Listings and Musings on Rare Jazz Vinyl

We’ll start with a rare Blue-Note-free day here at Jazz Collector: Jack Sheldon, The Quartet and the Quintet, Jazz-West 6. This is an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record, although it is probably closer to VG++, and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. This is a 1956 record that features Zoot Sims. The price is in the $200 range with about three days to go. I did a quick Google search and am happy to report that Jack Sheldon is still alive. 🙂 I remember him not only as a terrific player but also as a pretty good comedian, playing sidekick on the Merv Griffin show when I was growing up. You wonder about an artist like this in terms of both their legacy and the long-term value of their records in the collectors’ market. Read more

Back To Reality: Coltrane Time

I plan on deleting the previous post this weekend, so if you want to comment on it speak now or forever hold your peace. Meanwhile, back to the real world, starting with one of the all time classics: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77. This is an original mono pressing that looks to be in perhaps M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $435. I own both a mono and stereo pressing of A Love Supreme and I’ve never actually sat down and compared the two. Typically, I prefer mono pressings. For those of you out there who care about these things, which version do you find preferable?

Here’s a copy of Coltrane’s first album as a leader: Coltrane/Prestige 7105. This was an original New York yellow label pressing that looked to be in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $540.

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Albert Ayler, Sonny Murray and Coltrane Vinyl on EBay

s-l1600Among the first jazz musicians to really get me excited about this music was Albert Ayler. I have great memories of hearing Bells and Spiritual Unity at the record store where a friend of mine worked back in the mid-1990s. The sound of his saxophone and his ensembles completely rearranged my brain and what I thought music could be. Coming from a perspective that was jazz-curious and a bit tired of the punk/indie landscape, Ayler was exactly the sort of aesthetic catalyst I needed. At one point it seemed like his records were relatively easy to obtain, if not always in their original form, and not necessarily desired by the “big-money” jazz collectors out there.

That’s changed somewhat, as seen in this first commercial issue of Spiritual Unity on ESP-Disk’ with the red-on-white silkscreened cover, booklet, and alternate take of “Ghosts (Second Variation).” It’s a beautiful piece of the recorded history of improvised music, and from what I understand one of the most sonically representative examples of Ayler’s sound. For a copy in VG++ condition for the vinyl and VG+ condition for the cover (with what looks like slight damage to the upper left seam), the closing price was $800. Perhaps not Blue Note territory, but expensive nonetheless. I attempted to get in the fray but was quickly dispatched and will have to continue chugging along on a clean second-ish pressing (purchased for around $10 almost 20 years ago).

Another prime early Ayler side and a rare sideman appearance is on drummer Sunny Murray’s Sonny ‘sTime Now (sic), issued on poet LeRoi Jones’ Jihad label in 1965 or ’66. Though comparatively easier to find than a first edition Spiritual Unity and with a Japanese pressing circulating as well (which is what I have), it’s still an important 1960s jazz collectible. The seller of the Ayler above had one on offer in VG+ or VG++ condition for the vinyl and cover, including the mimeographed insert. The price at the end was $325.

And just for comparison to the recent auction of the test pressing of A Love Supreme, this seller also had an original mono of the iconic Coltrane album in very nice-looking condition, with the LP in VG++ condition and the cover also in probably VG+ or VG++ condition. The end price was $365, or $65 more than the coverless test issue. That’s a respectable price, if not top dollar.

As always, happy collecting and happier listening (we need the latter especially right now).

Here Are Jazz Collectibles You Won’t See Every Day

test-pressing-jazz-vinyl-a-love-supremeTwo of our regular readers, Clifford and Michael, separately sent me links to this rare jazz collectible, wondering if it was legitimate: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77, Test Pressing. Take a close look at it. Does it really say “Ken” Coltrane? Anyway, it looks legit to me. Unfortunately, it was only in VG condition and, of course, it didn’t have a cover. The final price was $300, which seems pretty reasonable to me for what I imagine is a pretty rare collectible.

One of our readers, Dave Sockel, recently was in touch with a relative of Duke Pearson and sent me a PDF of this very cool collectible — duke-pearson-session-book-1969-1970. It includes rehearsals, musicians and their fees, session dates, comments on the sessions and dozens of signatures from the various musicians, confirming their payments. Thanks to Dave for sharing and allowing me to post this on Jazz Collector.

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Trane, Pepper, Hank and Ike: Another Day on eBay

A Love Supreme Jazz VinylThese are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay now, starting with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77. This is an original orange label pressing listed as “close to NM” for the record and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the range of $325 and closes in more than two days. Following our popular Blue Note tracks list last week, we may follow up with other labels. Perhaps this whole album will appear on the Impulse list. The same seller has some other nice items as well, including Ike Quebec, Soul Samba, Blue Note 4114. This is an original New York USA pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is already over $400 with more than two days left on the auction. I’m somewhat surprised that the market for Ike Quebec Blue Notes has spiked so much over the past few years, but, then again, nothing in the world of Blue Note should surprise any of us anymore.

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Rare Jazz Potpourri: Classic Trane, Billie’s First

A Love Supreme Jazz VinylHere’s a jazz vinyl potpourri for today, starting with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse 77. This looks to be an original mono pressing with the Van Gelder stamps in the deadwax and the orange labels. The record is in VG++ condition and the cover is in Ex. The bidding is getting close to the $450 range with a little more than a day left in the auction, as of this writing. Although A Love Supreme has pretty much always been regarded as a masterpiece, I really saw it as a big collector’s item until the last few years. Sort of like Kind of Blue: Even though there may be more copies of these records than some others, there is also much greater demand for original pressings. These records not only appeal to collectors, but pretty much to anyone with a love for jazz.

I find this one really interesting:

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Catching up On Jazz Vinyl Auction$$$$$

Rollins Plays for Bird Jazz VinylHere’s an update on some of the jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Sonny Rollins, Rollins Plays for Bird, Prestige 7095. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. It sold for $430.55. This was one of the records in the batch from the seller carolinasoul, which seemed to capture the attention of a number of readers. A few other items of interest from this auction: Roy Haynes, Out of the Afternoon, Impulse 23. This was an original mono pressing with the orange label. The record was M-. The cover was VG+ and it had a cut-out hole, which always diminishes the record in my eyes. This one was undiminished to others however and sold for $334. Red Garland, All Mornin’ Long, Prestige 7130. This was an original New York pressing with the original cover. The record was VG++ and the cover was VG+ with writing on the back. The final price was $709.99.

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A Price Supreme. A Price Supreme

A Love Supreme Promo Jazz VinylThis one comes from CeeDee in an email with the above headline and all I can say is “WOW!” John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse 77. This was an original white label promo copy. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was Ex. The final price was $1,225, which is the most we’ve seen for A Love Supreme. It is certainly a classic record, and there is definitely a limited supply of promo copies, so I guess if you want to own one you have to pay the price. The same seller also sold this: Tina Brooks, True Blue, Blue Note 4041. This was an original pressing listed in VG+ (or slightly better) condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $2,550.

 

 

High Priced Vinyl? ‘Tis in the Eye of the Beholder

Tommy Flanagan Jazz VinylJust checked my eBay watch list and came right up with a pair of high-priced items that we had mentioned here before, starting with Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. This was an original deep groove New York yellow label listed in M- condition for the record and Ex for the cover. When we first saw this record, the bidding was more than $1,000 and it hadn’t reached its reserve price. The record eventually surpassed the reserve price and beyond, selling for $3,938.

This one sold for more than $2,000 but, frankly, I thought it would sell for more, given it’s rarity: Kenny Dorham, Harlem Youth Unlimited, Jazz at P.S. 175. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. I asked in the previous post: Is this the rarest of them all? No one seemed to say no, so I’m assuming perhaps it is. It did not get the highest price of them all, although the price was quite high, $2,225, in fact. I would LOVE a copy of this record, but not at $2,225, thank you.

Let’s check out the e-mail bag:

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Jazz Auctions on a Summery Day (in November)

Anos-l1600ther unseasonably warm day in New York – which, at least for me, makes it harder to stay inside after work with a nice whiskey and a stack of jazz records – but I suppose that is the direction we’re headed at this latitude. Meanwhile, here are a few of the things I’ve been watching on eBay (and in keeping with the ‘oddball’ directive):

First up, from our friend bullsite2000 in Italy, is this copy of Illumination! from the Elvin Jones-Jimmy Garrison Sextet. This was an original Impulse! mono pressing from 1963 and was listed as M- for both the record and the cover. It’s a really nice, albeit brief session with Prince Lasha, Sonny Simmons and Charles Davis on reeds and McCoy Tyner on piano. The feel is much more like a Lasha-Simmons date than the music that Jones and Garrison would record later for Impulse! and Blue Note. I picked up a copy about 20 years ago in similar condition for about $5. That’s far less than the whopping $228 it went for here; though we’ve noted the steady climb of Coltrane and Oliver Nelson Impulse! albums, it’s a little uncharacteristic to see these obscure, perhaps also-ran LPs reach similar heights.

The same seller also had a nice-looking example of Booker Ervin’s lone date as a leader for Savoy, Cookin’, which is an album I’ve never owned (though I would like to). I do have his co-leader LP with Bill Barron, The Hot Line, though it’s been a while since it’s been on deck. We’ve certainly seen original pressings of Ervin’s records on Bethlehem and Prestige do some wallet damage before, and the Savoy is seemingly rarer than any of those albums. While I like Ervin, I understand others’ criticism that his albums are relatively interchangeable – nevertheless, that didn’t stop someone from forking over nearly $500 for a copy that was probably VG++ for the record and M- for the cover.

From France, a seller was offering what appeared to be a pristine copy of one of my favorite records, pianist François Tusques’ first session as a leader, titled Free Jazz, on the small label Disques Mouloudji. It’s an excellent and actually rather tightly-arranged 1965 sextet featuring a fine crop of French modern jazz musicians. I thought about getting into the fray just to get a copy with the booklet (that brochure is impressive!), but the price was a little out of my range. From what I understand, only a few came with the brochure, which might’ve been a promotional addition. It ended up selling for $661 and I’m sure the buyer will be happy.

The same seller also had a nice-looking copy of Boston saxophonist Abdul-Hannan’s only recording, titled Awareness and privately released on his imprint The Third World. It’s the first appearance on disc of tenor saxophonist David S. Ware and was recorded in 1968 (with one track from ’71). It’s an interesting, albeit very low fidelity, album and one I’m happy to have in my collection. The record and hand-assembled cover were both probably in VG++ condition, and it sold for a respectable $386. These private-press jazz albums from the ’70s are pretty hard to find, and compared to the stratospheric prices on jazz records from a decade or so earlier, almost seem reasonable.

In any event, happy bidding and happier listening!

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