. . . And a Quartet for New Year’s

Happy New Year to all. Looks like our friend Rudolf had a pretty good start to the year selling some vintage and rare jazz vinyl, including Elmo Hope Quintet with Frank Foster and Freeman Lee, Blue Note 5044. This was an original 10-inch pressing that looked to be in beautiful pristine condition, perhaps unplayed after being placed in storage many years ago? Rudolf, I don’t recall if you shared the story of how they ended up in storage, but I would love to hear it (again?). This one sold for $1,054.99. Do you think there are many left in the world in this condition? I also had a pristine copy, which I sold in 1990 for $400, which seemed like a lot at the time and, in fact, was a lot. But the $400 came and went and I’ve never found another affordable copy of this record in the 27 years since.

This one came from the same batch and I was quite surprised to see where the bidding ended up, since I’ve never viewed this one as particularly coveted by collectors:

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Back in Jazz Vinyl Action

Walter Davis Jr Jazz VinylBack in action after some minor surgery last week. Feeling good and ready to roll with some jazz vinyl on ebay, starting with a couple of Blue Notes from the Jazz Collector Want List that both broke into the $1,000 bin: Walter Davis Jr., Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This was an original pressing that looked to be probably M- for the record and VG++ or VG+ for the cover. There were 15 bidders and the final price was $1,125. Then there was Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This was also an original West 63rd Street pressing. The record was listed as M- and the cover was VG++. There were 14 bidders for this one and the final price came in at $1,304. Our friend CeeDee sent us a note about this one, but we were already watching it:

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Classic Vinyl From The Jazz Collector Era

Johnny Griffin Jazz VinylOur friends at funkyousounds are back on eBay with some nice jazz vinyl closing this week, including Johnny Griffin, The Kerry Dancers, Riverside 420. This looks to be an original blue label pressing with deep grooves. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG. The auction closes later today and the price is in the $170 range. Donald Byrd, Fuego, Blue Note 4026. This is an original West 63rd Street deep groove pressing. The record and cover both look to be in VG+ condition. The bidding is in the $220 range with one more day to go. One more: Miles Davis, The New Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7014. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York hello label and the original green cover. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. The price is now in the $300 range, also with one more day on the auction.

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High Prices (What Else is New?) & Happy New Year

Johnny Griffin Jazz VinylI’ve been getting a lot of email and there have been a lot of comments about prices going through the roof, particularly on some of the records from the late Dr. Herb Wong. Here are some of the ones that have been sent to me, and a few of my own observations, starting with Johnny Griffin, The Congregation, Blue Note 1580. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing from the Wong collection and it was in just VG condition for the record and VG- for the cover. Despite the condition it sold for $555.99. Then there was this one, which I had mentioned in an earlier post: Johnny Griffin, The Kerry Dancers, Riverside 420. This was an original white label promo copy. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. When we first noticed this record it was in the $300 range. It ended up selling for $915.

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Some Gems From a Gem of a Collection

Johnny Griffin Jazz VinylHere’s a nice one: Johnny Griffin, The Kerry Dancers, Riverside 420. This looks do be an original promo pressing with the white label and the deep grooves. It is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the $300 range with more than five days left on the auction. The seller notes that it is from the estate of the late Dr. Herb Wong, who was a pretty well known jazz historian, writer and radio host in the San Francisco Bay area. The seller, Funkyousounds, states in the listing that it has acquired Dr. Wong’s entire collection. I noticed a bunch of other auctions from the estate earlier this week. Funkyousounds is based in St.Louis, so I, for one, am curious how they ended up with the collection. Funkyousounds, if you are out there, perhaps you have a story to share with us here at Jazz Collector?

One of the other ones I had noticed from the collection was this:

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Classic Jazz Vinyl — But Will Anything Sell

Rollins copyFinally back from a long break, and the first thing I’m going to do is take a look at what I left behind on my eBay watch list and catch up. This seller has several nice items for sale, including Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This is an original New York yellow label pressing listed in VG++ or M- condition for the record and M- for the cover. You don’t run across too many in this shape. There are two days left on this auction, the bidding is in the $1,350 range and so far it has not reached the seller’s reserve price. This one comes from the same seller and also has not yet reached its reserve price: Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This is an original pressing with the New York 23 labels. The bidding is in the $650 range. Surely, the bidding will move into the four figures, but whether that meets the seller’s price won’t be known until the auction actually closes.

