It’s always interesting to watch the Jazz Record Center auctions on eBay and the latest is closing today. Here are a few of the items:
John Jenkins and Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1573. This is an original pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The start price on this was $1,000 and there is a bid on it, so it will be sold and will enter the virtual $1,000 bin.
John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. Here’s a more clear explanation of this than we’ve heard before. Jazz Record Center refers to this as the “pinwheels” label, although we’ve most often seen it described as “bulls-eye.” It is described as an “original deep-groove second press,” which kind of makes sense. It’s still valued among collectors, even though it is not a first press. This one looks to be in M- condition for the record and the cover and is already at more than $170. Speaking of original Coltranes on Atlantic: John Coltrane and Milt Jackson, Bags and Trane, Atlantic 1368. This is an original mono pressing with the red and purple labels, although I’m still not 100 percent sure how to distinguish it as a first pressing. This one is in M- condition and so far there are no takers at $50.
I’m a big fan of the John Coltrane Atlantic period. Is there anyone in this audience who isn’t? I mean, Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, Coltrane Jazz — there are classics among them, for sure. Other than the clear black label on Giant Steps as an original mono, it’s never been all that clear to me what makes an Atlantic an original pressing. Deep grooves, heavy vinyl, yes, but the labels have different color combinations. And there’s also the bulls-eye, whether it is black or white. Anyway, I’m pleased that the Jazz Record Center is auctioning a couple of these records this week because they can contribute to the collective knowledge by identifying what is and is not an original pressing. For instance: John Coltrane, Coltrane Jazz, Atlantic 1354. This is described as an original stereo pressing with the green and blue labels. Tell the truth, did you know green and blue was the original label on this? The stereo, to my ears, is the preferred pressing on this one, starting with the great version of Little Old Lady. This original pressing has a start price of $50 and so far there are no takers, but there’s plenty of time left.
Let’s catch up on some more rare jazz vinyl that sold recently on eBay.
John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This looked to be an original black label pressing. There were some questions about the deep grooves, since the picture wasn’t clear, but the seller confirmed that there were, indeed, deep grooves on both sides. This one was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $622.70. In the Jazz Collector Price Guide we’ve seen Giant Steps sell for more than $1,000 several times, so perhaps it’s a bargain, perhaps it’s just market changes, perhaps it’s unfamiliarity with the seller.
Jutta Hipp, New Faces, New Sounds from Germany, Blue Note 5056. This was the original 10-inch pressing. It’s one of those listings that confuses me a little on labeling of conditioning. The seller says it looks VG+, but it plays more like Ex and therefore it was graded as Ex. In my thinking I’ve always correlated VG+ with Ex, but it sounds like Ex is more like VG, based on this listing, which I assumed to be a downgrade, but perhaps I’m wrong and it’s an upgrade based on the next item below. The cover was listed in just G condition, which is never very good. The price was $247.50.
Here are some other items we were watching before we got distracted.
Remember that nice batch of 10-inch LPs? They did quite well. Kenny Dorham Quintet, Debut 9. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was near mint. The price was $430.55. Sonny Rollins Quintet, Prestige 186. This one was also VG++ for the record and near mint for the cover. It sold for $510. Miles Davis with Sonny Rollins, Prestige 187. This was in near mint condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $305. I’d take it at that price if, indeed, I was buying records these days.
Even though this was was described as “megarare” — shades of BobD — it didn’t sell at a start price of about $300: John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This was a stereo pressing with the bullseye label. The record was VG++ and the cover was VG+.
Here’s some jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay:
This seller has some nice 10-inch LPs, including: The Eminent Jay Jay Johnson Volume 3, Blue Note 5070. This is an original pressing featuring Hank Mobley and Horace Silver. It looks to be in very nice condition, graded VG++ by the seller for both the record and the cover. This one has a start price of $250 and there are no bidders so far. Also, Lou Donaldson and Clifford Brown, New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5030. This is an original pressing also graded in VG++ condition. The start price on this one is $200 and there is one bid as of now. One more: Lou Donaldson, New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5021. This is another one that looks great, with a sparkling cover rate in M- condition. Don’t see that too often. The cover is VG++. The current price is $275 and there are more than four days to go.
