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.
Miles, His New Quintet, Esquire 32-021. This is the U.K. pressing of the first of the Miles Davis Quintet records featuring John Coltrane. This copy was in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $145.44.
Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Esquire 32-068. This was also an original U.K. pressing in VG+ condition for the record and VG for the cover. This one sold for $77.44. I will say that the cover on this one is slightly less appealing, for whatever reason.
Then there was this one, from a different seller:
I was watching that Clifford Brown autograph (as well as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, et al), but didn’t have enough interest to actually bid on it. To my surprise, there were only five bidders altogether, which would seem to indicate minimal interest at that price, which turned out to be $482.11. I did casually mention when I wrote the earlier post that Clifford was probably among my top five musicians of all time and that I would ponder that and do another post on it this weekend. Sometimes, as we all do, I say and do stupid things. It was stupid to even suggest that I could create a list of top five favorite musicians, when there are so many musicians I love and each musician brings something different and special to my life and my enjoyment of music. Last night I was listening to the Dexter Gordon record, Getting’ Around, Blue Note 4204, and I was thinking about how much I love Dexter and how much I treasured seeing him as often as I did in the early and mid-1970s, particularly his very first club date when he began playing again in the United States. And, goodness, what an amazing ballad performance on “Who Can I Turn To.” And then I put on two Miles Davis records, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain, and I thought
Today we have a couple of updates for the $1,000 jazz vinyl bin and a bit more on promos, including the WLPs (white label promos) that are apparently a common term that is new to me after 45 years of collecting. First, for the $1,000 bin there is Eric Dolphy In Europe, Debut 136. This is the original Danish pressing and the record and cover both looked to be in M- condition. The record sold for $1,026.
This one is left over from New Year’s, but CeeDee had sent it to me and I had forgotten to post it: Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing listed in Ex condition, which sounds like VG++ based on the grading system we use here at Jazz Collector. It sold for $1,605. I happened to be perusing my collection late last night and came upon this record and almost forgotten that I had it: Almost, but not quite. I’ve only had it for a little more than a year, since the Baltimore score of a lifetime. I think I will listen to it later today.
Back on the promo front there was this:
The final batch of records has arrived. The guy from the shipping department in the building just brought them up on a hand truck. Three boxes – those banker’s box file boxes, the brown and white ones you get in Stapes. They’ve never been good for storing or transporting records, but hopefully this batch made it through safely. Opening the first box. There’s a sheath of what looks to be sheepskin or some kind of cotton on top. Nice. The records seem safe. On top, an Errol Garner record. No big deal. Going through the records. Each has the same type of soft plastic cover: I have a feeling these were the original covers on the records. In the 1950s and 1960s they didn’t use what we have come to know as shrink wrap, but they used a cover and it fit loosely over the records, just like these. They certainly seem old enough, and dirty enough, and covered with enough dust to have been original covers from the 1950s. No matter. Getting through the box, one by one, record by record.
Let’s close the loop on some of the rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching here at Jazz Collector, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia, 1656. You may recall this was the record with the inner seal and signed by Miles, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and JJ. Johnson. When we first looked at this record there was one day left in the auction and the bidding was in the $300 range. The record wound up selling for a whopping $2,091.75.
Here are a few from the recent Jazz Record Center auction, starting with Red Rodney, 1957, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in M- for the cover and probably VG++ for the record. We were commenting that there was no action in the auction but, of course, there was quite a bit at the end. The record wound up selling for $1,324.50. Thelonious Monk, Monk, Columbia 2291. This would not normally appear on a list of collectible records, but this was a promo copy with the white labels. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $114.37. From the same auction there were also . . .
Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching on eBay now, starting with Sonny Rollins Plus Four, Prestige 7038. This looks like an original pressing to me with the first cover illustration, which means it is probably the original frame cover. The seller admits he doesn’t know much about jazz records, but he has this listed in VG++ condition for the vinyl and Ex for the cover and it’s certainly a fine-looking record. The start price is $250 and so far there are no bidders. Am I missing something, or will the bidding just come in late?
Among all kinds of weird stuff, this seller has mixed in a couple of 10-inch jazz gems, including Miles Davis, Young Man with a Horn, Blue Note 5013. This looks to be an original 10-inch pressing. In one place the seller lists it as VG+, and in another he has the vinyl as M-. Quite a difference. The start price for this is about $500 and there is one bid. From the same seller is Miles Davis Volume 2, Blue Note 5022. This one has a similar issue, listed as VG+ in one place and VG++ in another. This one has a start price of around $400 and there is one bid.
Here are some of the items we’re watching on eBay now, starting with some 10-inch LPs: Clifford Brown, New Star on the Horizon, Blue Note 5032. This is an original pressing listed in VG condition for the record and VG for the cover. There are three days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $50 range. Lately, we’ve been seeing high prices for original 12-inch Blue Notes, even those in not-such-great condition, like this one. I have a feeling we won’t see the same phenomenon for the 10-inch records, simply because they are a greater risk to begin with. They typically have more surface noise anyway, at least to these ears. Not sure why that is. Readers? Watching the auctions from this seller will give us a sense of the market, since he has a lot of nice 10-inch LPs in similar shape, including Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. Actually, this one is in better shape, graded at VG+ for both the record and the cover. The bidding, so far, reflects the better condition. This one is now in the $70 range.
I was also watching this one from the same seller, and I was surprised it fetched as high a price as it did: