Let’s catch up on some completed and upcoming auctions of rare jazz vinyl on eBay, starting with Dizzy Reece, Blues in Trinity, Blue Note 4006. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing in VG++ condition for the record and VG+. When we first started watching this record it was in the $125 price range but was seeing a lot of activity. We speculated that it may approach the $1,000 bin and it wound up selling for $906.80. This one, Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590, was in the $925 range when we first spotted it and, based on the seller and condition — M- for the record and cover — we speculated that it was destined for the $2,000, but it came up just short, selling for $1,807. Finally, there was Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This looked like an original pressing with the one sided deep groove, although there was some dispute about that among the commenters. I guess the pictures weren’t clear. It was a relatively new seller and the record and cover looked to be in M- condition. But the start price was quite high at $3,000 and there were no bids, so perhaps we will see this back on eBay with a lower price tag.
I’m back with a completely random batch of records that are currently for sale on eBay, starting with one of my favorite LPs, Jackie McLean, McLean’s Scene, New Jazz 8212. This is an original purple label deep groove pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is in the $160 range with four days left. When I think of my favorite alto players, there’s Bird, of course, then Cannonball, then a small group of a few more who were able to create a distinct sound despite the overwhelming presence and influence of Bird. This relatively short list includes Jackie, Paul Desmond, Phil Woods and just a couple of others such as Ernie Henry, who died so young. Then there are Johnny Hodges, who came before Bird and was certainly distinct and marvelous, and Sonny Stitt, who sounded perhaps the most like Bird but could play his ass off and is almost always a joy to put on the turntable, for me at least. Anyway, just some alto musings off the top of my head on a bright Wednesday morning, inspired by McLean’s Scene.
We’re watching a few auctions from the seller bullsite2000, including Billy Taylor, Cross Section, Prestige 7071. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. It looks like the record is in about VG++ condition and the cover is M-. The bidding is in the $90 range and the auction closes later today. Typically, you don’t see any Billy Taylor records selling for high prices. This particular record seems to be somewhat of an exception, selling for more than $200 several times on Popsike. We’ll see what this one goes for. I like the picture on the cover, which is one of the reasons I’m mentioning here at Jazz Collector: It’s not often that I get to use a Billy Taylor Prestige cover with one of my posts, and this one has the old record player, the tube amp and the old records. Wouldn’t you like to own the records on THAT shelf. This is another one with a great cover: Jay Jay Johnson Sextet, Blue Note 5028. This is an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing. The record looks to be in VG+ condition and the cover VG++. It is also closing today. The bidding is in the $250 range.
We are watching some real heavy-duty collectibles on eBay now, starting with Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is one of those quasi-original originals depending upon your point of view. Translation: It doesn’t have the New York 23 on one side of the label. Whether that makes it less original is probably not the point. What we have learned over the years is that it makes it slightly less valuable to collectors. No tears are being shed for this seller, however. The record looks to be in around VG++ condition and the cover is M-. The bidding is more than $2,600 with less than a day left. This copy has been around the block a few times, and is the same one that ostensibly would have sold for more than $11,000 back in 2015 but obviously did not actually sell at that time. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the goings on at eBay, even for someone like myself who follows things fairly closely.
So, back in the Bronx, I had a pile of about 50 records. Of the records in that pile there were probably about 10 that I really wanted. But I sensed that the woman wanted to get rid of records and taking more seemed like the right approach. So I made an offer that I thought was fair, considering the condition of the records and the reality that many of the records in the pile were relatively worthless. The offer came out of my mouth and the words were still just hanging in the air when I could see the woman physically recoil as if she had just swallowed a platter full of insects. She repeated the number I had just said and gasped: “The Jackie McLean record alone is worth more than that!” Which, to be fair, would have been true if the Jackie McLean record was in excellent condition. But it wasn’t. Then she started going through a list that she had compiled with values for some of the key records. But there was clearly a disconnect. All of the values she had compiled were for records in M- condition. The records in the pile were not in M- condition. None of them.
OK, I have another story. This one starts, as usual, with an e-mail. The first e-mail came back in April 2015. I replied, but nothing ever came of it. Then, just a few weeks ago, there was another e-mail from the same person, totally of the blue. This was the text, verbatim:
“Top jazz artist’s
Cotrane , gerald wilson ,st you’d, ray brown, jimmy smith, felonious monk, Eddie Harris , carmen macrae, jazz laboratorylaboratory, gene Simmons, Dexter gordon , stan gets ext.
Give me good price I’ll sell.
‘Miles Davis,chico hamilton about 80 or more.”
I wrote back, asking for more detail and perhaps some pictures. The first photo came back and it didn’t show much at all. No valuable Coltrane, Stan Gets, or Felonious Monk in the picture. Instead there were a lot of records by Gloria Lynne. I wrote back asking for more details and pictures of the Coltrane or Dexter Gordon or Miles Davis. A few more pictures came back. This was the first one:
Obviously, my correspondent had done a little homework between the first few emails and this one. So, of course it is Jackie McLean, The New Tradition on Ad Lib, and yes my interest was piqued. Who would have thought, one of the rarest of the rare jazz LPs among a collection previously highlighted by titles such as Gloria Lynne Intimate Moments and Miss Lorraine Ellison Heart And Soul?
Just 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:
Here’s an interesting item now on eBay: Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597. The seller, who obviously knows his stuff, describes this as a “rare original US press.” I guess that’s true in the sense that the record was originally pressed in the United States, although that doesn’t necessarily make it a first pressing. This one has the West 63rd Street address, but no deep grooves. There is also no mention of the Plastylite ears. I guess, what is original is in the eye of the beholder or, in this case, the bidder, of which there is one at about $200. In my vernacular I would not call this an original. From what I can see, the cover looks like it might be an original mono cover, although someone out there might know of some aspect that might change that view. In any case, potential bidders may be only interested in the cover anyway, since it is by Andy Warhol and it is presumably in much better shape than the vinyl, which is only in VG- condition.
I am tending to think this one is also not an original original:
Beverly Kenney Sings For Johnny Smith, Roost 2206. This was an original pressing with the blue label and deep grooves. The record was listed in mint condition and the cover was VG++. There were 18 bids and the record sold for $660. I’m sure there are Beverly Kenney records that have sold for a higher price, but that’s the highest that we’ve ever seen in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.
The same seller had several other interesting items as well, including: Steve Lacy, Evidence with Don Cherry, New Jazz 8271. This was an original purple label pressing listed in near mint condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. This one sold for $687, setting another record for the Jazz Collector Price Guide. And here’s another:
Here’s some more jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay, starting with Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address and the single side deep groove. The record is only in VG or VG+ condition and the cover is VG. Bidding is only in the $50 range now but there are five days left in the auction and I would expect this to sell for several hundred dollars despite the condition. We’ll see.
Hank Mobley, Roll Call, Blue Note 4058. This listing mentions almost everything about the record, except with it has deep grooves. Curious. If you look at the pictures it’s not conclusive. If I were interested in this record, which I’m not, I’d certainly query about the deep grooves before bidding. The record looks to be in VG++ condition and the cover is probably VG++ as well, although the labels have some staining, which will be a turnoff to some bidders. Bidding right now is in the $170 range.