Thanks to Daryl and to all the thoughtful, and not so thoughtful (just kidding), commenters on the previous post. Given how sporadically I’ve been posting lately, it’s nice to get some other voices involved. I do have a full complement of jazz records in my eBay watch list, so I will share some of the more interesting items, starting with Lee Morgan, Volume 3, Blue Note 1557. This was an original West 63rd New York 23 pressing that was listed in M- condition for the record and perhaps just a shade below M- for the cover. There were 21 bidders and 37 bids and a final price of $3,629 that jumped from $2,000 in the final seconds. This is not the highest price we’ve seen for this record, according to Popsike, which recorded a copy selling for $4,177 last year. Still, it’s way up there. Brings to mind a note I received from one of our readers last week, linking to a recent article about million-dollar comic books and wondering why, jokingly, the recent Lee Morgan documentary didn’t have a similar impact. Well, we’re not yet in the millions, but our jazz records are definitely on the rise. Plus, we get to listen to what we collect, not just look at it, although looking at it is cool too, as was well discussed in the prior post.
We’re watching a few auctions from the seller bullsite2000, including Billy Taylor, Cross Section, Prestige 7071. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. It looks like the record is in about VG++ condition and the cover is M-. The bidding is in the $90 range and the auction closes later today. Typically, you don’t see any Billy Taylor records selling for high prices. This particular record seems to be somewhat of an exception, selling for more than $200 several times on Popsike. We’ll see what this one goes for. I like the picture on the cover, which is one of the reasons I’m mentioning here at Jazz Collector: It’s not often that I get to use a Billy Taylor Prestige cover with one of my posts, and this one has the old record player, the tube amp and the old records. Wouldn’t you like to own the records on THAT shelf. This is another one with a great cover: Jay Jay Johnson Sextet, Blue Note 5028. This is an original 10-inch Lexington Avenue pressing. The record looks to be in VG+ condition and the cover VG++. It is also closing today. The bidding is in the $250 range.
Clifford had mentioned this in a comment on one of the posts from earlier this week: Barney Wilen Quintet, Guilde Du Jazz J-1239. This is an original pressing that looks to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is close to $400 with two days left, but it has not yet reached the seller’s reserve price. We’ve seen some very high prices for this record in the past, including one that approached $3,000, although that seemed to be an aberration. Still, we expect to see a fairly high price tag on this one, given the condition. If you miss out on that one there’s another original copy of the same record closing a couple of days later. This one isn’t quite in the same condition. The record is graded Ex and the cover is VG. The start price is about $700 and so far there are no bidders.
What was I thinking when I traded away a copy of the following record more than 30 years ago?
Here are a few collectible rare jazz records we are following this week on eBay, starting with Miles Davis and the Modern Jazz Giants, Prestige 3. This is the 16-RPM version of the record and it is, of course, an original pressing. The condition doesn’t look so great and the seller is asking for a starting price of $400 so it is not going to be of interest to me as a potential buyer, but I do have interest in the record as an oddity. Does anyone own this record and, if so, have you ever listened to it — indeed, do you have equipment to listen to it? Is the sound better, worse, the same as a 33-RPM record? And finally, does anyone have any idea why Prestige issued this record and several others in the 16-RPM format? Inquiring minds want to know.
Here are a couple more nice Prestiges from the Jazz Collector era:
As prices continue to rise, readers are sending me more and more emails calling particular records to my attention. This one came from Clifford, with the simple note: “nuts!!!”: Kenny Dorham, Afro Cuban, Blue Note 1535. This was an original pressing, or at least the original 12-inch pressing, and it looked to be in VG++ to M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The final price was $3,819. There were 22 bids and 13 bidders and it went from about $1,700 to the final price in the last few seconds. So, clearly, there were two bidders that really, really, really wanted this record, but that is quite a dear price to pay, IMHO. A commenter on the previous post also pointed to this one, with the simple words “Wow!” and “Crazy!”: Harold Vick, Steppin’ Out, Blue Note 4138. This was an original pressing from the same seller as the Dorham record. The record and cover were both in M- condition. The final price was $720.
Back to eBay. Here’s a beauty, which, if I recall my eBay sellers properly, is from our friend Rudolf: Sonny Red, Out of the Blue, Blue Note 4032. This is an original pressing that looks to be in pristine condition. The bidding is in the $160 range with more than two days to go, and I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see this eventually end up at or near the $1,000 marker. I’m noticing that this is part of a “rare storage find,” so that in itself is quite intriguing. Perhaps Rudolf can shed some light for us. I would love a copy of Out of the Blue, especially since I once had a beautiful copy and traded it not realizing, at the time, how valuable it was and how valuable it would eventually become. I’ll point out one more beauty from the list: Art Blakey, Buhaina’s Delight, Blue Note 4104. This is also an original and it also looks to be in pristine condition. The bidding right now is in the $50 range, but it should sell for a lot more. I would love a pristine copy of this record, since it is one of my favorite Blue Notes of all time. Perhaps I will get in on the action, although I really haven’t been buying at all, and especially not at eBay prices.
Here are some of the jazz records we’re watching on eBay now, including a few from our friends at The Jazz Record Center, starting with: Charles Mingus at the Bohemia, Debut 123. This is an original pressing in M- condition for the record and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. The start price is $200 and there are no bidders with three days left in the auction. I have to admit, I’ve been buying jazz records for 45 years now and I’ve never held an original pressing of this record in my hands. There will be bidding, I am quite sure. From the same auction is this: Bud Powell, Jazz Giant, Norgran 1063. This is an original yellow label pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The start price on this one is $300 and, as with the Mingus record, there are no bidders as of now.
I guess we’re continuing to see a rise in the value of the John Coltrane Impulses, based on recent auctions such as this one:
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.
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:
Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal, Prestige 7068. This is an original New York yellow label listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It looks quite nice and would fill in a gaping hole in my collection, considering that more than 20 years ago I sold my M- copy of this record in a moment of temporary insanity. The starting price on this is $400 and there is already one bid and I can certainly see this approaching the $1,000 bin, which means this will not be the copy that fills the gap in my collection.
Here’s another heartbreaker for me, although the condition of this copy is not quite so attractive: Sonny Red, Out of the Blue, Blue Note 4032. This looks to be