Happy New Year to all. Looks like our friend Rudolf had a pretty good start to the year selling some vintage and rare jazz vinyl, including Elmo Hope Quintet with Frank Foster and Freeman Lee, Blue Note 5044. This was an original 10-inch pressing that looked to be in beautiful pristine condition, perhaps unplayed after being placed in storage many years ago? Rudolf, I don’t recall if you shared the story of how they ended up in storage, but I would love to hear it (again?). This one sold for $1,054.99. Do you think there are many left in the world in this condition? I also had a pristine copy, which I sold in 1990 for $400, which seemed like a lot at the time and, in fact, was a lot. But the $400 came and went and I’ve never found another affordable copy of this record in the 27 years since.
This one came from the same batch and I was quite surprised to see where the bidding ended up, since I’ve never viewed this one as particularly coveted by collectors:
I know I haven’t posted in a while when I start getting little love notes from our old pal CeeDee, with gentle reminders such as “you may have seen these by now, but . . . ” Anyway, these a couple of the ones being called to my attention, starting with Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original pressing with the purple label and the deep grooves. The record was graded VG++ and the cover was VG+. The final price was $1,752.
Then there was Joe Henderson, Inner Urge, Blue Note 84189. This was an original stereo pressing with the New York USA labels and the ears in the dead wax. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++. The final price was $383. High for a stereo pressing, but certainly not surprising, right?
I didn’t have either of those on my watch list, but I did have this one, which fetched quite a fetching price:
Now that I have no election to obsess over, and I don’t yet have the appetite to read about what will happen next to my wonderful country, I have more time to listen to records, read about jazz and look at the always interesting activity on eBay. So, perhaps, I will do more Jazz Collector posts and finally set aside time to put into the Jazz Collector Price Guide, which can really use an update. Look for the silver lining, as the wonderful song says.
Anyway, here are a few of items that recently sold on eBay, starting with Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims, Blue Note 1530. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover, with some visible staining on the back cover that could be a turn off for some buyers, but obviously was not that big a turn off for the buyer of this copy, who paid $2,850.88. In fact, looking over the cover pictures again, it looks like VG+ is a pretty generous grade. I have an absolutely clean version of this record that I purchased from the Bruce M. West collection in Baltimore, thoughts of which always put a smile on my face.
Anyway. Here are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay, starting with Tadd Dameron, Fontainebleau, Prestige 7037. This is an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record is listed in M- condition for the vinyl and Ex for the cover, with a promo stamp and some damage on the back. The bidding is in the $225 range with more than four days left. Although this is a nice record from the early Prestige 12-inch catalogue, it’s never been one that has been overly attractive to collectors, although it looks pretty good to me. Here’s another Prestige from the same seller that most collectors will find to be quite a bit more enticing: Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This is also an original New York yellow label. The record is in M- condition and the cover is listed as M-, although I may slightly quibble and push it down to VG++ based on the picture. The price is in the $560 range, also with four days left on the auction.
Here zre are some of the rare jazz records that have been sitting in our eBay watch list, starting with Eric Dolphy, Outward Bound, New Jazz 8236. This was an original pressing with the purple label and the deep grooves. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was Ex, equivalent to VG++, according to the seller’s description. The final price was $837. High, but certainly not surprising for an original classic such as this. From the same seller, there was Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was also an original pressing with the purple label and the deep grooves. The record was listed in VG+ condition, as was the cover. The final price was $1,083. And one more from the same seller, this one a tease for me, but not in a comfortable price range, although certainly a fair price range based on the final bid:
Two 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.
Here are a few collectible rare jazz records we are following this week on eBay, starting with Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 3. This is the 16-RPM version of the record and it is, of course, an original pressing. The condition doesn’t look so great and the seller is asking for a starting price of $400 so it is not going to be of interest to me as a potential buyer, but I do have interest in the record as an oddity. Does anyone own this record and, if so, have you ever listened to it — indeed, do you have equipment to listen to it? Is the sound better, worse, the same as a 33-RPM record? And finally, does anyone have any idea why Prestige issued this record and several others in the 16-RPM format? Inquiring minds want to know.
Here are a couple more nice Prestiges from the Jazz Collector era:
I’ve been off eBay for a few days and I would once again thank Clifford for filling in. It’s always great to see so much interest in his posts, particularly since he covers an area of the jazz collector world that is pretty foreign to me. Anyway, before I left I had a watch list on eBay, and here are some of the items I was watching, starting with: Herbie Hancock, Takin’ Off, Blue Note 4109. This one had a comment in the listing that caught my eye. It looks like an original pressing with the New York USA label, ears, Van Gelder in the deadwax, et al. The seller says that there is a deep groove on side 2. I had thought the pressings after around this era no longer had deep grooves, but apparently I was mistaken. I looked at my copy and there seems to be some kind of groove, although not nearly as pronounced as the one in the picture on this listing. I looked it up in Fred Cohen’s book and it does seem that an original pressing of Takin’ Off does have a deep groove on side 2. Anyway, it’s very hard to get all of the DGs straight, even, apparently, when you’ve been blogging about this stuff for nearly 10 years. Anyway, this one was probably in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $521.
Eric Dolphy in Europe, Volume 1, Prestige 7304. This was an original pressing with the yellow label and New Jersey address. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover looked to be about VG+, based on the picture, with some ring wear and fraying at the bottom. The record sold for $344, about what you would expect, right? Read more
Are we finally starting to see the Prestige records follow the same path as the Blue Notes? I’ve been quite surprised at the price of several Prestiges recently, including the Sonny Stitt record I mentioned last week and this one that sold yesterday on eBay: Bennie Green With Art Farmer, Prestige 7041. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was excellent. Great pictures from the seller are always helpful in achieving high prices. Still, I wouldn’t have pegged this record to sell for $860, which was the final price. Careful readers may recall that I purchased an original copy of this record for 25 cents. It was sitting in the bargain bin at Mr. Cheapo’s record store in Mineola on Long Island. I typically never looked in the 25-cent bin because it was always junk. But this day I was looking to kill time and not go back to work and, voila, there was Bennie Green With Art Farmer. Now the condition was just VG for the record and VG for the cover. But it was literally a quarter, the same as the parking meter outside the store. Still have it. The record, not the quarter. Read more
Interesting discussion on the previous post about buying/selling records on eBay and dealing with returns. I haven’t sold on eBay in about six years, ever since my real business took off, but when I did I offered a full return policy and typically also included postage. I had a couple of people take advantage, but most transactions went very smoothly. Like Bill, I tended to under grade the records a bit just to avoid any problems. If I felt anyone was scamming me, or if they were returning records frivolously, I blocked them so they couldn’t bid on any more of my records. Anyway, back to business: Sonny Stitt, Stitt’s Bits, Prestige 7133. This was an original New York yellow label. It was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover, but it’s clear from the photos that the cover is not M-. This record sold for $405. I don’t recall too many of the Stitt records selling for this amount, and not this one. I’m a Stitt fan, but I know he’s never been popular among collectors, so what is the story here?
This one also fetched a relatively hefty price, all things considered: Read more