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?
So I was carefully handling the first record in the first box, Miles Davis Volume 2, Blue Note 5022. I had once owned this record in poor condition. It was so poor, in fact, I didn’t even want it in my collection, so I sold it on eBay. This one in my hands, under the light, an original pressing, 767 Lexington Avenue, I don’t think it was ever played. Maybe once, on the day that Uncle Bruce purchased the record, which was August 20, 1954. I know that because Uncle Bruce clearly marked the date in pen “8-20-54” on the back of the record, in the upper left corner. There was also the original price of the record in pencil on the upper right corner in the back: 3.75. Otherwise, the cover was quite clean, a little bit of splitting at one seam, a little wear on the front. For eBay I would grade it as VG++. For me, as a collector, I would grade it as very sweet.
I had thought I was finished buying collections. I had gotten so much joy out of buying the Irving Kalus collection last year, I thought nothing else would compare. It was such a nice collection I didn’t think I’d ever be able to top it, so why try? I’d hardly bought a record at all in more than 18 months. I had passed on every inquiry coming in to Jazz Collector. I was happy and content with the collection I had amassed during the past 40-plus years of being a jazz collector. I am not a dealer, I am a collector, proudly so, and I have no aspirations to be a dealer. My site is Jazz Collector, not Jazz Seller. It’s been about three years since I even sold a record on eBay. So what would I do with even more records?
Yet here I was with this list of records sitting in front of me. And it was an odd list.
It’s hard to see how anyone can bid on this listing: Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This is listed as a mono pressing in near mint condition for the record. The cover is listed as VG. There is only one picture of the cover, no pictures of the labels or anything else, including the back cover. No mention of deep grooves or RVGs or Lexington Avenues or anything else. My bet is that this is a United Artists pressing from the 1980s. Still, some people are willing to take risks. There are three bids on this record and the price is close to $200. Perhaps the buyer won’t mind getting a United Artists pressing? Oh, yes, and the seller has a history of 13 items and an approval rating of 93 percent. By contrast, this listing has all of the information you would be looking for: Lee Morgan Volume 3, Blue Note 1557. This is an original deep groove pressing with the West 63rd Street address and the New York 23 labels. The record is VG+, but the cover is G with mold on the back. The price is in the $170 range, but it hasn’t yet met the seller’s reserve price.
I have a lot of 10-inch Prestiges, and you don’t often find them in M- condition, so this one is quite appealing: Stan Getz Volume 1, Prestige 102. The vinyl is M- and the cover is VG++. The seller is Atomic Records, which tends to be conservative on the grading, so this one must be really nice. It closes later today and the price is about $80.
One more Prestige:
Here are some jazz vinyl auctions we are watching on eBay, starting with Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7043. This is an original New York yellow-label pressing, with a promo stamp on the back cover. The record and cover both look to be in M- condition. This record, of course, features John Coltrane and Hank Mobley and was later issued as “Two Tenors.” There will be a lot of interest in this one. There are six days left in the auction, there are already five bids and the bidding is in the $300 range already.
Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1650. This is an original West 63rd, deep-groove pressing. The record is in VG++ condition and the cover is VG. The bidding is getting close to $700 with three days to go.
Here’s one for the $1,000 bin: Sonny Criss, Go Man, Imperial 9020. This is a weird cover, isn’t it: Two white people, with a lot of nice leg, and no indication that this might be a black artist playing jazz. Anyway, this one was in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1.292.
Just got an email from the Jazz Record Center that they have a new auction up this week, so let’s take a look and see what’s there:
This one has a start price of $2,000, and it’s already gotten a bid, so we should expect quite a high price: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This is an original pressing in what is described as “near-new” condition, perhaps played once. The cover looks to be equally pristine.
Here’s another we wouldn’t mind putting on our own shelves: Elmo Hope, Meditations, Prestige 7010. This is an original New York yellow-label pressing, also in “near new” condition for the record and M- for the cover. The start price is $400 and there are no bidders yet, but there will be.
Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Riverside 315. This is an original deep groove pressing with the small reel logos on the label, as opposed to the larger reels, which I had forgotten was a distinguishing characteristic of Riverside. Someday, perhaps in 2013, I will go through all of the vast research we have accumulated here at Jazz Collector and put together a more definitive guide to what makes an original pressing on various labels. I think the information is here on the site, it just needs to be mined. Anyway, this one is in near new condition and has a start price of $200.
Here’s some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay this way, starting with this beauty: Webster Young, For Lady, Prestige 7106. This was an original pressing with the yellow label and New York address and it looked to be in almost pristine condition, with a promo stamp on the back cover and the original rice paper inner sleeve. This one sold for $648.80. I remember once having a duplicate of this record and offering it to a dealer, who offered me $35 for the copy and was insulted when I refused to sell it to him. That was pre-eBay, of course.
The other nice Prestige we were watching wound up not selling: Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7043. This was an original New York pressing in at least VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The top bid was $477, which failed to meet the dealer’s reserve price.
This one broke into the $1,000 bin, again: Lee Morgan, Indeed, Blue Note 1538. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing and it was listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,358.77. Also entering the $1,000 bin, again, was:
Here’s some jazz vinyl we’re watching now on eBay. Jackie is back: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is from a reputable seller and is listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. VG+ is always a risk, but this one is play-graded and sounds like it is in pretty good shape. The bidding has already topped $1,000 on its way to . . . . we’ll see. Also on eBay now is one of my favorites, Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, RVG, ear. It is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. Start price is $650 and, with a day to go, there are no takers so far. For a high start price like that, I think most buyers would appreciate pictures of the labels, for what it’s worth, although I’d be OK bidding on this record if I was inclined to pay that high a price for it in any condition, which I’m not.
This one is tempting:
This is another one where the seller is starting with a very high price: Lawrence Marable, Tenorman, Jazz West 8. This is an original pressing that looks to be in superb condition, at least VG++ for the record and the cover. The starting price is $1,800 and there are no bidders.
This is a pretty hefty price for one of the Benny Golson New Jazz LPs: Benny Golson, Gone With Golson, New Jazz 8235. This is an original deep groove pressing and it is in M- condition. It is also being offered by Euclid Records, one of the better known brands in our community. There are already eight bids on this LP and the price is close to $200. Note that the pianist on this date is Ray Bryant who passed away on Thursday.
I have to say, I’m tempted on this one: Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7043. This looks to be an original New York pressing, although the listing is definitely lacking in details. The condition looks excellent and the price is only $135 and it is ending today. This may call for a visit to my sniping software. Will keep you posted. Of course, publishing my intent on Jazz Collector may not be the wisest strategy, huh?
Let’s start with a couple more Prestiges. Frank Foster, Hope Meets Foster, Prestige 7021. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York address and the deep groove. It was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover looked to be VG+ or VG++. The price was $548.78, which is a nice price but in this market I would have thought it might have sold for even more. If that Prestige sold for less than expected, this one got top dollar, based on what we’ve previously seen for this record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide: