Prices Rising, Regardless of Condition, It Seems

clifford copyLet’s catch up on some of the jazz records were were watching on eBay before we were so rudely interrupted by life.

Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Study in Brown, Emarcy 36037. This is, of course, one of the classic records of the era. I haven’t noticed it selling for big prices in recent years, but perhaps that’s just me not noticing. Looking in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, I see we have several instances of the record selling for between $400 and $700. This looked to be an original pressing in just VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. I was surprised to see that it sold for $280.55, which is why I was watching it. I thought it would sell for less.

I thought this would sell for less as well: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch LP in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $504.99. That seller did well not just with the Monk and Clifford records, but also with the Sun Ra records he had and some of his other 10-inch LPs, including Dexter Gordon Quintet, Dial 204. This was an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $333.

Here’s one for the $1,000 bin:

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What Was That About Condition?

Lee MorganBeen way behind on my posting and even my eBay watching. Lots of stuff going on here. When I left off, these were some of the jazz records I was watching on eBay, starting with: Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note  1541. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record was in VG+ condition and the cover was only VG, with tape, writing, a sticker and shelf wear. The record sold for $2,324. Yes, that is not a typographical error. I was thinking of making a pithy comment, but I seem to be out of pith this morning. I will leave the pith to you, dear readers.

J.R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536. This looked to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing as well. The record and cover were in VG condition, and the seller mentioned the word “scratches” so that would definitely be a red flag. This one sold for $323.80, reasonable, I would say, but still $2,000 less than the Morgan record.

While we’re on Blue Notes, here’s another that fetched quite a nice price:

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A Delightful Trio of Jazz Vinyl

ATHere are some other jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Art Taylor, AT’s Delight, Blue Note 4047. This is an original West 63rd pressing with the deep grooves, Van Gelder, ear, etc. It is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the $530 range and the auction closes later today.

Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. This was an original New York pressing. The seller listed it in VG+/VG++ condition for the record and the cover. In the description, he mentioned tape on the cover. To me this immediately marks the condition down to VG+, not VG++. So I would also question the condition of the vinyl, but that’s just me. This one sold for $222.50, which is what I would expect for a VG+ pressing of this record, so I guess others may have had the same sense on the grading.

Here’s one featuring a Johnny Hodges autograph:

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Not So Comical, but PRetty Expensive

DexterAs I was writing yesterday’s post with some ruminations on the strength of the market for jazz collectibles, I got two notes from our friend CeeDee indicating with quite clarity that the demand for high-end collectibles is, indeed, continuing to rise. To wit:

There was this note under the subject “geez” with a link to: Dexter Gordon, Dexter Calling, Blue Note 4083. This looked to be an original New York USA pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,045. Welcome to the $1,000 bin, Dexter Calling. Wow, or, as CeeDee says, geez.

The second missive came under the subject “hmmm” with an accompanying note that said “big bucks for a listing with such a minimal description, don’t you think.” The listing in question was: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue. This looked to be an original 6-eye stereo pressing but, as CeeDee notes, the description was minimal, although the condition was listed as M- for both the record and the cover. The price was, ahem, $798.


Four for the Jazz Collector Price Guide

monicaHere are the results of some jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay:

Monica Zetterlund and Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby, Phillips 08222. This was an original mono pressing listed in “pristine” condition for the record, which we translate to M-, and VG++ for the cover. Not a lot of description from the seller, but certainly a lot of interest from the buyers. This one had 13 bids and sold for $555.65.

Louis Smith, Smithville, Blue Note 1594. This looked to be an original West 63rd deep-groove pressing. The record was listed in VG+ condition, and the cover was listed as VG+, but somehow the seller made it sound as if it were actually better than that. The play-grading described the record as between VG+ and VG++, with the description of some surface noise. And the nice clear picture of the cover made it seem that the cover may also have been better than VG+. I have a feeling whoever purchased this record may be hoping that it is, indeed, better than VG+. Why? Well, the price was $960. As for me, I tend to believe the seller’s original grading of VG+, and that’s what I would expect.

