Is it just me, or is there a softness in the market these days? To expedite my posting I sometimes do a search of jazz records for sale filtered through the highest prices first. There are often $1,000 records and many in the $500-plus category. Lately, however, the searches in that range have been coming up short. Are prices relatively flat at this point or is there just less good stuff on eBay now? These things go in cycles so I wouldn’t put any meaning into it either way. In the meantime, here are some of the rare jazz records that came up on my latest search.
Red Rodney, Signal 1206. This is an interesting one because of the condition. There’s a nice clear picture of the cover, which may give the impression that the cover is in nice condition. However if you look closely and read the description, the cover is in only G condition. And the vinyl is only VG. Despite the condition issues, however, the bidding is already more than $400. I guess this LP is in greater demand than I would have realized.
This is another one that’s getting up there in price, somewhat to my surprise: Booker Little, Time 52011. This is an original mono pressing with the deep grooves and gatefold cover. The record is in M- condition and the cover is VG+. The bidding has already topped $250 and the auction closes later today. Perhaps my previous comment about a soft market was premature.
Aug 31, 2012 Blue Note
These closed yesterday: Sabu, Palo Congo, Blue Note 1561. I must admit, this is one I’ve never owned in any form, so 1561 has always been a blank in my Blue Note Collection. How is this record? Is it worth a listen? This one was in VG++ condition for the record and VG for the cover. It sold for $811. This one didn’t look quite right to me: Sonny Rollins, Volume 1, Blue Note 1542. It was listed as an original pressing, although it was a West 63rd Street pressing, so it wasn’t quite an original as we define it here. And it looked like the wrong cover for an original. The start price was about $300 and there were no bidders, which seems appropriate.
This one also has no bids and is closing in just a few hours: Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597. This is an original pressing with the Andy Warhol cover. The record is listed in VG condition with “quite a few surface scratches.” The cover is listed as VG++. The start price is around $200, which is pretty tempting if the cover is, indeed, really VG++.
Here’s another temptation:
Very busy with real work this week, but there’s always time to take a look at eBay for interesting jazz vinyl. Here’s some of the records we’re watching, starting with: Introducing Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1523. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in VG+ condition,. The start price is around $250 and so far there are no bidders. You’d think there would be bidding for an original Lexington Avenue pressing at $250: Perhaps it’s condition. The seller mentions “minimal light surface noise” and states “No Skips!” with an exclamation point. I think it’s the NO SKIPS PLUS EXCLAMATION POINT that would have me worried as a bidder. The least you’d expect out of a VG+ record is no skips, right? This one is from the same seller, also has the NO SKIPS! in the listing and also has no bidders: Freddie Hubbard, Open Sesame, Blue Note 4040. This one is listed as VG+++ condition for the vinyl and G for the cover. The start price is around $650.
Atomic Records has some nice vinyl on eBay this week, including:
Jun 28, 2012 Prestige
Jackie McLean, Lights Out, Prestige 7035. This is from the same seller that is selling the Mobley, which is now approaching $3,500 and still hasn’t met the reserve price. The Jackie record looks to be in what I would call VG++ condition for the vinyl and VG+ for the cover. It is an original pressing with the yellow label and New York address. The record is in the $400 price range and has already passed its reserve.
Doug Watkins, Soulnik, Prestige/New Jazz 8238. This looks to be an original purple label pressing with the deep grooves. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is VG++, with a Preview Copy stamp on the back. The start price for this one is around $150 and so far there are no bidders.
John Coltrane, Cattin’ With Paul Quinichette, Prestige 7158. This is an original yellow label pressing with the deep grooves and it is in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is around $300 with no bidders. The seller may be stretching a bit with that start price, but then again . . . . .
When I slipped off the face of the Jazz Collector earth last week there was a pending auction I was watching from the Jazz Record Center. So, just to complete my updating process, here are some of the jazz records from that auction:
Man, some of the Eric Dolphy records are going for big bucks. The latest example: Eric Dolphy in Europe Volume 1, Prestige 7304. This was an original pressing with the yellow label — near the end of the cycle for yellow-label Prestiges. The cover was in the original shrink wrap and both record and cover were in M- condition. this one sold for $565.55.
Bill Evans, Interplay, Riverside 9445. This was an original stereo pressing with the black labels. The record and cover were in M- condition. The price was $191.38.
