I’m spending some time this weekend updating the Jazz Collector Price Guide after a brief hiatus and, in going through the updates, I’ll be putting in a few records that are a bit more obscure, either by artist or label, than the normal batch of Blue Notes and Prestiges. Here are a few worth pondering:
Don Sleet, All Members, Jazzland 45. This was an original orange label mono pressing. The record looked to be VG++ and the cover was listed as VG. The price was $94.
Mike Cuozzo with the Costa-Burke Trio, Jubilee 1027. This was an original pressing and the value is certainly aided by the presence of Eddie Costa. It was only in VG condition for the record and the cover and still sold for $108.50.
Bill Perkins, Just Friends, Pacific Jazz 401. This was an original pressing sold by the Jazz Record Center. It was in excellent condition — the words “immaculate” and “exceptional” were used in the description. It also benefitted from the presence of strong sidemen, in this case Art Pepper and Richie Kamuca. The price was $330.55.
One of the things I love about collecting jazz records is that there always seems to be something new to discover. Case in point: Last week I purchased that collection of mostly traditional jazz records, with a bunch of 10-inch LPs as well as some nice 78 boxed sets. I was going through some of the records this evening and came upon this 10-incher: Gene Norman Presents Just Jazz Featuring Les Thompson and His Harmonica, RCAVictor 3102. Frankly, I had never heard of Les Thompson and I’m not a huge fan of jazz harmonica, although I can appreciate some of Toots Thielemans. When I looked closer at the record, however, I noticed some quite interesting sidemen, most particularly Dexter Gordon and Wardell Gray. I had thought
Here are some records that don’t often make it to the Jazz Collector Price Guide.
I’ve never thought of this record as a collectible: The Standard Sonny Rollins, RCA 3355. This was an original pressing and it was in M- condition. It sold for $122.50. It was a stereo pressing and I’m wondering, perhaps, if it is as much an audiophile collectible as much as a jazz collectible. I’m a big Rollins fan, but this is not among my favorite Sonny LPs.
How about this one: Presenting Red Mitchell, Contemporary 3538. This is an original deep groove mono pressing with the yellow label. The vinyl was listed in M- condition and the
All right, let’s do some more of this Jazz Auction stuff. So, by this point in the auction I have purchased eight lots and I am clearly on a roll and forgetting about the 17 percent surcharge and figuring, “What the heck, I’m already paying for shipping, let’s buy some more records.” And so I did.
Gerry Mulligan, Seven LPs. Price: $46.80. Why? There is no good answer to this question. I certainly have all of these LPs, and probably don’t even want to keep all of these LPs, and there is probably not that much of a market for these LPs on eBay. The best of the records, from a collectible standpoint, is The Gerry Mulligan Songbook on World Pacific. There’s also a nice Mulligan on Emarcy with Zoot Sims. There’s a copy of Mulligan and Stan Getz on Verve, but it’s an MGM pressing. Really, there was no rhyme or reason to bidding on these — and actually winning — other than the adrenaline rush of buying more records.
Sonny Rollins, Three RCA Victor LPs and Lester Young For LPs. Price: $93.60. This fits into
Here are a few items that don’t normally make the Jazz Collector Price Guide:
Sonny Rollins, The Bridge, RCA 2527. This was an original stereo pressing listed in M- condition by a very reputable seller who also owns the best record store on Long Island. Still, while this is an interesting record with an interesting history — the return of Rollins after his legendary practice sessions on the Williamsburg Bridge — it has never really been a collectible item, at least in terms of its selling price. Perhaps it’s starting to move up the ranks: This one sold for $90.99. Not quite Blue Note prices, but a collectible price nonetheless.
Here’s another one we normally don’t track:
Let’s catch up on some Andy Warhol covers.
Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597. This was an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $482. Frankly, we would have expected it sell for a higher price in this condition.
Thelonious Monk, Monk, Prestige 7053. This was an original pressing with the New York address. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was VG++ as well. The price was $600.
Moondog, The Story of Moondog, Prestige 7093. This was an original pressing with the New York address. The record was in VG+ condition
I had mentioned a few weeks ago how I’d been getting a few requests a week from people interested either in selling collections or in getting advice on what to do with their collections. I’ve seen some interesting items. Here’s one: A guy in Toronto goes into a store and buys the Count Basie record with the Andy Warhol cover (RCA 1112). It costs him 25 cents. He takes it home and notices that there’s a name written on the cover and figures, no big deal, it’s just the previous owner. Then he looks closer. The signature reads “Andy Warhol.” He goes online to look at other Warhol autographs. Sure enough, it’s a stone-cold match. So here he is, sitting with an original Warhol cover signed by Warhol. And he has no idea what it’s worth. He sent me a note looking for advice, and I told him I had no idea what it was worth either. I suggested he try Soetheby’s or Chistie’s or some other auction house. He was advised to start any auction with a price of $500. I haven’t heard back from him, but, if anyone is interested
I’m in the midst of an interesting experiment. Last week I put three records on eBay with a common property: Each features a cover design or cover artwork by Andy Warhol. The three records are The Story Of Moondog, Prestige 7099; Artie Shaw, Any Old Time, RCA 1570; and Artie Shaw, Both Feet in the Groove, RCA Victor 1201. Clearly, the Moondog on Prestige is the big prize of the bunch. In posting the three together, it is clear to see how much the Moondog is the prize of the bunch. I started each item with the same exact price: $49.99. They all close today, and they are all in relatively comparable condition. The Moondog LP currently has a top price of $255. It also has received a total of
I got into pulling some of the old files as I’m updating the site and here’s something I wrote a few years ago about the album Sonny Rollins, What’s New?, RCA Victor LPM-2572. If you keep reading there’s a question here for readers that was never answered on the Jazz Collector site, so perhaps, if you know the answer, you can provide it. Anyway:
What’s New was Rollins’s second album after he came back from one of his self-imposed retirements in the late 1950s/early 1960s. This was the retirement during which he gained notoriety for practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge. After this comeback, his tone was a bit harsher than it had been during the ‘50s and his attack was a bit more staccato, but his playing was very inventive and inspired. In particular, he seemed to have a strong rapport with
Based on a suggestion from one of our readers, we tried to point out a few potential bargains on eBay this week, as we always do. How’d we do? Mixed, I would say. The first one was Phil Woods, Warm Woods, Epic 3436 (you can find the link if you just do a search on the site, which is that little gray bar at the top right). When we spotted this record it was priced at just $30 with only a few hours left in the auction. But, clearly, there were some major bidders waiting in the weeds. The record eventually sold for $434.77. The vinyl was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. Yesterday we pointed out a copy of Count Basie, RCA 1112. This one has a cover by Andy Warhol and has sold for more than $160 in the past. When we spotted this one, it was at $1.99 and sold a few hours later for just $20, so that seems like a bargain in our book. It’s always dangerous for us to go bargain-hunting on the Jazz Collector site: Once we point out the record, it’s no longer a hidden gem but out there for the world to see. So we’ll try our best to be fairly discrete in our pronouncements.