Bud, Ella, Bird, Jackie: A Day on eBay

Bud Powell Jazz Vinyl copyI’ve been off eBay for a few days recovering from my Bronx adventure, so today I will go back to my watch list and take inventory of what I have missed, starting with The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 2, Blue Note 5041. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in near mint condition for the record and probably M- or VG++++ for the cover. It had a start price of $595 and did not get any bids. On the one hand I’m surprised because you just don’t find many 10-inch Blue Notes in this kind of condition. And this is a great record, with a great cover. On the other hand, $600 is still a lot of money.

Everybody’s favorite, bobdjukic, was back with some auctions and, as usual, some hyperbole. This was a highlight from Ella Fitzgerald, and I will give the full title because it is quite a weird mouthful: Miss Ella Fitzgerald and Mr. Gordon Jenkins (with His Orchestra and Chorus) Invite You to Listen and Relax, Decca 8696. According to the listing this is “Easily and By Far Ella Fitzgerald’s Rarest Studio Album in Existence!” I love that stuff, and then it gets topped off with the old standby “ultra-rare.” Somehow this stuff actually works. The record and cover were graded VG++, although the description makes it clear that VG++ for the cover is a wild stretch, since there is actually a partial seam split. Anyway, some how, some way, someone bid $259 for this record. I think I got my copy, in better condition, for $5 at a record show, which was not far from the going rate a few years back.  Read more

Spellbound!

Nina simoneJust catching up on my eBay watch list and thought I’d share some items of interest that are still lingering from the past couple of weeks. Not to overly beat an already beaten dead horse, but this one is still in my queue from the Dr. Herb Wong auctions by the seller funkyousounds: Nina Simone, I Put a Spell on You, Philips 600-172. This was a stereo promo pressing in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $530, which was a shocker to me. I took a look at Popsike to get comparables and was surprised to see that this record had sold for $150 to $200 in the past. I didn’t ever think of it as a collectible, but I guess these days I’ll have to readjust because the market seems to be changing before our very eyes. Still, $530 was quite a leap from the previous top price for this record.

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Jazz Vinyl From Some of Our Favorite Cats

The Cats New Jazz VinylI’m cleaning out my eBay watch list so here are various odds and ends from the past six weeks or so, starting with Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves and the purple labels. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition, very nice indeed. Of course, one of the attractions of this record is that it  features John Coltrane. When I acquired this record I filed it with my Coltranes because I was just building my Trane collection and every collectible record with Coltrane was a treasure to me. I hate to tell you when this was, but it was more than 40 years ago. I can’t believe I’m that old. Anyway, now that my Coltrane collection is more robust, this is properly filed with the Flanagans. This copy sold for a very nice $600. Nice for the seller and I’m sure very nice for the buyer, who will have a lovely record for his turntable and collection.

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Less Than 50 Copies? Really??????

Ornette Coleman jazz vinyl on jazzcollector.comHere are some odds and ends from the jazz vinyl world on eBay, starting with Ornette Coleman, ESP 1006. This is an original pressing with the silkscreen cover. The record is listed in Ex+ condition, which I interpret to VG++ in the terms we use here at Jazz Collector. The start price is about $700 and so far there are no bids. What struck me about this listing were that the seller described it as a “holy grail” LP, which is a term I have come to detest after all these years watching eBay. The second thing that struck me was that the seller states as fact that there were less than 50 of these pressed. I find that hard to believe. I feel like I’ve seen at least 50 of these on eBay these past dozen or so years. I tend to doubt it’s the same 50 records going back and forth between collectors. Clifford would probably have a better sense of the veracity and reality behind this record, so please enlighten us when you get a chance.

This one looks appealing, particularly since I still don’t have an original pressing:

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Tracking Jazz Vinyl To The Ends of The Earth . . . . . . (And Perhaps Beyond)

Frank Foster Jazz VinylBack in action again. Working out of my apartment this week in Manhattan. There’s a construction project next door, so I’m sitting here with headphones to block out the noise. Right now it’s Bill Evans “I Loves You Porgy.” There are worse ways to work. Now, on to eBay, starting with Here Comes Frank Foster, Blue Note 5043. This is an original 10-inch pressing with the Lexington label. The seller misspells the name as “Forster.” Can’t imagine that would affect searches, but you never know. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The starting price is about $300 and so far there are no bidders with more than three days left. I imagine, in this condition, this record will get some decent action. I have seen Japanese reissues of this record, but was it ever issued on Blue Note in the U.S. on a 12-inch LP? Same with the Dizzy Gillespie Blue Note, Horn of Plenty. I don’t recall seeing that on a 12-inch LP. Any other Blue Notes in a similar category? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, although I’m sure there are more.

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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:

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Sixties and Seventies Avant-garde, Duke Jordan, and more on eBay

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Well, I guess that the ‘repurposed’ copy of Peckin’ Time that vinyl-house-uk were auctioning was cancelled before things got too out of control, but I suppose that as a seller they have raised a few red flags.

On to more pleasant matters and some of the records that Al and I have been (or are) watching:

First up is a fine Duke Jordan ten-inch on Swing that our friend bullsite2000 had up on the block. Though we’ve seen a copy go recently for nearly $3,000 this one, which was graded M- for the record and about a VG++ for the sleeve, went for ‘only’ just shy of $1,700 (I say ‘only’ because it was actually a better-presented auction). Still a lot of change for a record… the music has been issued on CD (which is what I have) and is quite nice, with Gene Ramey on bass and Lee Abrams on drums.

The same Italian seller also had a number of other nice ten-inch and twelve-inch LPs in the same auction, most of which did pretty well. I’m still surprised at the traction on Oliver Nelson’s Straight Ahead (NJ 8255) in recent months. This copy went for over $400 in M-/M- condition; as I commented at one point, not being overly bowled over by the session I let it go for around $60 (VG+/VG+) several years ago at a friend’s store where I consigned records. Someone was probably pretty happy. It’s gone for nearly $1,000 in the recent past, though perhaps (hopefully?) that was an irregularity.

And in the active category:

Here’s British trumpeter Henry Lowther and his rare Deram LP Child Song. I have the music on CD but would be excited to own the record (ran into a water-damaged copy years ago for cheap, but just couldn’t handle the cover issues). This copy looks to be in nice VG++ condition all around, but will probably end up north of $300. Not bad when one considers what original Blue Note and Prestige LPs go for, but still a commitment. The same seller also has some other really nice-looking 60s and 70s jazz LPs for sale.

Our friend in Brooklyn, nobbyknucks, has a similarly solid (and big) list of 60s and 70s jazz on offer as well. I actually like this LP on Strata-East that bassist Bill Lee put together, though it’s routinely fairly pricey. The vinyl grades at about a VG+ and M- for the sleeve, and with five days to go is already selling for $200 (which is in the ballpark for a clean copy these days).

And how about this classic? When you think about it, $300 for Sonny (Sunny) Murray’s first LP as a leader, with a band featuring Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Henry Grimes and Lewis Worrell, and released on LeRoi Jones’ (Amiri Baraka’s) own label Jihad, isn’t a bad deal. Most copies I’ve encountered are in pretty rough shape, but the copy for sale here looks nice – about a VG++ all around. The version I have in the racks is a Japanese pressing (with the 7″) but it sure would be nice to have a clean original. The music is sublimely heavy.

Happy bidding, and happier listening!

Three For The Road

Duke Jordan Jazz VinylThis may be my last post for a couple of weeks. Taking holiday in Italy with The Lovely Mrs. JC. I still may do a post from there, you never know. In the meantime, Clifford has the keys to the kingdom until I return, and I do have a bunch of records I’m watching on eBay, starting with this one, which has already been mentioned by one of the commenters on the previous post: Duke Jordan Trio, Swing 32 323. This is an original 10-inch French pressing and it looks to be in M- condition all the way around, cover and vinyl. The bidding is now at about $1,000 and, as recently as last week we saw another copy sell for nearly $3,000. There are three days left on this auction, so there’s every chance this copy will approach or surpass that one. As you can see, it has a very Stone Martin-esque cover? Anyone familiar with the artist and his other work? Rudolf?

This one surprises me:

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Top Dollar (or Euro) For European Pressings

Mobley's Message Jazz VinylCatching up on some loose ends, Terry sent me a link to the following record: Duke Jordan Trio, Vogue Swing M33 323. This was the original French pressing of this 10-inch LP, which was listed in M- condition for the record and Ex for the cover. It sold for $2,939.99. As Terry said in his email to me, the prices of the French Swing records are getting top dollar and this would certainly support that, unless anyone thinks nearly $3,000 is a bargain for a Duke Jordan record.

While we’re in Europe: Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Esquire 32-029. This is the original British pressing of the Prestige record. It was listed in Ex condition for the record and only VG for the cover. It sold for $337.44. I’ve been watching a lot of these U.K. pressings and they seem to be going up in value, particularly the early Prestiges. I can see why: The covers are cool and the pressings sound great. If I didn’t have an original Prestige — and in some case, even if I do — I’d be very happy to have one of these original Esquires.

Here’s another one:

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. . . And The Prices Keep Going Up

Bill Evans Jazz VinylI’m sure many of you are way ahead of me, but please let me catch up on some of the interesting auctions we were watching, starting with Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original white label promo copy. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover looked to be about VG+ because a previous owner had stamped his name and address on both the front and the back. When I first wrote about the record, there were several hours left in the auction and the bidding was in the $265 range and I guessed that the final price would probably surpass $1,000. To my surprise, and probably to the surprise of many of you here, the final price was $2,248. And that’s not even counting the Global Shipping Program charge of nearly $475, which is discussed in the comments on the earlier post. I’d be curious as to who is spending this kind of money on these records, and why? Is it for listening? Is it for investment? Is it just for collecting and owning the history?

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