It felt so good clearing out portions of my inbox yesterday, I’m going to the same today, starting with a couple of items about one of my heroes, Sonny Rollins. The first comes from an article by Amanda Petrusich in the New Yorker from April 5. (I told you I was way behind on my email). It is about a movement, now in its early stages, to rename the Williamsburg Bridge in honor of Sonny. The Sonny Rollins Bridge: Now this is an idea we can all get behind. The idea is the brainchild of a guy named Jeff Caltabiano, who has established something called The Sonny Rollins Bridge Project. When we get a chance we will reach out and find out if he has made any progress. Read more
Catching up on my jazz vinyl watch list on eBay. Here are some of the items I missed, starting with Blue Mitchell, Blue’s Moods, Riverside 336. This was an original pressing with the blue labels, reels and microphone logo, etc. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+. The final price was $540. I know that this record has always been prized among collectors and has gone for pretty high prices, as seen here — higher than most of the Riverside catalogue, except for perhaps Waltz for Debby and maybe one or two others. What I’ve never understood is “WHY?” I know it’s a nice record, but what is it about this particular record that has driven up its value over the years?
This is a Blue Note that’s also seemed to rise in value compared to other records released around the same time:
Dexter Gordon, One Flight Up, Blue Note 4176. This was an original mono pressing, still in its original shrink wrap. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $255. This was among a bunch of later original Blue Notes I was watching from the same era. Others included Blue Mitchell, The Thing To Do, Blue Note 4178. This also looked to be an original mono pressing and was listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $280. Also: Wayne Shorter, JuJu, Blue Note 4182. This was also an original mono pressing and was listed in M- condition for the record and VG for the cover, with water damage and tape repairs. Nonetheless, it sold for $265. Here’s another one that seems destined to sell in the same range as these, perhaps even higher:
Is it just me, or is there a softness in the market these days? To expedite my posting I sometimes do a search of jazz records for sale filtered through the highest prices first. There are often $1,000 records and many in the $500-plus category. Lately, however, the searches in that range have been coming up short. Are prices relatively flat at this point or is there just less good stuff on eBay now? These things go in cycles so I wouldn’t put any meaning into it either way. In the meantime, here are some of the rare jazz records that came up on my latest search.
Red Rodney, Signal 1206. This is an interesting one because of the condition. There’s a nice clear picture of the cover, which may give the impression that the cover is in nice condition. However if you look closely and read the description, the cover is in only G condition. And the vinyl is only VG. Despite the condition issues, however, the bidding is already more than $400. I guess this LP is in greater demand than I would have realized.
This is another one that’s getting up there in price, somewhat to my surprise: Booker Little, Time 52011. This is an original mono pressing with the deep grooves and gatefold cover. The record is in M- condition and the cover is VG+. The bidding has already topped $250 and the auction closes later today. Perhaps my previous comment about a soft market was premature.
Eric Dolphy, Far Cry, New Jazz 8270. This is an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It is quite a lovely record, and rare, and the condition is great, and the picture with the add is quite nice as well. Still, the highest price we’ve ever recorded for this record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide is around $230. This will sell for quite a lot more than that. The current price is $515 and there’s nearly a day to go.
Blue Mitchell, Blue’s Moods, Riverside 336. This is also an original pressing, with the blue label and the deep grooves. The record is in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. The current price is around $400 and there are still four days to go before the auction closes. This one will also set a new record for the Jazz Collector Price Guide.
