I’m preparing to update the Jazz Collector Price Guide so I’m going through my watch list and catching up on some items I may have missed, starting with: The Unique Thelonious Monk, Riverside 209. This was described as an original white label pressing in VG+ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The listing was quite weird in that there were no pictures of the actual record or cover. Instead, there was a canned picture that looked as if it came off the Internet. No harm, at least to the seller. This one wound up selling for $531. That’s the highest price we’ve ever seen for that record in the Jazz Collector Price Guide. Maybe it pays to not post pictures, huh?
Art Blakey, A Night at Birdland Volume 1, Blue Note 1521. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record was probably in VG+ condition and the cover was M-. This one sold for $510.
I had a couple of hours to kill the other night and I spent them both on eBay, just perusing through the listings and looking for interesting stuff. I pretty much filled my watch list. Here are some of the items that caught my eye:
Dizzy Reece, Soundin’ Off, Blue Note 4033. This one looked quite promising with original shrink wrap. The record was in Ex or Ex+ condition and the cover VG+. But on close inspection, there were no deep grooves and no mention of an ear in the deadwax, so that probably wasn’t there either. Still, the record sold for $166.50. Would you think this was a Liberty issue with old labels, or would it be pre-Liberty? Is there any real way of knowing? It so happens there is a second copy of Soundin’ Off that looks to be an original pressing, ears and all. This one is in VG+ condition for the record and the cover and is currently priced at about $120 with well more than two days left on the auction.
This listing struck me because it seems pretty clear that the seller did not use a picture of the actual record cover and showed no pictures at all of the labels or vinyl:
Feb 28, 2014 Blue Note
You know those cool, inexpensive record shelves produced by Ikea, the Expedit line? Well, if you want any, you better stock up now. They are discontinued, which apparently has caused something of a brouhaha among record collectors. A spokesman for the company says there is a new line in place to replace Expedit, called Kallax. For its part, Ikea is stating that it is updating and improving the Expedit line, but record collectors don’t seem appeased, judging by the outcry. I took a look at the Kallax line, here, and, frankly, I don’t see what the fuss is about. I own one large Expedit unit and if I had to replace it with a Kallax I think I would survive.
There’s a lot of Blue Note activity going on. The company is launching what it calls a 75th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative by which it is
Before posting the previous video, I did have a watch list of nice jazz vinyl on eBay. So let’s see how some of those auctions turned out:
There were those nice items from Euclid records, including The Unique Thelonious Monk, Riverside 209. This was an original white label pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $463.50. Also, Thelonious Monk and Sonny Rollins, Prestige 7075. This was an original New York yellow label pressing in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $768.88. One more: Donald Byrd, Byrd in Hand, Blue Note 4019. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $515.
This one sold after several attempts:
Here’s another selection of jazz vinyl we are watching on eBay, starting with Johnny Griffin, A Blowing Session, Blue Note 1559. This is clearly marked as a United Artists pressing. The seller lists it as a 1968 pressing, which I think he’s just making up. As far as I know these United Artists Blue Notes were originally issued for the Japanese market in the late 1970s or early 1980s. In any case, this is in VG++ condition for the record and the cover and is currently at a price of $78. Is it possible that these United Artists Blue Notes are increasing in value to the point where they are becoming collectibles? Or is it perhaps an aberration, some bidders not knowing, some not caring, some not reading the listing carefully enough?
Our friends at Euclid Records have some very nice records on eBay now, including The Unique Thelonious Monk, Riverside 209. This is an original white label pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. This one is already in the $250 range with nearly four days left on the auction. Here’s another:
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John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This was an original pressing. The seller didn’t give it a grade, but from the description is sounded like the vinyl was probably M-. The cover was probably VG++, based on the pictures. It sold for a whopping $3,000. That’s far and away the highest price we’ve ever seen for Blue Train in the Jazz Collector Price Guide.
Thelonious Monk, Monk, With Sonny Rollins and Frank Foster, Prestige 7053. This was a New Jersey pressing, not an original. The cover also had the New Jersey address. This one has the Andy Warhol cover, which gives it some additional prestige, if you’ll pardon the play on words. The record was in VG++ condition and the cover looked to be VG++ as well. This one was listed by bobjdukic, and he has somehow figured a way to get prices that no one else can match. For this second pressing, he was able to get a top bid of $955.21.
Here’s another Warhol cover from the same seller:
Sep 25, 2013 Riverside
Somebody recently sent me this great clip celebrating the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records. It features an interview with Riverside co-founder Orrin Keepnews, still quite articulate and interesting at 90 years old. I find it interesting that he considers Thelonious Monk to be the patron saint of the label, and that signing Monk was what gave the label credibility among other jazz artists. I’m a huge fan of Riverside, and so are most of the readers here at Jazz Collector, I’m sure. So this morning, laying in bed, I start putting together a list of my favorite Riverside albums. These are my personal favorites, not the ones I would call the “best” or the most influential. Just the ones that through the years I’ve listened to most often and enjoyed the most: Here goes:
Horace Silver Quintet, Blue Note 5058. This was an original 10-inch pressing listed in Ex- condition for both the record and the cover. I thought this one might have a chance to sell despite the condition, but I think the market for 10-inch Blue Notes is much softer than that for 12-inch Blue Notes. Although we have seen this record sell for more than $500 in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, the condition of that earlier record was far better than Ex-, whatever that is. This one had a start price of $300 and got no bids.
This 10-inch original Blue Note also failed to gather any bidding: Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Volume 2, Blue Note 5009. The record and cover were both VG+ and the seller was quite optimistic and hopeful in putting a $415.05 starting price on this. The hopes were not rewarded, as there were no bids.
I had thought this one would sell, but it didn’t:
Sep 11, 2013 News
I’ve had this thing in my inbox for the past few weeks and I’ve been debating whether to post it. It’s really silly. The Internet gives pretty much anyone a forum to write pretty much anything they want. So I got this email with a listing from a blog and it was something like the “10 Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time,” which was silly enough, but then I saw that the guy did a Top 10 list of jazz albums under the dubious heading “10 essential jazz albums if you know squat about jazz but want to become more versed.” The list is so bad and ridiculous I won’t comment, other than to note the lack of any artist from before the post-Bop era, including Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Anyway, after great hesitation (and strictly for laughs), here it is:
Back in the business of watching eBay — not much of a business, is it? — and here are some items on the watch list, starting with Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny, New Jazz 8225. This looks to be an original pressing with the purple labels and deep grooves. The record is described as VG++. The seller loses a little credibility when he describes the cover as “VG+ to maybe VG++” when it is clearly VG+ at best. There’s a bit more than a day left in the bidding and the price is only in the $560 range. I say “only” because this record will likely get bids over $1,000 if, indeed, the bidders believe the condition is really VG++. In any case, the price will have to get higher, as it has yet to reach the seller’s reserve.
Here’s a nice one from Atomic Records with a $1,000 starting price: Hank Mobley With Donald Byrd and Lee Morgan, Blue Note 1540. This is an original Lexington Avenue flat-edge pressing with the frame cover. It is quite a beauty, in M- or VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover.
Here are a couple of nice 10-inch Blue Notes priced somewhat optimistically, at least from the sellers’ perspectives:
A friend sent me this one a few days ago, assuming, I think, that I would buy it. Ever since, I’ve been debating whether to buy it and/or whether to post it on Jazz Collector for all the world to see. And now, here it is on Jazz Collector: Sonny Rollins Quintet, Esquire 20-080. This is an original 10-inch British pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It would be quite a nice find under any circumstances, and it would also satiate my newfound addiction to European pressings. But, making it more appealing, the cover is also signed by Sonny Rollins. I must give the owner credit: He had Sonny sign it in 2008. It was a lot smarter having him sign this beautiful original 1955 pressing rather than some later record or, heaven forbid, a CD. Anyway, I have not purchased this record, although it is there for the taking at slightly less than $400. Once I click the “Publish” button to publish this post, I suppose I will be committed to letting it pass. I must be getting frugal or something in my relative old age, because this would be quite a cool record/collectible to own.
