Oh, Those Blue Notes

Horace copyOh, those Blue Notes. Look at this one: Horace Silver, Blowin’ the Blues Away, Blue Note 4017. This was an original pressing with the West 63rd Street address, deep grooves, ear, etc. It was listed in M- condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $355 with only four bidders. This is a great album, one of Silver’s very best, but I’ve never viewed it as a top-shelf collectible only because it seemed to be more available than many of the other Blue Notes. Perhaps I had an assumption that because Silver was one of Blue Note’s most popular artists they would have printed more copies of his records. Plus, this one had what would prove to be a jazz classic in Sister Sadie. I realize I have not been diligent in updating the Jazz Collector Price Guide, but still the highest price we had recorded for this record was just about $200. Does this new high-water mark surprise me? Not at all. Hey, it’s near mint, it’s a great album, it’s an original Blue Note. Nothing would surprise me. As they say in the commercials: “Priceless.”

I had my eye on this Blue Note beauty, but wouldn’t pull the trigger:

Lou Donaldson Sextet, Volume 2, Blue Note 5055. This was an original 10-inch pressing and the record was in M- condition. The cover was VG. The final price was $326. Too rich for my blood. Then again, just about everything on eBay is too rich for my blood, not necessarily because I can’t afford it, but I can’t bear to pay the going rate.




  • Oh those Blue Notes !!!


    For around 30 $ you can buy the three Dick Morgan albums on Riverside. You will save 1100 $ and listen to the same kind of music.

  • i recently got an original copy of 4017 for $10 from a seller on eBay. he was very harsh with his description but guaranteed that the record played with no skips, so i took a chance, figuring at worst the cover (VG+) could make some nice wall art if the vinyl was trashed. the vinyl visually looks VG but plays amazingly well. what a score! perhaps i should update my insurance files with price estimates.

  • Well, out of all the bids I placed for the Jazz Record Center items ending today, I did snag the Black Pearls LP. Had hoped for the Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, and Wayne Shorter LPs to hit … but damn. Those other snipe bids must have been well up there!

  • jeff:

    please don’t be offended, as i have a genuine curiosity in asking: that copy of black pearls started at $150 i believe. no idea what you paid as i haven’t looked but that struck me as quite a high price, even from the JRC. what drew you to the auction? what made that price ‘right’ for you? i’m trying to re-evaluate how i think about record prices.

    or you can chose not to answer. haha.

  • GTF: No problem. I guess I am a completist for certain artists (Coltrane being one), and combined with being a condition freak (may be an OCD … ha), I will pay a premium to fill a gap. I try not to, but I don’t always reference auction results, as every transaction sets the market at that moment. I don’t intend to resell, so sometimes I’ll pay a bit extra to obtain the best copy I can find. These LPs get less available by the day (in premium condition), and the only investment return I expect is the enjoyment of wonderful music and the joy of owning a piece of history. Paying a premium means I can buy fewer LPs but that’s the trade-off. I trust JRC. I do score a few low priced gems on my visits to record stores during my business trips (like a 1st pressing NM Coltrane Time for $20 recently), so I’d like to think it all balances out in the end.

  • I am currently reevaluating my collecting habits, which includes being more sensible about the amount of money I’m willing to spend (in reality, the amount I like to *imagine* I’d be willing to spend) on a record.

  • jeff: makes sense. i try to strike a balance. a little static is ok with me for a nice price.

    thanks for sharing!

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