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).
Clifford had mentioned this in a comment on one of the posts from earlier this week: Barney Wilen Quintet, Guilde Du Jazz J-1239. This is an original pressing that looks to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is close to $400 with two days left, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. We’ve seen some very high prices for this record in the past, including one that approached $3,000, although that seemed to be an aberration. Still, we expect to see a fairly high price tag on this one, given the condition. If you miss out on that one there’s another original copy of the same record closing a couple of days later. This one isn’t quite in the same condition. The record is graded Ex and the cover is VG. The start price is about $700 and so far there are no bidders.
What was I thinking when I traded away a copy of the following record more than 30 years ago?
Here’s one for you: Joe Henderson, Page One, Blue Note 4140. This was an original New York USA mono pressing. It was listed in Ex condition for the record and the cover. Certainly not mint minus or near mint or anything close to mint. It sold for $1,108.33.
From the same seller: Harold Vick, Steppin’ Out, Blue Note 4138. This was also an original mono pressing with the New York USA label. It was listed in Ex+ condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $621.92.
Mal Waldron, Left Alone, Bethlehem 6045. This was an original red label pressing. The record was probably VG+ and the cover was listed as VG. The final price was $745.55.
We are watching some real heavy-duty collectibles on eBay now, starting with Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is one of those quasi-original originals depending upon your point of view. Translation: It doesn’t have the New York 23 on one side of the label. Whether that makes it less original is probably not the point. What we have learned over the years is that it makes it slightly less valuable to collectors. No tears are being shed for this seller, however. The record looks to be in around VG++ condition and the cover is M-. The bidding is more than $2,600 with less than a day left. This copy has been around the block a few times, and is the same one that ostensibly would have sold for more than $11,000 back in 2015 but obviously did not actually sell at that time. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the goings on at eBay, even for someone like myself who follows things fairly closely.
One of our readers sent me a link to this listing from a few weeks ago, using the word “insanity” as a modifier: Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple, Blue Note 4232. This was a Liberty pressing. It was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. There was some original shrink wrap on the cover, which perhaps is a big deal for someone. For me, well I just rip it off and throw it in the garbage. Anyway, this record sold for $997.65. That’s right, the very cusp of the $1,000 bin. Question: Does anyone recall ever seeing a Liberty Blue Note selling for this amount of money before? I don’t.
There was a time not all that long ago when obscure records with relatively abrasive – or at least not for the feint of heart – musical content didn’t break the bank or require a second mortgage on one’s house. This was even the case for the first several years of online record buying, when private-press free jazz LPs were, though rare, not a matter of renegotiating one’s financial well-being to obtain. Well, that period has been officially over for a while now, but nevertheless the hits keep coming and new price points are reached. Take, for example, the lone LP by the Black Unity Trio, Al-Fatihah, on their own Salaam imprint. It’s a scarce and in demand post-Ayler document out of Cleveland, Ohio featuring an early appearance of cellist/bassist Abdul Wadud, along with saxophonist Yusuf Mumin (of the Norman Howard group) and drummer Haasan Al-Hut. Most copies I’ve run across look like they’d been run over by a skateboard and tossed into a puddle. This one was better, with a grade of VG++ for the vinyl and probably a strong VG for the matte white cover. Nevertheless, $2,355 is nearly double the next highest price in the internet marketplace and there was a time several years ago when $400-$500 was a healthy number for this album. Not anymore! Read more
Here’s a nice rare Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Speakin’ My Piece, Blue Note 4043. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing with the deep grooves, ear and RVG stamp in the deadwax. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover is VG++. The start price is $700 and there are four days left in the auction, with no bidders yet. We are starting our post today with this because we just saw the news that Horace Parlan passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Or course Parlan is well known in the Jazz Collector world for the albums he recorded on Blue Note in the early 1960s. I was originally going to mention six albums, but I looked at his discography and came upon the album “Happy Frame of Mind,” which I had forgotten about because it wasn’t issued until the 1980s. In any case, we mourn the passing of another one of the fine musicians of the era. I recall seeing Parlan in the 1970s and was quite impressed with his musicianship and percussive style, and the fact that he was limited to the use of just two fingers on his right hand. RIP.
Here’s another one of those cool Esquires with a cool cover: Sonny Rollins Quintet, Esquire 20-080. This is the original U.K. version of the Prestige record Moving Out (Prestige 7058). This one is in M- condition for both the record and the cover. There are two days left on the auction and the bidding is already close to $700. What I said in my previous post about getting a good deal on these Esquires? I only wrote it a week ago. Have times changed that quickly, or does it have to do with immaculate condition of this record? Or, perhaps, a little of both?
Meanwhile, it seems as if the bidding has barely begun on this original original Prestige: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This looks like a beauty, graded M- for the record and VG++ for the cover. There seems to be shrink wrap, which would not have been the packaging medium when it was first introduced, but that wouldn’t scare me off at all. With more than three days left, the bidding is at just $45. I would expect it to increase markedly as we get close to the end of the auction.
Sorry, again, for the paucity of posts and thanks, again, to Clifford for pitching in. There’s a lot to catch up on so let’s begin, starting with Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. I think we may be seen a new paradigm taking shape in our Jazz Collector world. This copy was in extremely nice condition, graded M- for both the cover and the vinyl. It sold for $1,002.99, which some might think would be a bargain price for an original of Saxophone Colossus, and, of course, that would be accurate. But this was not an original pressing, but instead was a yellow label New Jersey pressing. I think we’re starting to see the rise of the second — and later — pressings because the originals are so expensive and so hard to come by, particularly in near mint condition. Makes me regret that I sold so many of my Liberty Blue Notes for $20 or so when I was selling regularly on eBay in the first part of the 2000s. Then again, the reason I was able to sell those Liberties was because I had acquired original pressings and no longer needed them, so nothing really to complain too strenuously about.
This one fetched quite a nice price on eBay: Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper, Tampa 28. This was an original pressing with the red vinyl. It was listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, and the seller certainly posted some nice clear pictures. The final price was $1,181. That’s the highest price I recall seeing for this record, although there was one in Popsike that I must have missed that sold for $1,225.
Then there was this one that didn’t get a bid at all: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This looked to be an original West 63rd Street pressing, unless I’m missing something. The seller’s description was all over the place in terms of the condition. At one point he said it was strong VG+, then VG. He also mentioned the word “pops,” which is not something you want to hear unless