I got up early on this beautiful Sunday morning, and got The Lovely Mrs. JC up early as well, to go out for a nice walk and breakfast and an 11 a.m. showing of the Lee Morgan documentary, “I Called Him Morgan” at the Film Society at Lincoln Center. So we had our stroll and our meal and were in the theater by 11 sharp and we sat through about 10 minutes of previews and were settled in nicely and the film started and it was out of focus. I mean, really out of focus. So I went to management and told them and, yada yada yada, we didn’t see the movie. They said it might be ready for the 3 p.m. screening, but they could not make any promises. We hung out for a bit and had a nice conversation with three other disappointed jazz lovers, and then took the stroll back home. I don’t think we are going back today: Instead, I may try to sneak off from work tomorrow morning. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ll have some updates for you this week on the John Coltrane documentary Chasing Trane. Stay tuned.
Here’s a sampling of email from the past few days. We start with our old reliable friend CeeDee who sent us four links under the subject line: “‘Give me Liberty or give me . . . uh, can I get back to you on that?’ plus two.” One of the links was one that we’ve previously written about: Wayne Shorter, Adam’s Apple, Blue Note 4232. This was the original mono pressing with the shrink wrap that sold for, gulp, $997.50. Next was Lee Morgan, the Gigolo, Blue Note 4212. This was also a mono Liberty pressing. I had never considered this to be a collectible Blue Note, but perhaps I’ll have to change my assessment. This one looked to be in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $417.
This one fetched quite a nice price on eBay: Marty Paich Quartet featuring Art Pepper, Tampa 28. This was an original pressing with the red vinyl. It was listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, and the seller certainly posted some nice clear pictures. The final price was $1,181. That’s the highest price I recall seeing for this record, although there was one in Popsike that I must have missed that sold for $1,225.
Then there was this one that didn’t get a bid at all: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This looked to be an original West 63rd Street pressing, unless I’m missing something. The seller’s description was all over the place in terms of the condition. At one point he said it was strong VG+, then VG. He also mentioned the word “pops,” which is not something you want to hear unless
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.
Watching a couple of interesting jazz records that are closing today on eBay, starting with Wes Montgomery, Full House, Riverside 434. This is a mono pressing with the blue label. I know that people here have talked about deep groove versions of this record, but they seem to be exceedingly rare. The non-DG version typically sells for a hefty sum, but so far there is no action on this copy. It is listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover and the start price is about $130. I would expect it to sell, but you never know.
Similar situation with this one: The Arrival of Kenny Dorham, Jaro 5007. This looks to be an original pressing with the promo stamp. The record and cover are both listed in VG++ condition. The start price is $200 and there is a single bid so it will definitely sell, but I would normally expect this record in this condition to get a bit more action than this one seems to be getting.
No worry about this next one seeing lots of action:
I actually have more I want to say about the Coltrane documentary, which I will do in a subsequent post, but today I promised Jazz Collector readers a regular post and that typically means looking at some rare jazz records on eBay. As I type this I have a random playlist on in the background and Bird just came on playing “Confirmation.” So let me pause for a moment. Okay, back with you all.
Well, perhaps there is something in the air. First record I went to on eBay is: Charlie Parker, Bird Blows the Blues, Dial 901. This is an original pressing with the red vinyl. I believe we have established here on Jazz Collector that this was the first 12-inch vinyl record ever? I add the question mark because I’m still not sure. Anyway, I have never owned a copy of this record, and won’t own this one. The starting price is $1,500 and it’s only in VG condition. Even worse, the seller doesn’t include an original picture. That very clear, really enticing picture accompanying the listing, and accompanying this post, is actually copied from a book. For $1,500, I personally wouldn’t mind seeing the real deal, not that I would ever pay $1,500 anyway.
Here’s another collectible jazz record that is new to me: Pony Poindexter, En Barcelona, Spiral LP 11. This looks to be an original pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The final price was $495 and there were four bidders. The seller lists it as a European “holy grail,” an expression I have come to hate after all these years on eBay. I did a quick search and found some information on the record: Recorded in Spain in 1972, only issued originally in Spain. The music seems to be available on disc and on download. Is it worth a listen?
I was also watching a few Lee Morgan records, starting with: Lee Morgan, Indeed, Blue Note 1538. This was a pressing that had one side Lexington Avenue and one side West 63rd. It looked to be in nice shape, but the seller wanted $1,400. There were no buyers at that price, no surprise to me considering that it is clearly not an original pressing. So the buyer didn’t get any offers at $1,400 and now has a listed at $2,000. Go figure.
This one was in far worse condition:
Here’s one I’d consider if I didn’t already own a copy: Presenting Ernie Henry, Riverside 222. This is an original pressing with the white label and deep grooves. Wonderful record featuring Kenny Dorham and Kenny Drew, and, of course, Henry, who had a really unique voice that was silenced when he died tragically of a heroin overdose at the age of 31. You don’t see too many white-label versions of this record pop up on eBay. This one is in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is in the $250 range and the auction closes later today. So far, there are no bidders. Here’s another great record that may or may not sell when the auction closes later today: Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz, Prestige 7034. This is an original yellow label New York pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding has already exceeded $600 but that doesn’t mean it has exceeded the seller’s reserve price, which it hasn’t.
Actually, 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?
Catching up on some jazz vinyl from eBay, staring with Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was a West 63rd Street pressing without the New York 23. It had the deep grooves, ear and other hallmarks of a first pressing, or second depending upon your interpretation. The record was in VG+ condition and the cover looked to be about VG. The final price was $2,575. This seems to be one of those records that has taken on mythic proportions in the collectibles market. Who would have thought even a few years ago that VG+/VG would translate into a value of more than $2,500? A few years from now I would expect the value to be even higher. Speaking of Blue Notes in less than stellar condition: