Let’s catch up on some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with a dash of pepper: Art Pepper Quintet, Discovery 3023. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in M- condition for the record and probably about VG+ for the cover. The final price was $481. This is not one that comes up when you think about rare records but, honestly, I can’t recall the last time I saw a copy of this on eBay. I had a copy once. It had a scratch that caused several skips. I had a friend who was a Pepper fan and he offered me $50 for it. I think he wanted the cover and probably to listen to the side without the scratch. And then we are back in the nearly $3,000 bin with Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The final price was $2,700. This was the same record that ostensibly sold for more than $3,500 last week but something must have gone wrong and it was back on eBay. Perhaps the first buyer missed the line about superficial hairlines, which may take it out of the M- category.
Here’s a record that has always intrigued me but I have never owned: Billie Holiday and Stan Getz, Billie and Stan, Dale 25. This was an original 10-inch pressing. It looked to be in VG+ condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. It sold for $317.99. I know very little about Dale records. I have a couple of 10-inch LPs, but I can’t think of a 12-inch LP. Based on the description of this record, it seems like it may have been a bootleg label. This was recorded from a radio broadcast from Storyville all the way back in 1951. I’ve never heard the record, and I’ve only seen it a couple of times, always at a price beyond my sensibilities. And, yes, $317.99 is still beyond my sensibilities.
Two readers separately sent me the link to this, which is listed as: Sun Ra Outtakes 1957 Acetate LP Unreleased Transition. This looks to be the real deal, music that was never issued from Sun Ra’s Transition sessions, as well as sessions featuring Dave Coleman, Joe Gordon and Roy Haynes. If you’re interested, you should read the entire listing for more details. The item is listed in VG condition and there are audio clips accompanying the listing as well. It is available at a buy-it-now price of $6,500 or you can make a best offer. As you all know this is not my area of interest/expertise, so if anyone would like to weigh in on this, please be our guest.
Sorry for the long, unexpected delay between my posts, and thanks to Clifford for jumping in. While I’ve been missing . . . . One of our readers sent me a link to Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, Van Gelder, etc. The record was VG+, the cover was VG++, the final price was $565.55 This is a pretty good price for this record and under some circumstances a price I might consider, although, in the end, I tend to wait. My feeling is I do have a Japanese copy of Shades of Redd, so if ever I want to listen to it, I have it. And I do believe that somehow, someday, I will find an original pressing at a price that does not offend my sensibilities. That’s just my approach to collecting, and it’s served me pretty well through the years although, to be honest, I’ve been looking for an original copy of Shades of Redd for at least 40 years and haven’t found one yet. I do also tremendously appreciate it when our Jazz Collector readers point me to records that they know are on my want list, so don’t hesitate to drop me a note.
I’ve been off eBay for a few days recovering from my Bronx adventure, so today I will go back to my watch list and take inventory of what I have missed, starting with The Amazing Bud Powell Volume 2, Blue Note 5041. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in near mint condition for the record and probably M- or VG++++ for the cover. It had a start price of $595 and did not get any bids. On the one hand I’m surprised because you just don’t find many 10-inch Blue Notes in this kind of condition. And this is a great record, with a great cover. On the other hand, $600 is still a lot of money.
Everybody’s favorite, bobdjukic, was back with some auctions and, as usual, some hyperbole. This was a highlight from Ella Fitzgerald, and I will give the full title because it is quite a weird mouthful: Miss Ella Fitzgerald and Mr. Gordon Jenkins (with His Orchestra and Chorus) Invite You to Listen and Relax, Decca 8696. According to the listing this is “Easily and By Far Ella Fitzgerald’s Rarest Studio Album in Existence!” I love that stuff, and then it gets topped off with the old standby “ultra-rare.” Somehow this stuff actually works. The record and cover were graded VG++, although the description makes it clear that VG++ for the cover is a wild stretch, since there is actually a partial seam split. Anyway, some how, some way, someone bid $259 for this record. I think I got my copy, in better condition, for $5 at a record show, which was not far from the going rate a few years back. Read more
So, back in the Bronx, I had a pile of about 50 records. Of the records in that pile there were probably about 10 that I really wanted. But I sensed that the woman wanted to get rid of records and taking more seemed like the right approach. So I made an offer that I thought was fair, considering the condition of the records and the reality that many of the records in the pile were relatively worthless. The offer came out of my mouth and the words were still just hanging in the air when I could see the woman physically recoil as if she had just swallowed a platter full of insects. She repeated the number I had just said and gasped: “The Jackie McLean record alone is worth more than that!” Which, to be fair, would have been true if the Jackie McLean record was in excellent condition. But it wasn’t. Then she started going through a list that she had compiled with values for some of the key records. But there was clearly a disconnect. All of the values she had compiled were for records in M- condition. The records in the pile were not in M- condition. None of them.
