So yesterday afternoon I was walking my dog Marty, the one who has accompanied me on my recent record scores, and we passed Barnes & Noble two blocks away and there in the window was a notice that Herbie Hancock would be appearing in the evening at 7 p.m. to discuss his new biography in conversation with Larry Blumenfeld who, I subsequently found out, is a jazz writer for, among others, The Wall Street Journal. Of course, this was of great interest to me so I left my house at 6:40 or so to venture the two blocks to Barnes & Noble and I took the escalator to the area where the discussion would be and, to my great surprise, the room was completely filled and overflowing, to the point where I actually had to stand outside the main area to hear and see the discussion. There must have been between 200 and 300 people in attendance. I don’t know why, but I expected a much smaller crowd. I never entertained the idea of leaving, because I wanted to hear what Herbie had to say and because I had also brought two of my rare Blue Notes for him to sign, which, as you can see in the picture, was a successful outcome. I was pleased that a good portion of the conversation was around Hancock’s time with Miles and, especially, his time with Blue Note. I will share one of the interesting Blue Note stories he told.
Let’s close the loop on some of the rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching here at Jazz Collector, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia, 1656. You may recall this was the record with the inner seal and signed by Miles, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and JJ. Johnson. When we first looked at this record there was one day left in the auction and the bidding was in the $300 range. The record wound up selling for a whopping $2,091.75.
Here are a few from the recent Jazz Record Center auction, starting with Red Rodney, 1957, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in M- for the cover and probably VG++ for the record. We were commenting that there was no action in the auction but, of course, there was quite a bit at the end. The record wound up selling for $1,324.50. Thelonious Monk, Monk, Columbia 2291. This would not normally appear on a list of collectible records, but this was a promo copy with the white labels. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $114.37. From the same auction there were also . . .
Let’s update some of the records we were watching on eBay, starting with: Tadd Dameron and John Coltrane, Mating Call, Prestige 7070. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was just a shade below, probably VG++. The record sold for $393. I listened to this recently and had forgotten just how good it is. It was released before Coltrane’s first record as a leader on Prestige, but his playing is much more confident and assured than on the earlier Miles record or even the contemporaneous jam session records such as John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, Tenor Conclave, Prestige 7074, which was sold by the same seller in the same lot. This one was in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $420.
So what are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay as we head into what promises to be a lovely weekend as autumn sets in here in the Northeast region of the U.S. of A.? Let’s start with a little Monk: Thelonious Monk, At the Blackhawk, Riverside 323. This looks to be an original pressing with several unique characteristics. For one, it ostensibly comes from the collection of the jazz pianist Frank Strazzeri, who passed away a few months ago. More importantly, the record contains an autograph by Monk, signed on a separate piece of paper and attached to the record by scotch tape. Given the provenance you would think it would be perfectly legitimate, but not being an autograph expert, I leave that to others to debate and discuss. Don Lucky, are you out there? This one has two punch holes on the cover, and the vinyl is listed in VG++ condition by Atomic Records, which, in my experience, is one of the more reputable sellers on eBay. The current price is in the $400 range and there are more than two days left on the auction.
Speaking of Monk, there is:
Here’s an interesting one I seemed to miss: Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, Columbia 1041. This is an original pressing but that’s not what makes it interesting. On the back cover are six signatures: Miles Davis, Julian” Cannonball” Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers. The signatures are all in blue ballpoint pen. The seller admittedly had no idea of the provenance of the signatures or whether they were legitimate. Seems that he picked up the record at a yard sale or estate sale. The cover was probably in VG+ condition with a seam split on the bottom. There were 39 bids on the item and in the last hour it went from about $2,000 to its final price of $3,100.99. Imagine if the signatures aren’t legitimate? Or, on the other hand, imagine what this would have fetched if the signatures were 100% verified. I do have a question, however. Why would Jimmy Cobb sign his name “Jimmie Cobb?” Are there other circumstances where he went by Jimmie, as opposed to Jimmy or, as on Kind of Blue, James Cobb?
Catching up on a few remnant items on my watch list, then will plow forward with some records that are on auction this week, which is also the week of the WFMU Record Fair, which is where I will be on Friday and Friday only.
Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original white-label promo copy listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The seller’s description made it seem as if he undergraded the condition, but, as a bidder, I would trust the actual grade over the description. So, if you trust the grading, the VG+ promo copy of Waltz for Debby was a $1,025 record.
Duke Pearson, Profile, Blue Note 4022. This looked to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, ears, Van Gelder. The record and the cover both appeared to be in VG++ condition. The final price was $366. Given what we’ve seen in the market lately, does that seem a little low.
Here’s another Blue Note of the same time frame:
Been way behind on my posting and even my eBay watching. Lots of stuff going on here. When I left off, these were some of the jazz records I was watching on eBay, starting with: Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record was in VG+ condition and the cover was only VG, with tape, writing, a sticker and shelf wear. The record sold for $2,324. Yes, that is not a typographical error. I was thinking of making a pithy comment, but I seem to be out of pith this morning. I will leave the pith to you, dear readers.
J.R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536. This looked to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing as well. The record and cover were in VG condition, and the seller mentioned the word “scratches” so that would definitely be a red flag. This one sold for $323.80, reasonable, I would say, but still $2,000 less than the Morgan record.
While we’re on Blue Notes, here’s another that fetched quite a nice price:
Here are a few more items from our watch list on eBay, starting with Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This is an original pressing that looks to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. As a bidder I would be careful of the “light background noise” part of the description because the cleanest copies of Blue Notes don’t typically have background noise, at least not the original 12-inch pressings. Other bidders seem to be more sanguine about the description. The bidding is now in the $1,800 range with two days left.
Dizzy Gillespie Volume 1, Atlantic 138. This looks to be an original 10-inch pressing signed on the front by Dizzy Gillespie. I’m sure Don-Lucky or one of our other readers will weigh in on the authenticity of the autograph. The cover looks to be in VG+ condition and the record is described as VG+ as well. Bidding is in the range of $110 and there’s more than a day left on the auction.
Speaking of 10-inch records, we also had our eyes on these: Read more
Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days. I have a house full of guests in The Berkshires and have surrendered my office for several days. But I am back with a new feature. This one we can refer to as “stuff from the email inbox.” At Jazz Collector, we do get more than an occasional email. Sometimes it’s readers to point out particular records on eBay that either surprise or anger or intrigue them. Often, we get inquiries from readers looking to assess and/or dispose of collectibles. Sometimes this turns into a nice opportunity for us, as was the case with the Irving Kalus collection I purchased last year, In Memory of a Jazz Collector. To give you an idea, here’s what’s come in during just the past few days:
Louis Armstrong Autograph: “Hello. I stumbled on your site while researching values for 78 records and an autograph of Louis Armstrong and his band at the time (late ’30s, early ’40s) and wondered if you could help me find a place that I could get a value on these items?”
Jazz Book Collection: “My father was a massive jazz connoisseur, collector and discographer but sadly passed away in April, Age 92. Attached is a list of his books, which we wish to sell. We have done some EBay etc. research but would prefer a deal for the job lot via a dealer, or at least a select job lot. A number of the books have been signed by the authors and dedicated personally to my father.”
Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568: Hi Al, Great blog! I post every once in a while. Here’s a recent eBay experience about 1568
Sorry for sporadic posting schedule this week. Been crazy with work and now I am in Las Vegas, of all places. I’ll do my best. Here are some nice records that have been sold on eBay in my absence, starting with:
Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This was an original pressing in what was described as “fantastic” condition, which we would assume would be M-. It sold for $713.
This one got a nice price, not quite like the one last month: John Lewis and Sacha Distel, Afternoon in Paris, Versailles 12005. This was an original French pressing in VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $345. Clearly, this record is moving up in desirability among collectors.
This one didn’t sell yet, but it’s quite interesting: Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Blue Note 1511. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing with a very clear autograph of Monk on the cover. Whether the signature is legitimate, we’ll leave that to our readers. Don Lucky — what do you think? Oh, yes. The price is about $2,000.