Giant Steps: Black or Bulls-Eye or Both?

The real reason I was looking at the listings of bobdjukic was the copy he is selling of John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This is a mono pressing with the bulls-eye label. Here’s what he says about the record: “Believed by many to be of the same vintage as the black Atlantic stereo label — in other words, as strangely as it sounds, one of two ‘co-equal’ first pressings.” This depiction is a new one for me, and I’m quite skeptical of its accuracy. A few years ago, I was scolded on this very site for purchasing a bulls-eye stereo copy of Giant Steps, even though I only paid $50. That’s my copy in the picture. The value has subsequently gone up. But this is the first time I’m hearing that anyone believes the bulls-eye and black labels are

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Free Collectible Time: My Favorite Things (Really)

Is it possible someone could be reading Jazz Collector and not own a vinyl copy of John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things? Perhaps we’ll find out, because this is the prize in our next free collectible contest. We have a beautiful near mint later stereo pressing of My Favorite Things, Atlantic 1361, which we will be giving away to one fortunate reader of Jazz Collector in two weeks. This, of course, is a classic record and should be a staple of any jazz collection, even if your jazz collection consists of only five records. But maybe there are readers of our site who are newcomers to jazz and coming to learn, or who have somehow missed out on this record, or who would like a second copy to put in another room of their home, or perhaps one to frame and hang somewhere for perpetual inspiration. I, for one, have copies of this record in at least three different rooms in my house, plus another in my lake cottage. But, of course, I am certifiably insane. Nevertheless, if you would like to win a copy of My Favorite Things for any reason whatsoever, all you have to do is . . .

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New To the $1,000 Bin: Giant Steps

We’ve been watching a bunch of records to add to the Jazz Collector Price Guide and one of them is a newcomer to the $1,000 bin: John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This was a black label original mono pressing. The record was listed in M- condition — hardly played — and the cover was listed as VG++. It sold for $1,125 and had about 230 page views, which is quite a bit. This record may have sold for more than $1,000 previously on eBay, but, if it did, we weren’t watching. Our previous high for this item in the Price Guide was $690. By they way, as I was doing a search in the Price Guide for this record, I noticed that not everything is being listed in alphabetical order. I guess the database is structured so that when new items are entered, they automatically go in at the end. So if you’re searching for a record like Giant Steps, or anything else by Coltrane — who has three pages in the Price Guide — you should make sure to look at all of the Coltrane pages because after the first couple of dozen items, everything else is entered kind of randomly. I hope this is clear. I will talk to my Web and database associate to see if this is fixable. In the meantime, just do a lot of searching.

Quickie Quiz

The Quickie Quiz is back. Here goes: On the album, John Coltrane, Ole, Atlantic 1373, there is an appearance by a musician by the name of George Lane. To my knowledge, George Lane never appeared on any other record. Why is that?

Another $1,000 Item, Plus A Few More

We were right in predicting that this record would surpass the $1,000 barrier:  It was in near mint condition and it is a rare Blue Note and it was being sold by Euclid Records. We’ve seen it sell for more than $900 previously in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so it was no surprise that this copy sold yesterday for $1,563. 

Here are some of the other items we’ve been watching that will be entered into the Price Guide:

Wes Montgomery, Full House, Riverside 434. This was an original blue label pressing. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The price was $255. This is always one of the higher priced Montgomery collectibles, ostensibly aided by the presence of Johnny Griiffin on tenor. 

Bobby Hutcherson, Happenings, Blue Note 4231. This was an original New York USA pressing. The record was M- and the cover was VG++. The price was $221.40.

Paula Castle, Love Lost, Bethlehem 1036. This was an original 10-inch pressing in M- 

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Catching Up With A Few Titles

Here are a few more we’ve added to the Jazz Collector Price Guide:

Johnny Glasel, Jazz Session, ABC Paramount 165. This was an original pressing featuring Dick Garcia on guitar. The record  and cover were both in M- condition. The price was $86. We had asked if anyone knew much about this record. Turns out our good friend Dan Axelrod knew Johnny Glasel quite well. He was president of the musicians union in New York and a regular on club dates. I’ve asked Dan to fill in the blanks on some of this and he has promised to do that, so stay tuned. 

Sheila Jordan, a Portrait of Sheila, Blue Note 9003. Speaking of jazz guitar (that was Dick Garcia we just mentioned), this LP features some great work by Barry Galbraith. This was an original pressing. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG+. The price was $79.16.

