Lots of heavy hitters on eBay this week, including a high-end Blue Note auction from the Jazz Record Center that includes this beauty: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is an original original pressing, meaning side two has the New York 23 address, which makes it the one most prized by the most avid collectors. The record is probably in VG+++ condition and the cover looks to be M-. The auction closes tomorrow and the bidding is now in the $4,000 range with 18 bids and eight bidders. Anyone want to take a guess on the final price for this baby? We’ve seen $9,000 in the past, but my memory is that was not a legitimate bid or sale. I’m guessing this one sells for somewhere in the $6,000 range. Here are a couple more from the same auction:
We were watching a bunch of items from the Jazz Record Center auction that closed yesterday and here are some of the results, staring with Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore, Blowing in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This was an original pressing. It was probably in VG++ condition for the record. The JRC doesn’t use our normal grades, just a description. This one had a single mark that is audible seven times. I know that precludes it from M-. Does it preclude it from VG++? Otherwise, the record sounds immaculate. The cover was probably VG+ or VG++, depending upon how you feel about a “professionally repaired” spine and bottom seam. Also, the picture looks more VG+ to me than VG++. The final price was $1,247. My sense is that a different seller would have been less meticulous in his description and received a higher price. In any case, I still don’t own an original copy of this record for any of you out there who may be interested in a trade.
Our friends at the Jazz Record Center have a very nice auction underway now, including: Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031. This looks to be an original West 63rd Street pressing, probably in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the $700 range as I type this, and I would expect the final price to be quite a bit higher, much closer to the $2,000 bin. This is a record that I never owned in original condition until i was fortunate enough to get a copy in the Bruce M. West Baltimore collection four years ago (has it really been four years?). Anyway, like a lot of the records in that collection, I put them on the shelves and promised myself I would get around to listening to them one day. And, a few nights ago, I finally kept my promise with Hank Mobley Soul Station. And it was quite a revelation. Read more
Since I was away for so long, I’d like to catch up on some jazz vinyl auctions I missed, starting with a few from our friends at the Jazz Record Center. Let’s start with John Jenkins with Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1573. This was an original pressing that looked to be in M- pristine condition. The final price was $1,382. This may sound weird, but that price seems a little low to me, considering the condition and the reputation of the seller. Just did a quick check over at Popsike and, indeed, this record has sold for more than $2,000 in the past. I have no theories to offer on this, particularly now that the Jazz Record Center accepts Pay Pal, but the market is the market and it often simple reflects who is bidding against whom at that particular time.
When I’m not posting frequently enough I can always count on our friend CeeDee to gently prod me with a list of auctions he’s been tracking. Now I know how infrequently I’ve been posting, since the latest missive from CeeDee is replete with TEN listings, so let’s look at some of the highlights, starting with Bill Evans, Portrait in Jazz, Riverside 315. This record sold for $767, and CeeDee expresses surprise that a later pressing would attract such a high price. I agree, but I can’t determine from the listing that this is, in fact, a later pressing. The seller describes it as an original U.S. pressing, with an M- record and Ex cover. It isn’t fully clear to me what the pictures entail, since the first picture is described as a stock photo “for illustration purposes only.” Anyway, I’m probably being obtuse today so if anyone (CeeDee?) can clear things up, I would greatly appreciate it.
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.