Records That Are Not Quite Records

wallington new jazzLet’s catch up on a few more jazz records from our watch list, starting with: George Wallington, New York Scene, New Jazz 8207. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves and the purple label. The record and cover both looked to be in VG++ condition. The price was $698, which we though was the highest we’ve ever seen for this record until we looked at the Jazz Collector Price Guide and realized that we’ve seen this one sell for as much as $865. I literally bought a copy of this record for a quarter many years ago, when one of the young workers at Mr. Cheapo in Mineola mistakenly threw it into the bargain bin, for which I have been forever grateful.

That copy of Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’ that we were watching would up selling for $3,507, also not a record, but a pretty hefty price indeed.

I just sold a copy of this record to a dealer, and I would have expected it to get a higher price than it did here:

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Weighing in on Mobley, Catching Up on Newk

mobleyInteresting comments on the previous post. My first exposure to Hank Mobley was as a sideman on some of the records that my dad owned, most prominently Donald Byrd’s A New Perspective and Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come. He always struck me as a solid player, but in the early days of discovering jazz it was the more passionate players and the innovators that got my attention: Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz on tenor and Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley on alto. I always relegated Mobley to the second tier, which is certainly no insult when compared to the players I just mentioned. When I became more of a “collector” I was surprised to see the Mobley records so highly valued. So I have turned to him again, often, to reassess, but I always come back to my original assessment. If I want to listen to genius I put on Coltrane or Rollins. Otherwise, Mobley will do just fine. And, as a collector, it’s really nice to look at those original Mobley Blue Notes, Prestiges and Savoys on my shelves and occasionally put them on the turntables. They rarely overwhelm, but they never disappoint.

Meanwhile, while all that discussion has been taking place here at Jazz Collector, there have been auctions going on at eBay, including: Read more

Quite a Waltz

LeeWait a second. How did I miss this one: Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original white label promo copy. The vinyl was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+. The price was, get ready, $3,050.

Here are a few we’re watching on eBay now, starting with Introducing Lee Morgan, Savoy 12091. This is an original red label pressing listed in VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The price is about $190 and the auction closes later today.

Art Blakey, The Jazz Messengers at the Cafe Bohemia, Volume 2, Blue Note 1508. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record is in VG+ condition and the cover is VG++. The auction closes today and the bidding is in the $280 range.

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Four For the Jazz Collector Price Guide

Griffin Jazz VinylHere’s some more high-end jazz vinyl we’ve been watching:

Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban, Blue Note 1535. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing that was in very nice M- condition for the record, but just VG for the cover. The cover condition did not seem to dampen the interest by too much. There were 28 bids and the record wound up selling for $1,802.

Johnny Griffin, The Congregation, Blue Note 1580. This looked to be an original pressing in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It has the cover by Andy Warhol, of course. I would have expected this to perhaps get into the $1,000 bin, but it didn’t. It sold for $767.

Jutta Hipp, At the Hickory House Volume 1, Blue Note 1515. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $1,164.

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Breaking a Few Records

Blue TrainDidn’t quite get in all of the jazz vinyl auctions I wanted to post from yesterday, so here are a few more.

John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This was an original pressing. The seller didn’t give it a grade, but from the description is sounded like the vinyl was probably M-. The cover was probably VG++, based on the pictures. It sold for a whopping $3,000. That’s far and away the highest price we’ve ever seen for Blue Train in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.

Thelonious Monk, Monk, With Sonny Rollins and Frank Foster, Prestige 7053. This was a New Jersey pressing, not an original. The cover also had the New Jersey address. This one has the Andy Warhol cover, which gives it some additional prestige, if you’ll pardon the play on words. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover looked to be VG++ as well. This one was listed by bobjdukic, and he has somehow figured a way to get prices that no one else can match. For this second pressing, he was able to get a top bid of $955.21.

Here’s another Warhol cover from the same seller:

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Catching Up With The Jazz Collector Price Guide

dolphyI am taking advantage of the holiday time to update the Jazz Collector Price Guide, which could use some new records. So for the next couple of days, at least, I’ll be following up on records I mentioned earlier, or some I never mentioned at all and somehow missed the first time around. Here goes:

Boy did I have my eyes on this one: Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, Prestige 190. This was an original 10-inch pressing in what looked to be VG++ condition for the record and probably VG for the cover. When I was pondering this there were a few hours to go and the price was just in the $110 range. It wound up selling for $430.

Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch, Blue Note 84163. This was an original stereo pressing in just VG+ condition for the record and the cover, but it was packaged very nicely and we anticipated it would get a nice bid. It did, topping out at $303.

This was a strange one: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad-Lib 6601. This was an original pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. When we first wrote about it, we noted that there was a buy-it-now price of $2,000. We figured someone would grab it up at that price. No one did. However, the bidding ended up at $1,975. Seems to me if you were willing to bid as much as $1,975 for the record, just buy it for $2,000 and save yourself the stress and aggravation.


Four Blue Notes For the $1,000 Bin

Goin' Up -- That's for sure

                    Goin’ Up — That’s for sure

Let’s look at some rare records that we may have missed on eBay:

Louis Smith, Smithville, Blue Note 1594. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,250. That’s not quite the highest price we’ve ever recorded for this record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but it’s definitely up there.

This one got a lot of mentions in the comments, but I wanted to point to it specifically in a post so anyone doing a search can easily find it: Freddie Hubbard, Goin’ Up, Blue Note 4056. This was an original pressing that seemed to be in VG+ or better condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for, ahem, $1,259. Whenever I’ve thought of this record I’ve thought of it as Goin’ Up, Up, Up based on the front cover, but that’s just a design element, isn’t it? Took me a while to figure that out.

John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This was an original pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. Despite the condition, it still sold for $1,113.

Not sure how this one slipped by us from a couple of months ago: Read more

Listening Again to The “New” Miles Davis Quintet

One of the great things about having so many collectible records is that I can always dig somewhere into my collection and find a classic record I haven’t listed to in a while. I did that last night, putting The New Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7014, on the turntable for the first time in a number of years. It’s a classic and, of course, the first Miles record with John Coltrane. A few things struck me about this record. Miles and Trane were the same age, both 29 when the album was recorded, yet they were at much different points in their careers and in their development. Miles was fully formed and his playing was absolutely confident. Trane’s playing was much more tentative and his style was not nearly as developed as it would become in the ensuing years. You can hear elements of his budding genius, but just elements and otherwise you hear someone still working on finding himself. For the hell of it, right after listening to this LP, I put on A Love Supreme and, obviously the difference was quite stark. Another thing about this record is Read more

When an Original is Not an Original

I was watching a few jazz vinyl auctions as they closed the other day with some degree of interest because of what I considered to be the clear misuse of the word “original.” Here’s an example: Lee Morgan, Lee-Way, Blue Note 4034. This was labeled as an “original mono pressing from 1964.” What does original mean in this case? It is clearly not a first pressing, since the address on the label is New York USA. The seller is a veteran eBayer and I’ve bought from him a few times and I’ve always had good experiences. So he knows the difference between a real original and a pseudo original. Was a buyer duped in this transaction? Well, there were pictures of the label and the New York USA labels were clearly stated, so if someone thought this was an original first pressing, he was being quite careless and/or was ignorant. It’s hard to tell from the price. The record sold for $136.50, but the back was stained and in VG- condition. My bet is if the listing did not use the word “original” then a second (or third, or fourth) pressing of Lee-Way with a stained back cover would not have sold for more than $100. So the seller probably made a few more bucks and the buyer got a later pressing with a stained cover.

Here’s another one that’s hard to figure:

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Catching Up With Miles, Sonny’s Crib

Here are some results from the recent eBay auction by the Jazz Record Center. We were watching some of the Miles Prestige recordings with interest because you may recall last month we saw an original copy of Steamin’ sell for only $75 in very nice condition, which struck us as very low and a bit odd. Especially when an original copy of Relaxin’ sold for nearly $740. I think the results this week from the Jazz Record Center are probably more indicative of the real market. Miles Davis, Steamin’, Prestige 7200. This was an original pressing with the New Jersey address. It had a promo stamp and was listed in “near new” condition, which is certainly M- for the record and the cover. The price was $307.99. Miles Davis, Workin’, Prestige 7166. This was also an original New Jersey yellow label pressing without the promo staff. It was described as similar condition to Steamin’, M- all around, and sold for $305.01. This next one

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