Speaking of records not selling:

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Four Classics From the Golden Age of Jazz Vinyl

Griffin Vinyl copy 2Now that I am back with a working computer, and fully recovered from the shock of the latest surge in prices for jazz vinyl, I can get back to the business of watching rare records on eBay, starting with Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York 23 labels on both sides. The record is in M- condition and the cover is listed as Ex. There’s about a day and a half left in the bidding, and the price has already reached $1,225. However, it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve, so there’s a possibility this one may not even sell, despite what some might consider to be a pretty high price tag.

The Jazz Record Center  has an auction closing in two days, including John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This is what Fred calls a “P” pressing, although I’m not sure what the “P” actually stands for. It is the one with the deep grooves, ear, RVG stamp and West 63rd Street address, but no New York 23 on one side. I’ve always assumed this is a second press? Anyway,

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More From the Jazz Collector Mailbox

Griffin copyAllow me to take you away from your favorite subject for a moment and catch up on some items in the Jazz Collector inbox. First are a couple from our reliable friend CeeDee, who always has something interesting to offer. This one is Johnny Griffin, Lady Heavy Bottom’s Waltz, German Vogue 17164. I’ll admit I’ve never seen or heard of this one, but I do imagine that the title song would be interesting. It’s a recording from 1968. This one was in M- condition for the record and the cover and it sold for $240.37. CeeDee also sent this one: Jazz by Sun Ra, Volume 1, Transition 10. This was an original pressing with the booklet. The record and the cover both looked to be in about VG++ condition. The price was $660, which CeeDee considered to be something of a bargain. I wouldn’t really know myself because I’ve never been a collector of Sun Ra records and actually only own one or two. I guess I’m missing something. I also had many opportunities to see Sun Ra, but never did.

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Another Adventure, Part 7

Untitled copyIt wasn’t until early January that the second batch of records arrived. As I did with the first batch, I recorded the unveiling for posterity. This is what I wrote:

The final batch of records has arrived. The guy from the shipping department in the building just brought them up on a hand truck. Three boxes – those banker’s box file boxes, the brown and white ones you get in Stapes. They’ve never been good for storing or transporting records, but hopefully this batch made it through safely. Opening the first box. There’s a sheath of what looks to be sheepskin or some kind of cotton on top. Nice. The records seem safe. On top, an Errol Garner record. No big deal. Going through the records. Each has the same type of soft plastic cover: I have a feeling these were the original covers on the records. In the 1950s and 1960s they didn’t use what we have come to know as shrink wrap, but they used a cover and it fit loosely over the records, just like these. They certainly seem old enough, and dirty enough, and covered with enough dust to have been original covers from the 1950s. No matter. Getting through the box, one by one, record by record.

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Another Adventure, Part 5

Garner copyWell, yes. Yes, I would be interested in the records at around the price that we had discussed nearly two months earlier. Now, recall, I had still never seen the records. They were in Toronto and I was in New York. The guy selling them admittedly didn’t know much about them, other than what he had gleaned from the Jazz Collector Web site and the Fred Cohen Blue Note book. He also told me that many of the records were from England and South Africa, which meant that it was still possible they were not original pressings. If it wasn’t a big investment for me, I wouldn’t have cared that much. But we were talking about a hefty hunk of change, a few thousand dollars, for essentially 25 or so records. This was definitely a risk on my part. So I made a suggestion: I would send him one third of the total price and he would send me 25 records, of which there would be at least 10 of the Blue Notes. If the records were as he said—original pressings, nice condition—I would then send him the rest of the money and he would send me the rest of the records. There were some more negotiations. Again, I won’t bore you with the details. Eventually we struck at deal. I took a deep breath, wrote out a check, put in the mail and waited.

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