Prices Down? Methinks Not

Blue Train Jazz VinylI know this one has already been all over the previous post, but I wanted to get it into a headline and separate post so that it would come up in searches: John Coltrane, Blue Train, Blue Note 1577. This has the New York 23 label on one side, which makes it an original pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++, with some writing on the back. There were nine bidders, 13 bids and the final price was $4,717.89.

Not sure who said that prices seem down on the previous post, but that’s certainly hasn’t been the case for the records I’ve been watching. Here are a couple of examples: Jackie Mclean, 4, 5 and 6, Prestige 7048. This was an original New York yellow label listed in VG++ condition for the record and Ex for the cover. It sold for $1,144.

And how about this one:

Curtis Fuller, Bluesette, Savoy 12141. This was an original pressing with the blood red label. The record and cover were both listed in VG++ condition. The final price was $720. The same seller had this record: Curtis Fuller Jazztet with Benny Golson, Savoy 12143, This was also a red label original pressing. The record was listed in M- condition and the cover was VG++. The final price was $350, which seems more reasonable, relatively speaking. I had a sealed original pressing of the Jazztet record — I knew it was original because I broke the seal — and sold it for about $325 several years ago at one of the WFMU Record Fairs. Not sure why I sold it. Possibly because I had it for 20 years and never opened it?

One more: The Arrival of Kenny Dorham, Jaro 5007. This was an original mono pressing listed in VG++ condition for the record and Ex for the cover. The final price was $729. So where are prices down?



  • Like I said on the previous post, if you want one of these in-demand titles in better than VG+ condition be prepared to step up to this level of bidding. I can’t imagine who pays this kind of money but obviously they want it bad. I did a lot of buying before this madness started so I consider myself lucky although there are still plenty of titles that I would like. I just keep watching and hope an opportunity comes up.

  • The prices on the Savoys are a little surprising but I suppose clean originals are now harder to find than 5-10 years ago.

  • Turbocharged Weasel

    Huh. Guess I spoke too soon about prices being low. A few things I had been looking at went for lower than usual, but I guess those were all things that were in my price range… I haven’t been looking at the higher end stuff because I don’t have the money at the moment. Several Rollins records on Prestige I had been watching underperformed, sometimes grabbing half their usual haul, maybe a lower tier Blue Note or two I glanced at slipped for less than usual, and my sales are down, so I assumed that sales in general looked a little lower than usual. But yeah, Blue Train topped $4,000, a VG+ 1568 topped $5,000, and other records since then have been fetching record high prices, so I guess those sales I saw were only isolated incidents. Whoops. I guess it’s also possible that if I did see a lull, it’s only in lesser condition records… The higher-tier records are getting rarer and rarer in great shape, yet they aren’t getting that much rarer in mediocre shape, so perhaps interest is rising for the clean and unscathed, and is falling for the battered and maimed.

  • Let’s face it, many of these records are 50-60 years old and were probably played on less-than stellar playback equipment. Finding them in optimal shape is a challenge, but for me, finding them at all is what brings me joy. I recently bought 3 impulse records, one mono and one stereo “Blues and the Abstract Truth” and “Mingus, Mingus, Mingus” for $75. The records are clean, and the covers are in great shape. So, yeah, these records are out there, and you can find them every so often, but I am finding them via crate digging and hitting up record stores in out of the way places. Not to mention, I am fortunate to live near “Crossroads Music”, where I am always finding great titles like the aforementioned Impulse records.

  • “The blues and the abstract truth” is a monster record. Took me a few copies before I got a NM “AM-PAR” original with original gatefold inner photo of the “metal sculpture”. Later issues have a photo of Nelson inside.

  • Gregory the Fish

    Yeah, it seems like prices aren’t necessarily rising or falling, but a gap is forming. An NM- Lexington “Whims of Chambers” just went for $900. That strikes me as low, given the glorious lineup and the fact that it’s a Blue Note.

  • I was the seller of the Hank Mobley 1568 – I relisted it a second time because the first buyer didn’t pay…It first sold for about $4K, I was actually surprised that it went for above $5K the second time. I wish I could of kept the record, but I sold it for a friend. He originally bought it for me, but I wasn’t able to pay the amount he wanted…so I did the next best thing, sell it for him and listen to it a few times! It was amazing to have a record like that in my hands.

  • I still only have 1568 on CD. Harsh times!

  • I have a King pressing of 1568, and a friend of mine owns a nice original he paid only $100 for many years ago should I ever want to “feel the aura” and hold it in my hands…

  • The Jaro was once considered one of the rarest records in jazz.

  • If we inform ourselves by the market history, the price on the Coltrane is an outlier. A quick search of popsike reveals that all but two (three now) copies of Blue Train have sold for less than $2350 on eBay–that’s half this selling price. (Surprisingly, the other two copies that have sold for more than $2350 were not NY23 copies! They both sold for $3k.) The NY23 copy does seem exceedingly rare, but I think the staining and the name written on the back of that jacket make it no better than strong VG+…seems like a liberal grader to me. The seller does have 100% positive feedback and a ton of it, but in my experience no matter how much positive feedback a seller has, it doesn’t necessarily mean I will agree with their grading.

    One outrageous price doesn’t necessarily indicate that prices are generally rising. If we were to see five copies of Blue Train sell above that $2350 mark in the coming year for example, I think we’d have a stronger case. Only three bidders were willing to go above $2500 for this record, and as we all know, it only takes two to tango.

  • I wanted to add that I do believe the market has great potential to improve, and that no, I don’t see prices dropping in general by any means.

  • What effect does exchange rates have on the rare vinyl market ? The Dollar is extremely strong right now, making purchases by foreign buyers, paying in local currency more expensive. Yet prices have held steady, and some say possibly trending upward. What is going on ?

  • I Just came upon a copy of Blue Train; john coltrane, blue note 1577-STEREO – with the address on the back as: 43 West 61st St., New York 23. Jacket and record are both in excellent condition. Any interest?

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