Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: My late father was life-long collector of long-playing jazz albums and 78 rpm singles, both domestic and foreign.

I inherited his collection and, though I have no interest in selling his precious relics, I would still like to have an idea of the market value of some of them.

They all appear to be in excellent condition, and I know he handled and stored them with great care.

There are way too many to take to the Antiques Roadshow, so from the list I'm sending can you select a few that have sold recently?
—Norman Williams, New York City

DEAR NORMAN: Using some of the artists on your list, and a few others that should interest you, I give you just those with LPs or 78s that have sold for at least $2,500.

Be assured that none of the lofty amounts shown here reflect an average purchase price. Each one is the most paid for that item, which also means they were probably in at least near-mint condition, some even still factory sealed. In some cases, prices were driven skyward by just two or three bidders with auction fever, deep pockets, and a determination to be the victor.

From highest to lowest, from 1925 to 1983, and regardless of format, they are:

$11,223 (LP): Hank Mobley - "Hank Mobley" (1957, Blue Note 1568)
$8,100 (LP): Chet Atkins "My Brother [Jim Atkins] Sings" (1959, RCA Victor 1932)
$6,886 (LP): Roland Kirk - "Triple Threat" (1957, King 529)
$5,778 (78rpm): Danny Altier and His Orchestra - "I'm Sorry Sally"/"My Gal Sal" (1928, Vocalion 15740)
$5,300 (LP): John Heartsman and Circles "Music of My Heart" (1976, VC-4508)
$5,251 (78rpm): Alex Jackson and His Plantation Orchestra - "Missouri Squabble"/"I Call You Sugar" (1927, Gennett 6296)
$5,156 (LP): Sonny Clark - "Cool Struttin'" (1958, Blue Note 1588)
$4,806 (78rpm): Preston Jackson and His Uptown Band - "Trombone Man"/"Yearning for Mandalay" (1926, Paramount 12411)
$4,605 (78rpm): Jack Winn and His Dallas Dandies - "St. Louis Blues"/"Loved One" (1930, Vocalion 15860)
$4,308 (78rpm): Tiny Parham and His "Forty" Five - "Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues"/"A Little Bit Closer" (1927, Paramount 12586)
$4,060 (LP): Uncle Funkenstein - "Together Again" (1983, R&L 1002)
$4,036 (LP): Jackie McLean - "The New Tradition" (1955, Ad Lib 6601)
$3,700 (LP): Ricardo Marrero and the Group - "A Taste" (1976, TSG-805)
$3,206 (LP): Georges Arvanitas Quintet - "Soul Jazz" (1960, Columbia 193)
$3,051 (LP): Curtis Fuller - "The Opener" (1957, Blue Note 1567)
$3,050 (LP): Lawrence Marable - "Tenorman" (1956, Jazz West 8)
$3,050 (LP): Bill Evans Trio - "Waltz for Debby" (1961, Riverside 399)
$3,050 (LP): World's Experience Orchestra - "The Beginning of a New Birth: The Prayer" (1975, World Productions 1)
$3,049 (LP): Hailu Mergia - "Hailu Mergia and the Walias" (1977, Kaifa 45)
$2,950 (LP): Barney Wilen Quintet - "Barney" (1960, RCA Victor 430053)
$2,906 (LP): Trio Tommasi - "Zamboni 22" (1960, Adventure 300/301)
$2,901 (78rpm): Frank Blevins and the Tar Heel Rattlers - "Sally Ann"/"I've Got No Honey Babe Now" (1927, Columbia 15765)
$2,890 (LP): Kenny Dorham - "Quiet Kenny" (1959, New Jazz 8255)
$2,836 (LP): Art Pepper Quartet - "Modern Art" (1957, Intro 606)
$2,801 (78rpm): Freddie Keppard's Jazz Cardinals - "Salty Dog (Take 2)"/"Stock Yards Strut" (1926, Paramount 12399)
$2,716 (78rpm) Perry Bradford's Jazz Phools (with Louis Armstrong) - "Lucy Long"/"I Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle" (1925, Vocalion 15165)
$2,705 (LP): Jan Garbarek - "Til Vigdis" (1967, Norsk Jazzforbund 1)
$2,700 (LP): Sahib Shihab - "Sahib Shihab and the Danish Radio Jazz Group" (1965, Oktav 111)
$2,650 (78rpm): Plantation Serenaders - "Missouri Squabble"/"When Erastus Plays His Old Kazoo" (1927, Champion 15386)
$2,650 (LP): Roy Brooks - "Ethnic Expression" (1973, Im-Hotep 030)
$2,611 (LP): Greenflow (Art Greene) - "Solutions" (1977, QCA 71)
$2,555 (LP): Pat Patrick's Baritone Saxophone Retinue - "Sound Advice" (1977, El Saturn 770)
$2,500 (LP): Sonny Clark - Sonny Clark with Paul Chambers and 'Philly' Joe Jones" (1957, Blue Note 1579)

IZ ZAT SO? Granted, most jazz collectors covet LPs, and to a somewhat lesser degree, 78rpm singles.

As for the little record with the big hole — a.k.a. the 45rpm single — there is nowhere near as much interest as there is by collectors of pop, rock, R&B, and C&W music.

Still, there are always a few jazz 45s that fetch big bucks, and rarely are they by the artists with the high ticket LPs and 78s.

Here are seven jazz singles that recently sold for at least $1,000:

$1,636: Super Mambo Jazz 69 - "Maria Ayebi"/"Jeanne Mopaya" (1974, RCA Victor 30165)
$1,247: Sun Ra and His Outer Space Arkestra - "Rocket #9"/"The Bridge" (1960, Saturn 3066)
$1,120: Jef Gilson and Le Jazz Club De Tananarive - "Karma"/"Pemba" (1969, Discomad 466)
$1,119: Eddie Gale - "African Sunrise"/"To Be A Slave" (1970s, Gross Records)
$1,009: The Huns - "Destination Lonely"/"Winning Ticket" (1966, Rock N' Jazz 8668)
$1,004: Mancefeild & Brotherman Band - "Be in Love"/"Brotherman" (1973, Im-Hotep 017)
$1,000: Terry Callier - "Ordinary Joe"/"Outside the Golden Circle of Your Love" (1972, Cadet 5692)

Return to "Mr. Music" Home Page