Two for the Jazz Collector Wish List

Hank Mobley copyJaphy sent me a note on the following listing: Hank Mobley Quartet, Blue Note 5066. This was an original 10-inch pressing that was listed in M- condition for both the record and the cover. It was listed as having been from the original owner and was offered at $1,400 or best offer. It was sold for best offer, which keeps it somewhat of a mystery to all of us here. Popsike lists it as $1,200, but we’re not sure how they know that. In any case, Japhy notes that this is the second highest price Popsike has ever recorded for this record. He also suggests that the pictures were underwhelming and the listing lacking in details. I actually think the pictures are pretty good. However, if you blow up the picture of the front cover you can see some minor damage on the lower right corner and some definite seam wear on the bottom, so I’d be hesitant to believe the accuracy of the M- cover. Otherwise, the cover does look quite nice. Beyond all of that,  one of the important take-aways is this: Japhy is considering selling his copy,

so maybe there’s an opportunity here for someone looking for this record and willing to pay top dollar. I know I’d love a copy myself, but I don’t pay top dollar. I still prefer the thrill of the hunt too much.

If I were to pay top dollar, this would be another one on my list: Lee Morgan Sextet, Blue Note 1541. This is an original Lexington Avenue pressing listed in Ex condition for both the record and the cover, which sounds like VG++ based on my grading criteria. There are more than two days left on this auction and the bidding is in the $250 range. I expect this to either enter or approach the $1,000 bin, which puts it out of my reach. I’ve always liked this record, and I’ve owned a copy for a long time. It was one of the first Blue Notes I purchased, but back in 1970 when I started collecting the Blue Notes on the shelves of the record stores were typically Liberty pressings, and that’s what I still own. A Lexington Avenue pressing would be quite nice to have, I must admit.



  • Al, if you click the “Print” link just above the description box, the page that opens will show you the final sale price.

    And while it’s out of my price range, $1200 seems pretty reasonable for that Mobley title, even if it isn’t in Mint condition…

  • Japhy, I can offer all of the change on the floor of my car, which surely comes to almost 10 whole dollars! 😉

    Good luck with the sale. I’d love to own that record someday!

  • Ha, thanks GTF. I think I’m ready to part with mine. I’ve not pulled it out in a while but to my recollection it is NM/NM, if not a little better, and also has the original Blue Note catalog insert. I’ve also got 10″ of Lou Donaldson (5055), Kenny Dorham ‘Afro Cuban’ (5065), and Horace Silver (5058). All in that same condition. I’d be happy to discuss any of those offline japhy01 -at -hotmail. Cheers.

  • It’s obviously an original press, but those later BN sleeves make me nervous when I see them paired with older albums like in the Lee Morgan post.

  • Japhy: you’re a shrewd negotiator!

    chris: do you find it odd that, for some reason, original inner sleeves seem to be of absolutely no consequence in collecting? it’s nice to have them, but i admit i feel no sense of loss when they are missing. if a sleeve is original but worn or splitting, i replace it with a nice new one and keep the original in the jacket, but i know many people don’t care at all.

    it is somewhat odd. you’d think collectors would care more, but i suppose since some labels used plain sleeves, rice paper, plastic wrap, or nothing at all… it became a non-issues.


  • Agreed, I think part of the reason is that they are so easily interchangeable and not seen as closely associated with the particular record it comes with. If there was a liner notes insert, common in so many Japanese reissues, then I could see it being an important collectible component. As it is, I’ve purchased Lexington titles on ebay cleverly disguised with a “27 Years Blue Note” sleeve perhaps to the detriment of the final price, and I’ve also seen Liberty reissues with NY labels paired with what would be the correct inner sleeve to make it appear original. One is perceived as a fortunate accident and the other potentially an ethical issue.

  • I’m in the GTF boat. I don’t care about the inner sleeves, but I do care about booklets that come with some releases (e.g. Transition label). Of course record condition comes first then the cover.

  • That Lee Morgan has been on my list for awhile but it looks like this is possibly a second pressing. Hard to tell for sure but it looks like a beaded rim as opposed to a flat edge and I don’t see frames on the cover, but it can be difficult to determine with the dark covers in photos on ebay. Looks to be in excellent condition in any event.

