Merry day after Christmas everyone. It is good to be back. Let’s catch up on a few jazz records we were watching on eBay, starting with an old standby: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This an original white label promo copy. The record looked to be in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The final price was $496, which isn’t bad for a promo copy. We’ve seen them sell for more than $1,000 fairly consistently in nice shape, and one even broke the $2,000 barrier, according to Popsike. To me, this is a record where the condition of the cover would be important, since the black cover tends to fade and, for a promo copy, a nice, sharp, minty cover would be nice. Perhaps other potential bidders felt the same way, which kept the bidding at a reasonable level? I have a couple of original pressings of Kind of Blue, both in nice shape, but I’ve never owned a promo copy. Still don’t.
Sorry, again, for the long gap between posts. With Thanksgiving and an abundance of real work, time has just slipped away. I owe you an update on some of the auctions we were watching, so here goes. We’ll start with some of the records from the seller vinyl-house-uk, including Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Esquire 32-0139. This was an original British pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for a whopping $925. When we started watching this UK pressings a couple of years ago, the prices weren’t nearly this high. Hope we didn’t start a trend. There were a few other similar pressings in the same auction list that sold for high prices, including these Read more
The seller bluenote5 has some interesting and high priced records on eBay now including this one: Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section, Stereo Records 7018. So this is not the Contemporary version and it has the original loose plastic seal with a promotional card for the label inside. The seal is unbroken, so the record is in new condition and the cover is probably close to that as well. Here’s the conundrum with this record: When it was first issued on Contemporary it was 1957 and the labels weren’t producing stereo copies yet, at least not to my knowledge. This was probably the first Stereo release of this record, so in that way it is an original. But it was also probably released at least a couple of years after the original mono recording. You can see in the listing that it doesn’t have the red and blue writing on the back that would make it an original on the Contemporary label. I’m sure this copy is extraordinarily rare and nearly impossible to find sealed like this. As for me, Id rather have the Contemporary. BTW, my copy of this record was from the Bruce M. West collection in Baltimore and it also had the loose polybag cover the cover with the Contemporary promotional card inside. I removed the cover — after all, it was almost 60 years old and quite filthy — but I keep the promotional card inside. It was quite cool to see it in this condition, as if it were sitting on the shelf of a record store in 1957 The start price on the sealed Stereo version in this listing is $1,00. So far there are no bidders.
Let’s start the day with a couple of 10-inch LPs we are watching on eBay: Gigi Gryce and his Orchestra with Clifford Brown, Jazz Time Paris, French Vogue LD 173. This is the original French pressing, issued before the Blue Note version in the U.S. The record and cover are both listed in VG++ condition. This one has just been posted on eBay and closes in seven days. There are already 15 bids and the price is in the $115 range. Here’s the question: Would you rather own the French pressing or the Blue Note? I know, most of us would say “both” but that is not an option. I have to admit, I’d go for the Blue Note. I can’t say why, other than I always have a big smile on my face when I go through my 10-inch records and come across an original Blue Note in beautiful condition. The Vogues, of which I have a few, don’t have nearly the same effect.
Thanks to Daryl and to all the thoughtful, and not so thoughtful (just kidding), commenters on the previous post. Given how sporadically I’ve been posting lately, it’s nice to get some other voices involved. I do have a full complement of jazz records in my eBay watch list, so I will share some of the more interesting items, starting with Lee Morgan, Volume 3, Blue Note 1557. This was an original West 63rd New York 23 pressing that was listed in M- condition for the record and perhaps just a shade below M- for the cover. There were 21 bidders and 37 bids and a final price of $3,629 that jumped from $2,000 in the final seconds. This is not the highest price we’ve seen for this record, according to Popsike, which recorded a copy selling for $4,177 last year. Still, it’s way up there. Brings to mind a note I received from one of our readers last week, linking to a recent article about million-dollar comic books and wondering why, jokingly, the recent Lee Morgan documentary didn’t have a similar impact. Well, we’re not yet in the millions, but our jazz records are definitely on the rise. Plus, we get to listen to what we collect, not just look at it, although looking at it is cool too, as was well discussed in the prior post.
Catching up on my watch list after a few days off eBay, starting with Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in M- condition and Ex for the cover. Looks like there was a three-way bidding war for this LP and it wound up selling for $2,700.
Here’s one for those of you who like to use the term “Holy Grail,” although it is a term I normally avoid, except for a few seconds ago: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is listed in Ex condition by the seller and, based on his key, that seems like it would be a very strong VG+ using standard Goldmine grading. This one is already in the $1,360 range with more than a day left on the auction. It will at least join Peckin’ Time in the $2,000 bin and will probably sell for quite a bit more, based on past history with this record. Read more
Let’s catch up with a few more from our watch list, starting with a pair of Newks: Sonny Rollins, Tenor Madness, Esquire 32-058. This was an original U.K. pressing listed in VG+ condition, although there was surface noise mentioned in the description, so there was some risk involved by the buyer. I guess it depends on your tolerance for noise. The cover was listed in Ex- condition. The final price was about $266. Seller describes the cover artwork as much better than the U.S. edition, which is certainly in the eye of the beholder, but I do tend to like the cover art on these U.K. Esquires as well. As for these two covers, I don’t have a strong preference one way or the other, although, if forced to choose, I’d probably opt for the U.K. version. Along the same vein there was:
Here’s an interesting opportunity: An auction house in the U.K. is auctioning a private jazz collection on Tuesday June 27 and there are options for individuals to bid live, either online or by telephone. The auction house is Omega Auctions and music is one of the areas in which they specialize. The collection belonged to a collector named B.W. Duncan and, of you are interested, you can read his bio here. As for the records themselves: There are quite a large number of Blue Notes, offered as individual pieces, such as Eric Dolphy Out To Lunch or Herbie Hancock My Point of View. There are also Blue Note packages sold in lots, such as an Art Blakey lot or a Horace Silver/Lee Morgan lot. Many of the records in the collection are U.K. pressings. It looks like there are 260 lots in all. It’s worth taking a look at the auction, but make sure to read the instructions if you want to bid because you have to set things up in advance and you have to pay some fairly hefty fees. Read more
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.