“Hi, I am fairly new to jazz vinyl collecting and listening. I have been drawn to the 50’s and 60’s jazz and LOVE your site. Unfortunately so much of this vintage jazz is way out of my budget. I have been buying when and what I can afford. Wanted to share this: This past weekend I was in a vintage shop with my wife and wasn’t sure I would find anything. In the back was a small box with some records. I start flipping through them like I always do when I find records in vintage/antique shops. I run across a Donald Byrd – Royal Flush BLP 4101 original pressing. The vinyl itself is VG in appearance, plays somewhere between VG and VG+ and the cover is VG+. The price on the album was $10. I was elated and couldn’t get the money out of my wallet fast enough! Hope I didn’t bore you. Thanks for your site and keep the posts coming as it is helpful in my jazz education!” Read more
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.
Here’s a few items from the Jazz Collector in box, starting with a note from our friend CeeDee, who is commenting that “it looks like the cost of some Liberty pressing Blue Notes are approaching the price of the originals,” with a bunch of links, including Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights, Blue Note 1597. Not only is this a Liberty pressing, the cover, with the Andy Warhol illustration, is only on VG condition. This one sold for $255, which is quite a change in the market over the past few years. The other big change in the market is the tremendous spike in prices of the United Artists Blue Notes, which were 1980s reissues for the Japanese market. Unfortunately, I sold a lot of my Liberty and United Artists pressings a few years ago on eBay, generally for $10 or $20 apiece, which was the going rate at the time. Fortunately, however, the reason I sold those pressings was because I was able to obtain copies of the originals and these were just duplicates.
I’d like to follow up on some of the auctions we’ve been watching, starting with this one, which I still find kind of strange: Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, A Night in Tunisia, Vik 1115. This was an original pressing listed in Ex condition for the record and the cover. I’ve never really covered it before as a collectible, but now I will, at least based on the final price tag, which was $324.45. I had promised to listen to a copy, but I realized my body is in the city and my record is in the country. Given the era, the personnel and the repertoire I’m sure it’s a great record. And, of course, there is the only recording in history of the infamous Ferris Benda, aka Jackie McLean.
Catching up on my eBay watch list, and starting with this one because I dig the cover and don’t recall ever seeing it before: Miles Davis, Dig Featuring Sonny Rollins, Esquire 32-062. This was an original British pressing and there’s just something cool about these Esquire covers. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover was VG+. The final price was $182.50. For those of you commenting on the earlier posts about alternatives to paying top dollar for U.S. originals on Prestige, these UK pressings look like a pretty good deal to me. And from my experience, the sound is equal to the U.S. pressings. (But, alas, there is no comparable alternative for the Blue Note fanaticos out there, is there?)
Speaking of original Prestiges, there was also this on our watch list: Read more
Thanks to Lennib for spotting this one: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch pressing, listed among the very nice 10-inch records we mentioned the other day. This one was also very nice, probably in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Even in this condition, the price was quite a surprise, selling for $1,136.11. That has to be the highest price we’ve seen for a 10-inch Prestige and, frankly, there’s no explanation we can come up with, other than the likely reality that two people really, really wanted this record and the bid the bidding up. From what we can see, the other records in this batch sold for prices that you would typically expect, given the titles and condition, including:
I had another one of those fortunate coincidences yesterday that sometimes seem to cause some sort of envy around here, but which I shall share nonetheless. So I am up at my home in The Berkshires, and The Lovely Mrs. JC works in Manhattan and sometimes she takes the train up and I meet her at the station in Hudson, N.Y., about an hour from our home. And yesterday she was arriving at 6:30 but I decided to leave a bit early because there is a major construction project along the way and I didn’t want to be delayed, anxious to see her and all that. But there was no traffic and I made it to Hudson with about 15 minutes to spare and I know that there’s a record store in Hudson and as I was driving past it I figured, OK, if I can find a parking spot in front, I’ll go in. And there, of course, was a spot right in front, so it was no hassle. Now, I’ve been to this store several times before and I have never purchased anything. They have come vintage jazz and their prices are fair, but they aren’t bargain prices by any means. Except . . . Read more
We’re going to ask our European readers about this one: Thelonious Monk, Piano Solo, Swing 33.342. This is a 10-inch LP that I think is an original French pressing. I’m not sure if it’s a re-issue of Blue Note tracks. I’m not sure of much about it at all, in fact. When I did a Google search, the previous mentions that came up were from postings here at Jazz Collector, showing that the record has sold for more than $500 in the past. This one is listed at M- condition for the record and Ex+ for the cover and is now in the $150 price range with just a few hours left in the auction. Anyone doing a search for this record may be stymied because the seller didn’t realize that the label is “Swing” and not “Wing.” Any background on this rare record would be most appreciated. Awesome cover, by the way.
Meanwhile there are always Blue Notes and more Blue Notes:
My eBay watch list is overflowing and there are some interesting items we don’t often see here, including some 78-RPM records. Let’s start with Charlie Parker, The New Sounds in Modern Music, Savoy 510. This is a boxed set of Charlie Parker 78s. Unfortunately, the seller doesn’t say which ones, although if I were interested (as I may be) I would at least attempt to pose the question. The records — can’t call them vinyl — are in VG+ condition and the cover is probably VG or VG+, depending upon the condition. I am probably one of the few among us who still collects 78s. I’ve had the good fortune to run into a few inexpensive collections, and then I was very fortunate with the 78s I purchased in the infamous Baltimore collection. I probably have about 1,000 78s, with probably about 40 Parkers on Savoy, Dial and Mercury, but a Bird Savoy boxed set would make a nice addition to the collection. There is a big concern with buying 78s on eBay, because
I was watching that Clifford Brown autograph (as well as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, et al), but didn’t have enough interest to actually bid on it. To my surprise, there were only five bidders altogether, which would seem to indicate minimal interest at that price, which turned out to be $482.11. I did casually mention when I wrote the earlier post that Clifford was probably among my top five musicians of all time and that I would ponder that and do another post on it this weekend. Sometimes, as we all do, I say and do stupid things. It was stupid to even suggest that I could create a list of top five favorite musicians, when there are so many musicians I love and each musician brings something different and special to my life and my enjoyment of music. Last night I was listening to the Dexter Gordon record, Getting’ Around, Blue Note 4204, and I was thinking about how much I love Dexter and how much I treasured seeing him as often as I did in the early and mid-1970s, particularly his very first club date when he began playing again in the United States. And, goodness, what an amazing ballad performance on “Who Can I Turn To.” And then I put on two Miles Davis records, Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain, and I thought