Here were a couple of Candids: Charles Mingus, Mingus, Candid 8021. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves and it was in great condition, M- all the. It also had a promo stamp. Nice cover, right? Also features Eric Dolphy and Booker Ervin. You’d think it would be worth more than $115.50 but, alas, that was the sale price. Charles Mingus (et al), Newport Rebels, Candid 8022. This too was an original deep groove mono pressing in M- condition. It sold for $113.50.
Funny that I did the post yesterday about non-Blue Note jazz vinyl and then noticed an e-mail from the Jazz Record Center with an auction consisting of non-Blue Note jazz vinyl. And then CeeDee sent me a separate note about a New Jazz Eric Dolphy LP fetching quite a high price. To wit:
Eric Dolphy at the Five Spot Volume 1, New Jazz 8260. This was an original purple label pressing with the deep grooves. The record was only VG+ condition and the cover was M-. The price was $887. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $900 previously in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, so it’s not unprecedented. But VG+ vinyl? Per CeeDee: New JAzz — the new Blue Note?
Some of the Jazz Record Center items: Bill Evans, Interplay, Riverside 9445. This is an original stereo pressing with the black label. It looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is $100 and there is already a bidder so it will sell. Charles Mingus (et al), Newport Rebels, Candid 8022. This is an original mono pressing that looks to be in M- condition all around. The start price is $75 and so far there are no bidders. I always thought this would be a record more prized by collectors, given the additional presence of Kenny Dorham and Eric Dolphy, among others, and also the unusual circumstances that led to the recording. But, it doesn’t usually get top dollar. This is another one I have to put on the turntable again, since I haven’t listened to it in years.
Gigi Gryce and the Jazz Lab Quintet, Riverside 229. This is an original white pressing that is in what looks like M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. I’ve had this record for about 25 years and it’s always had a prominent place in my collection, but I can’t recall listening to it more than once, probably 25 years ago. I know one of our readers had commented earlier that it wasn’t all that great. Perhaps today is the day to finally put it on the turntable and judge for myself. It’s not just me, right? We all have nice collectible records that we’ve either never listened to or listened to just once? This one closes in a few hours and is in the $350 price range.
Dizzy Reece, Star Bright, Blue Note 4023. This looks to be an original deep groove pressing with the West 63rd Street address. The seller has created his own grading schema. If I were to judge the descriptions based on the grading system used by most of us, and certainly used by us here at Jazz Collector, I would guess that this one is in VG+ condition. It closes in a couple of days and is already at around $400.
Here’s a seller offering some nice 10-inch LPs, including:
Time to update the $1,000 bin and there is quite a lot to update, not counting some of the ones we’ve watched recently, such as the Hank Mobley 1568 and others from the recent Jazz Record Center auction. Here goes:
Paul Gonsalves, Boom-Jackie-Boom-Chick, Vocalion 587. This was an original British pressing that looks to be in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,593.88.
Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address and it was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $1,578.99.
This was a surprise to sell for such a high price tag: Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Blue Note 1526. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the framed cover. It was in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. It sold for $1,567.
Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This was an original pressing. The cover was VG+, but the record was in VG or worse condition, based on the seller’s description. It sold for $1,376.11.
Finally, here’s one we meant to include from the Jazz Record Center auction because it was actually in the $3,000 bin:
Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was an original pressing of one of the rarest and most valuable of all jazz records and it was sold by the most reputable of all jazz sellers, the Jazz Record Center in New York. The record was in M- condition and the cover looked like VG++. We’ve seen this record sell for more than $5,000 in the past on the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Not this time. This one sold for a mere $3,362.
Presenting Ernie Henry, Riverside 222. This was also from the Jazz Record Center and it was an original white label pressing that looked to be in quite lovely condition, M- for both the record and the cover. This one sold for $510. Great cover, isn’t it? Perfection, really, with the great picture and his eyes closed and the scripted typeface with the finger pointing to Ernie. Love it. Great record too.
This seller had a few interesting records from the Prestige New Jazz label, including:
Coleman Hawkins, The Hawk Flies High, Riverside 233. From my experience, we don’t see too many Coleman Hawkins records garnering collectible prices these days. We only have a few mentions of Hawk in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. So I was surprised to see that the bidding for this record had already surpassed $150, closing later today. I was surprised again to see that the record was not an original pressing — it has the blue label as opposed to the white label. It is in nice condition, however, M- for the cover and the record.
