When I’m not posting frequently enough I can always count on our friend CeeDee to gently prod me with a list of auctions he’s been tracking. Now I know how infrequently I’ve been posting, since the latest missive from CeeDee is replete with TEN listings, so let’s look at some of the highlights, starting with Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Riverside 315. This record sold for $767, and CeeDee expresses surprise that a later pressing would attract such a high price. I agree, but I can’t determine from the listing that this is, in fact, a later pressing. The seller describes it as an original U.S. pressing, with an M- record and Ex cover. It isn’t fully clear to me what the pictures entail, since the first picture is described as a stock photo “for illustration purposes only.” Anyway, I’m probably being obtuse today so if anyone (CeeDee?) can clear things up, I would greatly appreciate it.
Here’s an interesting opportunity: An auction house in the U.K. is auctioning a private jazz collection on Tuesday June 27 and there are options for individuals to bid live, either online or by telephone. The auction house is Omega Auctions and music is one of the areas in which they specialize. The collection belonged to a collector named B.W. Duncan and, of you are interested, you can read his bio here. As for the records themselves: There are quite a large number of Blue Notes, offered as individual pieces, such as Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch or Herbie Hancock My Point of View. There are also Blue Note packages sold in lots, such as an Art Blakey lot or a Horace Silver/Lee Morgan lot. Many of the records in the collection are U.K. pressings. It looks like there are 260 lots in all. It’s worth taking a look at the auction, but make sure to read the instructions if you want to bid because you have to set things up in advance and you have to pay some fairly hefty fees. Read more
Happy New Year to all. Looks like our friend Rudolf had a pretty good start to the year selling some vintage and rare jazz vinyl, including Elmo Hope Quintet with Frank Foster and Freeman Lee, Blue Note 5044. This was an original 10-inch pressing that looked to be in beautiful pristine condition, perhaps unplayed after being placed in storage many years ago? Rudolf, I don’t recall if you shared the story of how they ended up in storage, but I would love to hear it (again?). This one sold for $1,054.99. Do you think there are many left in the world in this condition? I also had a pristine copy, which I sold in 1990 for $400, which seemed like a lot at the time and, in fact, was a lot. But the $400 came and went and I’ve never found another affordable copy of this record in the 27 years since.
This one came from the same batch and I was quite surprised to see where the bidding ended up, since I’ve never viewed this one as particularly coveted by collectors:
Let’s start the day with one of the rarest of the rare, although as rare as it may be, copies seem to be up on eBay quite often: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address and, for those who really care, the New York 23 label on one side. This copy is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover, although based on the pictures the cover may be more in the VG+ range with some damage on the back. The seller is not an eBay regular and has only 11 feedbacks. This one closes Saturday night and is currently in the $2,000 range.
While we’re on Mobley, there is also: Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This is an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, Van Gelder, ear, etc. This one is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price is $1,250, but so far there are no bidders. This seller has three other records on eBay now, all with starting prices of more than $1,000, all with zero bids as of now. One more, for the record: Bill Evans, Waltz For Debby, Riverside RS 9399. This is an original black label stereo pressing. It is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The start price is $1,100.
I’m cleaning out my eBay watch list so here are various odds and ends from the past six weeks or so, starting with Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves and the purple labels. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition, very nice indeed. Of course, one of the attractions of this record is that it features John Coltrane. When I acquired this record I filed it with my Coltranes because I was just building my Trane collection and every collectible record with Coltrane was a treasure to me. I hate to tell you when this was, but it was more than 40 years ago. I can’t believe I’m that old. Anyway, now that my Coltrane collection is more robust, this is properly filed with the Flanagans. This copy sold for a very nice $600. Nice for the seller and I’m sure very nice for the buyer, who will have a lovely record for his turntable and collection.
Here are a variety of jazz records from my eBay watch list, as I still get back into the swing of things following my trip to Italy and subsequent return to reality. Let’s start with Doug Watkins at Large, Transition 20. This was an original pressing that looked to be in absolutely pristine condition, including the record, cover and booklet. Even the labels seemed to be intact. Potential bidders probably assumed, and probably correctly, that this may be the cleanest version of this record to come on the market some 60 years after its original release. So it sold for a whopping $3,161.
While I’m looking at whopping prices, here’s another: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves, ears, West 63rd address, etc. It was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $2,750.
And then there are some records that don’t sell at all, or sell for relatively low prices. To wit:
Now that all of the excitement over the new site has settled in, let’s get back to the business of watching rare jazz vinyl on eBay, starting with Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This is an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address and deep grooves. It is listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, and the pictures show there may be some issues with the back cover for those who are sticklers. The bidding on this is in the $450 range with more than three days left. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one sneaking into or approaching the $1,000 bin, which is certainly too rich for my blood, although this is an album that has long eluded me.
Here are a couple of nice 10-inch LPs that may not sell at a fairly optimistic (for the seller) starting price:
Let’s catch up on some rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This was an interesting one because it looked to be an original first pressing and the record had never been played. When this album was first issued, Columbia used a plastic inner sleeve that had a seal. I know that from a couple of albums I purchased in the Baltimore collection. On this particular copy of Kind of Blue, the seal had never been broken. The cover also looked to be quite pristine and was graded in M- condition. The record wound up selling for $510, a fairly hefty price for the highest selling jazz record of all time. The question is, what will the buyer do with the record? Will he/she open it and play it, thus potentially lowering the value? Or will he/she put it on the shelf for posterity and listen to a different copy of the record, which is so readily available?
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.
We haven’t had a guest column in a while, but here’s one that came in recently. I will let it speak for itself:
How I met Bill Evans…
First let me introduce myself… I am Mervyn de Gannes from Trinidad & Tobago. Born in the 1920’s, I am the third child in a family of seven kids and the first born boy. In those days, there was a piano in most homes and the girls always took lessons to learn to play. Even at the age of ten when the tutor came to our home, I would be listening in, and whenever my sisters were practicing and played anything incorrectly, I would let them know what they were ‘playing wrong’. Obviously this didn’t go over well with them as I never took lessons. By my late teenage years, by just listening to records and playing by ear, I was performing at friends’ parties until I got married at 26. My idols then were Bill Evans along with Errol Garner and Oscar Peterson.