Tracking Rare Jazz Vinyl That Didn’t Sell

Let’s catch up on a few odds and ends in the world of collectible jazz vinyl:

The Blue Notes continue to be getting top dollar, but there seems to be a drop-off in prices in the middle of the market, records that would normally sell in the $30-$150 range. I’ve noticed it with my own sales on eBay and I was talking with Steve at Round Again Records in Providence yesterday and he said he believes the market has fallen off by as much as 40 percent in the past couple of years. I was thinking about that when I looked at some of the records I’ve been watching on eBay that failed to get bids, despite what seemed to be reasonable starting prices. Here are a few:

Kenny Drew and his Progressive Piano, Norgran 1066. This was an original pressing from a reputable seller. The record was in nice condition, M-/VG++ and the cover seemed nice as well with a partial seam split. The start price was $74.99 and there were no bidders. The picture accompanying the listing wasn’t great and perhaps that dampened the enthusiasm.

Ken McIntyre, Looking Ahead, New Jazz 8247. This was an original pressing with the purple labels and the deep grooves. The record and cover were in VG+ condition and the start price was $99.99. This record, which prominently features Eric

Dolphy, musically and on the cover as well, would have fetched that price, or more, in the past, but not this week. In fact, if you look at the listing this record was only viewed 16 times. Quite unusual.

We’ve seen this one fail to sell at two price points, much to our surprise both times: The Dual Role of Bob Brookmeyer, Prestige 7066. This is an original New York yellow label pressing and it is listed in M- condition for both the vinyl and the cover. The first time we watched this it failed to get a bid at $99 now and another seller has listed it and failed to get any action at $79.90. The second time around it got six views. How is that possible, only six views? Actually, I have a theory about that. Stay tuned for our next post.

6 comments

  • Hi Al: I cannot wait to read your theory.
    I, for one, think it is almost only label related. People are not collecting music or artists anymore, but labels. The Kenny Drew on Norgran has everything to go for it, but lacks one thing: it is not a Blue Note.
    Also, there is a certain saturation, collectors end up having it all, or at least what they consider to be essential. New generation collectors, like our Maarten, are a rare species. You may find them now in Korea. That is where most of my sales go, not to Japan anymore.

  • I followed the kenny drew record as well. The seller uses ex+ I know for sure, so that leaves me wondering what the vg++ side 2 would look like. If every seller showed what their grading scale was, I would probably bid on more records. There are just too many sometimes:nm, nm-, ex+, ex, vg++.

  • I fully agree with Rudolf. One light add, that this Kenny Drew on Norgran is not an original press. First press is MGN 1002.

  • Michel: do you have MGN 1002? I never saw it, but I saw MGN 29, the 25 cm, on EBay.
    Now, I am not sure that indeed 1066 equals 1002, as you state. The first session (NY, June 1953), which has the same personnel as Blue Note BLP 5023, is on both 1002 and 1066. The second session (NYC, July 1953) and the 3rd (LA, 1953) with Lawrence Marable, seem to be on MGN 29 and MGN 1066 only, not on MGN 1002 (with the exception of Many Miles Away).
    So, 1002 has six tracks by Kenny Drew, 29 six tracks too and 1066 covering it all, 12 tracks.
    Question: what about the remaining 6 tracks on 1002?

  • http://www.jazzdisco.org/kenny-drew/discography/

    Rudolf, i really don’t know…i always thought they were exactly the same…but you may be right.

  • Michel: interesting site. My source is good old Jepsen. It looks probable that MGN 29 has been re-issued entirely on 1002, which would resolve the problem.

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