Promo records have never seemed to be a big thing in the Jazz Collector world, at least not compared to other genres, but there are some promo records that seem to catch collector’s eyes, including Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This looks to be an original mono pressing with the red and white promo labels and the 6-eyes. The seller talks about the record being in “nice shape” but doesn’t actually give a grade and mentions a scratch that cuts across side B. All of that would be somewhat OK for gamblers, but it is also a seller that does not accept returns. A lot of risk to ask, IMHO, for a record that has a start price of $600. So far there are no takers. A quick view over at Popsike shows that a promo copy of Kind of Blue recently sold for $2,700, so the seller is probably not coming from left field with that price tag. We’ll keep a watch and see if it sells. My bet? Yes, it will.
Catching up on my watch list after a few days off eBay, starting with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition and Ex for the cover. Looks like there was a three-way bidding war for this LP and it wound up selling for $2,700.
Here’s one for those of you who like to use the term “Holy Grail,” although it is a term I normally avoid, except for a few seconds ago: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is listed in Ex condition by the seller and, based on his key, that seems like it would be a very strong VG+ using standard Goldmine grading. This one is already in the $1,360 range with more than a day left on the auction. It will at least join Peckin’ Time in the $2,000 bin and will probably sell for quite a bit more, based on past history with this record. Read more
Ok, we have a final price on that copy of Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568 from the Jazz Record Center. The final price was $4,619. And the winner of the contest was: GST with a bet of $4,600. Pretty damn close GST. Congratulations. I actually came in second with a guess of $4,444. For those of you betting the over/under line of $4,300, the winning bet was over, although I’m not sure anyone was counting on the under, especially after the early bidding seemed to indicate a much higher price. Nor do I think anyone was actually betting. In any case, GST, I owe you a prize. Tomorrow I am heading up to my home in The Berkshires, where my duplicate records reside. Send me your email address to alatjazzcollectordotcom and I will offer you a few options. Once we have an arrangement, I’ll put a comment here on this post.
Whilst I was offline I missed a record that ended up in the $3,000 bin: Don Rendell Ian Carr Quintet, Shades of Blue, Columbia, 33SX 17333. This was an original 1965 UK pressing that was probably in VG++ or M- condition. The final price was $3,024.98. I only know of this record from watching it on eBay all these years. Is the music that good, or is there something else that is so appealing about this record that it would command such a high price?
One of our readers sent me a link to this record, noting that the price seems to be rising: Phil Woods, Warm Woods, Epic 3436. This copy was in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $605.55. Doesn’t seem that out of line for this record. If you look on Popsike, there are copies that have sold for higher prices, although probably in better condition. That’s one of the things that I’m noticing — for many of these classic records, condition is less of an issue than it used to be. Can’t help wondering if that is because people are collecting them to own them as opposed to listening to them.
Sorry for the long unexpected hiatus between posts. Been very busy with work and time just slipped away. Glad to see no one was worried about me. 🙂 Anyway, let’s look at where we left off with our eBay watch list, starting with: Sonny Clark, Leapin’ and Lopin’, Blue Note 4091. This was an original New York USA mono pressing. It was listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $908.76. We don’t recall ever seeing this record sell for more, but Popiske has a record of a copy selling for $1,144 in 2014. Wow. I guess it won’t be long before copies of this record will eventually be regulars in the $1,000 bin. First the ones in M- condition, then, over time, those in not-so-mint condition, if past patterns continue to hold forth in the future.
Perhaps this next one is also destined for the $1,000 bin. It keeps getting closer:
I was off eBay for a few days and missed a few big-ticket items, starting with Cliff Jordan and Jon Gilmore, Blowing in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This was an original pressing with the New York 23 logo. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+ with some water stains on the back. The final price was $2,200, the first time to my recollection that this record has ended up in the $2,000 bin. I still don’t own an original pressing of this record and it seems pretty obvious (to me at least) that I won’t be buying one on eBay. This one falls into the same category: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $2,750, not too bad for a seller with only 98% positive feedback.
I’d like to follow up on some of the auctions we’ve been watching, starting with this one, which I still find kind of strange: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, A Night in Tunisia, Vik 1115. This was an original pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and the cover. I’ve never really covered it before as a collectible, but now I will, at least based on the final price tag, which was $324.45. I had promised to listen to a copy, but I realized my body is in the city and my record is in the country. Given the era, the personnel and the repertoire I’m sure it’s a great record. And, of course, there is the only recording in history of the infamous Ferris Benda, aka Jackie McLean.
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.