Regular contributor Daryl Parks posed an interesting question about auctions versus buy-it-now listings on eBay. From the beginning here at Jazz Collector we have focused on auctions. Not sure why, but that was how I always did business on eBay, when I did do business on eBay, both as a buyer and as a seller. Daryl was helping a friend with some listings of jazz records, and the friend preferred buy-it-now, particularly for what he described as “big ticket” items, in this case original Blue Note pressings from Curtis Fuller and Jutta Hipp. His explanation, as explained by Daryl: “Buy-it-now attracts different types of buyers who prefer to avoid roller-coasters and unpredictability while resulting in predictable outcomes for the seller; he has always had great success with this approach.” Read more
Clearing out my inbox one more time, starting with a note from our friend CeeDee with a link to two eBay auctions. First up is Kenny Dorham, Una Mas, Blue Note 4127. This was an original New York pressing with the ear and the Van Gelder stamp. This was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover. Why did CeeDee send this to us? I would guess the final price, which was $810. That’s the highest price we’ve ever seen for Una Mas, confirmed by a peek over at Popsike. The second link from CeeDee seems to be an aberration: JR Monterose, The Message, Jaro 8004. This was a Fresh Sounds reissue that would typically sell for about $10 or $20. This one sold for $182.50 and it wasn’t even in mint condition. The seller doesn’t mention that it is a reissue in the listing, but the pictures clearly show that it is. IMHO, the buyer was either careless or clueless or perhaps a combination of the two. In any case, that is quite a tidy sum for a reissue, no? Read more
I’d like to follow up on some of the auctions we’ve been watching, starting with this one, which I still find kind of strange: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, A Night in Tunisia, Vik 1115. This was an original pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and the cover. I’ve never really covered it before as a collectible, but now I will, at least based on the final price tag, which was $324.45. I had promised to listen to a copy, but I realized my body is in the city and my record is in the country. Given the era, the personnel and the repertoire I’m sure it’s a great record. And, of course, there is the only recording in history of the infamous Ferris Benda, aka Jackie McLean.
The Jazz Record Center had an auction last week and I was keeping tabs on a few of their records, including: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original pressing with a weird variation: Both sides had he same label (Side 2). To me that would diminish the value, not sure why because the music is the same, but it just would. This one looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The final price was $2,500, so perhaps the label aberration effected the price, since we’ve often seen this record sell for more than $3,000 and occasionally more than $5,000. It used to be that the Jazz Record Center would get a premium on its records because of it’s reputation, but I find that is no longer the case. I had thought, perhaps, it was because they didn’t take Pay Pal, but now I notice that they do take Pay Pal. The action also included a bunch of 10-inch Blue Notes, which I love, including:
I tend to be fairly knowledgeable when it comes to jazz records, so it is always a pleasant surprise when I find something brand new to me. Case in point: Ahmad Jamal Plays, Parrot Records 55-245. It was surprising to see any Ahmad Jamal record fetching a collectible price, let alone one I had never seen from a label I had never heard of. A quick Google search tells us that Parrot Records was in existence only from 1953 to 1956 and mostly issued 78s and 45s. In fact, according to Wikipedia, this Jamal record was the only 12-inch LP issued by the label. This copy is listed in VG++ or M- condition for the record and G+ or VG- for the cover. There is one bid at $300 and the auction closes in a few hours.
I was watching some early Blue Notes on eBay, including the very first 12-inch LP in the 1500 series: Miles Davis, Volume 1, Blue Note 1501. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the deep grooves, flat edge, frame cover and all of the other indicators of a first pressing. The record and cover were both in M- condition. Quite a gem, it seems. The final price was $622.89. I haven’t updated the Jazz Collector Price Guide in quite a while, but I do remember seeing a copy of this record sell for more than $1,000 at one time, but that seemed to be the exception rather than the rule. Popsike shows two copies selling for more than $1,000. I would assume that most collectors would treasure these albums, but for some reason there’s something that feels “less original” about the albums whose content was original released on 78 or 1-inch LP. They also don’t sound as well as the later 12-inch records produced for the vinyl format, do they?
Here’s one you don’t see very often. In fact, I don’t recall every writing about this record before: Wade Legge, New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5031. This is an original Lexington Avenue 10-inch pressing. The record and cover are both listed in Ex condition by a very reputable seller. The bidding is in the $280 range with about four days left on the auction. Wade Legge was not recorded very often and died young, at just 29 years of age. I just did a Google search and, it turns out, with shared the same birthday. I am a big fan of his playing on a couple of Sonny Rollins albums, Rollins Plays for Bird and Sonny Boy. I didn’t recall that he was on the Charles Mingus Tonight at Noon Album, so I will have to go back and listen to that, as well as a couple of others. I highly doubt that I will be getting the 10-inch Blue Note record anytime soon, given that I never see it and typically avoid paying top dollar on eBay.
This is also one I don’t see very often, but I’ve never viewed it as a record that was particularly favored by collectors:
We’re watching a few auctions from the seller bullsite2000, including Billy Taylor, Cross Section, Prestige 7071. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. It looks like the record is in about VG++ condition and the cover is M-. The bidding is in the $90 range and the auction closes later today. Typically, you don’t see any Billy Taylor records selling for high prices. This particular record seems to be somewhat of an exception, selling for more than $200 several times on Popsike. We’ll see what this one goes for. I like the picture on the cover, which is one of the reasons I’m mentioning here at Jazz Collector: It’s not often that I get to use a Billy Taylor Prestige cover with one of my posts, and this one has the old record player, the tube amp and the old records. Wouldn’t you like to own the records on THAT shelf. This is another one with a great cover: Jay Jay Johnson Sextet, Blue Note 5028. This is an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing. The record looks to be in VG+ condition and the cover VG++. It is also closing today. The bidding is in the $250 range.
Here’s a sampling of email from the past few days. We start with our old reliable friend CeeDee who sent us four links under the subject line: “‘Give me Liberty or give me . . . uh, can I get back to you on that?’ plus two.” One of the links was one that we’ve previously written about: Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple, Blue Note 4232. This was the original mono pressing with the shrink wrap that sold for, gulp, $997.50. Next was Lee Morgan, the Gigolo, Blue Note 4212. This was also a mono Liberty pressing. I had never considered this to be a collectible Blue Note, but perhaps I’ll have to change my assessment. This one looked to be in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $417.
So this auction closed the other day: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was in VG++ condition for he record and M- for the cover and did not have the New York 23 label. The final price was $5,127.51. Interesting that the following record, from the same era, is somehow valued at more than $4,000 less than the Mobley: Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1565. This was also an original pressing, probably in VG++ condition for the record and maybe VG+ or VG++ for the cover. It sold for $897.69. Still a hefty price for sure, but still the discrepancy is quite a spread. Do you think there are really that many fewer copies of the Mobley available on the market? Or is it hype that the Mobley record is widely known as one of the rarest of the rare? Or is it that the Mobley simply a better record? There’s really no way to make judgments about these things, IMHO: The market is the market and that’s what decides the value. So, whatever the reason, the market has deemed Blue Note 1568 to be perhaps the most valuable jazz record of the Jazz Collector era. Ours is not to reason why, ours is just to sell and buy (or something like that).