Rare Jazz Potpourri: Classic Trane, Billie’s First

A Love Supreme Jazz VinylHere’s a jazz vinyl potpourri for today, starting with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse 77. This looks to be an original mono pressing with the Van Gelder stamps in the deadwax and the orange labels. The record is in VG++ condition and the cover is in Ex. The bidding is getting close to the $450 range with a little more than a day left in the auction, as of this writing. Although A Love Supreme has pretty much always been regarded as a masterpiece, I really saw it as a big collector’s item until the last few years. Sort of like Kind of Blue: Even though there may be more copies of these records than some others, there is also much greater demand for original pressings. These records not only appeal to collectors, but pretty much to anyone with a love for jazz.

I find this one really interesting:

Billie Holiday and Benny Goodman, You Mother’s Son-in-Law, Columbia 2856. This is an original 78 with blue wax. It is billed as Billie Holiday’s first recording and a quick search of Wikipedia confirms this. The record is in E- condition and the bidding is getting close to $300 with more than five days left. According to Wikipedia, this record sold only about 300 copies, which would make it quite rare. If I had it, I wouldn’t play it — I’d frame it. What about you?

As I’m sure is the case with many of you, I continue to watch the auctions from the seller funkyousounds and particularly the records from the Dr. Herb Wong collection. I continue to marvel somewhat at the prices that some routine records are getting — records that typically don’t sell at all on Ebay, or would sell at $10 or less. A couple of examples:

Gerry Mulligan, Night Lights, Philips 600-108. This is a stereo pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It also has a promo stamp. Bidding is more than $60.

Oscar Peterson Trio, We Get Requests, Verve 8606. This is a stereo pressing in VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover, which is in shrink wrap. The bidding is nearly $50.

Gerry Mulligan, Gerry’s Time, VSPS. This was a reissue record you couldn’t even give away. It is a sealed copy and the price is at $36.




  • Night Lights has been my favorite Gerry Mulligan non-Chet Baker album since finding it for $5 in the 90’s. The opening solo piano “Night Lights” is probably the most beautiful ballad he ever wrote. There seemed to be so little interest in the lp at the time but it has sold for over $200 at least 5 times in the last few years. It’s ironic that I’m not the biggest fan of Mulligan’s piano less quartet work which he is most none for but his solo piano performance just blows me away.

  • Night Lights is a great lp! I have the WLP version and have been surprised to see the prices that they have sold for. Apparently others have discovered this “hidden” gem hiding in plain sight.

  • What amazes me is how quickly prices are rising, even on records that aren’t rare. Some of the Liberty Blue Notes selling for over $200 is a good example. I’m not only speaking about Funkysounds sales. I’ve lost out on many auctions where a new price record has been set on a given record many, many times in the last month. Where this becomes an issue is when I’ve walked into a store or spoken with folks at a show and they pull out their phones and say “well, this is what it sold for on eBay last week,” even when that sale was achieved a previously unheard of price. Gone are the Goldmine auction days when prices were relatively stable and record collectors walked around with their price guides. I can’t even afford modest records at this point and I make a good living. The other thing that irks me is that the more well known sellers command prices that hobbyists can’t achieve. For example, I tried selling some extras I had around the house last month and I couldn’t sell a m- copy of a given record for $6 that Funkysounds is getting $40 for a vg+ copy. A few years ago Henry Rollins (maybe not so well known in jazz circles, but an important musician with an amazing music collection) was complaining in an interview that records had been commodified beyond there value as a musical document. As of today I must agree.

  • As a good example of my previous reply see the copy of Pearson’s Wahoo that just sold for $550, which exceeds the highest price to date by $100 and that previous record exceeded the record previous to that by $100. I’m guessing that a m- copy should sell in the $250 range based on previous trends and we’ve essentially doubled that. Nuts, especially when one considers that over 160 copies have sold on eBay in the last several years.

  • David I totally agree. I’ve actually sold stuff in the past to Henry Rollins from my collection!

    I especially empathize with the fact that it seems only certain sellers can get huge dollars for the same records that sell for considerably less from other eBay sellers.

    eBay has been killing record stores for a long time, but this new trend is putting the nail in the coffin as far as finding local deals.

  • From this point forward, we’ll need two different price guides. One for Dr. Wong’s collection and one for everything else.

  • Guys you sound like you are in mourning! There is a jazz explosion causing a new market! I have several friends ok on the financial side who were traditional rockers, as they age they now prefer jazz.

  • BREAKING NEWS!! The Mulligan Night Lights went for $434 dollars!! That’s no misprint and yes it was a stereo copy not a WLP!

  • My biggest concern isn’t buying on eBay, which I take or leave. My biggest concern is when folks at my local stores or at shows say “well, this is what it went for on eBay [referring to the highest price] and that’s what I want for this record.” If copies of common records (with well over one hundred copies of first pressings selling on eBay) like “A Love Supreme,” which is in my humble opinion one of the greatest jazz records ever, is selling for $600, a price which is out of my range, should I just give up on buying the music I love? Forget eBay, I can’t buy at shows and my local stores any more. Its nuts!

  • Screw EBAY. Say hello to Euclid records…………oh, and get out and about and you’ll find jewels. I go to California once a year to watch minor league baseball and I hit up all these small record stores in different towns. You’d truly be surprised what you can find in Reno, Bakersfield, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Fresno and Stockton! I have yet to buy an EBAY record and I doubt I ever will, and my jazz collection continues to grow. Also, the most I have spent for one record is $60 (I broke my promise to not go over $50 because I found an old gentleman north of Seattle wanting to sell all of his records, but most were very old country and western. He had a pristine copy of Bob Gordon’s “Jazz Impressions” on red vinyl that I bought for the aforementioned price because I felt sorry for him. But, he also was a hoarder and he really didn’t want to sell his records. He had about 80 picture disks on 78 RPM, which I had never seen before. Pretty cool. But anyway, my point is if you love old jazz, stay away from EBAY, it seems that well is poisoned by now.

  • Regarding the Goodman-Holiday blue wax-blue label recording of “Your Mother’s Son-in-law” (Col. 2856-D), this is one of a number of recordings that (E) Columbia asked John Hammond to record for them through (Am.) Columbia. American Columbia was on the verge of bankruptcy and had little money to pay for recording sessions, especially jazz-oriented recordings which had a very small market. Under the arrangement, Hammond would oversee the recording sessions and American Columbia would be permitted to release their own issues, paying only mechanical, pressing, and business costs. The “crack” noted in the listing write-up is likely a “lam,” which is a crack that does not break the surface of the record. It’s called a “lam” because the pressing is laminated. This recording was issued in England on (E) Columbia (CoE CB786). I regard this as the “first” true issue since (E) Columbia paid for the session and American Columbia did not. I have a copy of the letter setting forth terms of the agreement. Col. 2856-D usually commands a high price, whereas CoE CB786 does not, perhaps because many American collectors mistakenly think the American pressing is the first issue. I have the (E) Columbia issue (but not the American issue), for which I paid about 1/15th of the auction price of this American Columbia. I’ve been collecting 78s since 1942 and LPs since 1949.

  • To check on the jazz record-collecting and jazz writing credentials of Geoff Wheeler, refer to Fred Cohen of Jazz Record Center.

  • I agree with JOK about Euclid Records. Owner Joe Schwab knows his stuff and is frequently on buying trips to canvas for collections. He has two stores, one in St. Louis and another in New Orleans. Both are fun to visit. Euclid also does mail order, which is how I buy most of my records from them. I don’t collect today’s expensive rarities. If I didn’t buy a particular12-inch issue when it was new at, say, $5.98, my tough luck. In San Francisco, Amoeba Music carries some older issues in good condition. I also like visiting Jack’s Record Cellar on the corner of Scott and Page. Unfortunately, they are only open Saturday’s. In 2014, I bought a copy of the original pressing in M- condition of “Wayout Wardell” for about 12 bucks. I had been looking for a copy for years. I have three other versions of this, each different.

  • I found the english columbia of that goodman at a car boot sale over here, bought it with about 40 other jazz 78s in a nice vintage case for £5. It was a good day! there were a lot of Joe venuti records in there that I really like.

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