Back to eBay. Here’s a beauty, which, if I recall my eBay sellers properly, is from our friend Rudolf: Sonny Red, Out of the Blue, Blue Note 4032. This is an original pressing that looks to be in pristine condition. The bidding is in the $160 range with more than two days to go, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see this eventually end up at or near the $1,000 marker. I’m noticing that this is part of a “rare storage find,” so that in itself is quite intriguing. Perhaps Rudolf can shed some light for us. I would love a copy of Out of the Blue, especially since I once had a beautiful copy and traded it not realizing, at the time, how valuable it was and how valuable it would eventually become. I’ll point out one more beauty from the list: Art Blakey, Buhaina’s Delight, Blue Note 4104. This is also an original and it also looks to be in pristine condition. The bidding right now is in the $50 range, but it should sell for a lot more. I would love a pristine copy of this record, since it is one of my favorite Blue Notes of all time. Perhaps I will get in on the action, although I really haven’t been buying at all, and especially not at eBay prices.
This will be fun. Last night I had another one of those very pleasant listening sessions up in The Berkshires, fueled by a few beers, a few vapes and the knowledge that I could play my music as loud and late as I pleased with no neighbors or anyone else to complain. I was watching politics on television as I do so often these days, taking particular delight in the latest polls showing that the blowhard, maniac, crazy man at the top of the Republic ticket is in steep decline and, IMHO, may not even make it to election day without having some kind of collapse/mental breakdown, if, indeed, we could even tell the difference between a nervous breakdown and the behavior he exhibits every single day on the campaign trail. After a couple of hours of this I had enough and decided to enjoy some music. Read more
I had a fun-filled evening listening to some lovely jazz vinyl last night. I had planned to stay up in the country to get some writing done – in the real world I get paid to write about information technology and business. For those of you who didn’t know that, now you do. I’ve had an inordinate amount of assignments lately, which is why I’ve been blogging less often than usual on Jazz Collector. When you’re writing 1,500 to 2,000 words every single day about some esoteric business or technology issue, sometimes the last thing you want to do is sit at the computer and compose something new. At least, that’s how it is for me. Anyway, I was expecting to experience the first tastes of spring up here in The Berkshires, but instead we’ve had a couple of days of snow and quite frosty temperatures. There must be 5-6 inches of snow on the ground. No spring at all. Anyway, I am up here alone together with my dog Marty, which means I can play whatever music I want at whatever volume I want. Marty is very considerate that way. I have a very nice system with a Linn Sondek turntable, Macintosh integrated amp and Wilson Sophia speakers. I also have about 6,000 records to choose from and, for last night, there was the availability of fresh stimulants for the mind, which never hurts either. Read more
I’ve been perusing eBay this morning and a few items caught my eye, including Art Blakey, Blue Note 4003. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing and it looks to be in very nice condition. Based on the seller’s description, probably VG++ for both the record and the cover. There is a start price of $200 and so far there are no bidders, even though the auction closes in just one day. Just last week a copy of the same record, probably a little bit cleaner, sold for more than $1,000. What gives?
This one also startled me: Charles Mingus, The Clown, Atlantic 1260. The record is in M- condition and the cover is in M- condition and there is some torn shrink wrap. The bidding is now at $455. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention — it’s not an original pressing. It’s a later pressing with the purple and orange label. What gives here? You’ll notice that it’s part of the sale of the collection from the late Dr. Herb Wong, but surely that can’t be enough to vault a second (or third) pressing into a new stratosphere, can it? It can’t be the shrink wrap, can it? Help me out here: $455 (and counting) with five more days to go?
I’ve been getting a lot of email and there have been a lot of comments about prices going through the roof, particularly on some of the records from the late Dr. Herb Wong. Here are some of the ones that have been sent to me, and a few of my own observations, starting with Johnny Griffin, The Congregation, Blue Note 1580. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing from the Wong collection and it was in just VG condition for the record and VG- for the cover. Despite the condition it sold for $555.99. Then there was this one, which I had mentioned in an earlier post: Johnny Griffin, The Kerry Dancers, Riverside 420. This was an original white label promo copy. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. When we first noticed this record it was in the $300 range. It ended up selling for $915.
Does a listing like this one tempt you: Collection of 40 RARE Original Jazz Albums LP’s All on the Blue Note Label? The seller states clearly that the records are all in VG condition or below. He also shows pictures with a lot of damaged covers. Yet . . . I see that picture of Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet and Sextet, Blue Note 1537, and I think: Maybe it’s not that bad, maybe if I clean up the record, it would play nicely on my turntable and sit nicely on my shelf. There are also some other nice potentialities in the listing, such as Hank Mobley Roll Call, Whims of Chambers, Bass on Top, and a bunch of Blakeys, among others. There’s also a lot of junk. Anyway, my answer to the question is “Yes I am tempted.” At what price? That remains to be seen. So far the bidding is at $743.
Please allow me to dwell one more day on that Jazz Record Revival auction because there are a few more things to point out, as many readers have already done, particularly with that copy of Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage, Blue Note 4195 selling for a quite amazing $1,580.
How about this one, with the second cover: Art Blakey, A Night at Birdland Volume 2,Blue Note 1522. This was an odd one in that it had a Lexington Avenue address on one side and a West 63rd Street address on the other. It was clearly not a first pressing, particularly with that cover. But it sold for $236.50.
Someone on the previous post also mentioned this one:
I’m back from a brief respite. Went to an old mining town in southwestern Colorado called Creede, where my son directed a wonderful production of Our Town. A theater in an old mining town? Indeed. The story is that when the mining business began declining, town leaders put out a call for help asking for ideas on how to keep the town alive and attract residents year-round. A group of theater students from the University of Kansas decided to open a theater there. That was 50 years ago and the theater is still alive and kicking. They had done a production of Our Town back in their first season and had Michael come and do a new production this year.
Back in business, back on eBay, back to posting more regularly. First let’s catch up on some of the items we had been watching, starting with Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The seller had described the record as Ex and the cover as VG++, but it was clear from the pictures that the condition was less than VG++. At the time we first posted this record, the start price was around $500 and there were no bids. In the end there were four bidders, six bids and a final price of $1,075. I’m sure the seller was quite pleased. Hopefully, the buyer was as well.
Bill Evans, Explorations, Riverside 351. This was an original mono pressing with the blue label, deep grooves and reels/microphone logo. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+ and the final price was $504.90. It looks like this record, and a few others we were watching, were purchased by one of our readers, so congratulations. Here’s another one of his scores: Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Prestige 7129. This was an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record and cover were both listed in M- condition, and the pictures accompanying the listing certainly made it look quite pristine. The final price on this one was $1,037.99. Welcome to the $1,000 bin.
The final batch of records has arrived. The guy from the shipping department in the building just brought them up on a hand truck. Three boxes – those banker’s box file boxes, the brown and white ones you get in Stapes. They’ve never been good for storing or transporting records, but hopefully this batch made it through safely. Opening the first box. There’s a sheath of what looks to be sheepskin or some kind of cotton on top. Nice. The records seem safe. On top, an Errol Garner record. No big deal. Going through the records. Each has the same type of soft plastic cover: I have a feeling these were the original covers on the records. In the 1950s and 1960s they didn’t use what we have come to know as shrink wrap, but they used a cover and it fit loosely over the records, just like these. They certainly seem old enough, and dirty enough, and covered with enough dust to have been original covers from the 1950s. No matter. Getting through the box, one by one, record by record.