Just spent some time perusing eBay and added a few more items to our watch list, which is not the same as our wish list. Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching, starting with The Duke Pearson Quintet, Hush, Jazzline 3302. This is an original pressing of a record that you hardly ever see posted on eBay. This one is in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover, depending upon your level of discernment. For me, it’s VG+. The bidding is in the $300 range and there are still more than two days to go. If you check out this record, check out the seller’s other listings. It is one of the dealers from Italy who often has very nice listings. In addition to Hush, for example, you will see Paul Chambers, Go!, VeeJay 1014. This is an original pressing with the maroon label and deep grooves. It looks to be in M- condition for the record and the cover. The price is
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?
Back in business, back on eBay, back to posting more regularly. First let’s catch up on some of the items we had been watching, starting with Hank Mobley Sextet, Blue Note 1560. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The seller had described the record as Ex and the cover as VG++, but it was clear from the pictures that the condition was less than VG++. At the time we first posted this record, the start price was around $500 and there were no bids. In the end there were four bidders, six bids and a final price of $1,075. I’m sure the seller was quite pleased. Hopefully, the buyer was as well.
Bill Evans, Explorations, Riverside 351. This was an original mono pressing with the blue label, deep grooves and reels/microphone logo. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG+ and the final price was $504.90. It looks like this record, and a few others we were watching, were purchased by one of our readers, so congratulations. Here’s another one of his scores: Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Prestige 7129. This was an original yellow label pressing with the New York address. The record and cover were both listed in M- condition, and the pictures accompanying the listing certainly made it look quite pristine. The final price on this one was $1,037.99. Welcome to the $1,000 bin.
I’m actually cleaning out my eBay watch list in preparation for finally doing a modest updating of the Jazz Collector Price Guide. So, as I clear out records, I will just post some random results for the next couple of days, starting with one for the $1,000 bin: Paul Chambers Quintet, Blue Note 1564. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address. The record looked to be in VG++ condition and the cover was probably VG. It sold for $1,203. This came from the same seller: Kenny Burrell at the Five Spot, Blue Note 4021. This was an original West. 63rd Street pressing that looked to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $334.
Another Blue Note: Horace Parlan, Headin’ South, Blue Note 4062. This was
The eBay watch list for jazz vinyl is still pretty full with interesting stuff. Let’s start with one that is not an original and will not even make it to the Jazz Collector Price Guide, if and when I ever get around to updating it again: Sonny Red, Out of the Blue, Blue Note 4032. This is an odd pressing: It has the West 63rd Street address on the labels, but no deep grooves and no ears. It also has shrink wrap, with a stamp that notes the record can be played on stereo players. I’m thinking this may be an early Liberty pressing when they still had old labels left over, although I don’t recall ever seeing other later and/or Liberty pressings of this record. There is a bid on the record at $40, but the seller also has a reserve price that hasn’t yet been met. I’ve had my eye on this record for a long time because I once owned a copy and traded it away about 30 years ago and have never been able to replace it. I can’t see replacing it with a non-original such as this, so the search goes on. Trading away an original copy of this record in beautiful condition was not one of the brighter things I’ve ever done in the world of jazz collecting.
I was piling a bunch of very nice records into my Watch List folder and noticed that many were from the same seller, including Art Taylor, Taylor’s Wailers, Prestige 7117. This is an original New York yellow label pressing that looks to be in at least VG++ condition for both the record and the cover, and perhaps even better. The auction closes in three days and the bidding is close to $500. Interesting coincidence: Just a couple of days before noticing this listing I put this record on the turntable and gave it a close listen. I don’t think I’d ever listened to it and I was expecting one of those Prestige jam sessions. It’s not. It’s a well arranged, carefully conceived album with tremendous playing all around. The main group has Donald Byrd, Charlie Rouse, Jackie McLean, Ray Bryant and Wendell Marshall, in addition to AT. I have no idea why Prestige threw in another track by a separate group with John Coltrane, Red Garland and Paul Chambers, but of course it’s wonderful that they did. Coltrane is in nice form, but it’s the rest of the album that is also quite impressive. I highly recommend giving it a listen for those of you lucky enough to own a copy.
Here’s an interesting one I seemed to miss: Miles Davis, Miles Ahead, Columbia 1041. This is an original pressing but that’s not what makes it interesting. On the back cover are six signatures: Miles Davis, Julian” Cannonball” Adderley, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Jimmy Cobb and Paul Chambers. The signatures are all in blue ballpoint pen. The seller admittedly had no idea of the provenance of the signatures or whether they were legitimate. Seems that he picked up the record at a yard sale or estate sale. The cover was probably in VG+ condition with a seam split on the bottom. There were 39 bids on the item and in the last hour it went from about $2,000 to its final price of $3,100.99. Imagine if the signatures aren’t legitimate? Or, on the other hand, imagine what this would have fetched if the signatures were 100% verified. I do have a question, however. Why would Jimmy Cobb sign his name “Jimmie Cobb?” Are there other circumstances where he went by Jimmie, as opposed to Jimmy or, as on Kind of Blue, James Cobb?
As promised, here is the original DownBeat review of Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568, perhaps the most valuable and treasured of all the Jazz Collector collectibles. This is from Oct. 30, 1958 and the reviewer is John A. Tynan:
“Hank Mobley — Blue Note 1568: Might Moe and Joe; Falling in Love With Love; Bags Groove; Double Exposure; News.
“Personnel: Mobley, tenor; Curtis Porter, alto, tenor; Bill Hardman, trumpet; Sonny Clark, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Art Taylor, drums
“Rating — Three and a half stars
“One of the nicer things about Al Lion and associates at Blue Note is that they don’t hesitate to present new talent they consider worthwhile. On this set is presented 29-year-0old Philadelphia saxman Curtis Porter, who is equal to the company. Although it is Mobley’s date, the leader allows generous space for the wailing of his fellow reedman, which makes for a high degree of hard blowing.
I happened to be perusing old DownBeats yesterday when I casually opened up the issue of Oct. 30, 1958. The “jazz record reviews” listed on the cover were for Harry Belafonte, Terry Gibbs, Benny Goodman, Earl Hines, Shorty Rogers and Bob Scobey. Nothing too interesting, and I almost passed up on reading the reviews. So I was a bit surprised to see that this issue contained reviews of two of the rarest and most highly treasured records in the entire Jazz Collector pantheon: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588 and Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568.
Let’s start with Cool Struttin’. The reviewer, Don Gold, gave it two and a half stars out of a possible five stars. To put it in perspective, Cool Struttin’ had a lower rating than these records, also reviewed in this issue: Steve Allen All Stars Featuring Terry Gibbs; Danny Alvin and His Kings of Dixieland Play Basin Street: Belafonte Sings the Blues; Paul Horn Plenty of Horn, and Moe Koffman, The “Shepherd” Swings Again. This is what the reviewer had to say about Cool Struttin’:
Speaking of New Jazz, this one sold recently in eBay: Roy Haynes, Phineas Newborn and Paul Chambers, We Three, New Jazz 8210. This looked to be an original purple label pressing with the deep grooves. It was listed in VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The seller was very stingy with information and there was only one bid, which always makes me suspicious. The price was $299.99.
Maybe I should have bid. I was watching that copy of Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This one was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover and looked quite nice. I figured it would sell for more thna $1,000. It didn’t. It sold for $535. Worth it? Just look at the cover.
I also had my eye on this one but, considering the condition, the price was too high: