It was an interesting week on Jazz Collector following the chronicles of my purchase of the Irving Kalus collection and the subsequent comments, which are ongoing as I type this. Later in the week, when I have time, I will do an epilogue and I will also put all of the posts together in a single story, which will be downloadable as a PDF. The whole thing will probably read a bit like novel all at once. It’s a marvel of our era that through the Internet we could give life to a college essay written more than 60 years ago and create a living online legacy for a man who had passed in relative obscurity, except, of course, to his beloved family and friends. I certainly feel honored and blessed to have been able to play a part in that, so the gift to me is not just Irving’s records but the psychic reward of having done some good work. For all of the time and effort and money I’ve put into Jazz Collector for the past 10 years, this is a real nice payback.
Having said that, let’s move back on the mundane business of watching collectible jazz vinyl on eBay. Here are some items of interest this week:
Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. Irving did not have an original pressing of this, just a blue label Liberty. However, I was fortunately able to pick up an original in a previous collection I purchased. For that whole story you’ll have to wait for the Jazz Collector book, which is still a vision in my brain at this point. This original pressing of Cool Struttin’ is in beautiful M- condition for the record and the cover and is currently priced at more than $2,000. Even at that price it may not sell: It has not yet reached the seller’s reserve.
It’s always fun discovering records I’ve never seen before, even discovering them on eBay: Case in point: Victor Feldman and Tubby Hayes, Transatlantic Alliance, Tempo TAP 19. This I assume is a British pressing. The record is listed in VG or VG+ condition and the cover is VG+. The price is already more than $500 with a day to go, so I imagine this is quite a rare record. Along the same lines, from the same seller, another one that’s new to me: Victor Feldman and Tubby Hayes, Swingin’ the Blues, Tempo TAP 21. This one seems to be in similar condition — VG or VG+ for the record and VG+ for the cover. The price on this one is also around $500.
Didn’t realize this one was a $100-plus record: Curtis Fuller, Soul Trombone, Impulse 13. This is an original pressing with the orange label and RVG in the deadwax. It is listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover and the current price is a bit more than $100, closing fairly soon.
Here’s some jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay now:
Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This is an original pressing with the purple labels and deep grooves. It is a relatively early John Coltrane record featuring Trane as a sideman, along with Kenny Burrell. The record and cover are both in M- condition and the price is in the $250 range, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve. My personal story with this goes back nearly 40 years when I was doing some record trading with a sax player named David Krieger and I had a broken leg and couldn’t drive and something came up and he had to leave so I was alone in his basement with his entire record collection, including some gorgeous Blue Notes. I could have taken off with a few gems but of course I did not. I can’t ever look at a copy of The Cats and not think of Dave who sadly passed away earlier this year.
This one is a pretty one right in the time frame when Prestige was doing some of its best work:
Let’s catch up on some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay. I was up in Providence this past weekend and I held this record in my hands: Jutta Hipp At The Hickory House Volume 1, Blue Note 1515. This was on auction from Round Again Records and it just closed. The record was in VG condition and the cover was VG+ to VG++. Although I have a copy of this record at home, and although I have many Lexington Avenue Blue Notes, there is definitely something magical for me holding one of these original pressings in my hands. It’s like a piece of rare art. This copy sold for $460. I’m going to keep an eye out for more records from Round Again. The store owner, Steve, says he’s trying to work on a deal with some guy who’s been buying records at garage sales for years.
Here are a couple of Blue Notes in better condition and thus in the $1,000 bin: Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing and it was listed in M- condition for the record and M- or VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,007. From the same seller came Curtis Fuller, Bone and Bari, Blue Note 1572. This was also an original pressing, also in M- condition for the record and VG++ or M- for the cover. This one has Sonny Clark on piano, so it sold for a bit more: $1,136.
As CeeDee was kind enough to point out, there is a killer record (that’s American colloquialism for our Asian and European friends — the record actually hasn’t killed anyone) on eBay now: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This looks to be an original pressing. The cover is described as “Pristine.” The record is described as “Unplayed.” The price is now more than $1,000 and there are still six days to go on the bidding. There is also a “buy-it-now” price of $5,000 and, frankly, I think someone will pop in to get this gem off the market quickly, setting a new high price for the Jazz Collector Price Guide. The seller has a full description of how he purchased this record, and many others, from the late jazz vinyl dealer Leon Leavitt. This will be one to keep an eye on.
Also on eBay now: Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This too looks to be an original pressing. It is listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is $700 and there’s a little more than one day left to bid. So far there are no bidders.