John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This was an original black label in M- condition. The price was $154.27. A similar copy sold for more than $1,000 a few weeks ago. What was the difference? Who knows.

Today on eBay, January 30, 2009

Here are some of the records we at Jazz Collector are watching today:Lucky Thompson, Lucky Strikes, Transition 21. This is an original pressing, with the booklet. The record is listed as M-, the cover as VG and the booklet as M-. The current price is about $160. Art Blakey, A Night At Birdland Volume 2, Blue Note 5038. This is an original 10-inch LP. The record is M- and the cover is VG. The current price is about $150.

This seller, Sweedeedee, has a bunch of nice items closing in the next 24 hours. Here are a few: Gene Ammons, Jammin’ With Gene, Prestige 7060. This is an original New York pressing. Both the record and cover are listed in M- condition. It is currently priced at a bit over $100. Here’s a black-label copy of John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. The record is listed as VG++ and the cover as M-. The current price is about $210. And here’s one, frankly, we’ve never seen before: Eric Dolphy in Europe,  Debut 136. This is the original Danish pressing. The record and cover look to be in M- condition. The current price is $360, but we’d expect this to go for quite a bit more. 

We posted a little late today, so we missed a few items, which we’ll be plugging into the Jazz Collector Price Guide later this weekend. Among them are: 

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Quiet Kenny at a Bargain Price?


Missed out on a few interesting items the past few days. In some cases the prices got a little too rich for my blood, in others I forgot to bid. My friend recommends buying Sniper software, which I plan to do today. I’ll let you know how it works out. Anyway, it was a busy weekend on eBay for some high-end collectibles. Here are some examples.

Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225

This was an original pressing in M- condition, record and cover. Price: $787.

If you watch eBay very closely, your point of view can get distorted. Case in point: I look at this and wonder if the buyer got a bargain at $787. Here’s why: Last week the same item in virtually the same condition sold for $1,261. It’s hard to conceive of $787 for one record as a bargain, but the reality is that prices are set by the market, especially on eBay. Seeing this record sell twice in the past week breaks my heart. I had an original mint pressing of this LP, which I sold years ago for a fraction of these prices. I used the money partially to buy a boat. Two months later, the boat sank. To this day I’ve never been able to replace Quiet Kenny. Here are a few more examples of wild market swings. This weekend one dealer sold the following records for the following prices:

Dexter Gordon, Dexter Calling, Blue Note 4083. Record and cover were M-. Price: $395

Sonny Rollins, Moving Out, Prestige 7058. Also M-. Price: $295

Donald Byrd, The Cat Walk, Blue Note 4075. Also M-. Price: $325

Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. Also M-. Price: $510

Pretty hefty prices, right? Here’s what’s more remarkable: One of these was not an original pressing: The Rollins LP had the New Jersey label, not the New York label. Also of interest of the weekend: The very rare Jackie McLean record on Ad Lib was up for sale. The record was in G condition, the cover VG-. The bidding topped out at $588.75, but the record didn’t sell because it didn’t meet the dealer’s reserve price. This is another one of those records I sold years ago to buy that damn boat. Ugh! At we keep an ongoing tally of collectible record prices on eBay. We update it at least once a week. Here’s a look at the latest prices. Here’s a look at the larger database.

Upcoming on eBay

There always seem to be items of interest on eBay. I fully believe that if you had enough money, time and interest, you could buy up the entire Blue Note and Prestige catalogues in near mint condition. Anyway, here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days:

 John Coltrane, Giants Steps, Atlantic 1311. This is an original mono pressing with the bulls-eye logo. Last time I looked the price was $99. I recently bought a stereo copy with the bulls-eye logo for $50. This dealer also has a nice copy of Soultrain, Prestige 7142 and some other good items. After you look at Giant Steps click view seller’s other items to see what else he has.

 The dealer who sold Quiet Kenny also has some interesting items this week. He sold a bunch of original Blue Notes and Prestiges last week, all in beautiful condition. His next auction this week is Hank Mobley, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. The start price is $850. After you look at this, also check out his other items.

Here are a few more upcoming items to whet your appetite:

Bud Powell, The Scene Changes, Blue Note 4009

Ray Draper, Tuba Sounds, Prestige 7096

Serge Chaloff, Complete  Sessions, Mosaic 147

We can’t vouch for any of these dealers, but they all seem reputable and we’ve had successful dealings with some of them. In all cases, you should look and see what else they have for auction this week. It never hurts to look.




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