Speaking of 10-inch Blue Notes:
Time to catch up on some jazz vinyl sales on eBay:
This one made the $1,000 bin with plenty to spare: Conte Candoli, Cool Gabriels, Groove 1003. This was an original pressing and, of course, the main feature is the cover illustration by Andy Warhol. The record was VG-, the cover had splits on the top and the bottom, yet it still sold for $1,825. The Warhol market is driving these prices quite high, but this one seems to do even better than the Blue Notes in better condition. It must be harder to find? Or perhaps the Warhol collectors are more enamored with the artwork?
This one was not an original pressing, at least not in the way we think of originals as “first” pressings: Sonny Rollins Volume 1, Blue Note 1542. This one had the West 63rd Street address, plus the deep grooves and ear and all the other markings of an early pressing: But a first pressing would have had the Lexington Avenue address. This one was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover and it sold for $334. Quick question: I know most collectors prefer Blue Notes over Prestiges in general but, musically, to me the Sonny’s on Prestige are far more preferable and inventive than the Blue Notes. How do other collectibles feel about this?
Haven’t updated the $1,000 bin lately, so here goes:
Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This was an original pressing in M- condition, sold by our friend Steve at Round Again Records in Providence, RI. The price was $1,978. And if you happen to be in Providence, check out A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep, directed by Young JC, otherwise known as my son Michael.
Lorraine Geller at the Piano, Dot 3174. This looked to be in M- condition and sold for $1,580. I haven’t seen this record, but I had no idea it was such a valuable collectible. Is it any good, or is it just rare?
The next one is good and it’s rare, although it does seem to pop on eBay quite often for an extremely rare record, wouldn’t you say:
Here’s some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay:
John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This was a stereo pressing with the bullseye label. The original mono was black label and the original stereo was green label so this was a second pressing. It was in M- condition and received a top bid of $150.50, which is not bad for a second press, but it still did not meet the seller’s reserve.
This one was another Coltrane, offered by the Jazz Record Center: Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, Impulse 30. This was an original mono pressing with the orange label and the Van Gelder stamp in the dead wax. The price was $151.50. We’ve seen this one sell for nearly $400 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so we’re a little surprised it didn’t get more, considering the reputation of the seller.
Sorry for taking such a long and totally unexpected hiatus. I got caught up in things and just never put aside time to post. I won’t do that again. Anyway, I have not forgotten Rudolf’s question about the status of my Great Jazz Vinyl Countdown and I will address that soon, but first let me catch up on other stuff. I had noted the small John Coltrane autograph from the Jazz Record Center when I last posted and I had expectations it would go for a fairly high price, which it did: $491.85. And no, I was not the bidder, although that is certainly something I wouldn’t mind having. I was also watching this one: Jay Jay Johnson Volume 2, Blue Note 1506. This looked to be an original Lexington Avenue flat edge pressing. It was only in VG+ condition for the vinyl and VG- for the cover. Many of the flat-edge Lexington Avenue Blue Notes have been
Generally I prefer mono pressings of my records, if they are available. I tend to like the sound better and, to me, they are more authentic. There are exceptions, though, and I discovered one the other day. When I was in Academy LPs last week in Manhattan I noticed a copy of this LP: La Vern Baker Sings Bessie Smith, Atlantic 1281. This is a great LP, if you are not familiar with it, featuring a swinging jazz band including Paul Quinichette, Buck Blayton, Sahib Shihab, Vic Dickenson and others. Anyway, I knew that my copy at home was a stereo pressing and the one in the store was a mono pressing with the black label, an original copy, and the price was fair, $20 if I recall. So I purchased it thinking I would upgrade the copy in my collection. I got home, cleaned the black-label copy, put it on the turntable and felt there was something missing. So I took out the stereo copy and it sounded better: Fuller, clearer and crisper. I am not an audiophile and I