How about some of those items we were watching yesterday?
We were quite interested in those two Curtis Fuller Blue Notes from the same seller. Look at this one: Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1566. This was listed as a “rare mono pressing,” which it may be, but it still a pressing from the 1970s or 1980s with the United Artists labels. We’ve seen these often in the $20-$30 range. This one sold for a pretty whopping $91.10. A new pricing trend or just a creative listing and a gullible buyer? You make the call. Perhaps someday this UA pressings will be worth hundreds or thousands. You never know, perhaps this is a good investment. I’d rather pay $500 or so for the original, but that’s me. Speaking of which . . . from the same seller came: Curtis Fuller, Volume 3, Blue Note 1583. This one looked to be an original pressing in VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $500. We’ve seen this one sell for more than $1,400 before, so that’s quite a comedown. Karma?
Sorry I haven’t been posting as often as usual. Lots going on here. If anyone want to fill some of the void, we always welcome guest columns. In the meantime, eBay goes on whether we post or not, and this week there are some sellers with many, many big-ticket items. Here are a few we’re watching:
Somebody in the comments complained about the start prices from the records from this seller, including: Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This one has the West 63rd Street address and ear, but it doesn’t look like any deep grooves. This is one of the ones that causes consternation among collectors, right? DG or not DG, that is the question. If I recall Fred Cohen’s explanation, this could have one side DG and be an original, or it could also have no DGs and be an original? Perhaps someone can look it up. In the meantime, this copy is in M- condition for the vinyl, is VG++ for the cover and has zero bids at a start price of $1,200. If you click this item, look at the seller’s other auctions and you’ll see a potpourri of fantastic collectibles, all at high start prices, all without bids (so far).
Here’s another seller with some nice items, including: Curtis Fuller, Volume 3, Blue Note 1583. This looks to be an original pressing based on the description. The record is VG++ and the cover is M- and the price is a bit over $200 now and has not yet met the seller’s reserve. If you look at the seller’s listings, make sure you read them carefully. I noticed he’s selling another Curtis Fuller Blue Note that is listed as a “rare mono pressing” and is a United Artists pressing. It is already more than $50.
Lots of jazz vinyl to watch on eBay, as usual. Here are a few of the ones we’re watching:
I’ve never owned an original pressing of this: Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. Aside from the regular availability of this record on eBay, I’ve only had a couple of chances to actually hold this record in my hand and pay cash for it. Once, the price was just too high and the second time was a few years ago, I had a chance to buy a collection and this was one of the records. The whole collection was probably about $3,000 and I could have made up a good portion of it by just selling this record, but there weren’t enough other gems to make it worthwhile. I’m still looking for a copy and expect to find one someday at a reasonable price, but this won’t be the one. This one is in VG+ condition for both the record and the vinyl and is already at $1,180. I see that the seller is located near me, so, if you’re out there and a reader, perhaps we can do some trading one of these days.
My son graduated from his masters program at Brown so I don’t get up to Providence as much as I used to, but I see my friend Steve at Round Again Records has found a nice collection and is posting some of them on eBay, including these gems:
We could be looking at some record prices for jazz vinyl this week. The Jazz Record Center has a significant auction of some very high-end collectibles in beautiful condition. With two days to go several of these are more than $1,000 and $2,000 and at least one will certainly surpass $3,000 and perhaps $4,000. Here are a few to watch:
Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is one of the rarest of the rare, and it already owns the top price in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. This copy is in beautiful condition, M- for the record and the cover. The current price is $2,981.
Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. Here’s another one that looks to be in beautiful condition, with a little bit of issues with the cover. This one is priced at $1,575 as of this writing.
Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This is another original pressing. The condition looks great, perhaps not M-, however. This one is currently at $2,036.
Here’s some jazz vinyl we were watching over the weekend:
Jerome Richardson, Roamin’ With Richardson, New Jazz 8226. This was an original pressing that was listed in VG++ condition for the vinyl and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $305. Looks like a new seller on eBay who will be posted some more items in the next few weeks.
Thelonious Monk, Prestige 7027. This looked to be an original pressing with the kakubushi cover. It looked to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $250.
This seller from South Korea sold some nice records this weekend, including: Duke Jordan, Flight to Jordan, Blue Note 4046. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The vinyl was M- and the cover was VG++. The price was $638. Also, Curtis Fuller, Volume 3, Blue Note 1583. This was also an original pressing and this one was in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $421. Finally, Art Farmer, Donald Byrd, Idrees Sulieman, Three Trumpets, Prestige 7092. This was an original New York pressing in M- condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $344.