This looked like a nice one:

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Oh Little Label of Bethlehem

mal waldronThere’s so much nice jazz vinyl on eBay now my eyes are crossed just looking. This is the first one that caught my eye: Mal Waldron, Left Alone, Bethlehem 6045. This was an original pressing in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover. It just sold moments ago for $999.99. It’s funny, because I woke up this morning thinking about doing a post on the Bethlehem label, similar to the ones I did last week on Riverside and New Jazz. Then I realized I am not familiar enough with the entire Bethlehem catalogue to make a really strong list. Not only do I not own this Mal record, I also don’t own the Roland Kirk Third Dimension record, nor the Booker Ervin Book Cooks record, nor the Charlie Mariano Sextet record, nor, as earlier noted, the Jimmy Knepper record with Bill Evans. I am certainly Bethlehem-deprived in my collection. Of the ones that I know and like, my favorites are:

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24 Hours on Ebay

TatumI spent 24 hours on eBay. Well, not really. What I did was I looked at 24 consecutive hours worth of jazz records listed on eBay. I used to do this every single day, particularly when I was active buying and selling. But it’s not the way I look anymore. It was kind of fun. I put a few records in my watch list, which I will share momentarily, and I even bid on a couple of records, which will be the subject of another post. The thing that was most striking was the staggering percentage of records listed on eBay that just will not sell. This is primarily because there is no market for them, but there are others priced so ridiculously out of sync with the market that the seller is just wasting his time and money listing them. What is it, 90% of the records won’t get any bids? That’s my guess. It would be interesting if someone spent some time and did a study.

Anyway, here are a few that either closed earlier or are closing soon, starting with Art Tatum. Benny Carter, Louis Bellson, Clef 55. This was an original pressing with a nice cover by David Stone Martin. There’s really very little interest in Tatum these days, which I will never understand, so I wanted to watch this and see if it would sell. It did, for $42.12 in Ex condition for the record and the cover, VG+ in my language.

These next two surprised me. They are not records I normally watch because they don’t typically fetch collectible prices. They didn’t here, but they also sold for more money than I would have expected:

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Two for the $1,000 Bin, Two for The Watch List

A couple of albums we were watching this weekend broke into the $1,000 bin: Freddie Hubbard, Open Sesame, Blue Note 4040. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $1,150. Also, Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was a West 63rd Street pressing without the New York 23, which I think is an original, contrary to my previous post. This one was from the same seller and was also listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $1,202.

Here are a few we’re watching now: The Dual Role of Bob Brookmeyer, Prestige 7066. I’m trying to see if there’s something wrong with this one. It looks like an original New York yellow label pressing and it seems to be in pretty nice shape, at least VG+ for both the record and the cover. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is only at $30, which seems kind of low for an original Prestige in the early part of the 7000 series. Is there so little interest in Brookmeyer? I mean, Moondog Prestige ¬†records sell for a lot more than Brookmeyer records, it seems.

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Jazz Vinyl: Trane, Zoot and 10-inch LPs

Let’s catch up on some more interesting jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with John Coltrane, Africa/Brass, Impulse 6. This was an original mono pressing with the orange labels. The record and cover were both in M- condition. It’s not a record we’ve typically covered in the Jazz Collector Price Guide because it rarely gets collectible prices. I guess we’ll start covering it now: This one sold for $493.88. Wow. I’ve had an original copy of this record for a long time, since the 70s in fact, but I also remember a version of a Coltrane Greatest Hits double-record on Impulse where they had Africa but eliminated the Elvin Jones drum solo so they could get more songs onto the package. There was something that always seemed unseemly about that, a violation of some kind of moral code, particularly since Coltrane was no longer alive to object.

I always liked this record, but haven’t listened to in in a while: Zoot Sims in Paris, United Artists 14013. This was an original pressing with the grey labels and was probably in VG+ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $202.51.

Here’s an update on some 10-inch jazz vinyl:

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Three Tenors

Just spent some time rummaging through the high-end bins on eBay and found quite a few interesting items, starting with: Dexter Gordon Quintet, Dial 204. This is an original 10-inch pressing listed in near M- condition for the record and M- condition for the cover. Seller took beautiful clear pictures and the record is quite tempting to this Dexter Gordon and 10-inch LP fan. But the start price is around $350 and, tempting as it may be, it is not tempting enough to entice me at that price. Nobody else is enticed yet, either, but I do have a feeling this one will sell.

This is another nice one that is also lacking bids at the moment: Sonny Rollins, Way Out West, Contemporary 3530. this is an original promo copy in M- condition for both the cover and the record. Looks like a real gem, also with nice pictures from the seller. There is a start price of about $500 and a buy-it-now price of about $700. If any copy of Way Out West would set a new price high, this would seem to be it, an original promo in M- condition. But the start price is up there. In the Jazz Collector Price Guide we’ve never recorded a copy of this record selling for more than $300.

One more:

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