  • RE: The Lee Morgan, good call on the inner sleeve Chris–this is in fact *not* an original…do you know what this means?? This means I might be able to afford it! 😉 The inner sleeve made me suspicious once you brought it to my attention, but then I noticed a question at the end of the description where the seller explained that it was not a flat edge pressing, so it’s not an original. London Jazz Collector posted a few years back about a copy of 1520 that was the same way.
    I never knew this pressing existed before until now, this is great. This means I may be able to afford this record much sooner than if it didn’t. I personally would much rather have this than an original. These pressings are probably from the mid-60s, so they’re further removed from the heavy-tonearm-sapphire-stylus era of the late 50s and early 60s and they’re less likely to have been the victim of groove wear, which I have found in my collecting to be rampant on earlier pressings. Plus I have never found an ‘original’ Lexington Ave or W63 pressing that sounded sonically superior to a subsequent pressing with a “P” like this or a NY USA label.
    Al: Is your copy the black Liberty label with the blue strip on the left? Is it ‘stereo’? If it is, that means it’s electronically rechanneled stereo, which is an altered version of the original mono master tape…?

  • Lokks like the Morgan has the “P” at least.

  • Rich:

    I totally agree with Chris, who in his discussion about inner sleeves points out their interchange-ability. Early on in my jazz-playing, -loving days, I had collected extra inner sleeves, after replacing many with what was considered better for the discs. Eventually, when I began to value those original inners, I started placing them as best I could with what I thought might be appropriate. I thus ended up with what I suspect many casual collectors did: inner sleeves that in many cases were clearly not what came with the original LP.

    I would therefore suggest that it would be a serious mistake to reject an LP with all other appropriate criteria for originality, simply on the basis of the inner sleeve.

  • Agree whole-heartedly with Earl. I find mismatched inner sleeves more often that not.

  • Earl, hang on a second. Your definition of ‘original’ can be whatever you want but it’s definitely not a first pressing. I’m not denying that the sleeve could have been swapped in from another record over the years but It doesn’t have a flat edge, and further, the cover doesn’t appear to have the frame, which would make sense. Technically the copy could be from late 1957 on to my knowledge, but the sleeve and the pristine condition make it suspect to be pressed circa 1964 ( I’d also wonder how heavy the record is, as indicated by the LJC post I mentioned in my post above: But regardless of the sleeve and the year of its pressing, wish and hope all you want but it is definitely is a second pressing at best because of the missing flat edge.
    PS – VERY noble of the seller to make that bidder’s question public.

  • consensus is a beautiful thing.

  • This Blue Note 1941 is a second press without flat edge, no kakubuchi/framed cover. Depending on its condition, it will probably fetch a high price. I have an exactly similar NM 1541, and i assume it is not inferior to my lex, flat, Kakubluchi, 1538. You can hear the obscure Kenny Rodgers on saxophone on this session. Interesting music, nothing unforgettable in my opinion. But it is a Blue Note, so any judgment regarding the actual quality of the music is somewhat irrelevant.

  • Not sure that auctionning the record with a mid sixties inner sleeve was a real good idea for the seller. Bidding on Blue Note is at least 80 % psychological criteria :-), so iwould have auctionned this one with a relular white one.

  • Earl, hang on a second. Collectors’ definitions of ‘original’ will vary but it’s not a first pressing. I’m not denying that the sleeve could have been swapped in from another record over the years but It doesn’t have a flat edge and the cover doesn’t appear to have the frame. Technically the copy could be from late 1957 on but for me the sleeve ultimately makes it suspect to be pressed circa 1964 (see LJC’s guide to inner sleeves). But regardless of the sleeve and the pressing year it’s a second pressing at best because of the missing flat edge.
    PS – Very noble of the seller to make that bidder’s question about the flat edge public.

  • Well said Rich!
    For those of you that are interested there is a description in Fred Cohens Blue Note book as to which inner sleeve that should be expected and also every release date for each record in mon and stereo.

  • That Lee Morgan was sold a couple weeks ago. I guess it was returned or unpaid buyer which seems pretty common these days

  • Shaft: Good call, LJC probably got a lot of the info on their site from the Cohen book.
    Again, very perceptive, Mike. Looks like it sold for $1,500 with one bid, so the seller must have originally thought they had a first pressing, and I’ll bet you a hundred bucks the buyer did too! Also, the buyer had 750 purple-star feedback so probably not a deadbeat bidder.

  • Rich:
    Think you mistook what I was saying – that LP is certainly not a first or original pressing – I was only commenting that the decision should not be made on the basis of the inner sleeve.

  • We’re on the same page then! 🙂

  • Just a quick point about ebay sales. You can see the best offer sale price if you choose the Print button which is in blue just above the item ID number. That will take you to a page where the actual sale price is listed. In this case, $1200.

  • Thanks for the tip, never knew that!

  • Jason, that’s a super-sweet tip, thanks!

  • This is huge! Many ebayers inflate the prices of their records to see what people will spend, but end up accepting a best offer. This basically allows anyone to gauge the appetite a seller has for reducing prices.

  • jason, that is awesome info. thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *