I received an interesting question from a reader about sealed records. I am sharing my response here because: 1. It’s an interesting question and I thought it might provoke some interesting responses, and 2. When I tried to reply directly, my email got bounced and I don’t know how to get in touch with the questione otherwise. Anyway, here’s the question:
“I have a couple of hundred “factory sealed jazz albums from late 50’s to mid 70’s. These are from a store stock I owned. I want to start selling them but I can’t tell a prospective buyer what the label looks like (ex Trumpet Verve). What is best way to offer them for sale? Many have drill holes in cover and you can see that the drill went through the orig plastic.”
And here’s my answer:
The Jazz Record Center had an auction last week and I was keeping tabs on a few of their records, including: Sonny Clark, Cool Struttin’, Blue Note 1588. This was an original pressing with a weird variation: Both sides had he same label (Side 2). To me that would diminish the value, not sure why because the music is the same, but it just would. This one looked to be in M- condition for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The final price was $2,500, so perhaps the label aberration effected the price, since we’ve often seen this record sell for more than $3,000 and occasionally more than $5,000. It used to be that the Jazz Record Center would get a premium on its records because of it’s reputation, but I find that is no longer the case. I had thought, perhaps, it was because they didn’t take Pay Pal, but now I notice that they do take Pay Pal. The action also included a bunch of 10-inch Blue Notes, which I love, including:
Whilst I’ve been away, a friend sent me this link: A Recital by Tal Farlow, Norgran 1030. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It looked pristine, probably with the original inner sleeve. The final price was $121.49. Is that high, low or just right? It seems original Norgrans in this condition are quite hard to find, but the demand is nothing close to the original Blue Notes or Prestiges. For my money, Farlow was the best of the bop-oriented guitarists, but his records rarely sell for high collectible prices, particularly in today’s market as we are seeing prices of some records rising to staggering levels. Is it a question of label, race, style of music, era, artist, instrument or some combination of all of the above? It would be easy to suggest it is race, but then someone sent me this link as well: Art Pepper, Modern Art, Intro 606. This was also an original pressing and it was also in M- condition for the record and the cover. This one sold for $3,506. Pepper was iconic because of all the other stuff in his life, so well told and chronicled in his book Straight Life so maybe I’m just stretching a comparison, but it’s interesting to ponder what makes collectors interested in one set of records or artists, versus others of the same era. Hopefully we can generate some interesting discussion.
Let’s catch up on some more jazz vinyl auctions we are/were watching, starting with: Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1565. This was an original pressing listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It looked like quite a beauty and, in fact, may still be available. This one received a top bid of $1,525, yet is failed to meet the seller’s reserve price. I know the market is the market and sellers have every right to hold out for top value, but I still find it hard to fathom wanting to pay more than $1,500 for a single record and still being unable to purchase it.
Here’s a fine looking Blue Note for you: J. R. Monterose, Blue Note 1536. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing that looks to be in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes in three days and the bidding is in the $565 range. Can’t imagine this will sell for less than $1,000, so the question is how much more than $1,000 will it fetch.
This one isn’t regarded as a collectible anymore (clearly), but I kept an eye on it wondering if anyone would even want it at all:
Here’s a little tidbit that comes courtesy of my friend Dan Axelrod. Dan, as faithful readers of Jazz Collector know, was a great friend and protege of the guitar legend Tal Farlow. Dan sent me a note last week asking the following question: Why did Norman Granz farm out the first issue of The Swinging Guitar of Tal Farlow out to a record club? My first response was surprise. He did? I didn’t know that. Turns out the first issue of this record — my favorite of all the Farlows — was issued under the auspices of American Recording Society. I’ve had a few records issued by ARS over the years and, if I recall properly, they didn’t have hard covers. The ones I recall owning were Billie Holiday records, but I didn’t keep them because I had the original Verves. I, of course, suggested to Dan that we post the question here at Jazz Collector, but before either of us got around to posting, he did some research and came up with the answer. Here it is:
Here’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching heading into the weekend:
The Tal Farlow Album, Norgran 1047. This is an original pressing with the yellow label, deep grooves and beautiful David Stone Martin cover. Or is it? My friend Dan, who was Tal’s great friend and protege, has always been a devotee of the 10-inch version of this record based on the crispness of the sound and the fact that it was the original original pressing. I once did a comparison, played the 12-incher and the 10-incher back to back, and it was true: You could hear a difference in the sound. I’m not sure why: Perhaps it was psychological, Dan had planted it in my head and I always trust him when it comes to music. The 10-incher, Norgran 19, has eight tracks. This one has additional tracks that come from . . . . where? Dan, if you’re out there, please fill in the blanks. Based on the description, this looks to be in VG+ or maybe VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The current price is around $80.
Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims, Blue Note 1530. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing and it looks to be in very nice condition, M- for the record and probably VG++ for the cover. The bidding is already quite high for this, in the $1,500 range with more than two days to go.
Here’s some jazz vinyl we’re watching now on eBay. Jackie is back: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad Lib 6601. This one is from a reputable seller and is listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. VG+ is always a risk, but this one is play-graded and sounds like it is in pretty good shape. The bidding has already topped $1,000 on its way to . . . . we’ll see. Also on eBay now is one of my favorites, Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This looks to be an original pressing with the West 63rd address, deep grooves, RVG, ear. It is listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. Start price is $650 and, with a day to go, there are no takers so far. For a high start price like that, I think most buyers would appreciate pictures of the labels, for what it’s worth, although I’d be OK bidding on this record if I was inclined to pay that high a price for it in any condition, which I’m not.
This one is tempting:
Dan is back with another request. This upcoming memoir better be good. (Actually, it is: I’ve seen early drafts). This time Dan is looking for a high-res scan of the following photo from Downbeat, May 2, 1967. I know I have this issue in nice condition, bit it is somewhere in storage and I can’t access it. So if someone out there can help out (again), I’m sure it would be most appreciated.
OK, we’re going to see if we can use the collective wisdom, expertise, knowledge and possible collections of the community to see if we can solve a mystery for a friend. In this case, we are looking for a specific article in Downbeat. All we have is a partial headline and story, pictured here. To me this looks like a Downbeat from the early 1950s when it was still in a newspaper format. We are looking for the issue date of the article and, if possible, a copy of the article itself. My friend says we will not be successful in this quest, that the reference is too obscure. I say never underestimate the power of the Jazz Collector community. Let’s see.
Can’t sleep so I’m up early updating the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Here are some 10-inch records that will be going in:
Miles Davis All Stars Volume 2, Prestige 200. This looks to be an original pressing with the yellow label, probably one of the first Prestiges to have the famous yellow label. The record was listed in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The price was $204.50.
I think this was the first LP issued by Blue Note: Mellow The Mood, Blue Note 5001. It features Ike Quebec, Benny Morton, Buck Clayton and others. The record was VG and the cover was VG++. You’d think it would fetch a high price just for the historic value. But, alas, this copy did not: It sold for $28.
I’ve never seen this one and it has quite a cool cover: Bill Jennings/Leo Parker Quintet, Billy in the Lion’s Den, King 527. This was listed in VG condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $81.
Hard to find this one in M- condition, but here was a copy: Gerry Mulligan Quartet, With Chet Baker, Pacific Jazz 5. It sold for $115.52.
And now for some 10-inch Blue Notes: