As prices continue to rise, readers are sending me more and more emails calling particular records to my attention. This one came from Clifford, with the simple note: “nuts!!!”: Kenny Dorham, Afro Cuban, Blue Note 1535. This was an original pressing, or at least the original 12-inch pressing, and it looked to be in VG++ to M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The final price was $3,819. There were 22 bids and 13 bidders and it went from about $1,700 to the final price in the last few seconds. So, clearly, there were two bidders that really, really, really wanted this record, but that is quite a dear price to pay, IMHO. A commenter on the previous post also pointed to this one, with the simple words “Wow!” and “Crazy!”: Harold Vick, Steppin’ Out, Blue Note 4138. This was an original pressing from the same seller as the Dorham record. The record and cover were both in M- condition. The final price was $720.
I 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 know this one has already been all over the previous post, but I wanted to get it into a headline and separate post so that it would come up in searches: John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This has the New York 23 label on one side, which makes it an original pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++, with some writing on the back. There were nine bidders, 13 bids and the final price was $4,717.89.
Not sure who said that prices seem down on the previous post, but that’s certainly hasn’t been the case for the records I’ve been watching. Here are a couple of examples: Jackie Mclean, 4, 5 and 6, Prestige 7048. This was an original New York yellow label listed in VG++ condition for the record and Ex for the cover. It sold for $1,144.
And how about this one:
Once again we find another record that is unfamiliar to us, this one sent in courtesy of our friend CeeDee: Art Farmer and Phil Woods, What Happens?, Campi SJG 12001. This was an original Italian promo pressing from 1969. It was listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $355. I did a quick search to learn more about the record but pretty much came up empty. That’s why it’s nice to have the Jazz Collector community weigh in with our collective knowledge. So, friends, what’s the story behind this record and the label?
I think a lot of us had our eye on this one: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was an original original pressing, with the New York 23 on one side. The record and cover were both listed in VG+ condition. The final price was $3,998. There were 11 bidders. Given the rarity of this record, the price of nearly $4,000 seems to be market-appropriate, even with the VG+ condition. Based on the description, I’m sure the buyer is expecting this to be somewhat under-graded, particularly since there can be such a wide span within the VG+ category, don’t you think?
It is always a great pleasure, and often a great surprise, to come upon an album that is completely new to us. After all, we’ve been collecting jazz for more than 45 years, so you’d think there would be no surprises left. Well here’s one: Joe Pass, Better Days, Gwyn Records 1001. This is a stereo pressing from 1971 and I had never seen it, never heard of it and never heard of Gwyn Records. Fortunately, there is Google, and this post from Carol Kaye, the great Los Angeles-based studio bassist who was part of the group of musicians that came to be known as The Wrecking Crew. Apparently it was Kaye herself who conceived of the album and produced it. I’ve never seen it or hear of it, although, to be fair, I am not a collector of Joe Pass records on any level. This one is listed in Ex+ condition for the record and Ex for the cover. The price is in the range of $275 with about a day and a half left on the auction as of this writing.
There’s always a lot of debate around here on the value of having reserve prices versus just starting an auction with your lowest acceptable price, or some reasonable facsimile. So here’s one that caught my eye:
Catching up on a few items still lingering on the Jazz Collector watch list, starting with Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This was an original pressing that was listed in VG- or worse condition for the record and VG- for the cover. Despite the condition it sold for $711.80. I have a bit of a hard time relating to a collector who would pay more than $700 for a record that (1) may not even be playable and (2) has a damaged cover that may not even look so good on your shelves. You may recall that I briefly owned a copy of the Jackie record a couple of months ago. That one was in VG condition for the record and VG- for the cover. I wasn’t happy with it and, in the context of the overall package of records, I would have paid less than $711 for it. So maybe the woman who reneged on the deal will do better selling it in that condition to another collector willing to simply own a copy of a really rare record without worrying to much about listening to it. That ain’t me.
Here’s one I’d consider if I didn’t already own a copy: Presenting Ernie Henry, Riverside 222. This is an original pressing with the white label and deep grooves. Wonderful record featuring Kenny Dorham and Kenny Drew, and, of course, Henry, who had a really unique voice that was silenced when he died tragically of a heroin overdose at the age of 31. You don’t see too many white-label versions of this record pop up on eBay. This one is in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is in the $250 range and the auction closes later today. So far, there are no bidders. Here’s another great record that may or may not sell when the auction closes later today: Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7034. This is an original yellow label New York pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding has already exceeded $600 but that doesn’t mean it has exceeded the seller’s reserve price, which it hasn’t.
Back in action after some minor surgery last week. Feeling good and ready to roll with some jazz vinyl on ebay, starting with a couple of Blue Notes from the Jazz Collector Want List that both broke into the $1,000 bin: Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This was an original pressing that looked to be probably M- for the record and VG++ or VG+ for the cover. There were 15 bidders and the final price was $1,125. Then there was Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This was also an original West 63rd Street pressing. The record was listed as M- and the cover was VG++. There were 14 bidders for this one and the final price came in at $1,304. Our friend CeeDee sent us a note about this one, but we were already watching it:
Sorry, again, for the gap between posts but, as I said, the workload has been particularly heavy lately. Thanks to ceedee for his occasional emails keeping me up on things I may have missed. He sent me two this week, the first being: Red Rodney, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ for the record and VG+ for the cover. The final price was $1,413.99, so I can see why he sent it. That’s the highest price I recall seeing for that record, although a quick search over to Popsike shows that there have been several higher and this one falls right into the normal range, although that VG+ cover would be of concern, at least to me, at least if I was paying $1,400, which I would never do anyway.
Let’s catch up on some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with a dash of pepper: Art Pepper Quintet, Discovery 3023. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in M- condition for the record and probably about VG+ for the cover. The final price was $481. This is not one that comes up when you think about rare records but, honestly, I can’t recall the last time I saw a copy of this on eBay. I had a copy once. It had a scratch that caused several skips. I had a friend who was a Pepper fan and he offered me $50 for it. I think he wanted the cover and probably to listen to the side without the scratch. And then we are back in the nearly $3,000 bin with Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $2,700. This was the same record that ostensibly sold for more than $3,500 last week but something must have gone wrong and it was back on eBay. Perhaps the first buyer missed the line about superficial hairlines, which may take it out of the M- category.