I was watching some early Blue Notes on eBay, including the very first 12-inch LP in the 1500 series: Miles Davis, Volume 1, Blue Note 1501. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the deep grooves, flat edge, frame cover and all of the other indicators of a first pressing. The record and cover were both in M- condition. Quite a gem, it seems. The final price was $622.89. I haven’t updated the Jazz Collector Price Guide in quite a while, but I do remember seeing a copy of this record sell for more than $1,000 at one time, but that seemed to be the exception rather than the rule. Popsike shows two copies selling for more than $1,000. I would assume that most collectors would treasure these albums, but for some reason there’s something that feels “less original” about the albums whose content was original released on 78 or 1-inch LP. They also don’t sound as well as the later 12-inch records produced for the vinyl format, do they?
So this auction closed the other day: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was in VG++ condition for he record and M- for the cover and did not have the New York 23 label. The final price was $5,127.51. Interesting that the following record, from the same era, is somehow valued at more than $4,000 less than the Mobley: Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1565. This was also an original pressing, probably in VG++ condition for the record and maybe VG+ or VG++ for the cover. It sold for $897.69. Still a hefty price for sure, but still the discrepancy is quite a spread. Do you think there are really that many fewer copies of the Mobley available on the market? Or is it hype that the Mobley record is widely known as one of the rarest of the rare? Or is it that the Mobley simply a better record? There’s really no way to make judgments about these things, IMHO: The market is the market and that’s what decides the value. So, whatever the reason, the market has deemed Blue Note 1568 to be perhaps the most valuable jazz record of the Jazz Collector era. Ours is not to reason why, ours is just to sell and buy (or something like that).
We are watching some real heavy-duty collectibles on eBay now, starting with Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is one of those quasi-original originals depending upon your point of view. Translation: It doesn’t have the New York 23 on one side of the label. Whether that makes it less original is probably not the point. What we have learned over the years is that it makes it slightly less valuable to collectors. No tears are being shed for this seller, however. The record looks to be in around VG++ condition and the cover is M-. The bidding is more than $2,600 with less than a day left. This copy has been around the block a few times, and is the same one that ostensibly would have sold for more than $11,000 back in 2015 but obviously did not actually sell at that time. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the goings on at eBay, even for someone like myself who follows things fairly closely.
We will being today’s post with two of our favorite records, starting with Donald Byrd, A New Perspective, Blue Note 84124. As you can see from the “8” at the beginning of the catalogue number, this is a stereo pressing. It is an original, with the New York USA label, the ears, Van Gelder, etc. This is being offered by the seller anilin1000 from Germany, who has been selling off his collection due to age — his own and not the records. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is in the $150 range, which is somewhat surprising, since the stereo pressings don’t usually sell for that much. I see one stereo pressing on Popsike for about $125, and one for a bit higher that was autographed. Hey, it’s a great record so I don’t begrudge anyone willing to pay top dollar for it. I often play “Cristo Redentor” for people who don’t really know jazz, and without exception (so far) it always gets a very strong positive reaction, probably more so than any other jazz record I can think of.
This is another favorite that just came onto eBay:
Just catching up with my eBay watch list after a lovely Christmas weekend here in the lovely Berkshires Mountains of Western Massachusetts, where I am looking out of my window at a frozen lake and a gorgeous winter scene straight out of Normal Rockwell. And, of course, there are also records to be perused and evaluated on eBay. Today we will start with The Paul Chambers Quintet, Blue Note 1564. This was kind of a weird pressing. It had the West 63rd Street address, the deep grooves and the Van Gelder stamp, but it did not have the ears. It seems like an early pressing to me, especially since this was not a record I ever saw issued once Liberty took over. It also had shrink wrap and a later “27 years of Blue Note” inner sleeve, which would place the issue at around 1966. In any case, this was listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover. There was a start price of about $300 and there were no bidders, which surprised me.
I actually have more I want to say about the Coltrane documentary, which I will do in a subsequent post, but today I promised Jazz Collector readers a regular post and that typically means looking at some rare jazz records on eBay. As I type this I have a random playlist on in the background and Bird just came on playing “Confirmation.” So let me pause for a moment. Okay, back with you all.
Well, perhaps there is something in the air. First record I went to on eBay is: Charlie Parker, Bird Blows the Blues, Dial 901. This is an original pressing with the red vinyl. I believe we have established here on Jazz Collector that this was the first 12-inch vinyl record ever? I add the question mark because I’m still not sure. Anyway, I have never owned a copy of this record, and won’t own this one. The starting price is $1,500 and it’s only in VG condition. Even worse, the seller doesn’t include an original picture. That very clear, really enticing picture accompanying the listing, and accompanying this post, is actually copied from a book. For $1,500, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the real deal, not that I would ever pay $1,500 anyway.
Anyway. Here are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay, starting with Tadd Dameron, Fontainebleau, Prestige 7037. This is an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record is listed in M- condition for the vinyl and Ex for the cover, with a promo stamp and some damage on the back. The bidding is in the $225 range with more than four days left. Although this is a nice record from the early Prestige 12-inch catalogue, it’s never been one that has been overly attractive to collectors, although it looks pretty good to me. Here’s another Prestige from the same seller that most collectors will find to be quite a bit more enticing: Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This is also an original New York yellow label. The record is in M- condition and the cover is listed as M-, although I may slightly quibble and push it down to VG++ based on the picture. The price is in the $560 range, also with four days left on the auction.
One of our readers, with a sense of wonder, sent me this link: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. The record was listed in M- condition. The cover was maybe VG+ at best, depending upon how partial you are to having the word “Super” written in dark red marker across the back of your records. The final price was $422, which at first glance one might attribute to the condition of the cover. Except for one thing: This was a Liberty pressing, not just the label, the cover, too. So now we have third, fourth or whatever generation Liberty Blue Notes selling for more than $400. Oh, the humanity! If I had known, I would have saved them all, and I had a lot of them, including Cool Struttin’. I was happy, at the time, to get $20 or $30 apiece. What is going on? Read more
We’ll start the week with a couple of nice Prestige records on eBay and then move on to a possible autograph (?) by Charlie Parker. First up is the Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Prestige 7055. This is an original New York yellow label pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding starts at $155 and so far there has been no action. The auction closes in a bit more than two days. This has never been one of the Prestiges overly coveted by collectors, but I would still expect it to sell for a decent price, in the $300 or more range. We’ll see. Clifford is one of the greats, so it has always eluded me why collectors might be willing to pay a higher price for a Moondog Prestige versus a Clifford Brown. I guess it’s supply and demand, but you’d think the demand for a great Clifford record would be higher.
These are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay now, starting with John Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Impulse A-77. This is an original orange label pressing listed as “close to NM” for the record and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the range of $325 and closes in more than two days. Following our popular Blue Note tracks list last week, we may follow up with other labels. Perhaps this whole album will appear on the Impulse list. The same seller has some other nice items as well, including Ike Quebec, Soul Samba, Blue Note 4114. This is an original New York USA pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is already over $400 with more than two days left on the auction. I’m somewhat surprised that the market for Ike Quebec Blue Notes has spiked so much over the past few years, but, then again, nothing in the world of Blue Note should surprise any of us anymore.