It has been over a decade since Goldmine published an album price guide specifically on the jazz genre. Well, now Goldmine is proud to present the 3rd edition of Goldmine’s Jazz Album Price Guide (Krause Publishing), authored by Dave Thompson — and Thompson took some time to answer a few questions about this new release.
GOLDMINE: What was the reason behind releasing a jazz guide now?
Dave Thompson: The time is right for a new Jazz Album Price Guide. It’s been years since the last one; during this time not only has an interest in jazz exploded on a collector’s level but also the vinyl revival has reminded people how much better the old records sound — and they have gone seeking them, to find there have been incredible price jumps since 2001.
GM: What do you think of the latest resissues of Blue Note? Originals are worth a lot of money and really haven’t gone down in value.
DT: Everyone says, “Oh, Blue Note!” but it’s really only the very early pressings. A lot of them are still kicking around in later pressings which are reasonably priced, or can be reasonably priced. If all you want to do is hear the music, which I imagine is why you’d be buying a modern reissue, just pick up a fairly good condition — maybe a little scratchy — old one.
GM: For a person who has just started to collect jazz records, what are some recommendations — reasonable values — that they can pick up?
DT: I would say go back to early Blue Notes, and the early Prestige (label) is good, and I think you would look for something like Sun Ra or Moondog, for example. I hope if you just started getting into jazz, one of your first purchases would be this Jazz Album Price Guide. The main thing with investing is also to get stuff you like because quite often you can be disappointed. Not everything goes up in value all the time.
GM: How would you compare jazz to other genres, as far as vinyl collectibility? It’s a world unto itself, isn’t it?
DT: It’s a world unto itself, and I think jazz is the area where you see consistently the highest values for certain things, because so many of the pressings were very small originally. So, even if something’s been on catalog for 30 years, the original early pressings, say a deep groove Blue Note with the correct address, those were limited pressings to begin with and that’s one of the reasons why they’re so hard to find. And if you’re looking for old jazz, deep groove records always sound better.
GM: Anything that surprised you while putting this guide together? Anything you’ve learned from the experience?
DT: The biggest eye-opener for me was just how many high-end jazz records there are. Even compared to the last edition, just how highly-priced these things are. If I were a kid again and just getting into record collecting — and it was still the 1970s — God, I’d be hoarding jazz like it was going out of fashion.
GM: So in the end, you think jazz records are still a good investment?
DT: It has proven to be so far. I just think now, values keep going up but are they going up to commensurate with inflation and everything else … I don’t know. I think if you have the vinyl now and are not going to sell it for 50 years then, yeah, it’s a great investment. But things do change.
Go to KrauseBooks.com to order. Enter Item#R1217 and during check out, be sure to enter Discount Code JAZZ3 to receive free standard shipping to U.S. addresses.