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.
eBay experts tell us what you make of this: Lee Morgan Indeed, Blue Note 1538. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for the record and Ex condition for the cover. We first noticed the record with a start price of $3,999. There were no bids. I just re-checked this record and now it is no longer available because the seller pulled it. However, it shows a price of $4,999. My assumption is that the seller had it listed at that price, someone made an offer, and he sold it for something under the asking price. But if you look on eBay, the assumption is that the record sold for $4,999, which would be extremely high market value for this record, although on Popsike they have a version having sold for $7,786, which seems somewhat bogus to me, given that the next highest price is $3,500.
Whilst I have immensely enjoyed writing and sharing those personal essays, I know that most of you come to Jazz Collector for the really important stuff, which is keeping track of record prices and sales on eBay, so we can all marvel at how smart and fortunate we were to have bought our records below market value, or we can lament the unfortunate reality that buying the top rare jazz collectibles at today’s market prices is beyond the capacity of many of us, either from a financial perspective or because it offends our basic sensibilities to pay top dollar rather than keep hunting for a bargain, even if it may mean never owning an original pressing of a record that we covet deeply. The point of that rather long sentence is that it is time to get back to business, and since so many of us have a soft spot for Blue Notes, I have decided that today will be a Blue Note day here at Jazz Collector, starting with Wayne Shorter, Ju Ju, Blue Note 4182. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York USA label, Van Gelder and ear. The record and cover are both listed in Ex condition. The price is now close to $400 with more than a day left on the auction. As we have all seen, the price of these later era original pre-Liberty Blue Notes has risen markedly over the past few years. If we haven’t seen these break into the $1,000 bin yet, it looks like that is just a matter of time.
I’ve been perusing eBay this morning and a few items caught my eye, including Art Blakey, Blue Note 4003. This is an original West 63rd Street pressing and it looks to be in very nice condition. Based on the seller’s description, probably VG++ for both the record and the cover. There is a start price of $200 and so far there are no bidders, even though the auction closes in just one day. Just last week a copy of the same record, probably a little bit cleaner, sold for more than $1,000. What gives?
This one also startled me: Charles Mingus, The Clown, Atlantic 1260. The record is in M- condition and the cover is in M- condition and there is some torn shrink wrap. The bidding is now at $455. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention — it’s not an original pressing. It’s a later pressing with the purple and orange label. What gives here? You’ll notice that it’s part of the sale of the collection from the late Dr. Herb Wong, but surely that can’t be enough to vault a second (or third) pressing into a new stratosphere, can it? It can’t be the shrink wrap, can it? Help me out here: $455 (and counting) with five more days to go?
And now for some more jazz vinyl from our eBay watch list, starting with Art Farmer Quintet, Prestige 7017. This is an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record and cover are both listed in VG+ condition. The price is only at $88 with less than a day left on the auction. Someone may be in line for a bargain (and a great record). In the same vein, and from the same seller, there is Art Farmer and Gigi Gryce, When Farmer Met Gryce, Prestige 7085. This is also an original New York pressing, listed in Ex condition for the record and the cover. Based on the seller’s descriptions, it looks like Ex is a higher grade than VG+. This one is at a bit more than $200.
While we’re on Prestiges, there is:
I’m watching a few items from the current Jazz Record Center auction on eBay, including: The Dave Bailey Sextet, Bash!, Jazzline 33-10. This is an original pressing Kenny Dorham, Curtis Fuller, Tommy Flanagan and others. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover looks to be about VG+, based on the description. The bidding is at $200 with nearly three days left before the auction closes.
Oliver Nelson, The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Impulse 5. This is an original mono promo copy with the white label. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover looks to be about VG++. The bidding is at $100.
This is one that is completely new to me:
We’re going to ask our European readers about this one: Thelonious Monk, Piano Solo, Swing 33.342. This is a 10-inch LP that I think is an original French pressing. I’m not sure if it’s a re-issue of Blue Note tracks. I’m not sure of much about it at all, in fact. When I did a Google search, the previous mentions that came up were from postings here at Jazz Collector, showing that the record has sold for more than $500 in the past. This one is listed at M- condition for the record and Ex+ for the cover and is now in the $150 price range with just a few hours left in the auction. Anyone doing a search for this record may be stymied because the seller didn’t realize that the label is “Swing” and not “Wing.” Any background on this rare record would be most appreciated. Awesome cover, by the way.
Meanwhile there are always Blue Notes and more Blue Notes:
I’m actually cleaning out my eBay watch list in preparation for finally doing a modest updating of the Jazz Collector Price Guide. So, as I clear out records, I will just post some random results for the next couple of days, starting with one for the $1,000 bin: Paul Chambers Quintet, Blue Note 1564. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address. The record looked to be in VG++ condition and the cover was probably VG. It sold for $1,203. This came from the same seller: Kenny Burrell at the Five Spot, Blue Note 4021. This was an original West. 63rd Street pressing that looked to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $334.
Another Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Headin’ South, Blue Note 4062. This was
Back to watching jazz vinyl on eBay. Here are some of the records that we missed in the past few days, starting with John Jenkins and Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1573. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address on both labels. The record was listed in VG+ condition and the cover was as well. It sold for $865.55, which is getting up there for a VG+ record. At the same time there was this copy of the same record. This one also looked to be an original pressing and seemed to be in better condition than the other one. The seller listed it as Ex+, which typically translates to around VG++. Yet, this one only received a top bid of $224.50 and failed to reach the seller’s reserve price. I’m sure I’m missing something in the listings, but I can’t figure it out. And it can’t be because one of our readers doesn’t like the seller for whatever reason. If we had that kind of clout, we’d start our own eBay for Jazz Collectors only.
Here’s one for the $1,000 bin:
We can always count on our friend CeeDee for something interesting. This one came under the heading: “Prez gets a nice bid.” The link is to Lester Young, Norgran 1022. This was an original yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG+ for the beautiful David Stone Martin cover. It sold for $532, quite a nice price for an old Pres Norgran indeed. The other day I was listening to Stardust from the Lester Young and Oscar Peterson record on Norgran. His playing from this period is so sad and melancholy it almost makes me cry.
Jason sent me a link to this listing: Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane, New Jazz 8276. This was a sealed copy, which the seller insisted was an original pressing. How? He felt through the cover and, like braille, read the deep grooves. He also compared the weight to a later pressing and attested that the sealed copy was heavier. Whatever. I’d have been cautious as the seller and, in fact, I would have broken the seal and opened the record. And if it was an original, I would have put it on the turntable, played it, and stuck it where it belongs, right on my shelf within my collection. This one sold for $185.51 and, I have a feeling, may never be opened.
Judd sent me this one and I found it so ridiculous I wasn’t going to post it, but, obviously have relented: