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.
Whilst I was offline I missed a record that ended up in the $3,000 bin: Don Rendell Ian Carr Quintet, Shades of Blue, Columbia, 33SX 17333. This was an original 1965 UK pressing that was probably in VG++ or M- condition. The final price was $3,024.98. I only know of this record from watching it on eBay all these years. Is the music that good, or is there something else that is so appealing about this record that it would command such a high price?
One of our readers sent me a link to this record, noting that the price seems to be rising: Phil Woods, Warm Woods, Epic 3436. This copy was in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover. It sold for $605.55. Doesn’t seem that out of line for this record. If you look on Popsike, there are copies that have sold for higher prices, although probably in better condition. That’s one of the things that I’m noticing — for many of these classic records, condition is less of an issue than it used to be. Can’t help wondering if that is because people are collecting them to own them as opposed to listening to them.
Clearing out my inbox one more time, starting with a note from our friend CeeDee with a link to two eBay auctions. First up is Kenny Dorham, Una Mas, Blue Note 4127. This was an original New York pressing with the ear and the Van Gelder stamp. This was listed in M- condition for the record and the cover. Why did CeeDee send this to us? I would guess the final price, which was $810. That’s the highest price we’ve ever seen for Una Mas, confirmed by a peek over at Popsike. The second link from CeeDee seems to be an aberration: JR Monterose, The Message, Jaro 8004. This was a Fresh Sounds reissue that would typically sell for about $10 or $20. This one sold for $182.50 and it wasn’t even in mint condition. The seller doesn’t mention that it is a reissue in the listing, but the pictures clearly show that it is. IMHO, the buyer was either careless or clueless or perhaps a combination of the two. In any case, that is quite a tidy sum for a reissue, no? Read more
So, yesterday I had either an extraordinary epiphany or an utter psychotic episode, depending upon your point of view. Let me set the stage by going back about 30 years to the time when I borrowed $10,000 from family to acquire my first record collection, 1,000 records that seemed like a poor investment at the time, paying $10 apiece. At the time I probably had about 1,000 records of my own and I wound up with many duplicates. There was no e-Bay at the time, of course, and the best way for a collector like myself to get rid of duplicates was to work the record shows that took place on the weekends. Between Long Island and Manhattan, at the time, there was probably a show every month or so, but I would be selective and do one or two a year. Sometimes I’d take my daughter and she would hang out and, when she got older, sometimes follow in her father’s footsteps and go out and seek some scores of her own. In between these record shows the duplicate records would sit in boxes somewhere in my house. Over the
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.
Sorry I haven’t been posting regularly. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of apologizing for this lately. I do have a lot of real work, but that is no excuse, right? I will try to do better. Last week I was also engaged with preparing for the WFMU Record Fair at the 69th Regiment Armory on 26th Street in Manhattan. I had a table on Friday, and arrived around 2 p.m. for my setup, so I was able to walk around a little. There were a couple of tables that had some nice jazz records, but by the time I got there, several of the dealers from Japan had already swooped in on them and were pulling out the best pieces. I have come to know these dealers over the years and I like them very much and am happy for their success in getting records because I realize they are working on relatively low margins, spending money to come to the States every few months and criss-crossing the country in search of records that may or may not be marked up sufficiently when they return to Japan. Read more
I just received a note that the 40th annual Jazz Record Collector’s Bash will take place June 27 and June 28 at the Hilton Woodbridge in Iselin, N.J. Not a lot of details yet, but there are always sellers with lots of records and there are usually films and discussions and music as well. I used to attend regularly and scored some nice records, but I haven’t been in years. June 27 and June 28 are prime bass-fishing season up in The Berkshires, so nature calls. I will, however, be at the WFMU Record Fair, which will take place this year May 30-June 1 in New York City. I will have a booth for Friday only, selling some of the duplicates from my recent score in Baltimore. Normally I would also be bass fishing on that particular weekend, but I have a personal engagement in Manhattan, so I’m stuck. But I’ll also have some nice records with me.
I was all set to drive down to Baltimore on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013. But there were a few problems. First, I couldn’t sleep. My mind could not shut down from thinking about the records. Were they originals? Would they be in good condition? Was I paying too much? How would I pay for them? Did I want to carry all that cash to Baltimore? Which car would I use to get them? Would it be big enough? What if it wasn’t? Would I need to bring boxes for the records? Where would I put the records when I got home? How would I sort them out? How would I get them into the car if the car were already filled with records from the WFMU Record Fair? These were just a few of the thousands of questions swirling inside my brain.
This promises to be quite a weekend for Jazz Collector. Today and tomorrow I will have a table at the WFMU Record Fair in New York. If you’re in town, please come and visit.
More important: Last night I drove from New York to Baltimore to look at a collection. I will write about it later in the weekend but, suffice to say, my living room is inundated with vinyl.
Here are a few titles to pique your interest and whet your appetite:
Tommy Flanagan Overseas
Jutta Hipp with Zoot Sims
Elmo Hope, Informal Jazz
Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Pal
Not to mention, 15 10-inch Blue Notes. Nearly everything pristine, much of it in its original packaging with the rice paper sleeve and loose plastic bags. I am quite a happy camper.
Allow me to lay off eBay for a moment to inform you of a couple of upcoming events that may be of interest. Coming up first is the Jazz Record Collector’s Bash, June 21 and 22 in Iselin, New Jersey, at the Hilton Woodbridge. It has been many years since I attended one of these but, hey, there are jazz dealers with records for sale, so it’s always worth a shot. They also show films and have other activities. I do have a fondly remembered record score at one of these events, a story I have told, probably whenever I’ve written about the event before. The crux of it is there was this guy with a bunch of nice records, many Prestiges and Swingvilles, and a 10-inch Sonny Criss on Clef, and they were all $5 each and I was the first one to arrive at his table. ‘Nuff said.
I also received my notice and contract for the WFMU Record Fair, which will take place