The Blue Note Bargain Bin . . . Not

eBay experts tell us what you make of this: Lee Morgan Indeed, Blue Note 1538. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in M- condition for the record and Ex condition for the cover. We first noticed the record with a start price of $3,999. There were no bids. I just re-checked this record and now it is no longer available because the seller pulled it. However, it shows a price of $4,999. My assumption is that the seller had it listed at that price, someone made an offer, and he sold it for something under the asking price. But if you look on eBay, the assumption is that the record sold for $4,999, which would be extremely high market value for this record, although on Popsike they have a version having sold for $7,786, which seems somewhat bogus to me, given that the next highest price is $3,500.

When I first noticed this record the bidding was in the $200 range and I thought, perhaps, there might be a rare opportunity for a bargain on eBay: Kenny Burrell, Blue Note 1543. This was an original Lexington Avenue pressing — the last of the Lexingtons — and was listed in VG++ condition for the record and VG+ for the cover by the reputable seller funkyousounds. This record, of course, has the cover design by Andy Warhol. Anyway, the bidding did go as expected and there was no bargain to be had: The record sold for $985.

I have my eye on this 10-inch Blue Note, not because I want to buy, but just curious if it sells: Clifford Brown Quartet, Blue Note 5047. This is an original pressing that looks to be in probably VG++ cover for both the record and the cover. The start price is in the $500 range and with a little more than a day left on the auction there are no bidders so far.





  • I seem to remember that $7,786 price being summarily not paid by the winning bidder in the auction referenced, and it resold at a much lower number (although Popsike isn’t seemingly picking that auction up). Happy with my UA mono at this rate.

    Regarding the KB, do first pressings normally have a 47W63rd address on the jacket as this copy does?

  • Al – Long-time lurker but first-time poster here. Always very appreciative of the fine information I glean from this site. The pages on your feelings post-election and the Coltrane documentary were revelatory and I really enjoyed them so thank you so much for that.

    Clifford- At least according to the Cohen book the last BN title with the Lexington address was 1541 so the first press of 1543 would have the 47 W 63rd address.

  • * the cover would have the 47 W 63rd address

  • If you look at all the guys auctions and filter for sold items the Morgan doesn’t show up. It does show up under completed but the price isn’t highlighted green which means it didn’t sell. At least, not via eBay. Still fascinating that after it failed to sell for $3,999 the guy apparently figured relisting it for a grand more was the way to go.

  • @ Clifford Allen:
    Yep, apparently Lee Morgan Sextet (BN 1541) is the last title with the Lexington Avenue address on the back cover.
    So the address changed earlier on the cover than on the labels…same thing happened with the change of 47 W 63rd to 43 W 61st/New York…

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    That Clifford Brown 10″ is intriguing to me, I had never seen it before until about 2 weeks ago when a seller listed a one in Poor condition and split cover. I threw out a “why not” bid of about $30 and was absolutely shocked when bidding ended at $300!!

  • I may have referenced the following a few years back: I sold an original, unplayed, as-new record/jacket copy (store stock in climate-controlled storage) of “Indeed” more than ten years ago for $2700.

    The buyer, a NYC-based executive and Blue Note completist, stated that he owned a mint original disc but could not locate a pristine jacket.

    He was pleased with his purchase. I’m pleased with my second copy, a VG++ original. Not my favorite Morgan side, but lovely and humbling to own.

  • Regarding the 1543: the cover has no frame so regardless the adress on the back, it is not the first pressing (at least as far as the cover is concerned). I have the same cover version, the adress on both labels is Lexington but the edges on the record are raised (should be flat on the first pressing)

  • I see Carolinasoul is back with another jazz auction. And again, it seems the Strata-east records are fetching the highest bids. I am not familiar with this label, but they always seem to be the top selling items in the Carolinasoul auctions. Maybe one day, someone who is knowledgeable about Strata-east can fill me in. Oh, and Shamek Farrah’s “First Impressions” is leading the way with 17 bids and a top price of $405. Cheers!

  • The Shamek, MBOOM, and Billy Parker albums are the most valuable titles on the label…usually fetching over $400 routinely!

  • Abrasive-B: the Brown 10″ album is not a Blue Note recording, but an American (re-)issue of French Vogue material, recorded in Paris when the Lionel Hampton band gave several concerts in the Capital. Ex Vogue LD 179.

  • The Shamek is very good although I’m not sure I’d fork over that kind of change. Recently picked up a copy of Erotica Suite, another of the S-E rarities, from a friend and it is an excellent date. I can’t get that excited about the Billy Parker but should probably try it again…

  • Abrasive_Beautiful

    Rudolf– I suspected as such, it says Jazztime Paris somewhere on the cover if I remember correctly. All the more surprising that someone would bid $300 for a copy in F/P condition

  • Getting back to the Lee Morgan Indeed for a minute, what I always notice about this one is that the cover and liner photos depict him with a trumpet with an upturned bell, like Dizzy Gillespie’s. I wonder if there’s a story there. The liner notes state him being in Dizzy’s big band at the time – maybe he actually played Dizzy’s horn on the session? Also this is neither here nor there but the framing and shadows on his lower face make it seem like he’s bald and has a beard – kindof like Yusef Lateef or Isaac Hayes.

  • Strata East has many great 70s titles, with the previously mentioned First Impressions and Erotica Suite being top notch. Alkebulan by Mtume is good, The Descendents of Mike and Phoebe, Brother Ah’s sound awareness, The Heath Brothers Marchin On (one of my favorite albums on any label) a great Harold Vick date, and too many more greats like Pharoah Sanders and Stanley Cowell. Not to mention Winter In America, one Gil Scott Heron and Brian Jackson’s best works. Love me some Strata East. The sister label, Strata, also has some serious albums but not nearly as many. NY could support Strata East; Detroit couldnt hold up Strata.

  • @cellery, I recall the upturned bell being present on a couple of Morgan sideman dates during that period, at least from photos. Blue Train is probably the most notable.

    Indeed @ethan, all of the Strata-Easts you mention are excellent. Part of the reason that Detroit’s Strata couldn’t last was the fact that Strata-East tapped into distribution networks that the other label couldn’t (rumored NYC underworld connections are interesting and perhaps unsurprising given the era).

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