I was watching a recent auction on eBay from the Jazz Record Center focused on books, magazines, programs and other ephemera. I was curious because I have amassed a large collection of this type of stuff over the years, including duplicates, and I’m thinking about scaling back what I have, including the idea of adding a storefront to the Jazz Collector site. Just thinking about it at this stage, and I am not always the best at turning thoughts into action, so don’t anyone get too excited. Anyway, one of the items that caught my eye was this book: Four Lives in the BeBop Business, by A.B. Spellman. This was a first edition and the Jazz Record Center put a start price of $65 on it. And I was thinking, I have a copy of this and if someone offered me $65 I’m pretty sure I would sell it. But there were no bids on this item, so I have no idea at this point what the real market value would be.
Here’s a few items from the Jazz Collector in box, starting with a note from our friend CeeDee, who is commenting that “it looks like the cost of some Liberty pressing Blue Notes are approaching the price of the originals,” with a bunch of links, including Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights, Blue Note 1597. Not only is this a Liberty pressing, the cover, with the Andy Warhol illustration, is only on VG condition. This one sold for $255, which is quite a change in the market over the past few years. The other big change in the market is the tremendous spike in prices of the United Artists Blue Notes, which were 1980s reissues for the Japanese market. Unfortunately, I sold a lot of my Liberty and United Artists pressings a few years ago on eBay, generally for $10 or $20 apiece, which was the going rate at the time. Fortunately, however, the reason I sold those pressings was because I was able to obtain copies of the originals and these were just duplicates.
Let’s catch up on some completed and upcoming auctions of rare jazz vinyl on eBay, starting with Dizzy Reece, Blues in Trinity, Blue Note 4006. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing in VG++ condition for the record and VG+. When we first started watching this record it was in the $125 price range but was seeing a lot of activity. We speculated that it may approach the $1,000 bin and it wound up selling for $906.80. This one, Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590, was in the $925 range when we first spotted it and, based on the seller and condition — M- for the record and cover — we speculated that it was destined for the $2,000, but it came up just short, selling for $1,807. Finally, there was Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This looked like an original pressing with the one sided deep groove, although there was some dispute about that among the commenters. I guess the pictures weren’t clear. It was a relatively new seller and the record and cover looked to be in M- condition. But the start price was quite high at $3,000 and there were no bids, so perhaps we will see this back on eBay with a lower price tag.
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:
The Jazz Record Center had an auction last week and I was keeping tabs on a few of their records, including: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original pressing with a weird variation: Both sides had he same label (Side 2). To me that would diminish the value, not sure why because the music is the same, but it just would. This one looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The final price was $2,500, so perhaps the label aberration effected the price, since we’ve often seen this record sell for more than $3,000 and occasionally more than $5,000. It used to be that the Jazz Record Center would get a premium on its records because of it’s reputation, but I find that is no longer the case. I had thought, perhaps, it was because they didn’t take Pay Pal, but now I notice that they do take Pay Pal. The action also included a bunch of 10-inch Blue Notes, which I love, including:
Here’s a nice one for a rainy Tuesday here in The Berkshires: Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban Blue Note 5065. This is an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Not to hype things for the seller, but how many M- copies of this record do you think there are, anywhere in the world? Could there be 100, 200? Doubtful it would be more than that. I have a copy, but the condition is VG for the vinyl, and I was happy to get it for about $35 maybe 25 years ago in a store in Los Angeles.
Charles Mingus, Pithecanthropus Erectus, Atlantic 1237. This was an original black label pressing in VG condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $150, somewhat surprising given the condition. Interesting seller who seems to be selling all kinds of stuff all the time, nearly 110,000 feedbacks. He had a couple of other items I had spotted, but when I went back to search I didn’t have time to go through the various Judge Dredd bikes or Predator wolf masks to find a stray Mingus or two.
I didn’t think this one was a collectible, but there it is being auctioned by the Jazz Record Center with a start price of $100, so it must have collectible value to someone somewhere: Boppin’ With the Chet Baker Quintet, Prestige 7512. This is a stereo pressing with the purple label. I can’t recall any purple label Prestige selling for $100 or more, so I am somewhat surprised to see this one here. We’ll see what happens. On a side note, I saw the Chet Baker bio-pic the other day, Born to Be Blue. Very good film, well done, with a nice performance by Ethan Hawke as Chet. I also saw the Nina Simone bio-pic, Nina, with Zoe Saldana in the title role. There was a lot of controversy about this one because they chose a very light-skinned actress with very white features to play Simone. Anyway, I can’t believe I made it through the whole movie. It was so bad. Don’t bother. And, if you’re a Simone fan, REALLY don’t bother. It will just make you angry. I just noticed that the new Miles Davis bio-pic, Miles Ahead, with Don Cheadle as Miles, is playing up here in The Berkshires this weekend, so that may be next on my agenda.
I don’t want to interrupt the discussion on the previous post, so please keep it going. With all of the action the past few days, we’ve reached somewhat of a milestone here at Jazz Collector. According to the statistics compiled by WordPress, yesterday we went over 2 million page views since we began tracking such things back in the fall of 2008. Our first month we had 296 page views and last month we had about 40,000.We are now averaging more than 1,350 page views every day. In all we’ve had 1,557 total posts, of which I have written all but seven (although, to be fair, we’ve had several guest columns in which I have been the poster, but it’s been someone else’s words). Anyway, I feel pretty good about all this, how we’ve been able to build the community organically all these years and how we’ve been able to keep the site independent and fun and still just a hobby. No plans for any major changes from my end.
Now, back to jazz vinyl. I see that our friends at the Jazz Record Center have a new auction with a few nice items, including: