Monday Morning Blue Notes

Hank Mobley Jazz VinylCatching up on some jazz vinyl from eBay, staring with Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was a West 63rd Street pressing without the New York 23. It had the deep grooves, ear and other hallmarks of a first pressing, or second depending upon your interpretation. The record was in VG+ condition and the cover looked to be about VG. The final price was $2,575. This seems to be one of those records that has taken on mythic proportions in the collectibles market. Who would have thought even a few years ago that VG+/VG would translate into a value of more than $2,500? A few years from now I would expect the value to be even higher. Speaking of Blue Notes in less than stellar condition:

That lot of 40 Blue Notes for sale under the listing Collection of 40 RARE Original Jazz Albums LP’s All on the Blue Note Label wound up getting 32 bids from at least six different bidders. Two latecomers swooped in at the end and the lot wound up selling for $1,726. I imagine the seller will try to clean these up as best he can and get some value and/or enjoyment out of them (provided they are not filled with musk and mold).

It was noteworthy (to me, at least) that the above listing used Lou Donaldson, Blue Note 1537, as the lead item with picture and, at the same time, there was another listing for Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet, Sextet, Blue Note 1537. This one was also an original Lexington Avenue pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was Ex. The final price was $1,265.

While we’re on the subject of Blue Notes in less-than-pristine condition there is also this: Lee Morgan, Candy, Blue Note 1590. This looks to be an original pressing. The seller has a feedback rating of 93.3, which is about as low as I’ve ever seen for a seller with that many transactions. The record is graded at VG and the cover VG+.The start price is $450 and so far there are no bidders. There is also a reserve price. Have fun with this one.


  • only one neg in the last year for the Candy seller, so I’m surprised that his feedback is so low. I thought negs and neutrals over a year old were not factored into current ratings, though perhaps I’m wrong (haven’t sold on eBay in years).

    $43 per record for a bunch of hammered Blue Notes is a waste of money in my opinion.

  • I have pretty much given up on Blue Notes. Why spend a ton of cash on a few records when you can buy a hell of a lot more with other labels, and more importantly, you can find better music elsewhere than on Blue Note. So basically, when you are buying Blue Notes, you’re buying the label, and not the music.

    Take Jutta Hipp for example. Her music is kind of mundane, but her album with Zoot Sims sells for over $1,000 time and time again. I’d prefer the Zoot Sims album on Dawn records, which is a better recording at the fraction of the cost.

    I love this site, but the focus on Blue Notes is a bit depressing.

  • I hear you, JOK. I feel the same way. Most of my BN collection, such as it is, numbers 4100 and above.

    The 1568 didn’t seem like it was *that* bad condition-wise, but $2500 is a chunk of change indeed for a VG+ record, even if it is a solid VG+.

  • What about this auction for Thad Jones BLP 1527, going for nearly $2k, when it’s clearly a second pressing, without the flat edge or frame cover. Do you think bidding was solely driven upwards because of the autograph?

    Thanks! Thomas

  • I just picked up a copy of that Thad Jones for 225 euro a couple of weeks back in a shop in Brussels. Only VG+ but still quite happy, especially when I see the price of the one just sold

  • JOK – 100% correct. For $1,000, you can easily buy 20-25 terrific, classic records in great shape.

  • I’m in the “I’d love to have original Blue Notes” camp that had previously mostly given up on first original pressings and am now seeing that even 2nds and 3rds may soon be out of what I’m comfortable with. I’ll still hunt for them but Im finding less and less. That being said, I really do enjoy the music including those Jutta Hipps (although i prefer the live ones)!

  • i like the mentions of blue notes. they are what the major collectibles market is. but i don’t have very many.

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