A Fine Array From Blue Note and Prestige

We were watching a bunch of items from the Jazz Record Center auction that closed yesterday and here are some of the results, staring with Clifford Jordan and John Gilmore, Blowing in From Chicago, Blue Note 1549. This was an original pressing. It was probably in VG++ condition for the record. The JRC doesn’t use our normal grades, just a description. This one had a single mark that is audible seven times. I know that precludes it from M-. Does it preclude it from VG++? Otherwise, the record sounds immaculate. The cover was probably VG+ or VG++, depending upon how you feel about a “professionally repaired” spine and bottom seam. Also, the picture looks more VG+ to me than VG++. The final price was $1,247. My sense is that a different seller would have been less meticulous in his description and received a higher price. In any case, I still don’t own an original copy of this record for any of you out there who may be interested in a trade.

That Hank Mobley, Soul Station, Blue Note 4031 record that we were watching sold for $1,154.89, which was quite a bit less than I expected. The record was M- and the cover was VG++. Interesting to see how many of you consider this to be one of Hank’s best efforts.

From the same auction:

Jackie McLean, Jackie’s Bag, Blue Note 4051. This was an original West 63rd Street pressing. The record looked to be M- and the cover probably VG++. The final price was $1,225.

Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This was a New Jersey yellow label pressing that looked to be in M- condition for the record and the cover. The final price was $549. A few years ago I would have been surprised to see a second pressing get that high a price, but the market has changed a lot. No surprise at all.

Sonny Rollins, Tenor Madness, Prestige  7047. This was an original New York yellow label that looked to be in M- condition for the record and VG++ for the cover. The final price was $829. Interesting to see that there is still such a huge gap between Prestige and Blue Note. I know the Blue Notes were more slickly packaged and more carefully produced but, hell, this is Rollins and Coltrane recorded together for the only time and this particular copy in nice condition is still not in the $1,000 bin. If it had been released by Blue Note . . .?



  • this auction had me droolin’

  • VG+ vinyl on that 1549 I’d say; two or three scattered soft pops I’d consider acceptable in VG++ but not one that repeats that many times.

  • Grading by JRC baffles me. I’ve purchase records from them both on-line and in-person. A recent on-line purchase came with a description that said something like “great luster, likely only played once.” When I received the lp it had a significant feelable scratch. JRC has some of the best customer service and took the lp back without question. I’m confused about how a newish condition lp has feelable marks. Still, I really do enjoy buying from them when the condition meets the description: great people and the most knowledgeable about the music.

  • I often have so many questions about how we collect and play our records. Do you often think about the gaps in your collection (e.g., Al, Blowing in from Chicago)? Do you equally consider the lp’s you’ve not played in years? And if so, do you consider selling them off for the ones you really desire to play? Help me understand this rabbit-hole of collecting and listening I’ve fallen into. (Related, I think: I will sell a VG++ “review copy” of Jackie’s Bag next week as I prefer the sound of the DMM reissue). What are your thoughts on collection gaps & unplayed lp’s?

  • The short answer to your question is that I have nothing I haven’t played in years.I go through my whole collection and listen to !!!everything!!! once every year or so. This process takes months since I have about 5000 records. I sell duplicates and records I no longer want. Very few times have I sold something I shouldn’t have: maybe 10 total in 25+ years of collecting. Instead, I think selling the no-longer-wants makes my collection better since I only have records I really want to listen to regularly. I typically sell between 50-200 records which are a combination of eBay, record show and record store purchases (and from time-to-time, trades). About 10-25% of the sales are upgrades over lower quality copies that may have been purchased a decade or more ago when used records were much, much cheaper and I could only afford lower vinyl and cover grades. Another benefit of occasional sell-offs is that the collection never gets too large. I have a relatively small home that could easily be overwhelmed by a collection.

    I’m surprised you like the DMM better, but everyone has a preference. I’m interested in buying the Jackie’s Bag if it’s clean (vg++ or better vinyl and at least vg+ cover) since my copy is rough.

  • I think Tenor Madness is one of the most under valued lps at this time. I think in 5 years, we’ll look back and see that the $829 was a screaming bargain!

  • Blue Note gods were smiling on me about 2 months ago…..I picked up a VG+/VG copy of Soul Station for less than 3 figures…. Sounds great !

  • About 2 months ago, the Blue Note gods smiled on me. I purchased a first pressing of 4031 in VG+/VG condition for less than 3 figures. I thought I did well at the time, now I realize I did better than a thought ! Love when that happens !

  • Two months ago, the Blue Note Gods were smiling on me. I purchased a first pressing VG+/VG copy of 4031 for less than 3 figures. I realized I did well. Now I realize I did even better ! Love it when that happens. Moral is to keep looking and you shall find !

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