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:
Here are some odds and ends from the jazz vinyl world on eBay, starting with Ornette Coleman, ESP 1006. This is an original pressing with the silkscreen cover. The record is listed in Ex+ condition, which I interpret to VG++ in the terms we use here at Jazz Collector. The start price is about $700 and so far there are no bids. What struck me about this listing were that the seller described it as a “holy grail” LP, which is a term I have come to detest after all these years watching eBay. The second thing that struck me was that the seller states as fact that there were less than 50 of these pressed. I find that hard to believe. I feel like I’ve seen at least 50 of these on eBay these past dozen or so years. I tend to doubt it’s the same 50 records going back and forth between collectors. Clifford would probably have a better sense of the veracity and reality behind this record, so please enlighten us when you get a chance.
This one looks appealing, particularly since I still don’t have an original pressing:
People have already commented on this, but it must have its own post. That Lee Morgan record I mentioned the other day, Lee Morgan, Indeed!, Blue Note 1538. If you recall, I kind of joshed with the seller, chiding him for stating that his copy was “the finest on planet earth.” Apparently the hyperbole worked quite well, indeed! There were at least nine bidders that I could identify and 25 bids. The final price was, get this, $7,786. Not counting that weird Hank Mobley Blue Note 1568 from a few months back that got a bid of more than $11,000 — which turned out to be not a real bid, but some kind of barter — this is the highest price we can recall seeing for any jazz record. I hope the buyer gets a lot of joy out of it. I’m sure the seller already has.
Back in action again. Working out of my apartment this week in Manhattan. There’s a construction project next door, so I’m sitting here with headphones to block out the noise. Right now it’s Bill Evans “I Loves You Porgy.” There are worse ways to work. Now, on to eBay, starting with Here Comes Frank Foster, Blue Note 5043. This is an original 10-inch pressing with the Lexington label. The seller misspells the name as “Forster.” Can’t imagine that would affect searches, but you never know. This one is listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The starting price is about $300 and so far there are no bidders with more than three days left. I imagine, in this condition, this record will get some decent action. I have seen Japanese reissues of this record, but was it ever issued on Blue Note in the U.S. on a 12-inch LP? Same with the Dizzy Gillespie Blue Note, Horn of Plenty. I don’t recall seeing that on a 12-inch LP. Any other Blue Notes in a similar category? I can’t think of any off the top of my head, although I’m sure there are more.
Here are a variety of jazz records from my eBay watch list, as I still get back into the swing of things following my trip to Italy and subsequent return to reality. Let’s start with Doug Watkins at Large, Transition 20. This was an original pressing that looked to be in absolutely pristine condition, including the record, cover and booklet. Even the labels seemed to be intact. Potential bidders probably assumed, and probably correctly, that this may be the cleanest version of this record to come on the market some 60 years after its original release. So it sold for a whopping $3,161.
While I’m looking at whopping prices, here’s another: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This was an original pressing with the deep grooves, ears, West 63rd address, etc. It was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $2,750.
And then there are some records that don’t sell at all, or sell for relatively low prices. To wit:
I’m still here, haven’t left yet. Thanks to Clifford for filling in, but while I’m here I’ll strive to do at least a couple more posts. Here are a couple of items that came in from readers, starting with our friend CeeDee under the subject: “prices going up, up, up . . . Liberty!” with a link to Herbie Hancock, Empyrean Islands, Blue Note 4175. This was a clear Liberty pressing, no doubts. It was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover, and the cover was also in shrink wrap (big deal, right?). The record sold for $300 and there were at least four bidders in on the action at the end. Is this a trend, Liberty Blue Notes selling for collectible prices?
This one came in from another reader, and I’m not quite sure why, but I’ll post it here anyway:
Here 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:
Since I’ve been offline for a bit, let’s catch up on some of the items we were watching when we left, and then we’ll move on to some new items in the next post. Lots of Blue Notes today, starting with J.R. Montrose, Blue Note 1536. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing that was listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for just $667. I say “just” because we’ve seen this record sell for quite a bit more, in even worse condition than this one. I imagine the buyer is quite happy with this purchase.
Lee Morgan, City Lights, Blue Note 1575. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that was listed inn M- condition for both the record and the cover. This one sold for $775 and that’s another “just” because this record has surpassed the $1,000 mark several times in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Are we seeing a temporary dip in the market as we head into the summer? I don’t follow exchange rates closely — is that an issue that would drive prices down?
I thought I’d have more to say about the death or Ornette Coleman, but I really don’t. I am not an expert on his music and was never really a fan, although I typically liked what I heard, at least from his early years. So I’m going to go back to what I normally do here, which is watch records on eBay, starting with a pair of French records from a French seller: Barney Wilen, Tilt, Swing 30.058. This is an original pressing from 1957. It is listed in VG+ condition for the record and M- for the cover. The price is in the $400 range with less than two days left, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. Nice cover, but don’t know the record. Readers? Another one that is quite rare, but unfamiliar to my ears:
Let’s begin the day with some Blue Notes on my own personal want list, starting with Curtis Fuller, The Opener, Blue Note 1567. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, RVG and ear. The record is listed as M- and the cover is VG++. The price is currently around $450 with more than three days to go. This record, in this condition, I fully expect to sell for more than $1,000. This is another one of those records that I owned and sold about 35 years ago to buy a boat. You know the story: The boat sank and I’ve still never replaced the record.
Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record is in M- condition and the cover is VG++. This one is in the $460 range and I also expect it to sell for more than $1,000. This was