Reserving Some Jazz Vinyl (Or Not)

Byrd copyHow desperate are you for one of the rarer of the Blue Notes, Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590? This looks to be an original pressing with all sorts of issues. The cover is VG and the record has two skips. Hmm. Someone has bid $300 for the record but the seller has a reserve price that has not yet been met. Seems like the seller Β can’t afford a camera so perhaps that’s why he’s holding out for a higher price.

Here’s another one with camera issues: Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York 23 labels. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is listed as VG++ or M-, although it would be hard to tell from the cover picture, which seems as if it was taken in a coffin. This bidding has topped $500 for this record, but, alas, it has also not reached the seller’s reserve price.

The same seller put up a fine picture of this record: Donald Byrd, Byrd Jazz, Transition 5. This is an original pressing

with the booklet and it looks to be perhaps M- or just a shade below for the cover, M- for the booklet and probably VG++ for the record. The bidding on this one has topped $600 but it has not yet topped the seller’s reserve price.

This one doesn’t have any reserve. It also doesn’t have any bidders: Kenny Burrell and Jimmy Raney, Two Guitars, Prestige 7119. This looks to be an original New York yellow label pressing, probably in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. The starting price is $150 and so far there are no bidders. This one would fill a nice gap in my collection and $150 isn’t too bad for an original Prestige of that era. Hmm.




  • I have a copy of Blue Note 1540 Lex press with flat edge that Id love to trade along with some cash for Blue Note 1530. If this is of interest to anyone. Shoot me an email at

  • I show my original 1st pressing of 1540 in a new video on my YouTube channel. Enjoy it here:


  • frederik: i must know of your secrets. i’m in the USA so unless you’re sourcing it from here we would be safe from each other!

    that is a nice record, there.

    two guitars is also on my want list. i love kenny burrell.

  • re Transition: I’ve got five, two Byrd’s except this one, Sun Ra, Taylor and Jazz in Transition.
    all have the original booklet but none of them has got a clip in the upper left corner.
    any idea?

  • Dottor,
    I can not tell from the picture. Is that a paper clip or a staple. Every one of these I have seen are a single page, printed in landscape mode, and folded in halp.


  • I have Sun Ra on transition. One of my greatest finds. But man I wish it had the booklet

  • I will gladly trade my Dartmouth Indian Chiefs #23 with the precious booklet, for any disgruntled owners of a Byrd, Watkins, or Sun Ra.

  • It’s interesting, when you start collecting for real, 1st pressings, and nothing else will do, when there’s stuff that goes along with the original releases, like the booklets for the Transition records, or the music sheets for the Art Pepper on Tampa RS 1001 for example. I would not buy a copy without the booklet, or anything else that’s supposed to go along with the cover and record. I actually give a damn about some piece of paper… it’s beautiful, the world of high end jazz vinyl collecting, don’t you agree πŸ™‚

  • I agree Frederik but I found my Sun Ra in a crate for 10 dollars so I am not complaining too much.

  • Hi all,

    I haven’t commented on here for a long time, as I’ve had to take a “vintage jazz vinyl hiatus” since my spending on records got a bit out of control towards the end of last year.

    I’ve just bought my first record this year which was a copy of the Elmo Hope Sextet album, Informal Jazz.

    The sleeve and record are in, well, crap condition really, but I was never going to be able to afford a M- or VG++ or even a VG+ copy for that matter.

    I haven’t received it yet, but it will still take pride of place in my collection, regardless of condition. For US$140.00 plus shipping, I’m not complaining, otherwise I would never be able to afford to own a copy of the first pressing.

    I guess this is the hard part for budget limiting vintage jazz record collectors; there is just so much out there that is simply out of reach, so sometimes, 2nd, 3rd of 4th best first pressings just have to do.

  • Mike, I’d rather have a VG++ second or third press that a VG or VG- first press.
    Especially if the first press was not a find for coffee-money.

    I guess however that many collectors reason like Fredrik and that makes complete first pressings very high in money.

    Who cares if the second or third press sounds just as good πŸ˜‰

  • agreed, I just don’t have the kind of coin to drop on OG modern jazz records. Although these days even free jazz and private press obscurities (my main areas) are fetching insane prices.

  • Fredrik … I noticed your married (wedding ring).
    what does your wife think of your really interesting hobbie videos? πŸ˜‰

  • Adamski, correct, married, full stop.

  • Shaft, i applaud your approach, especially for the budget conscious among us, and given that there is usually little or no compromise in the quality of the 2nd or 3rd pressing.

    I guess, as you quite rightly pointed out, it comes down to each individuals motivation at the end of the day, and what that person can live with.

    There are obviously many collectors who just have to have that elusive first pressing, seemingly no matter what the cost, which in turn, puts those copies out of reach for the rest of us who simply can’t afford it.

  • Al, I see that 2 Guitars LP went for US$190 in the end. The only thing that really put me off bidding on this record was the comment in the description relating to the condition of the record:

    “Record has light, 3/4” light ticky scratch s. 1 band 1, “Blue Duke.”

    I contacted the seller to try to decipher what this actually meant. The seller hit the reply button, did not type anything, and hit send.

    I was just trying to work out if the scratch sounded during playback or not. I’m guessing a ticky scratch is a scratch the sounds? I’m not sure I understand what 1 band 1 means either.

    Maybe i’m a little slow……

  • track 1, side 1?

  • Mike, I would interpret it like this:
    The scratch sounds with a light tick on every revelation during the first song on side 1. 3/4″ is several minutes on an LP.

    Personally a scratch, however quite faint, that ticks during several minutes takes away from enjoyment too much and ultimately I don’t play the record.

    A couple of ticks and pops during play is ok but when noise gets too repetetive I’m out.

  • To all of you: Of course I like First pressings and I have my share too – like a lovely Mobley Roll Call and Thad Jones, Lee Morgan Vol 3 on BN that were quite expensive and in Ex to NM condition.

    But I’m not obsessive about first pressings. I also have some first pressings that fail to impress like the original Stereo Cape Verdean Blues. Very “thin” sounding I’m afraid.

  • Guess those crappy photos didn’t sway bidders in the end… some high prices there!

  • Shaft, I’m with you on repetitious ticks, it certainly detracts from the listening experience, and with that in mind, I’m glad not to have picked up that copy of 2 Guitars.

    But i’m also a hyporcite, because i’ve picked up a crap copy of Informal Jazz and I expect it will be ticking away furiously on my turntable once i get to play it, so maybe not a player.

    @ dottorjazz – i think you are right!

  • Mike yeah,
    You hold the LP in your hands.

    You look at the cover.

    You take oout the Record.

    You play it.

    THEN you know if it’s good enough for you Right?

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