Back to Reality (Sort of)

Cliff Jordan Jazz VinylI see that everyone is quite focused on the Dr. Herb Wong collection from the seller funkyousounds, so please feel free to continue the discussion on the previous post. For me it’s time to move on to some other records on eBay, starting with a batch from the seller vinyl.unlimited. You may recall that this seller had a bunch of very nice jazz vinyl, seemingly from the top of my want list, but the bidding wasn’t reaching the reserve prices. Well, that changed as the auctions closed and most of the records did wind up selling, and fetching top prices as you might expect. A couple of examples: Cliff Jordan, Cliff Craft, Blue Note 1582. This was an original pressing that was described as VG++ for both the record and the cover, although, IMHO, the dirt on the back of the cover and the labels precluded this record from being VG++. Hopefully the seller was more scrupulous with the vinyl. This one sold for $1,275. Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This was an original purple label pressing with a promo stamp. The record was listed as M- and the cover was VG++. The final price was $3,284.56.

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Lovely Jazz Vinyl . . . But at What Price?

Shades of Redd Jazz VinylI’m watching a lot of rare jazz records on ebay now that have reserve prices. As a seller, I used to occasionally use reserves, but as a buyer I find them annoying. I’d much rather place a bid and know that, if it is the top bid, then I will get the record. Even though I rarely buy on eBay these days, there is a record I’m watching closely, as we are getting close to my birthday once again. I probably shouldn’t mention it here because that will only heighten the interest, but it’s doubtful I’ll actually bid for it so here goes: Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. This is an original pressing that looks to be in VG+ condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The bidding closes in four days and is in the $150 range, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price.

The seller vinyl.unlimited has a great batch of records on eBay now, but they mostly seem to have reserve prices as well, and many have not yet reached those prices. Some of the listings are:

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All I Want for Christmas

Redd copyActually, I don’t even celebrate Christmas, but that’s quite beside the point, isn’t it? I spent a couple of hours today just looking at my records and going through the shelves, one by one. It’s a pretty damn good collection, I must say. Although it is not complete. Not even close. So, when I do look at the collection, what’s missing. Or, more to the point, if I were to make a Christmas Wish List, what would I put on it? Here we go, all original pressings, of course.

1. Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. Yes, I’ve been searching for this record for years, and yes, I could just pay the price and buy a copy on eBay. But that takes out all of the fun. Now, if The Lovely Mrs. JC would be interested in a gift for my upcoming birthday, I wouldn’t complain about that at all, no matter what the price.

2. Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. No the list will not be all Blue Notes, but it could be if I wanted to go there. This happens to be another favorite. I’ve owned a Japanese pressing for years. Two, in fact. But an original on my shelf would be quite appealing.

3. Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. No I don’t have it. If I did, whenever someone would ask me what’s the most valuable record in your collection, I could point to that. Right now, when someone asks, I don’t know exactly what to say. The music is pretty good too, no?

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Propheting and Profiting From Jazz Vinyl and Memorabilia

Kenny Dorham Jazz VinylHad my eye on this one: Kenny Dorham and the Jazz Prophets, ABC Paramount 122. This was an original deep groove pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $343. I’d recently had an email exchange with a reader who said he’s been watching this record and, in a period of just a few weeks, he’d seen the price range from $28 to $1,000. I saw I thought of it as as $400-$500 record, but more in pristine condition. So, from my perspective, this seems to be around the market value. At least it was the market value for this particular copy. I once had an opportunity to buy a beautiful copy of this record at the Jazz Record Center in New York for $100. I wasn’t particularly flush at the time, so I passed. Then I went home and changed my mind. Came back a few days later and the record was gone. I asked Fred about it. He said he had made a mistake in pricing it at just $100 and I should have jumped at the opportunity. That was probably 25 years ago. I finally got a copy of this record in the Baltimore collection almost exactly two years ago. Have yet to listen to it. Perhaps I will correct that oversight later this evening.

Here’s some stuff from my email inbox:

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Searching for Bargains and Deep Grooves

Informal Jazz copyInformal JazzHere are a few more rare jazz records worth watching on eBay, starting with Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7043. This looks to be an original New York yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. This one just came onto eBay and has a start price of $380. It also has a “but-it-now” price of $700. I have a feeling, once people start reading this article, someone just might swoop in and buy it. The $700 price tag actually seems pretty reasonable for this very rare LP. I, fortunately, have my own copy now, courtesy of the family of Bruce W. West in Baltimore. Also from Prestige: Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This is an original deep-groove purple label pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. There are five days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $565 range, on its way up into somewhere in the $1,500 to $3,000 range for its final price.

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High Priced Vinyl? ‘Tis in the Eye of the Beholder

Tommy Flanagan Jazz VinylJust checked my eBay watch list and came right up with a pair of high-priced items that we had mentioned here before, starting with Tommy Flanagan Overseas, Prestige 7134. This was an original deep groove New York yellow label listed in M- condition for the record and Ex for the cover. When we first saw this record, the bidding was more than $1,000 and it hadn’t reached its reserve price. The record eventually surpassed the reserve price and beyond, selling for $3,938.

This one sold for more than $2,000 but, frankly, I thought it would sell for more, given it’s rarity: Kenny Dorham, Harlem Youth Unlimited, Jazz at P.S. 175. This was an original pressing listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. I asked in the previous post: Is this the rarest of them all? No one seemed to say no, so I’m assuming perhaps it is. It did not get the highest price of them all, although the price was quite high, $2,225, in fact. I would LOVE a copy of this record, but not at $2,225, thank you.

Let’s check out the e-mail bag:

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Is This The Rarest of Them All?

Kenny Dorham Rare Jazz VinylBuongiorno! Back from Italy and a little bit worse for the wear. My flight home was delayed because a horse was acting up in cargo and they had to remove all of the luggage, then remove the horse and then reload all the luggage. Yes, that really happened. Then I got a nasty cold, but I’m starting to feel better and finally am able to look at eBay to see what’s going on. I want to thank Clifford Allen for filling in while I was away. Clifford, I really appreciate it and you did a great job — please feel free to continue posting at any time. I think it adds a lot of value to the site to have another perspective.

I did a search on eBay and found an extremely interesting record, which is: Kenny Dorham, Harlem Youth Unlimited, Jazz at PS 175. This is a live recording from 1964. I was told by a reputable dealer several years ago that this is possibly the rarest jazz record of them all. Has anyone else heard that? I’ve been looking for a copy for more than 30 years — ever since I learned about it — and have never seen one. In fact, this is the first one I’ve ever seen even on eBay. I will be very curious to see what this record sells for, particularly now that I have called attention to it. This one is in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. The start price is about $900 and there are nine days to go on the auction. I’m curious if anyone in our community owns this record and how it sounds.

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How Much Would You Pay For These?????

Hank Mobley Jazz VinylWhilst I was away there was some email, as usual, so let me get to some of that as long as I am catching up. Clifford sent me a note under the subject “1568 Comedy Watch,” with the accompanying text: “I don’t know if people are getting bored with these, but I still find 1568 auctions fairly amusing/interesting.” Attached was this link to Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. The auction as over and the final price was $960. Was it a copy you would actually put on your turntable? Not me. The record was listed in G+ condition. Was it a record you’d be proud to display on your shelves? Not really. The cover was in VG- condition with water damage and small seam split. Was it a record you’d spend $960 on, so you could say you own a copy of the rarest of the rare Blue Notes? Clearly, there was at least one buyer who would say amen to that. It was funny seeing this email from Clifford, because just a few minutes later I got a separate email from Mike with the same link and the following question: “I wondered if you or your readership would be willing to part with US$960 for BN1568 in this condition? Speaking for myself, Read more

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (and More) About Blue Note 45-RPM Records

Horace Silver copyYou will now be treated to a treatise covering more than you ever wanted to know about Blue Note 45s. So from now on, if you do happen to run across any interesting Blue Note 45s, you can do a search at Jazz Collector for this article and the shared knowledge of the community will be available for as long as I pay the bills to keep the site up and running. Here’s how I came by this newfound knowledge, which I wasn’t seeking, but which I will now share for others who may also not be seeking it. It started, as these things often do, with an e-mail inquiry, as follows:

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Jazz Hot, Cool and Expensive

Kenny Dorham Afro Cuban VinylHere are the results of a few other jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Kenny Dorham, Afro-Cuban, Blue Note 5065. This was an original 10-inch pressing with the Lexington Avenue label. The record was listed in VG+ or VG++ condition (I’d vote for VG+, based on the description) and the cover was listed in VG condition with a big stain on the front that spread to the back. The stained cover would certainly negatively impact my interest in the record, but not for the winning bidder, who is spending $902 for this record.

This was another one that was in not-so-great condition but still wound up selling for a fairly hefty price:

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