Some Jazz Records That are in the $3,000 Value Range; And Some That Aren’t Close

Doug Watkins Jazz VinylHere are a variety of jazz records from my eBay watch list, as I still get back into the swing of things following my trip to Italy and subsequent return to reality. Let’s start with Doug Watkins at Large, Transition 20. This was an original pressing that looked to be in absolutely pristine condition, including the record, cover and booklet. Even the labels seemed to be intact. Potential bidders probably assumed, and probably correctly, that this may be the cleanest version of this record to come on the market some 60 years after its original release. So it sold for a whopping $3,161.

While I’m looking at whopping prices, here’s another: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves, ears, West 63rd address, etc. It was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $2,750.

And then there are some records that don’t sell at all, or sell for relatively low prices. To wit:

Lee Konitz Meets Jimmy Giuffre, Verve 8335. This was an original pressing with the trumpeter logo. It features Konitz as well as Bill Evans, Hal McKusick and Warne Marsh, among others. The record was listed Excellent condition and the cover was VG+. I’ve always viewed this as a nice collectible, yet nobody wanted it at $35. It’s a weird world when the extremes are so out of proportion — some collectible records selling for $3,000 and more, and others not even drawing a bid at $35.

I also thought this one had some interest for collectors, particularly aficionados of jazz guitar because of the presence of Dick Garcia, but I was apparently wrong: Johnny Glasel, Jazz Session Featuring Dick Garcia, ABC Paramount 165. This was an original pressing that looked to be in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. Nobody wanted it for $9.95.

Here’s another rare jazz guitar record that I thought wouldn’t sell, but wound up getting some bids at the end: Chuck Wayne Quintet, Progressive Records 1003. This was an original 10-inch record, featuring Zoot Sims and Brew Moore. It’s a very rare record and one you don’t see very often. This copy was in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price was $50 and there was no bidding until the last few hours/minutes. It wound up selling for $89.80.





  • That Doug Watkins record is great, but I was floored by the end price. The “NM++” grade for the cover seemed a little odd, what with the bent top right corner and dings on the back, but I guess it’s still pretty nice considering the age and usual crappy condition of most Transition LPs that come up for sale.

  • Regarding the non-sale of the Giuffre/Konitz/Bill Evans album, it says a lot about the quality of the buyers in general.

  • Agreed Rudolf !! I’ve been looking fot Giuffre / Konitz record for quite a long time. Was not aware of this auction…It will probably come back. Regarding the Johnny Glasel, i have a NM copy of this one, and definitely this record swings…

  • I recently dumped a mint copy of the Chuck Wayne on Progressive. The music was outstanding but the vinyl on those pressings is very noisy, it was really taking away from enjoying the lp…so off it went!

  • I don’t think I could bring myself to pay anywhere near $3000 for an album..I’ve paid up to $500 a few times..but yeah $3000? Wow.

    I think I’ll stay content with my CD of this Doug Watkins album 🙂

  • Wish I’d known about that mono Konitz/Giuffre/Evans! I have a stereo copy that I’ve been in love with for a few months now. It’s recorded just beautifully. I’d be very curious to hear the mono version…

  • I have a copy of the Konitz that would be mint except…offcenter so worthless.

  • @mark, yeah I’m in the same boat.

    I have the Watkins on a nice Toshiba LP and can live with that.

  • I just picked up the Toshiba pressing of that Doug Watkins Transition and I like it a lot. I’ve only owned one Transition LP before and it was in terrible shape–doubt I’ll see many more in person either.

  • I have the Donald Byrd Transition 5 LP and the pressings were not very well made. I love the album, but only play it once a year!

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    It may have been here, can’t remember, but I once had a conversation where we questioned the collectability of Transition as a whole compared to Blue Note, Prestige, etc. The music issued on Transition is fantastic of course but the pressings are nowhere near plastylite quality–in fact the copy of the TRLP 19 comp I have is, I believe, a styrene pressing..which can wear much more quickly than true vinyl. Sound quality on that comp is generally very good despite this, but as whole the product is not as timeless as BN’s. All IMO.

  • As far as I know, all Transition LPs are styrene.

  • I have a NM copy of the Watkins record on the Prestige/New Jazz Label (8328). I guess that is some later pressing of the Transition?

  • Rob: NJ 8238 is not a later pressing of the Transition session. It was recorded at least two years later.

  • $89.80 for the Chuck Wayne Progressive LP is definitely cheap! Although Wayne’s playing is excellent, I think of this as an LP by Zoot Sims and Brew Moore, both of whom are wonderful. I bought this when it came out and have enjoyed it ever since. Yes, the surfaces are noisy, but I accepted that as “standard” for certain LPs, such as early 10-inch Prestiges. That is why I later tried to get the same LP music on 78 because the sound on the 78s was better.

  • Speaking of records being “off center,” Parker’s Savoy commercial 78 pressing of “Ko Ko” is alleged to be off center. As a teenager, I bought my first copy of the record and don’t recall hearing anything wrong with it. But then what would I have known as a teenager other than that I loved the music! I have another copy, and that, too, seems OK. I have also heard a test pressing from the Teddy Reig collection and admittedly that is better. The master lacquer of the recording is no more. Years ago, when it was sent to Jack Towers for yet another remastering, it arrived in a very light-weight foam envelope. The disc inside had been washed but not properly dried. When Jack removed the disc from the envelope, the lacquer slid off the base. Styrene LPs are crap! Early 1950s Deccas were pressed in Puerto Rico in styrene. I had one break on me like it was a 12-inch 78!

  • I never knew about this styrene for Transition lp’s. But, I always felt, when I held them in my hands, that something was “wrong”, the extreme fragility?. I just put my Watkins on the turntable after a long while and was amazed how good the sound is. No background noise, and Doug’s bass playing in light timbre (contrary to cousin P.C.’s low timbred playing) sings along all the way.

  • I never heard of styrene until now. Sometimes my ignorance surprises me. I did a quick search and found this interesting discussion on discogs:

  • The discogs discussion is interesting indeed. I just discovered another styrene record in my collection: John Williams Trio, EmArcy MG 36061, the second pressing (no drummer label). The first pressing, drummer label, is in vinyl. The styrene pressing is O.K. sound-wise.

  • I have two copies of the transition sampler (and have given away a couple more) all sounded good – wish I’d have found a few others on the label… Played rarely due to fear of wearing out…. Love the one Dick Wetmore track.

  • I have a few early Bethlehem and Decca pressings that I have always thought were styrene. Light, not flexible, make a “hollow” sound when tapped or put into the inner sleeve. Get marked up and dull very easily.

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