And here are a couple of nice Prestiges:
Yes, as Mike F notes on another post, did you see the price of that Bill Evans Explorations record we were watching from the Jazz Record Center? It was a stereo pressing, black label original. It sold for $896. Great record, but that’s a pretty incredible price. It shows that the market for some of these collectibles is just so elastic. If someone wants the record, and he wants it in mint condition, the price is not necessarily an issue. I looked at all of the other results from this Jazz Record Center auction and none seemed quite so out of the ordinary as this one, although there were also some top prices paid for some nice records, including: Bobby Hutcherson, Dialogue, Blue Note 4198. This was an original mono pressing in M- condition. It sold for $491. Also, Jackie McLean, One Step Beyond, Blue Note 84137. This was an original STEREO version in M- condition. It sold for $237.50. That’s pretty high for a stere pressing, even an original, isn’t it? One more: Blue Mitchell, The Thing To Do, Blue Note 84178. This was also a stereo pressing, an original, and it was also in very nice M- condition. The price was $233.50. I guess the market for original Blue Note stereo pressings is now getting more interesting as well.
The Jazz Record Center has an auction closing this week. Not the normal list of heavyweights, but some nice records, including: Bill Evans, Explorations, Riverside 9531. This is the original stereo pressing with the black label. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover is probably M- as well. The current price is about $110 and there are two days to go. Maybe this is a week of stereo pressings, because there is also this: Blue Mitchell, The Thing To Do, Blue Note 84178. This is an original stereo pressing and it looks to be in M- condition for the record and the cover. The start price is $100 and so far there are no takers. With the Blue Notes, there’s something about the monos that make them feel “more original.” I find with the later Riversides, such as the Evans LP, I don’t have the same preference for the mono pressing.
This one got a pretty high top bid, but did not sell because it didn’t meet the seller’s reserve price:
Blue Mitchell, Blue Soul, Riverside 309. This was one of the ones from the recent bobdjukic auction. It was listed in VG++ condition for both the vinyl and the cover and it looked to be an original deep groove, blue label pressing. It sold for $275. One of the reasons I was watching this is that I just bought another small collection and a nice original mint copy of this record was in the batch. There were also a few original Blue Notes so, if I ever get back to selling records on eBay, I’ll have some nice items to start with . . . . or if I have Jazz Collector readers come to the house, as previously proposed.
Harry Carney With Strings, Clef 640. This looked to be an original pressing, although there was no picture of the label, with a beautiful cover illustration by David Stone Martin. It was listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover and sold for $110.50. You have to wonder how much longer there will be a market for Harry Carney LPs. Case in point: The Astaire Story. This was the original Mercury boxed set in beautiful condition, signed by Astaire, with the Stone Martin illustrations and the exclusive photos. In M- condition, this would have sold for somewhere in the range of $2,000 just a few years ago. Now, the seller had a start price of $800 and there were no bidders.
The Return of Art Pepper, Jazz West 10. This is an original pressing. The record is VG++ and the cover is VG-, which is pretty clear from the picture. The price is $240.50. When I first started collecting jazz records all I cared about was the music: The cover didn’t matter nearly as much. Now, however, that I have more music than I will ever listen to, I find that the condition of the covers is of pretty much equal value. Not that I don’t appreciate an original Blue Note with a little wear on the cover. I do. I also appreciate an original Blue Note with a little wear on the vinyl as well.
Remember I wrote that post about The Blue Note Story, a little pamphlet I found in an old Sidney Bechet record? Well, there’s one on sale on eBay now with an original copy of this LP: Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Blue Note 5002. This is an original 10-inch pressing and it is listed in what looks to be M- condition. It also has the pamphlet which is way cool. The current price is $201.50. It will go for a lot more.
Here are a few more items for the Jazz Collector Price Guide. By the time you read this we may have surpassed more than 4,000 records listed in the guide. Not bad. Please take a look.
Bennie Green with Art Farmer, Prestige 7041. This was an original New York pressing. The record was in VG+ condition and the cover was VG+. The price was $131.50. I have a small affinity for this record: I was browsing the $25 cent bin at one of the local record stores on Long Island, and an original copy of this was sitting in there. Clearly the guy who priced jazz records was out ill the day this one arrived in the store.
Bill Evans, Waltz For Debby, Riverside 399. This was an original blue label mono pressing. The record was VG+ and the cover was VG++. The price was $365.
Lou Donaldson, Lou Takes Off, Blue Note 1591. This was an original West 63rd Street Read more