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Are My Jazz Records Worth Anything

Which Records Are Valuable?

Like all genres Jazz on vinyl has some records more valuable than others with labels such as Blue Note, Prestige and Tempo often commanding big prices. Although there is quality music produced in all eras of jazz it tends to be the fifties and early sixties which produce the greatest interest in collecting circles. Unquestionably the most collectible label is Blue Note with original US copies selling for sometimes above four figures; artists such as Hank Mobley and Sonny Clarke fetch anything up to £4.000.

How do I know if my record is an original issue?

How to tell if you have an original Blue Note will depend on the year of issue with factors such as label addresses, deep groove or what is stamped on the run off all giving vital information. Label address is the company adress which runs around the edge of the label for example “47 WEST 63rd St”, from this you can determine what period the record was manufactured.

Does the country the record was pressed in contribute to the value of my record?

Alongside US manufacturing the Blue Note label was released in other countries including Europe and Japan, both Japanese and UK originals of early Blue Note originals were manufactured on alternative labels, Japan on King and the UK on Esquire. Original US Blue Note copies are still the most sought after, although it is worth pointing out records particularly on the Esquire label are gaining in value. Some records on the UK Columbia Landsdowne series have become very collectible with records often exceeding the £1000 mark. Don Rendells "Dusk Fire a perfect example.

Why are my jazz records not very valuable?

It mainly depends on what kind of jazz you have; artists such as Kenny Ball sold in vast numbers in the 60s and particularly Trad Jazz. These records have very little value and can be found in £1.00 crates up and down the country. Also the big band 78s such as Glen Miller is not greatly sort after. As a rule early jazz from the 20s, 30s and 40s command little value and it is the smaller groups that recorded in the early 50s onward which are more collectible.


In this last paragraph I have noted a few general points to help determine whether your jazz record collection might have some monetary value, firstly you need to establish if the records are original issues, originals can sell for many times the value of later reissues. Secondly the most collectible style of jazz tends to be small combos from the 1950s and early 60s; early jazz although equal in quality of music does not tend to generate the same enthusiasm in the vinyl collectors world. Lastly as with all vinyl collecting condition is paramount, a rough condition record will generally fetch only a small percentage of a near perfect copy.

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