Checking Out Some Classic Jazz Vinyl

Sonny Rollins Jazz VinylSorry for another long delay between posts. I have been watching eBay, and here are some of the jazz records that have caught my eye, starting with Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This is an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. As most of you know, I’ve been collecting jazz records for more than 45 years and Rollins has always been one of my heroes. I’ve had a complete collection of Rollins originals for many years, with this one record as the exception. Somehow in all of these years, perusing all of these record stores, buying all of these collections, Sonny Rollins Plays on Period has eluded me and left a gap in my collection. I realize I can fill this gap through eBay, but I choose not to, at least for now. This copy is priced at $500 already and there is a bidder. I’ll keep looking for a copy that is priced closer to what my sensibilities will allow. It’s not the money, as per my usual, it’s the principle.

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A Delightful Trio of Jazz Vinyl

ATHere are some other jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Art Taylor, AT’s Delight, Blue Note 4047. This is an original West 63rd pressing with the deep grooves, Van Gelder, ear, etc. It is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the $530 range and the auction closes later today.

Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. This was an original New York pressing. The seller listed it in VG+/VG++ condition for the record and the cover. In the description, he mentioned tape on the cover. To me this immediately marks the condition down to VG+, not VG++. So I would also question the condition of the vinyl, but that’s just me. This one sold for $222.50, which is what I would expect for a VG+ pressing of this record, so I guess others may have had the same sense on the grading.

Here’s one featuring a Johnny Hodges autograph:

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24 Hours on Ebay

TatumI spent 24 hours on eBay. Well, not really. What I did was I looked at 24 consecutive hours worth of jazz records listed on eBay. I used to do this every single day, particularly when I was active buying and selling. But it’s not the way I look anymore. It was kind of fun. I put a few records in my watch list, which I will share momentarily, and I even bid on a couple of records, which will be the subject of another post. The thing that was most striking was the staggering percentage of records listed on eBay that just will not sell. This is primarily because there is no market for them, but there are others priced so ridiculously out of sync with the market that the seller is just wasting his time and money listing them. What is it, 90% of the records won’t get any bids? That’s my guess. It would be interesting if someone spent some time and did a study.

Anyway, here are a few that either closed earlier or are closing soon, starting with Art Tatum. Benny Carter, Louis Bellson, Clef 55. This was an original pressing with a nice cover by David Stone Martin. There’s really very little interest in Tatum these days, which I will never understand, so I wanted to watch this and see if it would sell. It did, for $42.12 in Ex condition for the record and the cover, VG+ in my language.

These next two surprised me. They are not records I normally watch because they don’t typically fetch collectible prices. They didn’t here, but they also sold for more money than I would have expected:

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eBaying: Jazz Vinyl That Sold, Others That Didn’t

Let’s catch up on some more jazz vinyl auctions we are/were watching, starting with: Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1565. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It looked like quite a beauty and, in fact, may still be available. This one received a top bid of $1,525, yet is failed to meet the seller’s reserve price. I know the market is the market and sellers have every right to hold out for top value, but I still find it hard to fathom wanting to pay more than $1,500 for a single record and still being unable to purchase it.

Here’s a fine looking Blue Note for you: J. R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes in three days and the bidding is in the $565 range. Can’t imagine this will sell for less than $1,000, so the question is how much more than $1,000 will it fetch.

This one isn’t regarded as a collectible anymore (clearly), but I kept an eye on it wondering if anyone would even want it at all:

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Sing a Song of 78s

One of our readers has been in a 78-RPM frame of mind recently and has sent me a couple of interesting 78 auctions on eBay, specifically boxed sets. Here’s the latest: Billie Holiday Sings, Mercury C-118. We all recognize this cover from the 10-inch LP of the same title and packaging with the iconic David Stone Martin illustration, but this is a boxed set that includes four 78s. Everything seems to be in about VG+ condition. This is definitely a cool item, particularly if you are into 78s. The price is already more than $200 and the auction closes later today. I do have an issue purchasing 78s on eBay, however, and it has to do with shipping. I’ve purchased 78s on eBay and I’ve sold 78s on eBay and shipping these fragile items in the mail is a challenge. I’ve sent some that I though were packaged perfectly, using recommended packaging material from the industry leader, yet they still broke in the mail. For an item like this, I’d be a little nervous. By the way, I play my 78s on a portable Califone record player, the type they used to use in public schools. The 78s sound really good on them, they are convenient and you can easily buy one for less than $100 on eBay. We haven’t asked this in a while, but are their 78s collectors out there, and how do you handle purchasing/playing your records? Also, what do you collect, and why?

On The Hunt: Sonny Clark, Jutta, Prez

Let’s catch up on some more jazz records we’ve been watching on eBay, including these from the Jazz Record Center auction this week.

Sonny Clark Trio, Blue Note 1579. This was an original West 63rd pressing that looked to be in at least VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,525. We’ve seen Sonny’s Crib and Cool Struttin’ consistently break the $2,000 and even the $3,000 barrier, but this is the highest price we’ve recorded for this record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.   

Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims, Blue Note 1530. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing that looked to be in beautiful M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The price was $2,678.

Lester Young Collates Number Two, Clef 124. This was an original 10-inch pressing with the nice cover by David Stone Martin. It looked to be in M- condition for the record

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Catching Up: Blue Notes, Prestige, Clef

Let’s catch up on some odds and ends jazz vinyl we were watching last week:

First one of the heavyweights: Lee Morgan, Indeed, Blue Note 1538. As noted this was an original Lexington Avenue pressing. This one looked to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover and was described by the seller as “museum quality,” which is an interesting term we don’t see very often. We predicted that this one would make the $2,000 bin and speculated that it would perhaps even hit the $3,000 bin. It sold for $2,450.

Another really nice one that fetched top dollar: Lou Donaldson, Lou Takes Off, Blue Note 1591. This was also an original pressing, also in M- condition for the record and the cover, also described as a “museum copy.” It sold for $766.99, which is the top price we’ve seen for this one in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.

I’ve never seen this cover on this record:

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Catching Up on Some Odds & Ends

Here are some non-Blue Note odds and ends we’ve been watching:

Blue Mitchell, Blue Soul, Riverside 309. This was one of the ones from the recent bobdjukic auction. It was listed in VG++ condition for both the vinyl and the cover and it looked to be an original deep groove, blue label pressing. It sold for $275. One of the reasons I was watching this is that I just bought another small collection and a nice original mint copy of this record was in the batch. There were also a few original Blue Notes so, if I ever get back to selling records on eBay, I’ll have some nice items to start with . . . . or if I have Jazz Collector readers come to the house, as previously proposed.

Harry Carney With Strings, Clef 640. This looked to be an original pressing, although there was no picture of the label, with a beautiful cover illustration by David Stone Martin. It was listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover and sold for $110.50. You have to wonder how much longer there will be a market for Harry Carney LPs. Case in point: The Astaire Story. This was the original Mercury boxed set in beautiful condition, signed by Astaire, with the Stone Martin illustrations and the exclusive photos. In M- condition, this would have sold for somewhere in the range of $2,000 just a few years ago. Now, the seller had a start price of $800 and there were no bidders.

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On eBay: A Rare Rollins Prestige Plus Two

If you think the Monk Prestige cover was great, check out this one: Sonny Rollins Quintet, Prestige 186. This is an original 10-inch pressing. I’m a huge Rollins fan and I’ve been collecting for more than 40 years and not only do I not own a copy of this record, I’ve never seen it. It must be quite rare. I would love to have it, yet the price is already more than $400 and I can’t bring myself to spend what it would take to win this. It’s more the principle than the money: Too many years of hunting for bargains, I guess. Anyway, I will be jealous of the winner at whatever price.

There’s a bunch of other interesting jazz vinyl on eBay now as well, including: Rocky Boyd, Ease It, Jazztime JT001. This is a among a nice collection listed by Round Again Records up in Providence, which I have mentioned here before as

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Jazz Vinyl on eBay: KD for the $1,000 Bin & 2 More

Here’s some more jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay:

Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban, Blue Note 1535. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the deep grooves and flat edge. It was in M- condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,727.

Here’s one we’ve never seen before: Freddie Redd, Session in Stockholm, Nixja Records NJL 14. This one looked to be in VG+ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $531. I always find it thrilling that I’ve been collecting jazz records for more than 40 years and I still come across records I’ve never seen nor heard of. I bet this is a great one, too.

We don’t usually track records that sell for $22, but we were watching this one because it’s symbolic of something: A great record, great cover, great label, great condition, but no real interest from a collectible standpoint, at least not anymore:

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