Speaking of cool records to own,
So while perusing my 24 hours on eBay I found two listings so tempting I had to place a bid. Well, I didn’t have to, but if you’re reading this site you know exactly what I mean. Here’s one of the records: Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music Volume 2. This was clearly an original 10-inch pressing. The seller described it as being in VG++ condition for the record and “very good” for the cover, although the cover looked quite nice in the listing. There were about four hours left in the auction when I came upon the listing and there were no bidders with a start price of $85. I looked again at the listing, and I couldn’t figure out why there was no interest. Then I looked at the shelves in my office and, alas, there is no copy of this record in my collection. Perhaps, I figured, I could get this record at what I would consider to be a reasonable price, which would have been anything under $125 or so. So I put in a snipe bid, waited, waited some more, went onto eBay and, tada, I won the auction at $90. Three bidders came in at the end, but the second highest was only $89. This will be a nice addition to my collection: Another 10-inch Blue Note to fill in a gap. Hopefully my guess about the condition is correct.
I bid on this next record purely for the reason that the bidding seemed to be so low:
I am taking advantage of the holiday time to update the Jazz Collector Price Guide, which could use some new records. So for the next couple of days, at least, I’ll be following up on records I mentioned earlier, or some I never mentioned at all and somehow missed the first time around. Here goes:
Boy did I have my eyes on this one: Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, Prestige 190. This was an original 10-inch pressing in what looked to be VG++ condition for the record and probably VG for the cover. When I was pondering this there were a few hours to go and the price was just in the $110 range. It wound up selling for $430.
Eric Dolphy, Out to Lunch, Blue Note 84163. This was an original stereo pressing in just VG+ condition for the record and the cover, but it was packaged very nicely and we anticipated it would get a nice bid. It did, topping out at $303.
This was a strange one: Jackie McLean, The New Tradition, Ad-Lib 6601. This was an original pressing in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. When we first wrote about it, we noted that there was a buy-it-now price of $2,000. We figured someone would grab it up at that price. No one did. However, the bidding ended up at $1,975. Seems to me if you were willing to bid as much as $1,975 for the record, just buy it for $2,000 and save yourself the stress and aggravation.
I should watch this record on Jazz Collector each time it appears on eBay, just so I can put the picture of the cover on the site: Sonny Rollins and Thelonious Monk, Prestige 190. This is an original 10-inch LP in Ex+ condition for the vinyl and VG for the cover. I would think the record plays really well to be graded Ex+. As you may tell from the longing in my first sentence I do not own a copy of this record. But I would love to. This one is in the $110 range with less than a day to go, although it hasn’t yet reached the seller’s reserve price.
Herbie Hancock, Takin’ Off, Blue Note 84109. This looks to be an original stereo pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. Not sure how the stereo compares with the mono, either in sound or in collectibility, but, for me, I’m quite content to have the original mono pressing. This one closes sometime today and is in the range of about $105 with eight bids.
Eric Dolphy, Out To Lunch, Blue Note 84163. The seller does a nice job of presenting/packing this one, with the nice picture and the original inner sleeve. Makes it look attractive, wouldn’t you say? This is a stereo pressing, looks like an original, with the ear, Van Gelder and New York USA label. Bidding closes tomorrow and is already over more than $200. So, IMHO, the nice packaging seems to help.
Let’s catch up on some rare jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching, starting with: Gene Ammons, HiFi Jam Sessions, Prestige 7060. This was an original New York yellow label pressing. The record and cover were in M- condition. You may recall I posted on this last week when there were no bids and a start price of $200. I was speculating about whether it would sell at all for that start price, and my prognostication was that it would sell. Indeed, it did: for $607. Quite a nice price for a Gene Ammons Prestige, which don’t often sell for such quite a lofty figure. The seller SweeDeeDee had quite a week, with several of his records selling for quite high prices. Here are a couple more: Horace Silver and Spotlight on Drums with Art Blakey and Sabu, Blue Note 1520. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing in VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $681. Thelonious Monk with Sonny Rollins, Work, Prestige 7169. This is a New Jersey yellow label pressing, but the record is a reissue, an early reissue, but a reissue nonetheless. It was in M- condition for both the record and the cover and sold for $293. Wow.
Sorry for sporadic posting schedule this week. Been crazy with work and now I am in Las Vegas, of all places. I’ll do my best. Here are some nice records that have been sold on eBay in my absence, starting with:
Jackie McLean, Swing, Swang, Swingin’, Blue Note 4024. This was an original pressing in what was described as “fantastic” condition, which we would assume would be M-. It sold for $713.
