I’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.
Once 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?
Sorry 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.
It 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:
Sorry. 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.
Let’s start the day with one of the rarest of the rare, although as rare as it may be, copies seem to be up on eBay quite often: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address and, for those who really care, the New York 23 label on one side. This copy is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover, although based on the pictures the cover may be more in the VG+ range with some damage on the back. The seller is not an eBay regular and has only 11 feedbacks. This one closes Saturday night and is currently in the $2,000 range.
While we’re on Mobley, there is also: Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This is an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, Van Gelder, ear, etc. This one is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price is $1,250, but so far there are no bidders. This seller has three other records on eBay now, all with starting prices of more than $1,000, all with zero bids as of now. One more, for the record: Bill Evans, Waltz For Debby, Riverside RS 9399. This is an original black label stereo pressing. It is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The start price is $1,100.
Just catching up on my eBay watch list and thought I’d share some items of interest that are still lingering from the past couple of weeks. Not to overly beat an already beaten dead horse, but this one is still in my queue from the Dr. Herb Wong auctions by the seller funkyousounds: Nina Simone, I Put a Spell on You, Philips 600-172. This was a stereo promo pressing in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $530, which was a shocker to me. I took a look at Popsike to get comparables and was surprised to see that this record had sold for $150 to $200 in the past. I didn’t ever think of it as a collectible, but I guess these days I’ll have to readjust because the market seems to be changing before our very eyes. Still, $530 was quite a leap from the previous top price for this record.
Actually, I don’t even celebrate Christmas, but that’s quite beside the point, isn’t it? I spent a couple of hours today just looking at my records and going through the shelves, one by one. It’s a pretty damn good collection, I must say. Although it is not complete. Not even close. So, when I do look at the collection, what’s missing. Or, more to the point, if I were to make a Christmas Wish List, what would I put on it? Here we go, all original pressings, of course.
1. Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. Yes, I’ve been searching for this record for years, and yes, I could just pay the price and buy a copy on eBay. But that takes out all of the fun. Now, if The Lovely Mrs. JC would be interested in a gift for my upcoming birthday, I wouldn’t complain about that at all, no matter what the price.
2. Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. No the list will not be all Blue Notes, but it could be if I wanted to go there. This happens to be another favorite. I’ve owned a Japanese pressing for years. Two, in fact. But an original on my shelf would be quite appealing.
3. Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. No I don’t have it. If I did, whenever someone would ask me what’s the most valuable record in your collection, I could point to that. Right now, when someone asks, I don’t know exactly what to say. The music is pretty good too, no?
Catching up on some jazz vinyl from eBay, staring with Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was a West 63rd Street pressing without the New York 23. It had the deep grooves, ear and other hallmarks of a first pressing, or second depending upon your interpretation. The record was in VG+ condition and the cover looked to be about VG. The final price was $2,575. This seems to be one of those records that has taken on mythic proportions in the collectibles market. Who would have thought even a few years ago that VG+/VG would translate into a value of more than $2,500? A few years from now I would expect the value to be even higher. Speaking of Blue Notes in less than stellar condition:
Does a listing like this one tempt you: Collection of 40 RARE Original Jazz Albums LP’s All on the Blue Note Label? The seller states clearly that the records are all in VG condition or below. He also shows pictures with a lot of damaged covers. Yet . . . I see that picture of Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet and Sextet, Blue Note 1537, and I think: Maybe it’s not that bad, maybe if I clean up the record, it would play nicely on my turntable and sit nicely on my shelf. There are also some other nice potentialities in the listing, such as Hank Mobley Roll Call, Whims of Chambers, Bass on Top, and a bunch of Blakeys, among others. There’s also a lot of junk. Anyway, my answer to the question is “Yes I am tempted.” At what price? That remains to be seen. So far the bidding is at $743.