Our friends at funkyousounds are back on eBay with some nice jazz vinyl closing this week, including Johnny Griffin, The Kerry Dancers, Riverside 420. This looks to be an original blue label pressing with deep grooves. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG. The auction closes later today and the price is in the $170 range. Donald Byrd, Fuego, Blue Note 4026. This is an original West 63rd Street deep groove pressing. The record and cover both look to be in VG+ condition. The bidding is in the $220 range with one more day to go. One more: Miles Davis, The New Miles Davis Quintet, Prestige 7014. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York hello label and the original green cover. The record is listed in VG++ condition and the cover is VG+. The price is now in the $300 range, also with one more day on the auction.
I didn’t think this one was a collectible, but there it is being auctioned by the Jazz Record Center with a start price of $100, so it must have collectible value to someone somewhere: Boppin’ With the Chet Baker Quintet, Prestige 7512. This is a stereo pressing with the purple label. I can’t recall any purple label Prestige selling for $100 or more, so I am somewhat surprised to see this one here. We’ll see what happens. On a side note, I saw the Chet Baker bio-pic the other day, Born to Be Blue. Very good film, well done, with a nice performance by Ethan Hawke as Chet. I also saw the Nina Simone bio-pic, Nina, with Zoe Saldana in the title role. There was a lot of controversy about this one because they chose a very light-skinned actress with very white features to play Simone. Anyway, I can’t believe I made it through the whole movie. It was so bad. Don’t bother. And, if you’re a Simone fan, REALLY don’t bother. It will just make you angry. I just noticed that the new Miles Davis bio-pic, Miles Ahead, with Don Cheadle as Miles, is playing up here in The Berkshires this weekend, so that may be next on my agenda.
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?
Readers continue to express shock and awe at the prices on the funkyousounds auction of the Dr. Herb Wong collection. One missive comes in from Dylan concerning this record: Duke Pearson, The Right Touch, Blue Note 84267. This is a Liberty pressing. An original Liberty, but a Liberty nonetheless. And it is a stereo pressing. This one had a promo stamp. The record was M- and the cover was VG++. The price was $560. And then there was Gerry Mulligan, Night Lights, Phillips 600-108. This is the one we mentioned the other day. Stereo pressing, promo stamp, VG++ condition. We were surprised when the bidding had reached $60. The final price was $434. If anyone has a viable explanation for this one, I’d love to hear it: Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges, Blues Summit Verve 8822. This is a reissue — the type that is very hard to sell on eBay for even $10 or $15. This was a sealed copy and it sold for $349.67. Or this one: Miles Davis, Milestones, Columbia 40837. This is just a plain old reissue. I remember seeing these all the time in $2 or $5 bins. This one sold for $278. I’m going to do a few more, just because I’m sitting here absolutely stunned as I go through the list:
“Honey, how much money do we have in our bank account? I want to buy some jazz records.” That was what I asked my wife, the darling Mrs. JC-A, two weeks ago.
There was a rumor circulating around town that there was a pretty nice collection of records up for sale by a private seller. Seems he had spoken to all the record stores in the area. A few of them had been out to his house to inspect the collection, but no one was willing to either commit to what he was looking to get for the records or had turned him off. Imagine that. A record store employee with an attitude. A friend of a friend who worked at a local record store finally squeezed a phone number for the seller out of his boss at the store, when they also decided to pass. Over a thousand records in the collection, but no way for a record store to quickly get in and out of the transaction was the explanation. Atlanta is a mediocre jazz record town, with rock and southern blues (think the Allman Brothers) being the local taste. People like you and me are certainly the exception.
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:
Thanks to Lennib for spotting this one: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch pressing, listed among the very nice 10-inch records we mentioned the other day. This one was also very nice, probably in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Even in this condition, the price was quite a surprise, selling for $1,136.11. That has to be the highest price we’ve seen for a 10-inch Prestige and, frankly, there’s no explanation we can come up with, other than the likely reality that two people really, really wanted this record and the bid the bidding up. From what we can see, the other records in this batch sold for prices that you would typically expect, given the titles and condition, including:
Perusing eBay this morning and came upon this very interesting, and very expensive, item: Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This is described as a limited edition pressing of Kind of Blue, with the back blank. The seller says this was issued for record executives and promoters, which seems possible, although I’ve never seen one before, and I’ve been looking for 45 years. The thing with this one is that the back isn’t exactly blank — it’s been signed by Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Paul Chambers, with a “Best Wishes” thrown in by Trane. It looks pretty authentic, although I’m not an expert on autographs. It is listed in VG++ condition for the record and the cover looks pretty nice, although not actually graded. The seller says it came from her husband’s collection and original priced it at $25,000. It is now up for auction with a start price of about $5,000 and a buy-it-now price of $12,500. Who among us wouldn’t want to own this one? But at what price?
Let’s catch up on some rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, Columbia 1355. This was an interesting one because it looked to be an original first pressing and the record had never been played. When this album was first issued, Columbia used a plastic inner sleeve that had a seal. I know that from a couple of albums I purchased in the Baltimore collection. On this particular copy of Kind of Blue, the seal had never been broken. The cover also looked to be quite pristine and was graded in M- condition. The record wound up selling for $510, a fairly hefty price for the highest selling jazz record of all time. The question is, what will the buyer do with the record? Will he/she open it and play it, thus potentially lowering the value? Or will he/she put it on the shelf for posterity and listen to a different copy of the record, which is so readily available?
I think my work workload is slowing down so, not making major promises, but I think I’ll be back to posting more regularly. At least I certainly hope so. In the meantime, it’s nice to see everyone commenting and keeping the action alive. I was able to swing over to eBay and add some items to my watch list. This is a great record, and one that has certainly gone up in value in the past few years: Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Prestige 7129. This is an original pressing in M- condition for the record and the cover. The seller was able to get some great pictures, which aways helps. The bidding is now in the $440 range and the auction closes later today. I had Miles on my mind because I was just taking a walk in my neighborhood and passed a street called “Miles Davis Way.” Yes, I live near Miles Davis Way. Nice, huh? 🙂 It is a single block — 77th Street between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Miles had an apartment there at 312 West 77th Street. Apparently there was something of a battle to get the street named after Miles, who lived there for about 25 years and enjoyed hanging out on the stoop and chatting with neighbors. Miles? Man, I would have loved to have seen that. Next time I pass the sign, I’ll take a picture and post it here.