Jazz Collector, Ahem, “The Greatest Thing I’ve Ever Read”

Today we turn things over to some readers. We appreciate all of your letters and the great support we’re already getting from the community after just two weeks. If you sent us a note and we haven’t replied, it’s just because we’re a little overwhelmed right now. Here are some of the things our readers have shared with us:

“It’s great to read your newsletter. I feel the same way about my father as you do about being introduced to jazz. I was hearing jazz at my house as a kid way before I migrated to my generation’s rock music. I eventually came back to jazz I my 20s and have stayed there since. Read more

Quiet Kenny at a Bargain Price?

eBaying

Missed out on a few interesting items the past few days. In some cases the prices got a little too rich for my blood, in others I forgot to bid. My friend recommends buying Sniper software, which I plan to do today. I’ll let you know how it works out. Anyway, it was a busy weekend on eBay for some high-end collectibles. Here are some examples.

Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225

This was an original pressing in M- condition, record and cover. Price: $787.

If you watch eBay very closely, your point of view can get distorted. Case in point: I look at this and wonder if the buyer got a bargain at $787. Here’s why: Last week the same item in virtually the same condition sold for $1,261. It’s hard to conceive of $787 for one record as a bargain, but the reality is that prices are set by the market, especially on eBay. Seeing this record sell twice in the past week breaks my heart. I had an original mint pressing of this LP, which I sold years ago for a fraction of these prices. I used the money partially to buy a boat. Two months later, the boat sank. To this day I’ve never been able to replace Quiet Kenny. Here are a few more examples of wild market swings. This weekend one dealer sold the following records for the following prices:

Dexter Gordon, Dexter Calling, Blue Note 4083. Record and cover were M-. Price: $395

Sonny Rollins, Moving Out, Prestige 7058. Also M-. Price: $295

Donald Byrd, The Cat Walk, Blue Note 4075. Also M-. Price: $325

Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. Also M-. Price: $510

Pretty hefty prices, right? Here’s what’s more remarkable: One of these was not an original pressing: The Rollins LP had the New Jersey label, not the New York label. Also of interest of the weekend: The very rare Jackie McLean record on Ad Lib was up for sale. The record was in G condition, the cover VG-. The bidding topped out at $588.75, but the record didn’t sell because it didn’t meet the dealer’s reserve price. This is another one of those records I sold years ago to buy that damn boat. Ugh! At Jazzcollector.com we keep an ongoing tally of collectible record prices on eBay. We update it at least once a week. Here’s a look at the latest prices. Here’s a look at the larger database.

Upcoming on eBay

There always seem to be items of interest on eBay. I fully believe that if you had enough money, time and interest, you could buy up the entire Blue Note and Prestige catalogues in near mint condition. Anyway, here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days:

 John Coltrane, Giants Steps, Atlantic 1311. This is an original mono pressing with the bulls-eye logo. Last time I looked the price was $99. I recently bought a stereo copy with the bulls-eye logo for $50. This dealer also has a nice copy of Soultrain, Prestige 7142 and some other good items. After you look at Giant Steps click view seller’s other items to see what else he has.

 The dealer who sold Quiet Kenny also has some interesting items this week. He sold a bunch of original Blue Notes and Prestiges last week, all in beautiful condition. His next auction this week is Hank Mobley, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. The start price is $850. After you look at this, also check out his other items.

Here are a few more upcoming items to whet your appetite:

Bud Powell, The Scene Changes, Blue Note 4009

Ray Draper, Tuba Sounds, Prestige 7096

Serge Chaloff, Complete  Sessions, Mosaic 147

We can’t vouch for any of these dealers, but they all seem reputable and we’ve had successful dealings with some of them. In all cases, you should look and see what else they have for auction this week. It never hurts to look.

 

 

 

Confessions of a Vinyl Addict, Part 1

(This is the first in an occasional, sporadic and perhaps-never ending series of confessions by Al Perlman)

My name is Al. I’m a vinyl addict.

Last year, I thought I had it beaten. I had turned 50, quit my job and decided to move to a smaller house. It was time to downsize. No one really needs 12,000 records, right? I went through each record one by one and decided which would stay and which would go. I was ruthless. If a record wasn’t in nice condition it was Read more

Memories Of Mingus

One of the great things about selling the records on eBay is making contact with a wide group of people with varied experiences. One of the customers got into a riff about the late bassist and composer Charles Mingus, which brought me back 30 years, to the time when I was a young reporter for the Syracuse New Times and was asked to interview Mingus and review his concert a local club called Jabberwocky. I went through my files and dug up the article, from 1973, when I was just 20 years old. There’s something to be said for saving everything. Anyway, here it is, just the way it appeared 30 years ago, with just a couple of paragraphs deleted for brevity.

Read more

Collecting Autographs

It’s always surprised me that jazz collectors seem to place only marginal value in autographed albums or other memorabilia.  There are exceptions of course: A Charlie Parker signature on a contract or a Billie Holiday inscription on a book are extraordinarily rare collectibles that fetch a small fortune whenever they appear on eBay or on auction lists from dealers.

But my experience is that autographs don’t necessarily do much to enhance the value of a collectible. To test this, I recently did a search of completed auctions on eBay in the category of jazz using the key word “autographed.” The results confirmed my theory:

Read more

Stitt on Roost Via Mosaic

Review of:

Sonny Stitt, The Complete Roost Sonny Stitt Studio Sessions, Mosaic Records MD9-208

By Al Perlman

 

I am an unabashed fan of Mosaic records. No company does a better job mining and repackaging the treasures of recorded jazz. From Mosaic’s beginnings in 1983 the company has focused on producing comprehensive boxed sets that document periods or styles of music from either specific artists or record labels.  From the comprehensive liner notes to the annotated discographies to the intricate remastering of the original recordings, each set is a gem.

What I also appreciate as a Jazz Collector is that the Mosaic releases have always represented a great investment: The company produces limited editions of all its releases (with one or two exceptions) and once the designated number of copies are sold, that’s it, no more are released. This has created a strong Read more

Price Monitor, Spring/Summer 2003

 

      Jazz vinyl dealers at the WFMU Record Convention in New York last November were concerned. Traffic at the show was down and, worse, volume on E-Bay had declined fairly dramatically in the fall. A few dealers were anticipating the beginning of the end of the LP market, finally done in by CDs and other digital technologies. It turns out the pessimism was misguided. The market picked up shortly thereafter, hit another dip again in February and early March, Read more

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