If It’s Thursday, It Must Be Blue Note

Did a quick eBay search on jazz vinyl this morning and was quite amazed to see the quantity and quality of Blue Notes for sale right now. Perhaps this is a time to buy, with the market seeming to be somewhat soft. Here are some of the items worth perusing:

This one is already headed for the $1,000 bin: Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan, Peckin’ Time, Blue Note 1574. This is an original West 63rd pressing that looks to be in about VG++ condition for both the record and the vinyl. It closes later today and is already at more than $1,100. This one is from the same seller and it has most of the makings of an original pressing but, unfortunately, not all: Hank Mobley, Roll Call, Blue Note 4058. This is a mono pressing with the West 63rd Street address, the ear, the Van Gelder stamp but no deep grooves. What do we think of pressings like these. They are likely pre- Liberty, right, with the Plastylite ear, but are not the very first pressing? I’d be happy to have this one in my collection even if it is not an original, but the price is already at $250.

This seller also has several Blue Notes in varying conditions, including: Tina Brooks, True Blue, Blue Note 4041. This is an original pressing that’s listed in excellent condition for the vinyl, which we generally take to be VG+, and VG condition for the cover. There’s a day to go on the auction and the price is in the $460 range. From the same seller is:

Lee Morgan, Indeed!, Blue Note 1538. This also looks to be an original pressing. The record is in VG++ condition and the cover is VG with a seam split. The price is $565.

Here’s another Mobley from another seller: Hank Mobley Quintet, Blue Note 1550. This looks to be an original pressing. The record is listed in VG+ condition and the cover is VG++. There are two days to go and it’s still less than $200, so perhaps I’m missing something since you would expect this to sell for quite a bit more (and it probably will).

And one more Lee Morgan from one more seller: Lee Morgan, Lee-Way, Blue Note 4034. This looks to be an original pressing in very nice VG++ condition. There are two days to go and the price is in the $225 range. A nice addition to someone’s collection, we presume.


  • Regarding Roll Call(being sold by Atomic Records,Burbank)
    Calling it a “pre-Liberty”pressing
    does quite a disservice to one of Ebays top jazz sellers.
    I’ve examined the record and it is a heavy,early pressing.Not a Liberty with an early label.
    A record like Undercurrent or Whistle Stop are frequently found without both or any deep grooves and are both considered
    acceptable early/almost original pressings.
    Ive also found Atomic’s grading to be very conservative,if you’ve ever bought from them you would know this.

  • That Tina Brooks looks like it has some water damage at the bottom of the cover.. I’m sure that will affect the final sale price, but only slightly.

  • Sam, I’ve bought from Atomic many times and love them due to there conservative grading. What I think Al is trying to say is that in his assessment this was not one from the FIRST pressing run but from another run afterwards but before the company was sold to Liberty(this would also be my assessment). No where in Atomic’s description does it say “FIRST PRESSING” so no one is claiming that. It looks like a beauty to me, but these do exist as DG so it’s doubtful that one will fetch the price of a similar shape DG. The term “Pre-Liberty” is often used to describe exactly what you said “early/almost original” but not what are to believed to be the very First pressings.

  • Sam — I’ve lost you on this one. I was just pointing out that the record wasn’t a first pressing and wouldn’t get the same price as one with the deep grooves. The last one of these we watched that was an original sold for $1,500.

  • Not really.Calling an early pressing with the “ear” and RVG
    a pre-Liberty puts a negative spin on a 2nd pressing of a rare record.
    I doubt you’d try to sell a similar copy with that pronouncement.
    (pre-Liberty could mean anything
    from a later ,thinner N.Y.,U.A.or yes,Liberty pressing with an original,left over label.)

  • I have always assumed that “Excellent” in general is better than VG++ but less than NM. Sort of a VG+++. It sounds like Al thinks it is less than this. What do others think? Just curious as it is not a standard classification (though I see it more these days).

    As for the debate on the Mobley, I don’t know how the phrase “pre-Liberty” could mean either a UA or a Liberty label, as you state, Sam. I agree it could be non DG W63 or NY USA, in this context. And I agree it is a rare record and valuable 2nd pressing. But I don’t think Al said anything inappropriate in effectively asking what second pressings should sell for vs 1st pressings of very rare records. In this case, from a highly reputable seller, the market said $305 vs $1000+ for first pressing of 4058. And, for the record, I am a proud owner of 4058 W63, ear, RVG but with no DG – just like this one. Paid $267 in past 12 mos.

  • I think if someone is willing to pay $305 for an “almost original” lp,they are certainly welcome to it. No need to defend Al’s “pre-liberty..but are not the very first pressing?” comment,which(after all)ends with a question mark-but I could swear I heard the sound of an axe grinding off in the distance. Hope I’m wrong on this.

  • BigBear, I think Ex is a grading in a standard. Just not the goldmine standard, that I believe is the most used standard(and the one that Al uses).
    Check this out,

    I usually think of Excellent as VG++. Personally i think that dealers like as many grades as possible but as a buyer I’d love to see everyone on the same page.

  • Personally I dislike Ex as a grading as it just seems like overselling rather than proper grading using an establiushed standard.

    I didn’t see anything wrong with Al’s comment either.

    I did notice that Atomic Records do not have stellar feedback, running somewhat contrary to the assertion above that they are “one of Ebays top jazz sellers”.

  • Excellent is a grade common in the U.K. and answering to well established criteria. It is something like NM-. I have often bought Excellent albums which were basically new, but with just some traces of age. The English commonly don’t abbreviate to E, but use the full word.

  • Here’s the perfect example of starting price that will keep me away from bidding :


    I simply hate this kind of acting on Ebay !!!

  • I saw one seller on eBay recently who had 6 or 7 grades (all excellent), something like:



  • Michel-regarding those listings,look under “greed” for more info! The seller might want to look up the “golden goose” childrens tale,to predict the eventual outcome of such choices.

  • I feel a need to defend the above assertion that Atomic’s feedback is less than stellar (no association with them) out of fairness and for the sake of staying real here. If you click on the 3 negative FB’s they’ve had over the last
    12 months (and 1300+, positives)
    You will see 1. Someone overseas who obviously had a record lost shipped 1st class, happens ALL the time (the cause of my 1 NFB in 3 years). 2. An obvious “nutjob” who left NFB because he didn’t get FB left for him. 3. A guy who gave NFB for surface noise or “not playgraded”,who was offered a refund.

  • In 10 years or so I’ve ordered quite a few records from Atomic. Always satisfied. I like how they tend to describe the record attributes(dg, address, etc…) instead of proclaiming it as a first. They also give a little detail on the flaws of the record. They use top quality packaging and are pleasant. There are a few dealers i keep going back to and they are one.

  • Well, sorry to insist but If I were to spend that sort of money on a record I would find it hard to do so from someone who leaves a buyer comments such as “Avoid! Sellers Beware!” when they are clearly dissapointed at a misgraded record they paid US $335.88 for. That is not stellar feedback, that is just being vindictive and a good indication of the sellers character.

    The very good sellers do not let a dispute escalate to the -ve feedback stage and resolve it beforehand. Certainly would never leave such abusive comments about a buyer who has been misled.

    Also, the very good sellers always leave +ve feedback as soon as an item has been paid for. Sellers who withold feedback are dodgy I think. I always leave them -ve regrdless of how good the item is.

  • Tony-I ALWAYS leave feedback as soon as an item is paid for,so you’d think that would ensure that buyers would recipricate and lv their feedback promptly,too. Doesn’t happen! I’d say maybe HALF of my Ebay buyers actually leave feedback-and that’s pushing it. Who knows why? I say.. OFF with their heads!

  • Tony, maybe you are right. I only know of my experiences. But 3 negatives out of 1300 in a year is pretty damn impressive.
    I’m with you though that I think sellers should leave feedback FIRST. The counterpoint to that is doing so leaves them totally at the mercy of the buyer to be decent. If you sell 1300 records in a years, you are going to sell to a few jerks who don’t want to solve the dispute. It only takes a few jerks to ruin your feedback score which for some sellers is there livelihood. I don’t think it’s necessarily makes them sketchy, just protective. I can understand that, even though I prefer the sellers who leave Feedback as soon as payment is received.

  • Personally I dont consider a 100% positive feedback score to be essential. Some people are very good at papering over the crakcs so to speak…. What I always look at is how the seller responds to the buyer, as I find that far more indicative of their overall character and manner.

    For example a seller who has received a negative vote and responds with an apology is far more likely to get my business than one who either fails to leave feedback or rsponds with an angry tirade…

    Basically I am looking for the same treatment as I would expect in an old fashioned bricks and mortar store.

  • Tony-good point re:”seller response”.When I see something like”The buyer is a complete idiot!” it says more to me about the seller than the buyer(who may well HAVE been a jerk!)

  • Tony, I think you have a good point. I’ve been a customer of Atomic for a while and still will be, but next time I’m looking at an expensive record from a seller I haven’t used I am going to consider the points you have brought up.

  • Thanks guys.

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