This one got a nice price, not quite like the one last month: John Lewis and Sacha Distel, Afternoon in Paris, Versailles 12005. This was an original French pressing in VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $345. Clearly, this record is moving up in desirability among collectors.
This one didn’t sell yet, but it’s quite interesting: Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music, Blue Note 1511. This looks to be an original Lexington Avenue pressing with a very clear autograph of Monk on the cover. Whether the signature is legitimate, we’ll leave that to our readers. Don Lucky — what do you think? Oh, yes. The price is about $2,000.
Here are some of the items I was watching from the recent auction by the Jazz Record Center, starting with: Wynton Kelly, New Faces – NewSounds, Blue Note 5025. This was an original 10-inch pressing that looked to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $191.38. I should have bid on it. Great music, great cover. How can these 10 inch Blue Notes not be worth more money, given what’s going on with 12-inch Blue Notes?
Miles Davis, Steamin’, Prestige 7200. This was an original New Jersey yellow label pressing that was in probably M- condition for the record and at least VG++ for the cover. It sold for only $75. Weird. Why wouldn’t this get more. It’s actually my favorite among the Miles Prestiges that were all recorded in that one session — Steamin’, Cookin’, Workin’, Relaxin’. By contrast, look at this one from the same auction: Miles Davis, Relaxin’, Prestige 7129. This was an original New York pressing in virtually identical condition to Steamin’. It sold for $393.
I thought this one might fetch a higher price as well:
Feb 25, 2013 Blue Note
Since everyone is getting so worked up over the prices of some of the latest auctions, I decided to take a look at all of the recent completed listings from the bobdjukic sales to get an overall sense of things. There are definitely some aberrations between what we expect to see in the market, and some that fit in just fine with market expectation. Just for fun, I’ll pull out a few more of the aberrations.
Sonny Rollins, What’s New, RCA 2572. I love this record, but I’ve never really looked at it as a collectible. I have several copies, in fact. This was a promo copy in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. It sold for $161.50.
Horace Silver, Song For My Father, Blue Note 84185. This is a stereo pressing. It was listed in VG++ condition for the record and probably VG+ for the cover, although you can clearly see ring wear on the photo. It sold for $385.
Chet Baker, Baker’s Holiday, Limelight 86019. This is an original stereo pressing. The record was in VG++ condition, the cover around VG+. It sold for $136.50.
Thelonious Monk, Monk’s Dream, Columbia 8765. This is a stereo pressing, with 2-eye label. The seller claims it is much rarer than the mono??????? It sold for $152.50.
Feb 1, 2013 10-Inch LPs
I happened to be browsing on eBay last night when several of the auctions we’ve been watching from the seller robertb8640 were closing, so I plucked a few to watch and share, starting with: Thelonious Monk, Piano Solo, French Swing 33.342. I’m definitely developing a thing for some of these European pressings. This is a 10-inch pressing, apparently first issued in France? The record was VG and the cover was VG++. The price was $225.82. Fantastic cover, with a great picture of a pensive Monk.
Johnny Griffin Quartet, Argo 624. This was an original pressing with the very weird split cover. The seller showed some nice pictures of the cover and how it worked surrounding the record. This one was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $471.88. Is this highest priced of all the Argo records. It is, indeed, according to the Jazz Collector Price Guide.
Let’s catch up on some of the jazz vinyl auctions we’ve been watching, starting with: Walter Davis, Davis Cup, Blue Note 4018. This was an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding was slow on this one, as you may recall, in the low $100 range with just one day left on the bidding. Well, it may have started slow, but it ended on a high note for the seller. The record sold for $919.99. There are no bargains on Blue Notes on eBay, are there, unless you get lucky with condition.
My friend Dan was urging me to get this record when the bidding was close to $400 with just a few hours to go: Sonny Rollins With Thelonious Monk, Prestige 190. Put in a bid of $700, he said. It’ll be your birthday present. I thought about it, but decided against it. Good thing I didn’t get my hopes up because I wouldn’t have won the record. It sold for $799.55. Speaking of my birthday present, the Lovely Mrs. JC says she’s only gotten one response so far to her request. There’s still time, but it’s running low — birthday is in two and a half weeks. Contact Mrs JC at mrsjc(at)jazzcollector.com.
