Chasing Trane Tonight; Chasing Vinyl Forever

For those of you in the U.S., the documentary Chasing Trane will be on television at 10 p.m. tonight as part of the Independent Lens series on PBS. Here’s a video clip they posted on the site. It’s hard to believe that it was already a year ago that I had my mini breakdown as a result of the Presidential election and wrote the essay about how Chasing Trane helped me to cope. I wish I could say that my fears were unfounded but, unfortunately, they weren’t. They may take away the pillars of our democracy and our society, but they can’t take away our music. Or our heroes. Watch it. I will, even though I’ve seen it twice already.

Back to eBay. The other day I mentioned the seller Keca222 and that $4,049.99 copy of the 12-inch Kenny Dorham Afro-Cuban on Blue Note. The seller also had this one: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was a pressing that did not have the New York 23 on one side, which, to some collectors, diminishes its value, although I’ve never seen a clear explanation why that is the case. But, as we know, we collectors can be a bit strange in our predilections, don’t you think? Anyway, this was in VG+ condition for the record and probably EX or Ex+ for the cover. There was the dreaded phrase “feelable scratches,” yet it still sold for $3,650, which is quite a hefty some for this record in that condition, New York 23 or not.

Whilst I’m on the topic, there was also this: Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing that looked to be in VG++ condition for the record and the cover, based on the seller’s description. The final price was $1,858. As I watch these, my sense is that the prices for the original pressings just keep going up and up. For those of us who have been on eBay since the beginning, we probably missed a lot of opportunities in the early days, not realizing that eBay would create a brand new market dynamic. When I look at the Jazz Collector Price Guide, which I haven’t updated in a few years, there are mint condition copies of this record at well under $1,000. Not anymore. So, it’s an interesting thought: When we look back 10 years from now, will today’s prices look like unimaginable bargains?



  • “Chasing Trane” is apparently being added to Netflix on November 13.

  • That’s great, can’t wait to see it!

  • $3650.00 for feelable scratches ! Every dog has his day. Hooray, now I can put those records that were out in the shed back in the music room. I can hardly wait for ….. warped and cracked BUT does not effect play ! Pop, click and hiss Art

  • “I Called Him Morgan” is currently on Netflix. It’s terrific.

  • Or the blue note mania could settle down and diminish over the years and prices will be much lower; who can say for sure?

  • Am I the only one who thinks that feelable scratches (plural!) and a VG+ vinyl grade are incompatible?

    Very much looking forward to seeing “Chasing Trane.” I guess I’ll have to re-activate Netflix for a month!

  • I did watch Chasing Trane, again, as expected, last night. The version they made for PBS was different than the one in the movies. There was a whole sequence taken out about a Japanese collector, and, if I recall correctly, they changed the music during the closing sequence to Giant Steps from After the Rain, which I preferred because it was far more like an elegy. I think there were other edits as well, but I couldn’t identify them. Anyway, I guess I’ll watch it yet again when it comes to Netflix to see which version they use, hopefully the one that was released in the movie theaters. Curious to see if anyone saw it for the first time last night, and what you thought of it?

  • Hope it’ll hit Netflix over here in Europe as well – have been wanting to see it ever since you wrote about it last year Al but haven’t had any opportunities sadly.

  • realistically, blue note prices have to top out. eventually, there are prices that put be the market value out of reach for fewer people than provide the demand. but that’s a ways off.

  • jwr, I agree 100%. A feelable scratch = VG at best.

  • ..”feelable scratches” will cause “ticking” and IS incompatable with a “VG+” grade.

  • I’ve heard bad things about that Mobley seller. You will also noticed a lot of the items that sell at very high prices are relisted a month later i wouldn’t go near his auctions.

  • For those interested, Chasing Trane is now available for streaming on PBS @ no cost. Don’t know if that will work outside the US.

  • yeah, something seems off about that seller indeed. There’s a little bit of iffy feedback and the stock photos are also a no-go. Plus it does seem true that he relists his returns… either that or nothing is getting paid for, which would surprise me.

  • robert morris, i see what you are saying, but in the inflated grade world of ebay, i’m assuming the worst.

  • The “stock photos” that seller uses are extremely strange. First, they are not “stock photos,” they are photoshopped imaginary items. Second, if the items are accurately graded, they should not be necessary. Something is off about his listings.

  • Hi All,
    On a different note. In the past I brought up Jazz LP’s that are fantastic but under valued in my view. (Compared to the crazy prices a lot go for…) I am listening to one now and was wondering how others felt about this LP. That LP is “Fire in the West” – Herb Geller with Kenny Dorham , Misspelt , “Kinny Dorham”. Jubilee 1044 – 1959. This LP can be had for a song but I think is a solid piece of work. Very Enjoyable Listening from start to finish.

  • Joseph I agree that Herb Geller album is nice; just found a mint copy locally for $15 earlier in the year.

  • I have it. Very good. With H. Land, too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *