Guest Review: Goldmine Jazz Album Price Guide

A few weeks ago one of our regular readers, Jay Fulmer,  asked if I had a chance to review the Goldmine Jazz Album Price Guide 3rd edition. This is not something I normally look at. Honestly, when I last looked at it maybe 10 years ago the prices were so off-base, IMHO, that I dismissed it pretty handily. Beyond that, if I want to know the REAL market value of an item, I typically look at Popsike or completed listings on eBay. Putting my own prejudices aside, however, I suggested that if Jay wanted to share his thoughts with the rest of the Jazz Collector community, he was more than welcome to write a guest column. He did. Here it is.

Review: Goldmine Jazz Album Price Guide 3rd Edition
By Jay Fulmer

More than a decade since the release of the 2nd edition, the 3rd edition of the Goldmine Jazz Album Price Guide is here.  As expected, many LPs have increased in value, but the changes in format from the 1st and 2nd edition are worth noting.

There is a new author for the 3rd edition, Dave Thompson, so I am assuming the format changes originate with him.  The 3rd edition only gives a NM value for listings.  With the addition of new listings this was probably the easiest way to save space.  Anyone familiar with Goldmine’s pricing can easily enough extrapolate backwards, and those unfamiliar with their grading/pricing structure should from now on only buy NM albums! Read more

Odds & Ends From The Jazz Collector World

Barbara Lea copyLet’s catch up on a few odds and ends, starting with some of the promo records we’ve been watching on eBay:

John Coltrane, Coltrane, Impulse 21. This was a mono pressing with the white label promo label. It was listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It wound up selling for $493.88. Wow. From the same seller was this: John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, Impulse 40. This was also a white label promo copy, also in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. This one sold for $282. Then there were the two on Prestige: George Wallington, Jazz For the Carriage Trade, Prestige 7032. This was an original New York yellow-label pressing with the “Not for Sale” stamps on the label and cover. It was listed in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The start price was $499 and it did not sell. Somewhat surprising, right? Then there was:

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Would You Pay $5,000 For This Record?

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailAs promised, here is the original DownBeat review of Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568, perhaps the most valuable and treasured of all the Jazz Collector collectibles. This is from Oct. 30, 1958 and the reviewer is John A. Tynan:

“Hank Mobley — Blue Note 1568: Might Moe and Joe; Falling in Love With Love; Bags Groove; Double Exposure; News.

“Personnel: Mobley, tenor; Curtis Porter, alto, tenor; Bill Hardman, trumpet; Sonny Clark, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums

“Rating — Three and a half stars

“One of the nicer things about Al Lion and associates at Blue Note is that they don’t hesitate to present new talent they consider worthwhile. On this set is presented 29-year-0old Philadelphia saxman Curtis Porter, who is equal to the company. Although it is Mobley’s date, the leader allows generous space for the wailing of his fellow reedman, which makes for a high degree of hard blowing.

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From the Jazz Collector Inbox

hankSorry 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

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Quickie Quiz

This is a complete non-sequitor from what we mostly do here these days . . . but, I was in my storage unit the other day and I noticed a box full of old magazines I hadn’t looked at in years and I stuck them in the car and drove them up to the country and now, when I am supposed to be working, I am looking at old magazines and procrastinating. And I came to this Downbeat from December 1967 and on the cover was the announcement of the Jazzman of the Year. And I thought to myself, hmm, if you would have given me 20 guesses I would have never come up with that name. So, I will put it out there to all of you in the Jazz Collector audience. Want to guess who Downbeat named as its 1967 Jazzman of the Year? No peeking: We are on the honor system here.

The Cats, Bird, Miles and Trane

I said I’d post a few more from the Jazz Record Center auction last week, so here ’tis:

Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and cover. It was also a review copy. It sold for $535. I’ve had this record for a while. I traded it for it years ago: I had a broken leg at the time and was stuck in my friend’s basement with all of his records, Blue Notes, Prestiges, the whole works. I was very good and just looked. In my collection I have this one with my Flanagans, although the temptation is to put it with the Coltranes. I’m often reorganizing, so maybe I’ll move it around some day.

This is one of my favorite jazz collectibles, although it’s not jazz vinyl: To Bird With Love, by Francis Paudras. This is a book from 1981, about the most loving tribute to Bird you could find this side of Irving Kalus’ Ornithology. As noted by Fred in his listing, which you should take a look at, the book was printed once with no more than 1,000 copies, probably 500. I bought this when it first came out, from Fred, and I’ve treasured it ever since. It now has a prominent shelf on my new shelves in The Berkshires.  This one sold for $887.79.

The Miles Davis Columbia records with Coltrane, and even the next generation, are becoming more collectible it seems. The music is certainly uniformly great. Here are a few from the Jazz Record Center auction:

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In Search of Very Early DownBeats

OK, the Jazz Collector community gets a chance to solve another difficult challenge. I have been contacted by a researcher from the Oxford English Dictionary and he is searching for DownBeats between 1934 and 1936.  He has found all DownBeats in some form from 1937 on, but no luck on the earlier ones. “The purpose of all this is that the Oxford English Dictionary likes to record the earliest uses of words and phrases, and DownBeat is full of interesting and new terms for the time,” he writes. He doesn’t need the issues, just access to the content. So here it is, we have a chance to contribute once again to the historical record. If you have any ideas — or if you have any of these issues — please respond to this post. Thanks.

Updates From The Jazz Record Center Auction, Part 1

So the auction from the Jazz Record Center ended the other day and here are some of the results of items we were watching:

Sonny Rollins, Tenor Madness, Prestige 7047. This was an original pressing with the yellow label and New York address. It was listed in mint condition, not mint minus but mint, and the cover was probably M-. This one sold for $1,080. As loyal readers will know, this is one of my favorite records — really, with Coltrane and Rollins together for the only time, how could it not be a favorite — and it is a record of which I own two copies, a New York pressing in VG+ condition and a pristine New Jersey pressing. When I listen I always put on the New York pressing in VG+ condition. Why? Because it’s the original and the occasional pops and clicks are part of the charm and the passion, of course.

I always keep an eye out for this because it’s one of my favorite jazz collectibles, non-vinyl category: To Bird With Love. This is a book published in France by Chan Parker and Francis Paudras. It is a gorgeous book and it so obviously lives up to it’s title, as it is a loving tribute to Bird, with photos, letters, contracts and just about everything you could ever imagine. I bought a copy when it first came out and it’s something I’ve always treasured and often go back to, just to look through it and re-capture the magic of Bird: Especially with one of the Dials or Savoys on the turntable. This copy of the book was in mint condition and sold for $266.66. Someone will be quite thrilled, I’m sure.



Guest Column: The Blue Note Guide, One More Time

With apologies to the author for my tardiness, here is an excellent guest column looking once again at Fred Cohen’s guide to Blue Note records. A version of this was previously published by the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors and Bill was gracious enough to do a new version for us here at Jazz Collector. I’m sure this will provoke much food for thought.

Vinyl Coverings, by Bill Schweitzer

The Blue Note Original Record Guide

Some mention of Blue Note Records appears in almost every column I’ve written for the IAJRC,. It is the single most discussed, collectible, and expensive LP label in jazz. There are Web sites and books dedicated to the music, packaging variations, photography and history. The nature of an “original” issue, with seemingly unending anomalies, has been debated in minute detail. Not without cause. An “original” can fetch astronomical prices on Ebay and elsewhere. So, if you’rebuying or selling, it’s important to know what is or isn’t a true “original.” Help has arrived.

Fred Cohen, long time IAJRC member, has just published  “Blue Note Records: A Guide For Identifying Original Pressings”, a Jazz Record Center Publication. At $45 it’s available at Jazz Record Center, 236 west 26 Street, #804, NY, NY 10001, or on the Web at

It’s been a long time coming and worth the wait. The objective of the book is to be a guide for determining original pre-Liberty issue Blue Notes (to BST 84252). With much acknowledged help, Fred has succeeded admirably. For 90 percent of the catalog, we now have a definitive model of what is an original issue. This is a great tool for sellers and buyers alike. However, it may also bring tears to the eyes of some folks who paid big bucks for a record only to find

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Tal Farlow, Downbeat, One More Time

Dan is back with another request. This upcoming memoir better be good. (Actually, it is: I’ve seen early drafts). This time Dan is looking for a high-res scan of the following photo from Downbeat, May 2, 1967. I know I have this issue in nice condition, bit it is somewhere in storage and I can’t access it. So if someone out there can help out (again), I’m sure it would be most appreciated.


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