in a Warehouse the size of a football field.

  • @BigBear: I wouldn’t call anything with a seam split VG+; that’s VG at best in my book. Am I unusual in this?

  • For those of us old enough to remember “Crazy Eddie” stereo and those ever-present tv commercials years ago,I think we can now confirm what became of him ole’ Ed…”He may have changed his NAME,but his prices are still I-N-S-A-N-E!!!”

  • I cant stand the guys auctions personally… they give me a headache with all the font and color changes, and I find his rating/descriptions to be over the top. God knows who is paying him such high prices and why… here is another eBay seller appropriately called basketcase who clearly over prices things relative to the market but does not seem to be very successful.

  • Ah… Kind Of Blue. When I read in the booklet of the Legacy CD reissue that on all the previous LP pressings two or three tracks, I don’t have the CD booklet in handy now, were out of tune due to a too fast (or was it too slow) running tape machine, I thought to myself: Wow… There’s an awful lot of Kind Of Blue vinyls out there, all with the same defect in it!

  • Regarding KOB – Not only Vinyls have problems there with speed. Even the old CDs were not running at the correct speed but they corrected that in the 90s…

  • PrLp 7075: $ 542 vs. 192. One can say one thing about our friend: he has got a sales talk that is more effective than the serious descriptions of our friend Fred. If the guy earns his living honestly, apparently his clients are satisfied, so be it.

  • The market is rarely wrong. Seems to me snake-oil salesmen survive because there is an appetite for snake-oil.
    Myself, I am still hunting niaeve sellers who spell 767 Lexington as 161, spell Bluenote as one word, categorise “bop” as “pop” and have never heard of Popsike. In sort supply, really, but one day…

  • Myself, I hunt posters who can’t spell naive! …and I assume the next poster will be hunting ballbusters who have too much time on their hands.

  • It was my question regarding the issue pf play grading for Mr. Djukic. He first said no, but changed his mind and granted me a play grade on this. As it should be, I mean you can’t just go on visual grading when it comes to records of this calibre and price. Nice touch by Mr. Djukic, after some presuading.

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