Weighing in on Mobley, Catching Up on Newk

mobleyInteresting comments on the previous post. My first exposure to Hank Mobley was as a sideman on some of the records that my dad owned, most prominently Donald Byrd’s A New Perspective and Miles Davis Someday My Prince Will Come. He always struck me as a solid player, but in the early days of discovering jazz it was the more passionate players and the innovators that got my attention: Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon and Stan Getz on tenor and Charlie Parker and Cannonball Adderley on alto. I always relegated Mobley to the second tier, which is certainly no insult when compared to the players I just mentioned. When I became more of a “collector” I was surprised to see the Mobley records so highly valued. So I have turned to him again, often, to reassess, but I always come back to my original assessment. If I want to listen to genius I put on Coltrane or Rollins. Otherwise, Mobley will do just fine. And, as a collector, it’s really nice to look at those original Mobley Blue Notes, Prestiges and Savoys on my shelves and occasionally put them on the turntables. They rarely overwhelm, but they never disappoint.

Meanwhile, while all that discussion has been taking place here at Jazz Collector, there have been auctions going on at eBay, including:Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This is the semi-original pressing with the West 63rd labels but not the NY 23 label. It was in M- condition for the record and Ex condition for the cover and received a top bid of $3,050. But it did not sell because it didn’t meet the seller’s reserve price.

There were comments on the price of this one as well: Sonny Rollins, Saxophone Colossus, Prestige 7079. This was the one from the Jazz Record Center in M- condition for the record and M- or VG++ for the cover. Readers were surprised that it sold for “only” $1,792. I tend to agree with the theory that the prices from the Jazz Record Center may be somewhat reduced because they don’t accept Pay Pal, but it’s just a theory. They are certainly the most credible and reliable of the dealers I’ve ever dealt with.

More than forty bids for this (but not nearly that many bidders): Sheila Jordan, Portrait of Sheila, Blue Note 9002. This was an original New York USA pressing listed in M-/VG++ condition for the record and M- for the cover. It sold for $340.55.



  • In the discussion of the JRC SaxCol, it was mentioned that the rim beading may have contributed to the low price. It is true as I said (and Rudolf agreed)that beading on early Prestige was basically a non-factor. However, the mere fact that JRC (apparently meaning to be coplete) mentioned the beading, may have turned some (less informed) buyers away. He would have been better off (IMHO) to not bring it up at all. No good deed goes un-punished!

  • I have to say that following the Hank Mobley 1568 of most recent posting , I can’t help but feel that pure greed is being played out here.
    I mean c’mon, $3,000 + and did not meet reserve ??


  • I’m with Joseph. It doesn’t even have the side 2 label.

  • whatya mean “more passionate”?!?!? Hank is the best player in the game.

  • I’ve been playing jazz(instrumentally) for 25 years. While I admire the innovations of Coltrane and Rollins, Hank has always been MY favorite tenor sax
    player. Really plays “in the pocket” and NEVER fails melodically.

  • Joseph, “greed” it may be but that up to the seller!
    If he thinks it’s a 5k record then he is entitled to try and get that. That and many other records are worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Simple.
    I think sometimes we record collectors don’t step back and appreciate the amazing aspect that something so fragile as a record can survive in such lovely condition for so long…57 YEARS!
    I love the warmth of Hank’s tonal sound and I like 1568 as a record although I prefer the un issued (Jap only) Poppin’ which features the cut “East of Brooklyn” Man, that gets me every time. Also I am always a little confused at how many NM copies of 1568 surface. I know its a rare title, but it sure comes up on ebay more than many other ‘rare’ titles…I’m not saying it’s a dubious thing, but it’s a bit strange. The cover though is just pure BLUE NOTE Dynamite, simply captures the mood, era and whole BN house vibe.
    I must dig out Poppin’ today and give it a spin!

  • It’s a M- copy of 1568 with the NY23 label that’s the real rare one. The copies with the W63 address on both labels are more common. One thing is for sure, a M- copy of City Lights 1575 with a NY23 label is extremely rare, just as rare as a 1568 with a NY23 label or even rarer, I believe. Searching Popsike it seems that the 1568 NY23 version is more common than the 1575 NY23 version. I happen to own a 1575 with a NY23 label in stunning condition M-/M- and I would value that as high as a 1568 with the NY23 label, no doubt.

    To collect these rarities at these steep prices is worth every penny, but at the same time completely and utterly nuts.

  • Fredrick, if you let me loan your Lee Morgan, I promise to bring it back!…..Promise!

  • ADAMSKI: only if you let me borrow your Blue-Ray 25th Anniversary Die Hard Collection Box.

  • Fredrick . Ooohhh. Sorry mate, can’t be doing that, Bruce Willis is too dear to my heart…..what on earth would I watch without those discs….. What if I loaned you my treasured first issue Kenny G vinyl? In fact that seems like a straight fair swop for an uber original Morgan, City Lights.

  • 🙂

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