Nice Records, No Bids (So Far)

Lester YoungI’m watching the latest auction from the Jazz Record Center and there are some nice items, but not a lot of action. Wondering if a non-Pay-Pal-policy has any impact on the bidding? Here are a few of the items:

We were talking last week about perhaps less of an interest in some of the earlier pre-bop artists and some of the more mainstream labels, such as Norgran. This one is up for bid: Lester Young, The President, Norgran 1005. This is an original yellow label pressing that looks to be in M- condition for the record and at least VG++ or M- for the cover. The start price is $250 and, as yet, there are no bids with about two days left.

We were also talking about white label Riversides, such as Kenny Dorham, Jazz Contrasts, Riverside 239. This is an original white label pressing in what looks to be M- condition for the record and the cover. The start price is $200 and there are no bids.

I always think this one should sell for more:

Cannonball Adderley, Quintet in Chicago, Mercury 20449. This is an original deep groove pressing with the black labels. The record, of course, features John Coltrane.  The record and the cover are in M- condition and the start price is $40. Again, no bids so far. One time we’ve seen this record sell for more than $100 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but that seems more and more like an aberration.




  • I’ve immersed myself in primarily jazz record collecting for the past two years. While my actual purchases have been limited to garage sales and Impulse! online, I’ve been intentional about educating myself on the nuances of Blue Notes, Riversides, Bethlehem, and early Atlantic. Norgran? Of course I can’t bid $250 on that. The usual channels, such as Al and his jazzy minions, never discuss it, ancillary sources of jazz lp collecting are mute, and the seller tacks on $8.75 for shipping, a sure sign of imagined moral failing! Nope, the Norgrans of the world will forever be relegated to the lower price range until education regarding the label expands. Thanks, Al, for taking that first step!

  • Al,I don’t think that JRC as a non-Paypal seller has an effect. Surely anyone with the funds to afford his items also has a credit/debit card to seal the deal. If most bidders are like me(“Meet Mr. Jazz Everyman!”),they bid as late as possible,hoping that NO ONE ELSE has seen the goodie they’ve come across.Yeah,right. When it works,you luck out and get it close to the minimum bid-when it doesn’t…
    But,hey,isn’t that part of the kick that auctions provide anyway? How boring would it be to have all the money in the world and simply pull all of your wants down from some magical store shelf,price be damned?
    That being said,I do think the Prez will end up with fewer bids than a lower opening price would bring. Bidding wars help bring in the big bucks,but high opening ceilings just make me sigh,roll my eyes,and look elsewhere.

  • Daryl: For me, outside of 2 or 4 titles, there’s just nothing I want to hear on Norgran so I don’t buy it anymore. I had the 7 inch LESTER – THE PRESIDENT a few months ago and listened to it a few times and I sold it! I know it’s historic but it’s not like a SRT -GOSPEL TRAN lp where I want to listen to it over and over!
    I landed a very very nice CANNANBALL IN CHICAGO the other day for about $50.00 from a great ebay seller! : )


  • I love Norgran, but they are just not that expensive, if you are patient. I have three Lester Youngs on Norgran, and each cost me less than $15. In most record shops, they don’t have the same immediate cache as BNs, etc., so are typically priced to move (in my experience). As are Clefs and Verve DG trumpeters.

  • Joe & Zarabeth, thanks for adding details to help me understand more the label’s (lack of) cache in the marketplace. I agree with Joe in that my ability to find Verve, Clef, and even Cadet titles with quality sound and players makes them much more accessible to the collector on the limited budget. I’ll keep looking for the Norgrans in that discount bin.

  • Daryl – another point of value is that many Verve trumpeter represses of Norgran LPs were pressed with the Norgran metalwork. You can determine this by looking in the deadwax. For new Verve releases, the MGV-_____ album number is handwritten. But for Norgran represses there is often the machine-stamped Norgran MGN-____ number along with the added Verve MGV-____, also machine-stamped. For example, my copy of Stan Getz – West Coast Jazz was dirt cheap, but has the same DSM cover art as the original and was pressed with the Norgran stampers. I would obviously rather have the original Norgran (all other things being equal), but you can pull those Verve trumpeter Norgran represses from bargain bins in terrific shape for just a few dollars, and get the exact same album. Happy hunting!

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