What Moves the Vinyl Market? Who the #$%* Knows

So this auction closed the other day: Hank Mobley, Blue Note 1568. This was in VG++ condition for he record and M- for the cover and did not have the New York 23 label. The final price was $5,127.51. Interesting that the following record, from the same era, is somehow valued at more than $4,000 less than the Mobley: Cliff Jordan, Blue Note 1565. This was also an original pressing, probably in VG++ condition for the record and maybe VG+ or VG++ for the cover. It sold for $897.69. Still a hefty price for sure, but still the discrepancy is quite a spread. Do you think there are really that many fewer copies of the Mobley available on the market? Or is it hype that the Mobley record is widely known as one of the rarest of the rare? Or is it that the Mobley simply a better record? There’s really no way to make judgments about these things, IMHO: The market is the market and that’s what decides the value. So, whatever the reason, the market has deemed Blue Note 1568 to be perhaps the most valuable jazz record of the Jazz Collector era. Ours is not to reason why, ours is just to sell and buy (or something like that).

Anyway, I’m still somewhat transfixed by the original Esquire issues of the original Prestiges. Here’s another: Miles Davis, Changes, Esquire 32-028. This is the original UK issue of the Miles Davis All Start Sextet/Quintet, Prestige 7034. This copy looks to be in VG++ condition for the record and the cover. To me, this is another hip cover and I’m sure the record sounds great. These pressings seemed to be a bargain until recently, but now not so much. This one is already in the $150 range with nearly three days left on the auction. I would hate to think that my fascination with these records, and the fact that I write about them here, has had anything to do with moving the market. Possible? I guess. Likely? Probably not. But we’ll never know, will we? Just like we’ll never really know why the  Mobley record sells for more than $5,000 and the Cliff Jordan record sells for under $1,000.

14 comments

  • Very interesting debate Al. I don’t think we will ever know how many original copies of 1568 exist versus 1565, but I can attest that 1565 is a wonderful session, and every bit as good musically as 1568. And musically speaking, 1568 may not even be the best Mobley LP in the 1560s! Beginning to end, I adore 1560 and find it to be among the most enjoyable Blue Notes ever pressed. That said, you can probably obtain two or three top copies of 1560 and 1565 for the price of one 1568. As you said, “the market is the market.” Not much more to say than that!

  • The Miles appears to be a Buy It Now. Anyone want to take a punt?

    1568 is overrated. I’m actually kinda tired of hearing about it and seeing it online 🙂

  • Gregory the Fish

    Al, you’re a very well-known source for collectible jazz vinyl knowledge. you probably had something to do with it. but that’s ok!

    i don’t why the prices are so different, but i’d take mobley over jordan in a tenor fight any day of the week. love them both, but mobley wins hands down to my ears.

    clifford, i couldn’t disagree more. i agree that the hype gets sickening, as i will absolutely never own an original in this universe, but i do thoroughly enjoy the music. the opening is fabulous. takes all kinds, though, for sure.

  • Always enjoy the banter! You guys know that I’m a card carraying crate digger…..pop, hiss, and click. For what it’s worth: I guess you know why dogs lick their testicles….also it is becoming very clear that there is far more $ than brains out there. Please keep in mind ,IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MUISIC AND THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE IT! Keep swinging!!

  • I’ve been looking for a clean copies (affordable hopefully) of Clifford Jordan BLP 1582 and BLP 1565 for the last 20 years and I’ve seen far more copies of 1568 offered for sale. Blue Note was a small private company and they seemed to press up only the number of copies they thought they could sell. That’s why you see so many more first pressings of their “popular” artists at that time, Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Jimmy Smith, etc. At least I have the Jordan’s on cd, he has such a beautiful warm sound!

  • Caroline Somerset

    Let’s wait and see if the $5K+ buyer of this Mobley actually pays for their purchase, or if they skip out on the seller – as had happened earlier with the $11K+ purchaser!…. x C

  • Terryfromflorida

    Clifford Allen: I went ahead and bought the Miles lp. I will post it on FB in Jazz Record Collectors when it arrives!

  • Terry – I just realised that last year I bought an LP from the seller of the Miles. It wasn’t expensive – a reissue of Jackie Mac’s Bluesnik, but I do remember it was in super condition and I left him very good feedback.

  • Ah, nice Terry — will look forward to a report!

  • Anders Wallinder

    I’m convinced that the $-differerence between the 1568 and 1565 is not based on scarcity and musically I think they are both very good – maybe with a small edge towards the Mobley. However NOT a $4000 edge 😉

    We, the buyers, are just used to that the 1568 is the most paid for Jazz record. Jazzcollector, ebay and other online sources are just “hammering it out” and in the end it is the general truth and going rate. And nothin wrong with that. If there is a market for reselling it’s fine I guess. I mean would you suddenly pay $5000 and NOT be able to resell it? Don’t think so. Hey if you find it for $2000 dollar you feel it’s a bargain – I would for sure 😉

    And of course sites like jazzcollector, FB jazzrecordcollector drives the market! Discussing auctions and prices, upping general interests in jazz, tipping about ongoing auctions etc. What would you expect?

  • where are these auctions?

  • Anders Wallinder

    Laura, on eBay mostly.

  • Ok , my 1 cent opinion on this. I Like the BN 1568 (I only have the AcousTech 45 Mastering … 🙁 but I think Hank Mobley BN 1550 is a better LP (I have a nice original 1st of this one). And yes, what ever the market dictates……….

  • Please remember that 1568 was a lost one… I´ve have never seen any reissues ( NY USA, Liberty…).
    What is the second pressing ? KING from `78 to ´81 ?

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