Now These Are Some Heavy Hitters

Art Pepper Jazz VinylI missed this one last week: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that looked to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $4,054. You don’t find many records breaking into the $4,000 bin, but certainly more than there used to be. Then again, there was that copy of John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577, that sold for $4,717.89 a couple of weeks ago. Amazing. Then there was The Return of Art Pepper, East West JWLP 10. We were watching this one the other day and there were no bids at a start price of about $500 with just a couple of days left on the auction. I predicted it would sell, which was not that hard to do. But I would not have predicted that the price would have been $2,026.01. Amazing. It was also noteworthy that there were only three bidders and three bids, and they all came during the auction’s closing seconds, the winner and second place finisher presumably using some kind of sniping software.

I don’t expect too many of the records I’m currently watching to end up in that stratosphere, but you never know. Here’s one that is certainly a possibility: Barney Wilen, Barney, RCA 430 053. This is an original French pressing and is certainly one of the heavy hitters in the world of rare jazz vinyl collectibles. In our (admittedly dated) Price Guide, we’ve seen one sell for as much as $2,700. This one looks to be in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover, so it probably won’t end up that high. Then again . . . As of now the price is $855.


  • The most astonishing thing about these auctions is that in both, one of the last couple bids is $1500 higher than the highest bid before it. With the Trane record it was 3 collectors willing to go that far up, with the Clark record it was only two of them. And don’t forget, with the Clark record, for example, were it not for c***e’s bid, n***o would have went home with that record for about $1,500 less than they ended up paying for it! Crazy to think that one person forced that large of a difference in the final price.

    End of the day, I’m jealous and I always will be.

  • I tried to bite the bullet on the Pepper record and in the last few seconds bid about $575, which would have been the most I ever paid for a record by a large margin. What you don’t see in the bid history is that by the time I entered by bid the second highest bid had been registered and mine was never considered. At least I still have my money. On the down side I once sold a m-/m- copy of this record for a friend that was experiencing financial problems. I regret every day as a collector that I couldn’t buy that record and every other record he had me sell that auction. I’ve never had a real chance of owning them since.

  • These auctions mirror the Barrett-Jackson auctions in classic cars … these LPs are the Duesenbergs of the vintage jazz segment, it seems. 🙂

  • We lost a heavy hitter today….Bobby Hutcherson,at 75. He made it to one of the lists in the recent Blue Note survey,but i think his music deserves much more recognition.Though he was a late bloomer on the label,he stayed almost as long as Horace Silver making him the second most recorded BN artist. The originality, intensity and imagination of his music on his own albums bears repeated listening.Strikingly modern.His collaborations with drummer Joe Chambers are to be celebrated.Though Bobby’s BN’s won’t be behind the velvet rope anytime soon,what would some of the biggie BN sessions be without his vibes? “Out to lunch” without Hutcherson…unthinkable! We still hear you man!

  • Yeah, sad news about Hutcherson – was lucky to see him and meet him once about 17 years ago. Real sweetheart in addition to being a great player.

    In the record department, I see another 1568 went for $4,000 at a “Best Offer” BIN price.

  • Sad to hear about Hutcherson indeed. He’s on a whole bunch of my favorite Blue Notes – Evolution, Idle Moments, Destination Out, One Step Beyond, Life Time and the list goes on …

  • Just like jazz records in good condition, jazz musicians from our Blue Note era are in shorter and shorter supply these days. I was just listening to the Hutcherson Mosaic Select set recently, really great music.

  • Bobby Hutcherson RIP… I had a proper session with the Valves.
    GG’s ‘Idle Moments’, literally brought tears last night. Dexter’s ‘Manhã de Carnaval’ with Bobby H is too good for words. Finished the listening session with Tranquility from Bobby’s Components LP.
    I know another session is in order this weekend with Bobby’s contributions on a lot of great lps.
    A glass of Red will be raised, cheers Bobby.

  • The cities were burnin’ and along comes Harold Land’s album The Peace maker( cadet lps813) for my ears this is Bobby at his best! These guys played around L.A. for awhile and always cooked! I will miss their sound always.

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