Are We Seeing a Shift in Value of Jazz Promo LPs?

Donald Byrd copyWhat’s going on with promo jazz records? I was just perusing eBay and came upon this number closing later today: Donald Byrd and Gigi Gryce, Modern Jazz Perspective, Columbia 1058. This is a mono pressing with the six-eye white promo label. It is listed in M- condition for the record and the cover and it certainly looks nice. But the condition doesn’t explain the bidding, which is now more than $200. I’ve seen this record so often for $20-$30 even in nice condition, it’s hard to rationalize such a high price for a promo copy, but perhaps things are changing and, for whatever reason, these white promo Columbias are suddenly in greater demand. We’ve certainly seen a big price increase over the years for promo copies of Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out. Maybe this is just an extension of the interest? The seller must have run into a collection owned by a former Columbia employee, at least that’s what he suggests, because he has many of these white label Columbia pressings on eBay this week. There are Read more

Closing the Loop on Rare Jazz Vinyl

monk copyLet’s close the loop on some of the rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching here at Jazz Collector, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia, 1656. You may recall this was the record with the inner seal and signed by Miles, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and JJ. Johnson. When we first looked at this record there was one day left in the auction and the bidding was in the $300 range. The record wound up selling for a whopping $2,091.75.

Here are a few from the recent Jazz Record Center auction, starting with Red Rodney, 1957, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in M- for the cover and probably VG++ for the record. We were commenting that there was no action in the auction but, of course, there was quite a bit at the end. The record wound up selling for $1,324.50. Thelonious Monk, Monk, Columbia 2291. This would not normally appear on a list of collectible records, but this was a promo copy with the white labels. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $114.37. From the same auction there were also . . .

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A Mingus, A Rouse & Some Blue Note Questions

Mingus jazz vinylHere are a few more from the pre-updated Jazz Collector watch list from the past week, starting with Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um, Columbia 1370. This is an original mono pressing with the white promo label. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition. We’ve been seeing promo Columbia pressings selling for a decent amount of money, particularly Miles Davis Kind of Blue. The seller was apparently hoping for more of the same and may have been disappointed. This one garnered a top bid of $110.50 but it did not meet the seller’s reserve. Very credible, reputable and experienced seller, I might add.

Charlie Rouse, Bossa Nova Bacchanal, Blue Note 4119. This looked to be an original pressing with the New York USA label and the Van Gelder and ears. It looked to be in about VG+ condition for the record, and maybe VG++ condition for the cover, although the pictures looked more like VG+ to me. The record sold for $194.41. The listing also triggered a couple of questions, for which I don’t have the answers at my immediate disposal. To my  Read more

A New Trio For the JAzz Collector Price Guide

teddyHere are a few more records we were watching on eBay:

Teddy Charles, Coolin’, New Jazz 8216. This was an original promo copy with the purple label and the deep grooves. I thought I was familiar with every record in the New Jazz catalog, but apparently not. Never seen this one in real life. This was in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover and it sold for $361.56.

This one wound up selling the second time around: Art Farmer, Art, Argo 678. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. There was one bid and it sold for $109.99.

Gil Melle, Quadrama, Prestige 7097. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The price was $114.50. Would this record be worth anything if it weren’t on the Prestige label? I’ve owned it for nearly 30 years and I don’t think I’ve ever listened to it. Perhaps next time I’m in New York I’ll put it on the turntable. Is it worth the time and effort?






A Few for the $1,000 Bin

I must update the $1,000 bin this morning because it swelled up somewhat unexpectedly over the weekend.

Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original promo pressing with the white label. The record was probably VG++ or maybe M- and the cover looked to be about VG+. It sold for $1,151. Wow.

Donald Byrd, Byrd’s Eye View, Transition 4. This was an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. What’s more, it not only had the original booklet, the labels were actually still attached, which is almost unheard-of for an original Transition. This one sold for $1,044. This seller had a couple of others in the $1,000 bin, including: Kenny Dorham, Round ‘Bout Midnight at the Cafe Bohemia, Blue Note 1524. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing that looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,335.  And . . .  Read more

The Cats, Bird, Miles and Trane

I said I’d post a few more from the Jazz Record Center auction last week, so here ’tis:

Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and cover. It was also a review copy. It sold for $535. I’ve had this record for a while. I traded it for it years ago: I had a broken leg at the time and was stuck in my friend’s basement with all of his records, Blue Notes, Prestiges, the whole works. I was very good and just looked. In my collection I have this one with my Flanagans, although the temptation is to put it with the Coltranes. I’m often reorganizing, so maybe I’ll move it around some day.

This is one of my favorite jazz collectibles, although it’s not jazz vinyl: To Bird With Love, by Francis Paudras. This is a book from 1981, about the most loving tribute to Bird you could find this side of Irving Kalus’ Ornithology. As noted by Fred in his listing, which you should take a look at, the book was printed once with no more than 1,000 copies, probably 500. I bought this when it first came out, from Fred, and I’ve treasured it ever since. It now has a prominent shelf on my new shelves in The Berkshires.  This one sold for $887.79.

The Miles Davis Columbia records with Coltrane, and even the next generation, are becoming more collectible it seems. The music is certainly uniformly great. Here are a few from the Jazz Record Center auction:

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Rare Jazz Vinyl, Some With Autographs

Sorry for taking such a long break over the Memorial Day weekend. But we are back to our post at Jazz Collector and ready to begin posting regularly again, starting with a catch-up of items we were watching last week on eBay.

First there was that copy of Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 7150, that was autographed by Miles, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. It was offered by the Jazz Record Center so there was some level of credibility attached to the autographs, although the listing didn’t say anything about independent verification. The price for this was $4,305. It’s certainly a one-of-a-kind item, so there is probably no price too high to have surprised us. This seems pretty reasonable for such a rare item. Here are a couple more from the same auction: Art Pepper, Intensity, Contemporary 3607. This was not only signed by Art Pepper, he also put the date and his home address with the signature. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition. This one sold for $150.27. This one was not signed: Johnny Hodges, In a Tender Mood, Norgran 1059. This was an original yellow label pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $161.50. I was watching this because I like to keep an eye on the original Norgrans, just to see that there is still a collector’s market for them, since they really reflect artists mostly from the pre-bop era, with a few exceptions, of course. This one also has that weird kind of cover from the era, with a picture of a white woman as the sole image on the picture of an album by a black male artists. Is it really possible that

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Vinyl Tracking From the Jazz Record Center

Here are a few more results of jazz vinyl auctions by the Jazz Record Center last week. Just in case anyone is interested, I have no vested interest in these auctions or special relationship with the Jazz Record Center. I like to watch their auctions as a bellwether because they are probably the most reputable seller in the market.

Working With the Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7166. This was an original yellow label pressing with the New Jersey address. It was a review copy in mint condition. The price was $472.35. There was a time when you could get the Miles Prestige records relatively inexpensively, but not anymore.

Here’s another nice one from Prestige: Stan Getz and Zoot Sims, The Brothers, Prestige 7022. This was an original New York yellow label pressing in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. This one has the frame cover. The price was $234.72. How often are you going to find a record like this in this kind of condition? Nice.

Here’s a Blue Note that, surprisingly, did not break into the $1,000 bin.

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Labor Day Blues: Kind of Blue, Candy, Monk & Sonny

Here’s some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching over this Labor Day weekend here in the U.S., the nominal end of summer:

Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This was an original promo pressing with the white and red label and six eyes. For the most part, promo copies of jazz records don’t necessarily add to the value. With Kind of Blue, however, that is not the case: We usually see the promo copies selling for a premium. I can understand why: It looks way cool and has the smell of authenticity of an original pressing. This copy was in M- condition for both the record and the cover, with a very nice picture, and it sold for $555. There were 31 bids. quite a high number.

There’s been a lot of chatter on the Jazz Collector site about the auction last week by the seller bobdjukic, who always seems to generate a lot of interest, partly because of his extensive use of hyperbole but moreso, methinks, because of his ability to generate high prices. Here are a couple of his auctions we were watching:

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Griff and Warhol For The $1,000 Bin

Here are a couple of recent sales we’ve been watching:

Johnny Griffin, The Congregation, Blue Note 1580. This one looked to be an original pressing. The listing doesn’t mention deep grooves, but they are clearly visible in the photo. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++. The price was $1,091.77. That’s a high price, to be sure, but with what’s happening in the Blue Note market lately and the market for Andy Warhol covers, I’m frankly surprised it didn’t sell for more.

Bill Evans, Waltz For Debby, Riverside 399. This was a white label promo copy, which looks quite cool. The record was in mixed condition: Side 1 was listed as VG++ and side 2 was listed as VG. When I have a record like that, I tend to go with the worst-case scenario and rate it VG. The cover was listed as VG++. The price was $790.

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