Jazz Vinyl For a Not-So-Stormy Tuesday

Steve Lacy copyThe storm was quite less than what they expected here in Manhattan, but it is still good day to hang out and spend some time idly watching the jazz vinyl listings on eBay. And these would be some of those listings that I would be watching, starting with: Reflections, Steve Lacy Plays Thelonious Monk, New Jazz 8206. This is an original pressing with the purple labels and the deep grooves. The seller has listed it in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. The auction closes later today and the bidding is in the $150 range. This seller has been selling a lot of nice vintage jazz over the past few months, and has a bunch more items for sale this week. I also have my eye on Phil Woods, Woodlore, Prestige 7018. This is an original New York yellow label pressing. The record and cover are both listed in VG condition. The bidding is in the $130 range. I’m still searching for my first original copy of this record, but VG????? I mean, VG+ is scary enough these days, but VG could be pretty rough. We’ll see. The birthday is next week, so I’m keeping my options open.

Here’s a sealed, mono Blue Note for you:

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Insanity Check

Monk2 copyHaving taken note of what I considered to be the pretty high price on that stereo copy of Giant Steps, and having taken note that it was a listing by the seller bobdjukic, I wandered over to eBay to look at some of the other completed listings of his recent auctions because I am always impressed and somewhat taken aback by the prices he is able to get on most of his jazz vinyl listings. And, while there wasn’t that much jazz in these latest auctions, the prices continue to rise to the occasion, so to speak. Here are a few examples:

Thelonious Monk, Monk’s Dream, Columbia 1965. This is a two-eye pressing that is listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG++ for the cover, although upon close examination of the pictures of the cover it would seem more like a VG+ on my grading system. This one was only listed as “very rare,” but it sold for $127.50, which is significantly more than we typically see for this album.

Duke Ellington at Newport, Columbia 934. This is an original six-eye mono pressing that is in shrink wrap, although, to be fair, they were not actually shrink wrapping records when this came out in 1957.

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Closing the Loop on Rare Jazz Vinyl

monk copyLet’s close the loop on some of the rare jazz vinyl we’ve been watching here at Jazz Collector, starting with Miles Davis, Someday My Prince Will Come, Columbia, 1656. You may recall this was the record with the inner seal and signed by Miles, Hank Mobley, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb and JJ. Johnson. When we first looked at this record there was one day left in the auction and the bidding was in the $300 range. The record wound up selling for a whopping $2,091.75.

Here are a few from the recent Jazz Record Center auction, starting with Red Rodney, 1957, Signal 1206. This was an original pressing listed in M- for the cover and probably VG++ for the record. We were commenting that there was no action in the auction but, of course, there was quite a bit at the end. The record wound up selling for $1,324.50. Thelonious Monk, Monk, Columbia 2291. This would not normally appear on a list of collectible records, but this was a promo copy with the white labels. The record was in M- condition and the cover was VG++. It sold for $114.37. From the same auction there were also . . .

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A Monk Autograph (and More)

Monk copySo what are some of the rare jazz records we are watching on eBay as we head into what promises to be a lovely weekend as autumn sets in here in the Northeast region of the U.S. of A.? Let’s start with a little Monk: Thelonious Monk, At the Blackhawk, Riverside 323. This looks to be an original pressing with several unique characteristics. For one, it ostensibly comes from the collection of the jazz pianist Frank Strazzeri, who passed away a few months ago. More importantly, the record contains an autograph by Monk, signed on a separate piece of paper and attached to the record by scotch tape. Given the provenance you would think it would be perfectly legitimate, but not being an autograph expert, I leave that to others to debate and discuss. Don Lucky, are you out there? This one has two punch holes on the cover, and the vinyl is listed in VG++ condition by Atomic Records, which, in my experience, is one of the more reputable sellers on eBay. The current price is in the $400 range and there are more than two days left on the auction.

Speaking of Monk, there is:

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Prices Rising, Regardless of Condition, It Seems

clifford copyLet’s catch up on some of the jazz records were were watching on eBay before we were so rudely interrupted by life.

Clifford Brown and Max Roach, Study in Brown, Emarcy 36037. This is, of course, one of the classic records of the era. I haven’t noticed it selling for big prices in recent years, but perhaps that’s just me not noticing. Looking in the Jazz Collector Price Guide, I see we have several instances of the record selling for between $400 and $700. This looked to be an original pressing in just VG condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. I was surprised to see that it sold for $280.55, which is why I was watching it. I thought it would sell for less.

I thought this would sell for less as well: Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. This was an original 10-inch LP in VG+ condition for the record and the cover. It sold for $504.99. That seller did well not just with the Monk and Clifford records, but also with the Sun Ra records he had and some of his other 10-inch LPs, including Dexter Gordon Quintet, Dial 204. This was an original pressing listed in VG+ condition for both the record and the cover. It sold for $333.

Here’s one for the $1,000 bin:

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Keeping Track of 10-Inch LPs

clifford copy 2Here are some of the items we’re watching on eBay now, starting with some 10-inch LPs: Clifford Brown, New Star on the Horizon, Blue Note 5032. This is an original pressing listed in VG condition for the record and VG for the cover. There are three days left on the auction and the bidding is in the $50 range. Lately, we’ve been seeing high prices for original 12-inch Blue Notes, even those in not-such-great condition, like this one. I have a feeling we won’t see the same phenomenon for the 10-inch records, simply because they are a greater risk to begin with. They typically have more surface noise anyway, at least to these ears. Not sure why that is. Readers? Watching the auctions from this seller will give us a sense of the market, since he has a lot of nice 10-inch LPs in similar shape, including Thelonious Monk Plays, Prestige 189. Actually, this one is in better shape, graded at VG+ for both the record and the cover. The bidding, so far, reflects the better condition. This one is now in the $70 range.

I was also watching this one from the same seller, and I was surprised it fetched as high a price as it did:

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Jazz Vinyl Listings That Raise Questions

jaspar maybe copyHere’s one I’ve never seen before: Bobby Jaspar All Stars Band, Modern Jazz at Club Saint Germain, Barclay 84023. This looks to be an original French pressing that was apparently owned by Bobby Jaspar who, unfortunately seemed not to take such great care of it. The cover looks pretty beat up, I’d say VG-, but the seller lists the cover as VG+ and also lists the record as VG+, so you’d have to be a little skeptical, I guess. The start price is $300 and so far there are no bidders. I imagine the record is quite rare, in that I’ve never seen in in 40-plus years of scouring record shelves all over the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Someone please explain this one to me: Clifford Brown Memorial Album, Blue Note 1526. This is a New York USA pressing, with a West 61st Street address on the cover. In other words, nothing about this record is close to an original first pressing and, at best, the vinyl was issued, when, in the early 1960s? Not to mention the vinyl is in VG condition. The cover is VG+. Somehow, there have been four bids on this record and the price is close to $200. Explanations please?

Our friends at Euclid Records seem to have made a nice discovery/score:

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A Mingus, A Rouse & Some Blue Note Questions

Mingus jazz vinylHere are a few more from the pre-updated Jazz Collector watch list from the past week, starting with Charles Mingus, Mingus Ah Um, Columbia 1370. This is an original mono pressing with the white promo label. The record and cover both looked to be in M- condition. We’ve been seeing promo Columbia pressings selling for a decent amount of money, particularly Miles Davis Kind of Blue. The seller was apparently hoping for more of the same and may have been disappointed. This one garnered a top bid of $110.50 but it did not meet the seller’s reserve. Very credible, reputable and experienced seller, I might add.

Charlie Rouse, Bossa Nova Bacchanal, Blue Note 4119. This looked to be an original pressing with the New York USA label and the Van Gelder and ears. It looked to be in about VG+ condition for the record, and maybe VG++ condition for the cover, although the pictures looked more like VG+ to me. The record sold for $194.41. The listing also triggered a couple of questions, for which I don’t have the answers at my immediate disposal. To my  Read more

A Unique Way of Listing (And It Pays Off)

monkI’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.

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Soundin’ Off On Some Jazz Vinyl

Dizzy ReeceI 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:

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