I participated in a jazz auction the other night. Not an eBay auction, but a traditional auction with real people and an auctioneer and a gavel. Here’s the story: A few weeks ago I got a call from a guy named David Quinn who said he ran an auction house and had in his possession a collection of jazz records and CDs from an estate sale. I helped David out with some information about the jazz collectibles market and he told me he’d send me a list and let me know when the auction was taking place. It was in the Washington DC area. I couldn’t make it down there, so I asked if I could be on the phone and perhaps bid on a few items. He arranged it and when the first item was put on the block at about 6:30 on Wednesday night, there I was on the phone, bidding on items I hadn’t actually seen. This put me at a pretty stark disadvantage, because there were about 30 people physically in the room at Quinn’s Auction Galleries in Falls Church, Va. These people could physically see the items: I was going on guts and instincts and whatever pictures were available online. The thing with this type of auction, the auction house gets
The Complete Capitol Recordings of Duke Ellington, Mosaic MD 5-160. I got this a dozen years ago and never even opened it, so I figured it might be time to sell it. The CDs are unopened and the price is close to $100. Also: The Complete Blue Note/UA Curtis Fuller Sessions, Mosaic MD3-166. Similar situation as the Duke, with the CDs unopened. This one is currently at $50, but I’m hoping it goes for a lot more.
I had this one hanging in a frame above my desk: Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This is an original New York pressing. It is
Jun 21, 2009 Boxed Sets
Just got an email from our friends at the Jazz Record Center. They have put up another auction on eBay, this time it’s all boxed sets from the Mosaic Label. Among the items are sets from Tina Brooks, Charles Mingus, Art Pepper and Lee Morgan. There seem to be 31 sets in all. If you’re interested you can view them here. We’ll keep track on the prices of some of these so that we can add them to the Jazz Collector Price Guide. We also have a bunch of Mosaics of our own that we will be selling soon.
Things are kind of slow on eBay today, but there are definitely a few items of interest for those of us in the Jazz Collector world. Of particular note are several Blue Note test pressings from the seller Bluenotesound, which, we believe, is affiliated with Mosaic Records. This one is of the Jackie Mclean Quintet, listed as Blue Note BST 84116. It was recorded in 1962 — the record has the date 9-2-62 — but wasn’t released until the 1970s. It features Kenny Dorham and Sonny Clark and, according to the seller, Blue Note only issued 25 test pressings of each LP, so it would be extremely rare. In addition to this Jackie test pressing, there are two other test pressings available: Leo Parker, Rolling With Leo, and a copy of the Sam Rivers LP Dimensions and Extensions. All of these are in near mint condition. It’ll be very interesting to see the final prices.
Among the more conventional jazz collectibles are:
Missed out on a few interesting items the past few days. In some cases the prices got a little too rich for my blood, in others I forgot to bid. My friend recommends buying Sniper software, which I plan to do today. I’ll let you know how it works out. Anyway, it was a busy weekend on eBay for some high-end collectibles. Here are some examples.
Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225
This was an original pressing in M- condition, record and cover. Price: $787.
If you watch eBay very closely, your point of view can get distorted. Case in point: I look at this and wonder if the buyer got a bargain at $787. Here’s why: Last week the same item in virtually the same condition sold for $1,261. It’s hard to conceive of $787 for one record as a bargain, but the reality is that prices are set by the market, especially on eBay. Seeing this record sell twice in the past week breaks my heart. I had an original mint pressing of this LP, which I sold years ago for a fraction of these prices. I used the money partially to buy a boat. Two months later, the boat sank. To this day I’ve never been able to replace Quiet Kenny. Here are a few more examples of wild market swings. This weekend one dealer sold the following records for the following prices:
Dexter Gordon, Dexter Calling, Blue Note 4083. Record and cover were M-. Price: $395
Sonny Rollins, Moving Out, Prestige 7058. Also M-. Price: $295
Donald Byrd, The Cat Walk, Blue Note 4075. Also M-. Price: $325
Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. Also M-. Price: $510
Pretty hefty prices, right? Here’s what’s more remarkable: One of these was not an original pressing: The Rollins LP had the New Jersey label, not the New York label. Also of interest of the weekend: The very rare Jackie McLean record on Ad Lib was up for sale. The record was in G condition, the cover VG-. The bidding topped out at $588.75, but the record didn’t sell because it didn’t meet the dealer’s reserve price. This is another one of those records I sold years ago to buy that damn boat. Ugh! At Jazzcollector.com we keep an ongoing tally of collectible record prices on eBay. We update it at least once a week. Here’s a look at the latest prices. Here’s a look at the larger database.
Upcoming on eBay
There always seem to be items of interest on eBay. I fully believe that if you had enough money, time and interest, you could buy up the entire Blue Note and Prestige catalogues in near mint condition. Anyway, here are some of the items we’re watching over the next couple of days:
John Coltrane, Giants Steps, Atlantic 1311. This is an original mono pressing with the bulls-eye logo. Last time I looked the price was $99. I recently bought a stereo copy with the bulls-eye logo for $50. This dealer also has a nice copy of Soultrain, Prestige 7142 and some other good items. After you look at Giant Steps click view seller’s other items to see what else he has.
The dealer who sold Quiet Kenny also has some interesting items this week. He sold a bunch of original Blue Notes and Prestiges last week, all in beautiful condition. His next auction this week is Hank Mobley, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. The start price is $850. After you look at this, also check out his other items.
Here are a few more upcoming items to whet your appetite:
Bud Powell, The Scene Changes, Blue Note 4009
Ray Draper, Tuba Sounds, Prestige 7096
Serge Chaloff, Complete Sessions, Mosaic 147
We can’t vouch for any of these dealers, but they all seem reputable and we’ve had successful dealings with some of them. In all cases, you should look and see what else they have for auction this week. It never hurts to look.
Tags: Ad Lib Records, Atlantic Records, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon, Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, Kenny Dorham, Mosaic Records, New Jazz, Ray Draper, Serge Chaloff, Sonny Rollins
Feb 21, 2004 Features
Sonny Stitt, The Complete Roost Sonny Stitt Studio Sessions, Mosaic Records MD9-208
By Al Perlman
I am an unabashed fan of Mosaic records. No company does a better job mining and repackaging the treasures of recorded jazz. From Mosaic’s beginnings in 1983 the company has focused on producing comprehensive boxed sets that document periods or styles of music from either specific artists or record labels. From the comprehensive liner notes to the annotated discographies to the intricate remastering of the original recordings, each set is a gem.
What I also appreciate as a Jazz Collector is that the Mosaic releases have always represented a great investment: The company produces limited editions of all its releases (with one or two exceptions) and once the designated number of copies are sold, that’s it, no more are released. This has created a strong
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