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.
My goodness, the $1,000 bin is overloaded, including all four of the records I was watching last week (A New Crowd For the $1,000 Bin?). They were:
Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. Final price:$1,300
Kenny Dorham, Cafe Bohemia, Blue Note 1524. Final price: $1,482
John Jenkins and Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1573. Final price: $2,025.01 (wow!)
Paul Chambers, Bass on Top, Blue Note 1569. Final price: $1,126
And then there were:
Just a reminder, that auction we wrote about last week (An Old Fashioned Jazz Vinyl Auction) is taking place tomorrow. I spent some time looking through the list and I didn’t see that much of interest to me, although there were a few lots. I may place a few bids just for the experience of doing it. If any of you do participate, please share the experience with us here at Jazz Collector.
Now back to the “normal” eBay auctions that we watch, starting with a record that is near the top of my own want list, since it is the only rare Sonny Rollins records missing from my collection: Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This is an original pressing that looks to be in about VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. Looks like a nice copy but, alas, it will not be mine. The bidding on this has already exceeded $900 with more than a day left. So it seems pretty safe to say this one will reach the $1,000 bin and perhaps even higher.
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: