Whilst I have immensely enjoyed writing and sharing those personal essays, I know that most of you come to Jazz Collector for the really important stuff, which is keeping track of record prices and sales on eBay, so we can all marvel at how smart and fortunate we were to have bought our records below market value, or we can lament the unfortunate reality that buying the top rare jazz collectibles at today’s market prices is beyond the capacity of many of us, either from a financial perspective or because it offends our basic sensibilities to pay top dollar rather than keep hunting for a bargain, even if it may mean never owning an original pressing of a record that we covet deeply. The point of that rather long sentence is that it is time to get back to business, and since so many of us have a soft spot for Blue Notes, I have decided that today will be a Blue Note day here at Jazz Collector, starting with Wayne Shorter, Ju Ju, Blue Note 4182. This looks to be an original pressing with the New York USA label, Van Gelder and ear. The record and cover are both listed in Ex condition. The price is now close to $400 with more than a day left on the auction. As we have all seen, the price of these later era original pre-Liberty Blue Notes has risen markedly over the past few years. If we haven’t seen these break into the $1,000 bin yet, it looks like that is just a matter of time.
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:
Thanks for all of the suggestions on getting the mildew odor off the covers of the records. I’m going to try a few of these once I have time, probably next week, and I’ll let you know if anything works. In the meantime, I’m not going back for that sterling collection of 10-inch LPs because the price was just too high, all things considered. I’ll write a post when I have more time, also probably next week. This week I am buried in real work, per usual. Despite my workload, I’ve had a chance to look at some items on my eBay watch list and here are a few things to share with the Jazz Collector community, starting with: Lester Young, Pres, Norgran 1072. This was an original yellow label pressing listed in M- condition for the record and VG++ condition for the cover, although there was some writing on the back. I must admit that I started watching this record
Sorry for the long, unexpected delay between my posts, and thanks to Clifford for jumping in. While I’ve been missing . . . . One of our readers sent me a link to Freddie Redd, Shades of Redd, Blue Note 4045. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, Van Gelder, etc. The record was VG+, the cover was VG++, the final price was $565.55 This is a pretty good price for this record and under some circumstances a price I might consider, although, in the end, I tend to wait. My feeling is I do have a Japanese copy of Shades of Redd, so if ever I want to listen to it, I have it. And I do believe that somehow, someday, I will find an original pressing at a price that does not offend my sensibilities. That’s just my approach to collecting, and it’s served me pretty well through the years although, to be honest, I’ve been looking for an original copy of Shades of Redd for at least 40 years and haven’t found one yet. I do also tremendously appreciate it when our Jazz Collector readers point me to records that they know are on my want list, so don’t hesitate to drop me a note.
Here are a few odds and ends from the Jazz Collector in box. Mark sent us this link: Joe Henderson, In ‘N Out, Blue Note 84166. The back cover is all messed up with writing all over it. Except, here’s the explanation from Mark: “So the seller claims the notes and signature are by Joe..an inquiry made to the seller revealed that this album came from the collection of a fellow who booked shows for the Left Bank Jazz Society in Baltimore. Apparently there were many signed albums in his collection along with a photograph of Monk and Wynton Kelly sitting on his own couch! Anyway..interesting piece…” I kind of have a soft spot for memorabilia such as this, although I don’t actually collect it. The record and cover looked to be an original stereo pressing. The final price was $275. Not sure if the writing and signature ensured a higher price, or whether it actually diminished the price. I would guess a stereo copy would get less than $275, so someone probably through the writing was worth something. That’s how I would view it.
There was also this signed record, noted by one of our readers:
Spent the day in Brooklyn yesterday with a table at the WFMU Record Fair, which is being held at the Brooklyn Expo Center in lovely downtown Greenpoint, where my father spent his youth and learned to love jazz. It was a weird day, a bit unlike the other record fairs I’ve attended. Usually, there’s a ton of action before the doors open, with a lot of transactions between dealers, but even more among the dealers and heavy-duty collectors who don’t have tables but purchase expensive early admission passes or pretend to be with dealers that have tables. There was none of that yesterday, and not even a lot of action when the doors opened for early admission at 4 p.m. There was a full crowd at 7, but not a preponderance of jazz collectors.
Here’s another one from my want list, and this one may even get a snipe: Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. This is an original pressing with the Lexington Avenue address, deep grooves, ears, etc. The record is listed in M- condition and the cover is just fair, with seam splits. The cover condition doesn’t bother me so much, but the price may. So far this is at about $250 with more than two days left on the auction. We’ll see. I would love to fill this gap in my collection, and I do love this record.
Here’s another one from the same seller: Dexter Gordon, Our Man in Paris, Blue Note 4146. This is probably an original pressing with the Van Gelder in the dead wax, although there is no mention of the Plastylite ear. The bidding is a bit more than $110 and there are also two days left in this auction. If I were to bid on this, which I won’t, I would at least inquire about the ear. Never hurts to ask.
One more Blue Note, while we’re on the subject:
Our new friend Mr. Nobbyknucks had quite a week for himself, so, now that you are officially a commenter here at Jazz Collector, congratulations. Still, there were records on the list that I thought would go for more and, in retrospect, would have been worth a bid if I were so inclined. Specifically, these caught my eye:
Phil Woods, Woodlore, Prestige 7018. This was an original pressing with the yellow label and New York address. It was listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG for the cover. It sold for $351, which is a nice price, considering the cover. But my sense is that the cover was pretty nice and that the VG grade was super conservative. If you look at the pictures and description, I’d have no problem having that record in my collection, even for $352.
This one also would have filled a nice gap in the collection:
Okay, back to the business of watching rare jazz vinyl on eBay. I’ve been less diligent about watching (and posting) because 1: I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to the records from the collection I just purchased in Baltimore and 2: Having purchased this major collection and melding it with my collection, the last thing I am looking to do now is purchase any more jazz records. But I realize I have an obligation to our loyal readers here at Jazz Collector, so back to eBay it is. Lots of great items on the board right now, including:
Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House, Volume 1, Blue Note 1515. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It is currently in the $450 range with more than two days left on the auction. The same seller is selling Jutta Hipp at the Hickory House Volume 2, Blue Note 1516. This is a not-quite-original. It looks like the original vinyl, in VG++ condition, with a later cover, which looks to be in nice condition, but without a listed grade. Bidding on this one is already more than $200. One more from the same seller:
The Magnificent Thad Jones Volume 3, Blue Note 1546. This was an original New York 23 pressing in M- condition for the vinyl and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $1,136. This is the first time we’ve ever recorded this record in the $1,000 bin in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, although, admittedly, we don’t update the guide as often as we used to.
Chet Baker, Quartet and Sextet, Music LPM 2094. This is an original Italian pressing, very rare, very nice music. The record and the cover are both in M- condition. The bidding is now in the $200 range with three days to go, but the price hasn’t yet hit the seller’s reserve.
Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This is a West 63rd deep groove pressing without the New York 23. The record is in probably VG+ or maybe VG++ condition, while the cover is VG. The price is in the $250 range with three days to go.