Another UK Esquire and an Audiophile Question

Back with another Esquire Prestige to start with, if you will all kindly indulge my new obsession: Donald Byrd, Kenny Dorham, Gene Quill, Phil Woods, Pairing Off, Esquire 32-026. This is an original UK pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It’s a another cool cover, IMHO, illustrating the instruments of the two sets of pairs, the trumpeters and altoists. It’s quite a bit different than the U.S. version, which was released as a session led by Phil Woods. Bidding is in the $120 range with more than a day left on the auction.

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A Fine Array From Blue Note and Prestige

We were watching a bunch of items from the Jazz Record Center auction that closed yesterday and here are some of the results, staring with Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore, Blowing in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This was an original pressing. It was probably in VG++ condition for the record. The JRC doesn’t use our normal grades, just a description. This one had a single mark that is audible seven times. I know that precludes it from M-. Does it preclude it from VG++? Otherwise, the record sounds immaculate. The cover was probably VG+ or VG++, depending upon how you feel about a “professionally repaired” spine and bottom seam. Also, the picture looks more VG+ to me than VG++. The final price was $1,247. My sense is that a different seller would have been less meticulous in his description and received a higher price. In any case, I still don’t own an original copy of this record for any of you out there who may be interested in a trade.

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Jazz Vinyl Catchup

Sorry, again, for the long gap between posts. With Thanksgiving and an abundance of real work, time has just slipped away. I owe you an update on some of the auctions we were watching, so here goes. We’ll start with some of the records from the seller vinyl-house-uk, including Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Esquire 32-0139. This was an original British pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover.  It sold for a whopping $925. When we started watching this UK pressings a couple of years ago, the prices weren’t nearly this high. Hope we didn’t start a trend. There were a few other similar pressings in the same auction list that sold for high prices, including these Read more

Here Comes Louis Smith — Coltrane and Rollins, Too

Geez, did you see the final price on that Here Comes Louis Smith record we were watching the other day? It was an original pressing in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. We predicted it might make it to the $1,000 bin, but didn’t expect it to get into the $2,000 bin, which it did at $2,027. That would make it the highest price we’ve seen for this record, according to Popsike, which, interestingly, already has it posted on their site. So, with a VG+ cover this copy received a price that was more than $500 higher than the previous top price. Not bad.

Meanwhile, I was watching this record and it didn’t sell at all: John Coltrane (et al), Tenor Conclave, Prestige 7074. This was an original New York yellow label pressing, listed in VG+ condition for the record and VG for the cover. The start price was about $400 and there were no bidders.

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A Prestige-eous Day at Jazz Collector

Let’s look at a few from Prestige and related labels today, starting with Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This was an original New York yellow label pressing listed as being in “pristine” condition from a reliable seller. The final price was $715.99, which strikes me as quite a bargain for this record in this condition. Or at least as much as any record for $715 can be a bargain. With this personnel — Mobley, McLean, Byrd, Barry Harris, Doug Watkins and Art Taylor — what would this record go for if it was on the Blue Note Label. I think we’d probably be looking in our metaphorical $2,000 bin.

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Sonny Rollins, UK Pressing, Williamsburg Bridge

Back on eBay and here’s another one of those cool UK Esquire covers: Sonny Rollins, Worktime, Esquire 32-038. This is an original UK pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The bidding is now in the $150 range with more than five days left on the auction. One thing that is striking me now for the first time in examining these UK listings: The seller is listing this as a 1958 pressing. Is that accurate? If so, that would be two years after the original release date in the U.S. Did our friends in the UK really have two wait two years for Worktime and/or other original Prestige recordings? Another thing; while I find the cover to be pretty cool looking, there’s something a bit off about it. I guess the illustration implies getting back to work, but it does look a bit like Sonny is strung out, at least to me, which may not be the most appropriate illustration since, in my recollection, Worktime was recorded just after Sonny reportedly kicked the habit.

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Blue Notes and Monk at 100

Thanks to Daryl and to all the thoughtful, and not so thoughtful (just kidding), commenters on the previous post. Given how sporadically I’ve been posting lately, it’s nice to get some other voices involved. I do have a full complement of jazz records in my eBay watch list, so I will share some of the more interesting items, starting with Lee Morgan, Volume 3, Blue Note 1557. This was an original West 63rd New York 23 pressing that was listed in M- condition for the record and perhaps just a shade below M- for the cover. There were 21 bidders and 37 bids and a final price of $3,629 that jumped from $2,000 in the final seconds. This is not the highest price we’ve seen for this record, according to Popsike, which recorded a copy selling for $4,177 last year. Still, it’s way up there. Brings to mind a note I received from one of our readers last week, linking to a recent article about million-dollar comic books and wondering why, jokingly, the recent Lee Morgan documentary didn’t have a similar impact. Well, we’re not yet in the millions, but our jazz records are definitely on the rise. Plus, we get to listen to what we collect, not just look at it, although looking at it is cool too, as was well discussed in the prior post.

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Four Favorites, For a Price

Back online again and tracking some of my favorite jazz records on eBay, starting with Jackie McLean, McLean’s Scene, New Jazz 8212. This is an original deep groove purple label pressing. The record is listed in VG+ or perhaps better condition and the cover is VG++. The start price is about $200 and so far there are no bidders with more than five days left. This one will get action, right?

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This is an original white label promotional copy. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is Ex or Ex+ condition. There are more than four days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $170 range, with 13 bids. Curious to see where this ends up. We were watching a promo Kind of Blue a few weeks ago that had a $600 start price and no bidders — but it also had some condition questions. We have seen promo copies sell for as much as $2,700 in the past, but this one will not get to that level.

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Portait In Jazz Prices

When I’m not posting frequently enough I can always count on our friend CeeDee to gently prod me with a list of auctions he’s been tracking. Now I know how infrequently I’ve been posting, since the latest missive from CeeDee is replete with TEN listings, so let’s look at some of the highlights, starting with Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Riverside 315. This record sold for $767, and CeeDee expresses surprise that a later pressing would attract such a high price. I agree, but I can’t determine from the listing that this is, in fact, a later pressing. The seller describes it as an original U.S. pressing, with an M- record and Ex cover. It isn’t fully clear to me what the pictures entail, since the first picture is described as a stock photo “for illustration purposes only.” Anyway, I’m probably being obtuse today so if anyone (CeeDee?) can clear things up, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Happy Holy Grail Day

Catching up on my watch list after a few days off eBay, starting with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition and Ex for the cover. Looks like there was a three-way bidding war for this LP and it wound up selling for $2,700.

Here’s one for those of you who like to use the term “Holy Grail,” although it is a term I normally avoid, except for a few seconds ago: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is listed in Ex condition by the seller and, based on his key, that seems like it would be a very strong VG+ using standard Goldmine grading. This one is already in the $1,360 range with more than a day left on the auction. It will at least join Peckin’ Time in the $2,000 bin and will probably sell for quite a bit more, based on past history with this record.  Read more

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