Focusing on Some Gaps in the Collection

Here’s some jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay. Why is it that we — we collectors, that is — focus much more on what we are missing than on what we have?

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.

Jazz For A Sunday Morning: KD, Byrd, Blue Notes

Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’ve missed while we were away:

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:

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Vinyl Tracking From the Jazz Record Center

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.

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Guest Column: A Score For the Ages

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 more

French Zoot, Miles Smiles & An LP That Is Hipp

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.

Catching on On Some Interesting Jazz Vinyl

When I last left eBay, about a week ago, here were some of the items I was watching:

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?

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Back In the Business of Jazz Collector

Sorry I haven’t posted all week. I have moved, once again, this time in the city and I’ve been quite busy, as you can imagine, packing and unpacking records. We have moved from one small place into another small place and decided to keep just one record cabinet with room for about 1,500 records.  You can see it in the picture, and perhaps make out a record or two — I see Jackie McLean, Lights Out and also the Cecil Payne on Signal. Anyway,  I had to go through the process of weeding out and deciding which records to keep in the apartment, and which to move to other locales. I decided to keep the collection in the city focused primarily on original pressings from the 1955 to 1970 era, and to weed out some of the vocals to make this portion of the collection more bop/hard-bop specific. I also had to remove some of the traditional artists, such as Louis Armstrong and Count Basie, in order to have enough room for the records I wanted to keep here. I also nixed the idea of organizing the records by label and continue to have them alphabetically by artist. This way I’m less compelled to keep around records and artists in which I have less interest, either musically or as collectibles. Anyway, I don’t want to get into all of that, just wanted to explain why I’ve been absent from my post and my posting at Jazz Collector. But I’m back now, ready to once again explore, unearth and expound upon the hidden and not-so-hidden treasures of the Jazz Collector world.

Guys and Dolls and Jazz Vinyl

Sorry I haven’t posted for a few days, but, judging by the comments, you guys seemed to do pretty well without me. In any case, I return with some items I’ve been watching on eBay, starting with some jazz vinyl that seems to indicate the clear split in the market between the super-collectibles, i.e., original Blue Notes et al, and the many other records that were collectible at one time but seem to have lost some of  their market/cachet. Starting with Eddie Costa, Guys and Dolls Like Vibes, Coral 57230. This was an original pressing, in VG++ condition for the record and probably about VG+ for the cover. We’ve covered this in the past for the Jazz Collector Price Guide and it has sold for as much as $136. The seller did not do himself any favors by failing to mention in his listing that the pianist on this date was Bill Evans. It’s also a terrific record. There was one bidder who got this record for $30. From the same seller was Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington, Back to Back, Verve 8317. This was an original pressing with the trumpeter label in M- condition for the vinyl and probably the same for the cover. Again, there was one bidder and a price of $30. Is there so little interest in Hodges and Ellington these days? One more, also Guys and Dolls by the Manhattan Jazz All-Stars, Columbia 8223. This was an original stereo pressing inVG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It is also a nice album, was somewhat collectible at one time, and features Zoot Sims, Phil Woods, Dave McKenna and others. This one didn’t get a single bid at $20.


Some Stereo Jazz Vinyl, Some Big Prices

Yes, as Mike F notes on another post, did you see the price of that Bill Evans Explorations record we were watching from the Jazz Record Center? It was a stereo pressing, black label original. It sold for $896. Great record, but that’s a pretty incredible price. It shows that the market for some of these collectibles is just so elastic. If someone wants the record, and he wants it in mint condition, the price is not necessarily an issue. I looked at all of the other results from this Jazz Record Center auction and none seemed quite so out of the ordinary as this one, although there were also some top prices paid for some nice records, including: Bobby Hutcherson, Dialogue, Blue Note 4198. This was an original mono pressing in M- condition. It sold for $491. Also, Jackie McLean, One Step Beyond, Blue Note 84137. This was an original STEREO version in M- condition. It sold for $237.50. That’s pretty high for a stere pressing, even an original, isn’t it? One more: Blue Mitchell, The Thing To Do, Blue Note 84178. This was also a stereo pressing, an original, and it was also in very nice M- condition. The price was $233.50. I guess the market for original Blue Note stereo pressings is now getting more interesting as well.

A Couple for The $1,000 Bin, And one for the $66 Bin

There were a bunch of interesting jazz vinyl auctions that closed last night, to wit: Red Rodney, Signal S 1206. This looked like an original pressing in perhaps VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover? The seller uses a wide variety of grades that don’t necessarily correspond to the grading language we typically use, so it’s up for interpretation. Hopefully the buyer will be pleased. This one sold for a whopping $1,825.55.

Her’s one for the $2,000 bin: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This was an original pressing that looked to be in M- or VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $2,111. There was another copy of this record that we mentioned the other day, Blue Note 1590, that was in just VG- condition for the record and cover. We wondered about the eventual price for a record that may not be all that playable. The price was $237.65

How the market has changed through the years: Johnny Hodges, Castle Rock, Norgran 1048. This was an original yellow label pressing. It was in VG+ condition for both the record and the vinyl. It sold for $66. When I started collecting jazz, there seemed to be much more interest from collectors in the original Norgrans. A different era, I guess — but also an opportunity to pick up some of these very nice records at reasonable prices.

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