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.
OK, I could use a good explanation for this one: Paul Chambers, A Jazz Delegation From the East, Score 4033. This is a reissue of the album originally released on Jazz West. The record is in G condition, described by the seller as “rough.” The cover is in VG- condition, with tape and wear clearly visible in the picture. Not necessarily a record to display proudly on your shelves and, in this condition, probably not one to place on your turntable either. Someone wants it, pretty badly, though. There are 11 bids, three bidders and the price is already more than $100. Because . . ?
From the same seller is this: Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This is possibly an original pressing with the deep groove on one side, although the seller is only showing one label. Without seeing the other label, I have my doubts. Also, there seems to be an issue with the condition. The seller lists the record as VG and the cover as VG+. However, if you look at the picture of the back cover, it is clearly not close to VG+, with a really bad stain. If that is VG+, you kind of wonder what the VG vinyl looks like. I imagine others have similar concerns. The bidding is at $89 with 12 hours to go. If bidders were confident in the condition and the provenance, the bidding would likely be a lot higher.
Horace Silver, The Cape Verdean Blues, Blue Note 4220. This is an original mono pressing with the Van Gelder and the ear and, of course, no deep grooves. The record is in M- condition and the cover is M- as well, with the original shrink wrap. There’s more than a day left in the auction and the bidding is in the $150 range. Nice record. As we’re seeing with the Bobby Hutcherson records mentioned yesterday, as well as others we’ve been watching, the later pre-Liberty Blue Notes seem to be going up in value by quite a bit recently. It’s interesting to think of “later” Blue Notes as records that are pretty close to 50 years from their original release.
Here’s an early Blue Note from a familiar and highly reputable seller: Kenny Drew Trio, Blue Note 5023. This is an original 10-nch pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Quite a beauty. Perhaps only one owner? The start price is about $200 and, with two days to go, there are no bidders.
Here’s a promo record that is on the verge of selling for a hefty price tag:
Lots of nice jazz vinyl sitting on eBay now. This is one you really don’t see very often: Paul Chambers, A Jazz Delegation From the East, Jazz-West JWLP-7. This is an original pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It’s closing in about four hours and is now in the $900 price range. Here’s another rare one on the same label from the same seller: Kenny Drew, Talkin’ and Walkin’, Jazz-West JWLP-4. The record is in VG+ condition and the cover is VG. It closes in about seven hours and is in the $340 range. I do have a question looking at these two listings from Atomic Records. Which one of the records is in better condition? I’m assuming Ex is better than VG+?
Gene Ammons, Hi Fi Jam Session, Prestige 7060. This is an original pressing with the New York address and yellow label. The record and cover are in M- condition. There are four days to go and the start price is around $200. Think it will sell? I do.
And now for some Blue Notes:
Here are a few rare jazz records we’re watching this week on eBay. Today’s version will focus on Blue Notes, starting with: Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This has the West 63rd address but no deep grooves. This one is always confusing and I don’t have the Fred Cohen book in front of me. It’s an original with either one side DG or no sides DG, right? Anyway, this one is in excellent minus condition, which is, what, VG+ in our terms. The price is nearly $300 and there are still four days to go.
Wayne Shorter, JuJu, Blue Note 4182. This looks like an original mono pressing with the New York USA address, as well as the ear and Van Gelder in the dead wax. The record is listed in VG+ condition and the cover is VG++. The record closes within a day and so far there are no bidders at a $189 start price.
Here’s a 10-inch Blue Note with a very cool insert: