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.
I spent some time on eBay the other day and wound up putting a bunch of Blue Notes into my watch list, starting with Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes later today and the bidding is already more than $1,000.
Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This looks to be an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes later today and so far there are no bidders at a start price of about $750. I would expect this one to sell, wouldn’t you?
This seller has a lot of nice items on eBay this week, including Art Blakey, A Night at Birdland Volume 2, Blue Note 1522. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price is $350 with no bidders so far. There is also a buy-it-now price of $700.
I was lying in bed at about 3:30 in the morning unable to sleep so I put some nice ballad music on my iTunes and the song “Detour Ahead” came on from the Sarah Vaughan album After Hours At the London House and I thought to myself, gee, that is one of my favorite live albums of all time. It’s great music and there’s those outtakes on “Thanks for the Memory” and the whole concept was quite unusual, setting up a live recording date at a club in the wee small hours of the morning and inviting other musicians who had finished up their gigs to make up a large portion of the audience. And then, still unable to sleep, my mind started racing through its database of jazz records to come up with my favorite live recordings and the next thing I know it’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m still not asleep. But at least I have an interesting post for Jazz Collector, and that is my list of favorite live jazz albums. I decided to take the Sarah record off the list and just concentrate on instrumental records. Perhaps I’ll do the vocals at a later date. Meanwhile, I offer for your perusal:
Here are some of the jazz records we are watching on eBay as we enter a new week at Jazz Collector, starting with Bill Evans, New Jazz Conceptions, Riverside 223. This is an original pressing with the first cover and the white labels. The seller has his own grading system. Based on what he says, I would guess that the vinyl is in VG++ condition and the cover is VG or VG+ with cutout holes through the center of the cover and the label. Not an attractive feature, as we all know. This one closes later today and the bidding is in the $340 range. We may have discussed this already here, but does anyone out there know why Riverside changed the cover so early on this one, as well as on the Thelonious Monk Plays Ellington album? Both went from covers with very cool pictures to less appealing (IMHO) illustrations.
Art Blakey Quintet, A Night At Birdland Volume 1, Blue Note 5037. This is an original 10-inch pressing listed in excellent condition for the record and the cover. The buyer says “search your life you won’t find a nicer copy.” Fortunately, I just have to search my shelves for one. I also Read more
I just received a note that the 40th annual Jazz Record Collector’s Bash will take place June 27 and June 28 at the Hilton Woodbridge in Iselin, N.J. Not a lot of details yet, but there are always sellers with lots of records and there are usually films and discussions and music as well. I used to attend regularly and scored some nice records, but I haven’t been in years. June 27 and June 28 are prime bass-fishing season up in The Berkshires, so nature calls. I will, however, be at the WFMU Record Fair, which will take place this year May 30-June 1 in New York City. I will have a booth for Friday only, selling some of the duplicates from my recent score in Baltimore. Normally I would also be bass fishing on that particular weekend, but I have a personal engagement in Manhattan, so I’m stuck. But I’ll also have some nice records with me.
I’m preparing to update the Jazz Collector Price Guide so I’m going through my watch list and catching up on some items I may have missed, starting with: The Unique Thelonious Monk, Riverside 209. This was described as an original white label pressing in VG+ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The listing was quite weird in that there were no pictures of the actual record or cover. Instead, there was a canned picture that looked as if it came off the Internet. No harm, at least to the seller. This one wound up selling for $531. That’s the highest price we’ve ever seen for that record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Maybe it pays to not post pictures, huh?
Art Blakey, A Night at Birdland Volume 1, Blue Note 1521. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record was probably in VG+ condition and the cover was M-. This one sold for $510.
You know those cool, inexpensive record shelves produced by Ikea, the Expedit line? Well, if you want any, you better stock up now. They are discontinued, which apparently has caused something of a brouhaha among record collectors. A spokesman for the company says there is a new line in place to replace Expedit, called Kallax. For its part, Ikea is stating that it is updating and improving the Expedit line, but record collectors don’t seem appeased, judging by the outcry. I took a look at the Kallax line, here, and, frankly, I don’t see what the fuss is about. I own one large Expedit unit and if I had to replace it with a Kallax I think I would survive.
There’s a lot of Blue Note activity going on. The company is launching what it calls a 75th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative by which it is
Here are some more jazz vinyl auctions we are watching on eBay, starting with Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban, Blue Note 5056. This is an original 10-inch pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The record was just posted yesterday and the bidding is already in the $90 range with 13 bids. And, while we’re looking at Kenny Dorham, there is a copy of Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This looks to be an original purple label, deep groove pressing in VG+ condition for the record and VG for the cover. The bidding is in the $150 and there are more than six days to go.
And what would be a day at Jazz Collector without a few more Blue Notes, starting with Joe Henderson, Mode for For, Blue Note 4227. This looks to be an original New York USA pressing with the Van Gelder in the dead wax, right at the end of the line of original Blue Notes before Liberty took over. This one is in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The bidding is in the $125 range and the auction closes tomorrow. Read more