OK, I have another story. This one starts, as usual, with an e-mail. The first e-mail came back in April 2015. I replied, but nothing ever came of it. Then, just a few weeks ago, there was another e-mail from the same person, totally of the blue. This was the text, verbatim:
“Top jazz artist’s
Cotrane , gerald wilson ,st you’d, ray brown, jimmy smith, felonious monk, Eddie Harris , carmen macrae, jazz laboratorylaboratory, gene Simmons, Dexter gordon , stan gets ext.
Give me good price I’ll sell.
‘Miles Davis,chico hamilton about 80 or more.”
I wrote back, asking for more detail and perhaps some pictures. The first photo came back and it didn’t show much at all. No valuable Coltrane, Stan Gets, or Felonious Monk in the picture. Instead there were a lot of records by Gloria Lynne. I wrote back asking for more details and pictures of the Coltrane or Dexter Gordon or Miles Davis. A few more pictures came back. This was the first one:
Obviously, my correspondent had done a little homework between the first few emails and this one. So, of course it is Jackie McLean, The New Tradition on Ad Lib, and yes my interest was piqued. Who would have thought, one of the rarest of the rare jazz LPs among a collection previously highlighted by titles such as Gloria Lynne Intimate Moments and Miss Lorraine Ellison Heart And Soul?
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?
Our friends at the Jazz Record Center had an auction close yesterday and here are some of the items of interest, starting with Gigi Gryce, The Hap’nin’s, New Jazz 8246. This was an original pressing with the purple labels and deep grooves. The record looked to be in M- condition and the cover was probably around VG+. The final price was $338.
Sonny Clark, Leapin’ and Lopin’, Blue Note 4091. This one does not look to be a first pressing, since they don’t call it a first pressing and don’t mention the ear. It looks to be really clean in M- condition for the record and the cover. And it is a mono pressing. The price was $212.50.
Speaking of Sonny Clark, there was also:
We’re going to ask our European readers about this one: Thelonious Monk, Piano Solo, Swing 33.342. This is a 10-inch LP that I think is an original French pressing. I’m not sure if it’s a re-issue of Blue Note tracks. I’m not sure of much about it at all, in fact. When I did a Google search, the previous mentions that came up were from postings here at Jazz Collector, showing that the record has sold for more than $500 in the past. This one is listed at M- condition for the record and Ex+ for the cover and is now in the $150 price range with just a few hours left in the auction. Anyone doing a search for this record may be stymied because the seller didn’t realize that the label is “Swing” and not “Wing.” Any background on this rare record would be most appreciated. Awesome cover, by the way.
Meanwhile there are always Blue Notes and more Blue Notes:
Here’s an interesting one: Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This looks to be an original pressing. The seller says it is in VG+ condition, but he also mentions that it has “many light scratches and marks.” What’s interesting is that the seller states the cover has been “restored” by a company called Fourth Cone Restoration in Los Angeles. This is the first time I’ve ever encountered a jazz record that had been professionally restored, as if it were a rare painting. Given the value of some of these records, it’s really not a bad idea, is it? I’d love to somehow see the before and after, but, alas, I can’t see me bidding on this record, even though I don’t own an original pressing. The “many light scratches and marks” has danger written all over it. The start price for this record is in the $500 range and so far there are no bidders. One other point: The seller calls this a 1951 pressing. Is that possibly true? I didn’t think they were making 12-inch vinyl in 1951, except for that one Bird promotional record on Dial.
While we’re on the subject . . . . Read more