Back In Business: Bird, Blue Notes and More

birdI 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.

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And Another Rare Jazz Vinyl Quartet

tadd-dameronAnyway. 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.

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Of Blue Notes, Later Pressings and Big Bucks

cool-struttin-jazz-vinylOne 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

A Prestige Pair; a Bird Autograph?????!!!!!!!!!

clifford-brown-jazz-vinylWe’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.

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Trane, Pepper, Hank and Ike: Another Day on eBay

A Love Supreme Jazz VinylThese 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.

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Watching a Pair of Heavy Hitters

Jackie McLean Rare Jazz VinylI’m back on eBay and have a couple of heavy hitters on my watch list, starting with Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swinging’, Blue Note 4024. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The seller has a start price of about $700. There are more than three days left on the auction and so far there are no bidders. I’m pretty sure this one will sell and perhaps even break into the $1,000 bin. I love this record. It’s a bit of an aberration for Blue Notes of the era because it is mostly standards and just one original. Not sure what Jackie was thinking at the time because none of his subsequent Blue Notes followed the same pattern. Maybe he just needed the cash? In any case, a great album, and one that I’ve never been able to acquire in this kind of condition. My own copy is kind of VG or VG+ and I’d love to upgrade. Someday, maybe, but not this week.

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What Happens? Records Sell for High Prices

Art Farmer Jazz VinylOnce again we find another record that is unfamiliar to us, this one sent in courtesy of our friend CeeDee: Art Farmer and Phil Woods, What Happens?, Campi SJG 12001. This was an original Italian promo pressing from 1969.  It was listed in M- condition for the record and  VG++ for the cover. It sold for $355. I did a quick search to learn more about the record but pretty much came up empty. That’s why it’s nice to have the Jazz Collector community weigh in with our collective knowledge. So, friends, what’s the story behind this record and the label?

I think a lot of us had our eye on this one: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was an original original pressing, with the New York 23 on one side. The record and cover were both listed in VG+ condition. The final price was $3,998. There were 11 bidders. Given the rarity of this record, the price of nearly $4,000 seems to be market-appropriate, even with the VG+ condition. Based on the description, I’m sure the buyer is expecting this to be somewhat under-graded, particularly since there can be such a wide span within the VG+ category, don’t you think?

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Checking Out Some Classic Jazz Vinyl

Sonny Rollins Jazz VinylSorry for another long delay between posts. I have been watching eBay, and here are some of the jazz records that have caught my eye, starting with Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This is an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. As most of you know, I’ve been collecting jazz records for more than 45 years and Rollins has always been one of my heroes. I’ve had a complete collection of Rollins originals for many years, with this one record as the exception. Somehow in all of these years, perusing all of these record stores, buying all of these collections, Sonny Rollins Plays on Period has eluded me and left a gap in my collection. I realize I can fill this gap through eBay, but I choose not to, at least for now. This copy is priced at $500 already and there is a bidder. I’ll keep looking for a copy that is priced closer to what my sensibilities will allow. It’s not the money, as per my usual, it’s the principle.

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A New One (to Me), and An Old One With a $5,000 Tag

Joe Pass Jazz VinylIt is always a great pleasure, and often a great surprise, to come upon an album that is completely new to us. After all, we’ve been collecting jazz for more than 45 years, so you’d think there would be no surprises left. Well here’s one: Joe Pass, Better Days, Gwyn Records 1001. This is a stereo pressing from 1971 and I had never seen it, never heard of it and never heard of Gwyn Records. Fortunately, there is Google, and this post from Carol Kaye, the great Los Angeles-based studio bassist who was part of the group of musicians that came to be known as The Wrecking Crew. Apparently it was Kaye herself who conceived of the album and produced it. I’ve never seen it or hear of it, although, to be fair, I am not a collector of Joe Pass records on any level. This one is listed in Ex+ condition for the record and Ex for the cover. The price is in the range of $275 with about a day and a half left on the auction as of this writing.

There’s always a lot of debate around here on the value of having reserve prices versus just starting an auction with your lowest acceptable price, or some reasonable facsimile. So here’s one that caught my eye:

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Prestiges, a Blue Note, Baltimore Nostalgia

Jackie's Pal copySorry. I haven’t been on eBay in so long all of the auctions I was watching have already ended. Good thing I wasn’t looking to buy anything. Here are a few to share: Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This was an original pressing with the yellow labels and New York address. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was VG. You can see cover wear in the picture. The record sold for $295, which still seems pretty low to me in spite of the cover. If I didn’t have a copy, I’d probably take it for that price. Of course, I do have a mint copy now, courtesy of my excursion to Baltimore two-and-a-half years years ago. There was also this one from Jackie: Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $1,125. I wish this one had been in the Baltimore collection, but, alas, my own copy is not an original and it is not in great shape. Not that I would spend $1,125 to replace it.

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