I thought this one might reach the $1,000 bin, but it came up just short:
Sorry to be so inconsistent with my posting schedule. Lots of real work, the paying-the-bills kind, these days. Anyway, back on eBay and I see there’s a new auction from the Jazz Record Center with some choice items, including:
Bill Evans Trio, Explorations, Riverside 351. This is an original blue label pressing in what looks to be M- condition for the record and “extraordinary” condition for the cover. The pricing on this one starts at $200, there is already a bidder and the auction closes in four days.
Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This is also an original pressing in M- condition for both the record and the cover. The start price is $1,500 and, as yet, there are no bidders.
This one seems headed for the $1,000 bin: Jackie McLean, Lights Out, Prestige 7035. This is an original pressing in “virtually new” condition, M- for both the record and the cover. The bidding is already in the $700 range and there have already been eight bids.
One more: The Unique Thelonious Monk, Riverside 209. This is an original pressing with the white label. It is also in “near new” M- condition for the record and the cover. The price is now in the $425 range.
John Coltrane, Giant Steps, Atlantic 1311. This was an original black label pressing. It was listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $510. It’s nice posting Giant Steps every once in a while so I can put a picture with the post and just take a look at it again — inspiring me to put the record on the turntable.
Perhaps I owe CeeDee an apology for this one: Donald Byrd and Pepper Adams, Out of this World, Warwick 2041. This was an original pressing in what looked to be VG+ condition for the vinyl and probably VG+ or VG++ for the cover. It sold for $159.99, higher than I would have expected. CeeDee and I made a trade involving this record and Dexter Calling a few months ago and at some point I may have made some kind of disparaging remark about the Byrd/Adams record. No doubt, it had more to do with the quality of the recording than the quality of the music. My copy just sounded very dull and flat, particularly compared to a Blue Note pressing from the same era.
Thelonious Monk, Brilliant Corners, Riverside 226. This was an original pressing with the white labels. It was listed in VG+ condition for the vinyl and VG++ for the cover and I recall the seller as being very reputable from previous dealings, as buyer and seller. As I was packing my records to move, I noticed that my copy of Brilliant Corners was a blue-label pressing and it was in maybe VG+ condition. I put this one on my watch list to potentially bid on it, not just as potential fodder for Jazz Collector. I think I would have gone to at least $180 for an original pressing. This one sold for $100, so I missed out.
I also had my eye on this for my own collection, but I knew the price would go way beyond my comfort zone — and it did: Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing and the vinyl was in M- condition. The cover was VG+. It sold for $1,475. One of these days I’ll find a reasonable copy for the right price. Right?
Perhaps I’m naive, but when I see an autographed record I always assume that it is legitimate and not a fraud. It seems kind of weird to me that someone would try to copy the autograph of a jazz artist to try to inflate the value of the record when, in many cases, the autograph actually devalues the record, another oddity that I will never understand. I was watching this record on eBay: Thelonious Monk, Work, Prestige 7169. This was a yellow label pressing and an “original” in the sense that it was the first pressing of this record, which is a reissue of an earlier record. Normally it would be worth about $50 or so, but this one happens to have signatures on it from both Monk and Sonny Rollins. To me, this is a gem, assuming the autographs are legitimate, which I do. I tend not to collect autographs, although something like this is tempting, so I passed the listing on to one of our loyal readers who does collect autographs. I see from the geography of the winning bidder that our friend did not bid for this. The start price was $500 and there was one bidder. Don-Lucky — what happened? Seems like a good price for this one.
Let’s catch up on some jazz vinyl we’ve been watching on eBay, starting with: Thelonious Monk Trio, Prestige 189. This looked to be an original pressing, a 10-inch LP, of course, and it was in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The price was $227.50.
Here’s another 10-incher: Howard McGhee, Volume 2, Blue Note 5024. This one was VG+ for the vinyl and between VG++ and M- for the cover. When we were watching it it was in the $150 range and it didn’t really move from there, selling for $159.50.
This 10-incher didn’t sell at all: Lester Young and his Tenor Sax, Aladdin 706. This one was in VG- condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. The start price was $99.99 and there were no bidders.
May as well stick with the 10-inch theme today: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Volume 3, Blue Note 5039. This was listed in VG++ condition for both the record and the vinyl and sold for $229.