In Search of the Highest Prices

I was just tooling around eBay this morning and decided to do a quick search in the Jazz LP category sorted by “Highest Prices First.” I’d never thought to do a search this way and didn’t even realize it was an option. Here are some of the interesting items I found:

Here Comes Louis Smith, Blue Note 1584

Lee Morgan, Indeed, Blue Note 1538

Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. This is one of my favorite all-time LPs. I only have a Japanese pressing and have never owned the original. Will I bid on this? Perhaps. The price is $150 and the auction closes in nearly four days.

And here’s one you wouldn’t expect to see on a search of highest priced LPs: Louis Armstrong, Hello Dolly. This is from a seller with zero feedback. His asking price is $100. Think he’ll get it? If he does, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’ll be auctioning on eBay next week.

Sterling Silver?

A couple of months ago we wrote a brief note about a copy of Horace Silver’s Song For My Father selling for $334. The note started a discussion about changes in the jazz collectibles market wrought by eBay. Well, yesterday we were watching another copy of Song For My Father because we noticed that the bidding had gone over $150. The record eventually sold for $198. Not outrageous, but still pretty high. The one that surprised us this time came from the same seller. It was a copy of Silver’s Blowin’ the Blues Away. This one sold for $229.50 — bit it was a Stereo pressing, not a mono. Is there any explanation for this? If you have one, please send us a note or comment on the site.

Miles, Ben Webster and, Surprise, Nat Cole

We’re not watching eBay as closely as usual. From the prices we’re seeing, we’re not aware if things are slowing down this summer, as they often do. Here are a couple of high-ticket items that would seem to indicate there’s not a slowdown. What about you out there: Are you noticing any changes in the market?

Miles Davis, Walkin’, Prestige 7076. This was an original New York pressing in near ming condition. Price: $261

Ben Webster, Music With Feeling, Norgran 1035. This was an original pressing with a beautiful cover illustration by David Stone Martin. Price: $285

I don’t normally watch Nat Cole LPs because they don’t really fetch collectible prices. So I was surprised, while skimming through eBay, to see this LP with a high price tag: Nat Cole, The Very Thought of You. Price: $113.50. Turns out this was not an original, but an audiophile reissue on the DCC label. This was a sealed copy.

Jackie McLean, Street Singer, Hits Top Price

You don’t see too many Japanese pressings selling for more than $100, but this one did: Jackie McLean, Street Singer, Blue Note GXK 8161. Price: $117.50. The music is made up of a session that took place on Sept. 1, 1960, under the leadership of McLean and Tina Brooks. McLean led four of the tracks, three of which were issued on Jackie’s Bag while the fourth was issued on this LP for the first time. Brooks was the leader on the other two tracks, including the title cut, which were issued for the first time on this LP.  I don’t know exactly when this LP was issued, but I think I recall purchasing my copy in the early 1980s.

 You also don’t see too many Commodore LPs selling for more than $100. Here’s one: Billie Holiday, Commodore 30,008. Price: $102.50. This one has a real nice cover, which was used as a blow-up by Billy Crystal in his recent one-man show on Broadway.  Crystal’s uncle, Milt Gabler, was the founder of Commodore.

Finally, here’s one from a friend on Long Island: J. R. Monterose, The Message, Jaro 8004. This was an original pressing in very nice condition. Price: $565



Art Farmer, Louis Smith, Albert Ayler and More

I’m entering in the Jazz Collector Price Guide database again and have come across some interesting items. The update will be posted when we send out the next newsletter at the beginning of August. In the meantime, here are some of the items that will be included:

Art Farmer, Art, Argo 678. A few weeks ago a copy in near mint condition sold for more than $120. This copy, in nice condition but not near mint, sold for $24. Is this indicative of a summer slump in prices, or lack of trust in the dealer’s grading?

Louis Smith, Here Comes, Blue Note 1584. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street label in VG+/VG+ condition. Price: $417

Here’s a real rare one that we’ve never seen before: Albert Ayler, Ghosts, Debut 144. This was the original Danish pressing in nice condition, not mint. Price: $317

Here’s a New Jersey pressing of John Coltrane, Soultrane, Prestige 7142. This was originally issued with the New York label, so this one is not original. Price: $138.50

Here’s one that sold for less than expected: I should have bid. Cliff Jordan and Sonny Red, A Story Tale, Jazzland 40. This was in M-/VG+ condition and sold for $46.51

Another Batch From Leon Leavit

We received a note from Anthony Pearson the other day that he’s running another major auction under his anthonypearson2 account. This is the account he uses for the collection of the late Leon Leavitt, which is being sold on eBay in large increments almost every month. This batch includes about 1,200 records and began closing today and will go through Saturday evening West Coast time.  Pearson is also giving winning bidders a break this summer: “It is OK to wait 3 to 4 weeks to issue payment during the summer months,” he writes. Anyway, here are some of the items on this list. Read more

What’s on eBay for More than $1,000?

I was away with hardly any access to the Internet and I wasn’t on eBay all of last week. Just for the fun of it, and to see if I missed anything significant, this morning I did a search through completed jazz auctions for all items that sold for more than $1,000. To my surprise, there wasn’t that much. Here’s what I found:

Tina Brooks, Blue Note 4041. This was an original pressing in what looked like very nice condition. Price: $1,703.30

Fred Astaire, The Astaire Story, Clef 1001. This is the complete boxed set, signed and autographed by Astaire. Price: $1,826. It so happens, I also have a copy of this, in comparable condition. If anyone is interested I’d sell it for $1,750. Contact me

 The final $1,000-plus item was this:  The Jacques Pelzer Quartet in Italy, on the Italian Centra label. I had never seen or heard of this record and, according to the dealer, there were only 200 or so copies pressed. This one received a top bid of $1,226, but still failed to meet the seller’s reserve price. Perhaps it will appear again.


A Bulls-eye for Giant Steps

When we started the newsletter last year, a few readers gave us a hard time for paying $50 to get a stereo copy of John Coltrane Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311, with the bulls-eye label. Well, here’s a copy in worse condition that recently sold for $129.17.

 Here are some of the other items that we’re loading into the Latest Prices and Price Guide for

 Hal McKusick, Triple Exposure, Prestige 7135. This was in near mint condition and sold for $371.60. This is a higher price than we’ve seen before, but the record looks very clean.

 Here’s one that broke the $200 price range: Joe Henderson, In ‘N Out, Blue Note 4166. Price: $215.50

 And another one that came close: Beverly Kenney Sings for Johnny Smith, Roost 2206. Price: $190.50




Dexter On Dial, Jutta On Blue Note

We’re putting together a new price guide and entering new entries into the database. Here are a few interesting items that won’t make it into the next newsletter. More of these tomorrow.

Dexter Gordon, Dial 204. This was the original 10-inch pressing in just VG condition and still sold for $232.54.

Stan Getz, West Coast Jazz, Norgran $217.50. Admittedly, this was in nice condition, but it still sold for a very high price, compared to other copies we’ve seen: $217.50 Read more

Advice to Sellers on Ebay

Jazz Collector Newsletter, July 2005

Welcome to Jazz Collector. We’ve been very good about updating the web site every day, so if you haven’t been visiting, please take a look: There’s been some interesting discussion and we’ve been watching some nice items on eBay. Speaking of eBay, as we often do, we start this newsletter with advice to sellers, which we hope will generate some reader response. We also have our usual assortment of upcoming items, some new LPs in our Price Guides and an all-time favorite music clip.

I was recently talking to a subscriber who is interested in selling his collection on eBay as a retirement business. Here’s the main advice I gave him:

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