This record was closing just as I was perusing, not that I would have bid on it: Charlie Mariano With His Jazz Group, Imperial 3006. This was an original 10-inch pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It was sitting at $95 with three minutes left and wound up selling for $180. It also had more than 150 page views, which surprised me. Glad that people are still interested in 10-inch Charlie Mariano records.
Here’s one that will sell for quite a lot of money this week: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is an original original pressing and it is being offered by the Jazz Record Center, which describes it as a “the original hybrid deep-groove RVG-stamped ‘P’ pressing.” This is a lot to take in, but the key word is original. The record looks to be in M- condition and the cover probably around VG+. There are close to three days left in the auction and the bidding is in the range of $1,125. It will continue to rise. We’ve seen this record sell for as much as $5,600 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, the highest price we’ve ever recorded for any single record.
What are some of the other items we’re watching from the Jazz Record Center auction. Glad you asked:
Chet Baker Quartet, Jazz at Ann Arbor, Pacific Jazz 1203. This was an original pressing with a Chet Baker autograph on the cover, signed and dated from 1973. The record looked to be in M- condition and the cover was probably VG+. The price was $461.
There were several LPs autographed by Miles Davis in the auction, including: Miles Davis, In Person, Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, Columbia 8470. This was an original stereo pressing with the six-eye logo and it was in M- condition all around: In fact, it was described as being in “amazing” condition. It was signed on the back by Miles in red ink. It sold for $566. Also, Miles Davis, Bags Groove, Prestige 7109. This was a later pressing with the blue labels. This one was signed not just by Miles, but by Sonny Rollins as well. It looked to be in VG++ or M- condition and it sold for $195.50. If I had this cover, I’d get rid of the blue-label record and replace it with one with yellow labels, even a New Jersey yellow label. It would just feel better to look at the cover knowing there was a yellow-label pressing inside. Just part of my own insanity, I guess.
Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This looked to be an original pressing with the deep grooves and New York address on the label. It’s always nice to see more pictures, but this one looked legitimate. The record and cover were both listed in M- condition and the bidding ended at $1,027.99.
Here’s a random rare remnant from the insanely rare offerings of bobdjukic: Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This looked to be an original pressing. The condition was probably in the range of VG++ for the record and the cover. The price was $798.77.
Tommy Flanagan, The Cats, New Jazz 8217. This looks like an original pressing with the purple labels and the deep grooves. The record, of course, features John Coltrane as a sideman. The record and cover were both listed in VG+ condition and the price was $381.20.
Slow time on eBay this week for collectible jazz vinyl. To save time, rather than going through all the listings I’ll often do searches of Blue Notes or high-priced records or other filters to find the items most interesting to the Jazz Collector audience. Using those same filters I always use, hardly anything too exciting or expensive came up for this entire week. Perhaps its a hangover from the bobdjukic auction that seems to have everyone so enthralled. Having said that, there are always items of interest to watch, bid on, envy or all of the above.
Horace Silver, Six Pieces of Silver, Blue Note 1539. This one has the West 63rd Street address which makes it a second pressing, or at least not a first pressing. The record is in VG++ condition and the cover is VG. What makes it interesting is that it is signed by Horace Silver. What’s that worth? We’ll see. So far there are no bidders with a start price around $200.
Here’s a reason to read auctions carefully: Ben Webster Soulville, Verve 8274. This is advertised as an original pressing when it clearly is not. This has the MGM label while an original has the trumpeter label. Nonetheless there is a bid of about $80 on this records. The seller has minimal feedback. Not a good way to get started on eBay.
Apr 2, 2012 Blue Note
Here’s an update on some jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with: J.R. Monterose in Action, Studio 4 SS 100. This looked to be an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. This auction is saying that there were 250 copies of this record printed, although for some reason I recall an earlier posting with a 500 number. Regardless of 250 copies or 500 copies, there aren’t that many to be had, so this record often winds up in the $2,000 bin these days, as has this copy, logging in at a cool $2,215.
This is one I missed from the bobdjukic auction: Herbie Hancock, Maiden Voyage, Blue Note 4195. This looked to be an original pressing with the ear, NY USA address and RVG stamp. It was described as “monstrously” rare because it was a mono pressing. Anyway, I’m pointing it out because of the price, which was $821.21, way more than we’ve ever seen for this record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. In fact, more than double the previous high. And you seem to want me to include these aberrations in the Price Guide? I guess I will, even though I don’t necessarily agree.
At some point soon I will be updating the Jazz Collector Price Guide. My inclination is to not include some of the recent sales we’ve been watching here, such as Getz/Gilberto and Miles Davis Four and More since they are clearly aberrations and not indicative of the overall market. I think they would tend to give people false expectations as to real market value. What do you think?
In the meanwhile, here are some other jazz vinyl auctions we are watching on eBay.
Hank Mobley, Mobley’s Message, Prestige 7061. This is an original yellow-label pressing with the New York address. The record and cover are both listed in M- condition. The price is $165.50 and there are more than two days left in the auction. Tempting, although I have a feeling the bidding will definitely surpass the $600-$700 range and perhaps slide into the $1,000 bin. All of which would put it out of reach for me.
Louis Smith, Smithville, Blue Note 1594. This is also an original pressing. The cover
Many of you in the Jazz Collector audience complain about the seller bobjdukic, but you have to give the guy credit – whatever he does, he is able to get prices that no one else can dream of. I’m watching several of his auctions now and am pretty amazed at where the bidding is going. He must have regular customers who trust him and are well satisfied with what he delivers. Here are a few cases in point: Stan Getz, Getz. Gilberto, Verve 8545. Was there a more popular, more widely produced jazz album in the 1960s? Could you waltz into any record store now (if you can find one) and find a copy of this record in reasonable condition? This one has 11 bids and is currently priced at $219 with more than a day to go. Miles Davis, “Four and More,” Columbia 2453. Again, this is a great record, but not all that uncommon. This one has been bid up to more than $100. Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago, Mercury 60134. This is a stereo pressing. Again a great record, but not that hard to find, even in nice condition. This one has been bid up to $178.50.
The Fabulous Fats Navarro, Volume 2, Blue Note 1532. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing with the Lexington Avenue cover. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+. The price was $390. From the same seller, in the same vein: The Fabulous Fats Navarro, Volume 1, Blue Note 1531. This too was an original pressing with the original cover. It was in M- condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover. It also sold for $390. I was watching these records because I recently acquired copies of each of these that are duplicates for me. They are both in VG++ condition for the vinyl and the cover, and they both have the Lexington Avenue addresses on the label, deep grooves, etc. They have the West 61st Street addresses on the cover, so they are a drop less than original originals. I will probably wind up selling these on eBay, unless someone here wants to make me an offer I can’t refuse.
This one received a bid of nearly $2,000, but failed to meet the seller’s reserve price:
When you’re selling on eBay a picture is worth not just a thousand word but potentially a thousand bucks or so. The seller of this record was able to get a great picture of the cover: Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031. It has to help generate interest, right? I mean, you look at the picture and you can picture the record in your collection. This was in M- condition for both the record and the cover and it sold for $1,802.01. That’s the highest we’ve ever recorded for this LP in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, although the record has gone over the $1,000 mark several times.
This seller had the three 10-inch Gil Melle records on Blue Note, including: Gil Melle, 5 Impressions of Color, Blue Note 5063. This one was in VG++ condition for the vinyl and M- for the cover. It sold for $179.05. As for the other two: New Faces, New Sounds, Blue Note 5020 was in VG++ condition for the record and the cover and did not attract a single bidder at a start price of about $150; Volume 2, Blue Note 5033, had a single bidder and sold for $149.99.
Bud Powell, The Scene Changes, Blue Note 4009. This is an original pressing that is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. I was wondering about the kid in the picture on the cover and went to pull out my copy to see if there was mention in the liner notes but, alas, I do not have an original copy of The Scene Changes, much to my chagrin. This one is already at more than $300 with more than a day to go, so this will not be the copy that fills the hole in my collection.
Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This is an original pressing in VG+ condition for the vinyl and VG for the cover. It has many days to go, is more than $500 at this point, and has not yet met the seller’s reserve price. Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This one is closing today. The record looks to be in VG++ condition, while the cover is VG.The price is about $230. Hmmmm. Not bad. I kind of like that the cover is not perfect. This would fill a gap. I had both of these Jackie records at one time, but sold them.
The Arrival of Kenny Dorham, Jaro 5007. This was an original pressing that was listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It was a bit of a strange auction — there were only two bids and the winning bid was an even $800. Anyway. There was a lot more interest in this one, with more than 20 bids: Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original deep groove pressing in VG+ condition, which I’d say was questionable based on the description. It sold for $740.
This one nearly made the $3,000 bin: Donald Byrd, Byrd Blows on Beacon Hill, Transition 17. This was an original pressing with the booklet. The record looked to be in M- condition, minus the labels, of course, and the cover looked to be about VG++. The price was $2,926.54, which is still staggering to me.
And what would a day in Jazz Collector world be without a few Blue Notes to admire:
Here are a few more results of jazz vinyl auctions by the Jazz Record Center last week. Just in case anyone is interested, I have no vested interest in these auctions or special relationship with the Jazz Record Center. I like to watch their auctions as a bellwether because they are probably the most reputable seller in the market.
Working With the Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7166. This was an original yellow label pressing with the New Jersey address. It was a review copy in mint condition. The price was $472.35. There was a time when you could get the Miles Prestige records relatively inexpensively, but not anymore.
Here’s another nice one from Prestige: Stan Getz and Zoot Sims, The Brothers, Prestige 7022. This was an original New York yellow label pressing in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. This one has the frame cover. The price was $234.72. How often are you going to find a record like this in this kind of condition? Nice.
Here’s a Blue Note that, surprisingly, did not break into the $1,000 bin.
Mar 6, 2012 Guest Columns
We haven’t had a guest column in a while, but here’s a good one from a reader who asks that we refer to him simply as Scott. Enjoy.
It started with a broken turntable. The new turntable my wife bought me at the HiFi shop some three years ago sat unused, not properly set up, broken. I know, I know. Just too busy. High stress military career, moving, a combat tour in Iraq, and two teenage boys got in the way of my budding interest in vinyl. The day finally came and the turntable was fixed. Off I went to the estate sales as usual. Not to find vinyl, but to search for tube HiFi gear or vintage speakers.
This particular sale — just last week — was in a 1930s Tudor of perhaps 3,500 square feet. The owners had obviously lived there since the ‘50s. A sweep of the house revealed no tube equipment, no speakers, and nothing much else of interest. I did note several stacks of records against the wall of one of the bedrooms upstairs. I now had a turntable so I went to look. I sat on the floor next to another fellow and asked him what was good. He talked about the Riverside label and we chatted. He picked out several and cut his stack to ten records, paid, and left. The stacks were almost all ‘50s jazz with hip covers. I selected ten, paid the lady the two bucks a record, and went home and played one.
The first record I put on was Helen Merrill (yeah that one). I loved it. I put on another. This one a Blue Note. Wow. Cool. Remember, I didn’t know a Blue Note from a blue bird, but I do know what I like. I went back and bought another 18 just because I liked them including 11 first-issue deep-groove, Blue Notes including BNs 1509, 1518, 1537, 1578, 1537, 1540, 1513, 1545, 1560, 1544, 1560, 1562. Remember, I have no idea what these LPs are selling for.
Read the rest of this entry »
Read the rest of this entry »
After all these years of collecting and visiting record stores, I still get a kick out of seeing records I’ve never seen before. Case in point: Zoot Sims All Stars, Barclay 84019. This looks to be an original 10-inch French pressing with a really nice looking cover and label. The seller describes the vinyl as being in M- condition, and the cover is probably VG++. The start price is about $200 and there are five days to go.
Speaking of European pressings, I had never seen this cover of Miles Davis, Porgy and Bess, CBS 62108. Think about how many candid shots of Miles you’ve seen where he’s actually smiling. Here’s one. Very nice cover. This is a stereo pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and cover. So far there are no takers at a mere $19.
From the time I saved the record to when I started writing this post, a gap of about 15 minutes, the price of this record shot up by several hundred dollars: Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House Volume 1, Blue Note 1515. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record is in VG condition and the cover is VG++. The price is now more than $600 and will probably keep on rising.
Thelonious Monk, Brilliant Corners, Riverside 226. This was an original pressing with the white labels. It was listed in VG+ condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover and I recall the seller as being very reputable from previous dealings, as buyer and seller. As I was packing my records to move, I noticed that my copy of Brilliant Corners was a blue-label pressing and it was in maybe VG+ condition. I put this one on my watch list to potentially bid on it, not just as potential fodder for Jazz Collector. I think I would have gone to at least $180 for an original pressing. This one sold for $100, so I missed out.
I also had my eye on this for my own collection, but I knew the price would go way beyond my comfort zone — and it did: Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing and the vinyl was in M- condition. The cover was VG+. It sold for $1,475. One of these days I’ll find a reasonable copy for the right price. Right?