Temptation, Thy Name is Blue Note

Lou Donaldson Jazz VinylDoes a listing like this one tempt you: Collection of 40 RARE Original Jazz Albums LP’s All on the Blue Note Label? The seller states clearly that the records are all in VG condition or below. He also shows pictures with a lot of damaged covers. Yet . . . I see that picture of Lou Donaldson, Quartet, Quintet and Sextet, Blue Note 1537, and I think: Maybe it’s not that bad, maybe if I clean up the record, it would play nicely on my turntable and sit nicely on my shelf. There are also some other nice potentialities in the listing, such as Hank Mobley Roll Call, Whims of Chambers, Bass on Top, and a bunch of Blakeys, among others. There’s also a lot of junk. Anyway, my answer to the question is “Yes I am tempted.” At what price? That remains to be seen. So far the bidding is at $743.



  • Given the amount of water damage and black mold on many of these jackets in this auction, I wouldn’t want anything. If these LPs were stored together, then they all probably smell terrible!

  • Tough call. If this sells for $2,000 which it is tracking to, that averages $50 a record. Many aren’t worth $50 even if they were in great shape. If I already had great covers of the Chambers records, and maybe the LeeWay but my vinyl was rough, I might think about this deal. Big unknown is how bad is the vinyl.

    I could see maybe a store in Asia maybe buying the collection and framing many of the records for the wall. They don’t look bad from the front and would be an interesting decoration.

  • Yearsandyearsand years ago I had a record store in Chicago on south side and did get lots of Jazz records and among them many Blue Notes and of course cats ‘dj’ed’ with these records and had parties and none were in mint condition they were all played and thus had “Blems” and I would sell for $3.99 max.
    And in this listing I counted 27 records with “Lots of scratches and scuffs” and see the bidding at $1300.00 plus and wish I would have saved some of those records.

  • There’s a few titles in this lot with mismatched covers and LPs, which the seller fails to mention (Blakey 1522 sleeve, 1521 LP, 84109 Hancock sleeve, 4109 LP.) I assume it’s an honest mistake.

  • After one more look over the records, it was pretty clear to me that this was NOT something I’d be interested in. One of he main reasons is articulated by Jim R above — if the records and moldy and they smell, I don’t want the in my house, let along on my shelves alongside my other records. So we’ll keep an eye on these anyway, and perhaps the winning bidder will be a Jazz Collector reader and will share the final results.

  • This is frankly depressing. Trashed records, rotting, flaking sleeves….and the price climbing up to nearly two thousand dollars. It defeats understanding. I wouldn’t even buy them if they were a job lot in a thrift store. They look like records from dead person’s basement.

  • …from *a* dead person’s basement.

  • Interesting that I saw this lot as an outcome on Collectorsfrenzy prior to seeing the conversation on JC. It sparked some meaningful questions, I think, that may be worth the enlightened JC family’s commentary, especially as you rarely discuss the variables at work in the below VG+ world. What are they? What is an original Blue Note cover worth apart from decent vinyl? What is VG+ vinyl worth when paired with a VG- cover? How do you experts (really) distinguish between a deep groove VG and a non- deep groove VG? I greatly appreciate the thoughts of veteran collectors.

  • A general rule of thumb I think is that 50% of the value is the cover and 50% the record. That being said, I think people would prefer a more playable record to a nicer cover (can’t play a cover). A strategy that I have adopted, not always to success, has been to buy VG+ or VG and hope to get a better match in the future. In other words, I might step down a grade if the price is right and look to find the mirror in the future that allows me to upgrade. Maybe buy a VG cover with a VG+ record and then look for a better cover. This approach while it can be successful has stuck me with a lot of sub-standard duplicates that I don’t know what to do with. It might have been a less expensive route to go but hard to gauge.

    The above only applies to same pressing comparisons. I would prefer a lower grade true first pressing to a higher grader second pressing, but that is just me. Some folks just want the music on as close to first pressing as possible (e.g., they are OK with a Bergenfield and will not pay much of a premium for a 50th st. NYC). That being said, there are no hard and fast rules. Many on this site are very exacting in their record grading and want as pristine a copey as possible, knowing that they will always be rare and collectible. I personally have valued quantity over quality and am reluctant to spend big money for a NM- copy regardless, probably because I am one bad needle drop away from taking the value way down.

  • Realistically a lot of great records come out of dead guys basements. Some are just stored better than others

  • Lenny! I was a frequent flyer at your store both when you owned it and when it was in the hands of the previous owner( DQ). I was fortunate enough to get quite a few of those “blems” many of which I still number among my most cherished possessions ( including a very clean saxophone Colossus which still looks vg+ to me for 3.99!). Most sound great on my table and I play many of them all the time. I still fondly recall the days when I could snag a bunch of records for about $60-70, then head over to ribs n bibs or Docs ( both sadly gone now) and look over my finds while having lunch. When I see the prices these things go for now it breaks my heart. Hope you’re doing well. Just wanted to say thanks…..

  • Don Kuhlman, what a treat to hear from a customer!! Been a long time gone, store closed in 97 and I moved a bit, now in Jupiter (Florida). Heard that Docs and Ribs were gone, along with Harper Court. Talked with lady who now runs what was Boyajian’s Bazaar and she said folks still inquire about the store.
    Lost track of DQ. I’m at lennibukowski@aol.com if you ever want to email and we can take this somewhat private memory discussion off this site.
    Thanks for coming into the store.

  • Jupiter seems appropriate given your fondness for Sun Ra! Will be in touch.

  • This sold for $1736. That’s over $43 per lp. Many of these look horrible. I think the seller got a great deal here. My sympathies go out to the buyer.

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