Bill Hardman (tp) Curtis Porter (“Shafi Hadi”) (as, ts) Hank Mobley (ts) Sonny Clark (p) Paul Chambers (b) Art Taylor (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, June 23, 1957
A better than average bop outing, graced with Sonny Clark and Bill Hardman, and Curtis Porter (Shafi Hadi in his Muslim name, best known for his contributions to Mingus recordings in the Fifties ). What is probably the most iconic cover in the entire Blue Note catalogue. Once seen, unforgettable.
Vinyl: Toshiba-EMI Japan
(No no, I am not the lucky owner of an original copy!! I have a Japanese press! )The legendary BN 1568 – a legend for the extraordinary price it commands, based on the small number of copies pressed in 1957. Collectors speak of little else – somewhere around only five hundred to one thousand copies pressed, numbers coming to market in near mint condition today, can’t be more than a few dozen.
The original near mint pressing below sold last week for $4,600 – over $100 a recorded minute – maintaining its status as one of the rarest and most collectible Blue Notes in existence. There must be many serious collectors out there with this little gap at 1568 in their collections.
My copy is, of course, not an original, but a mere Japanese pressing by Toshiba EMI from the 1980s. It sounds very good, but how it compares with the original is anybodys guess.I for one will certainly never know.
The recent eBay sale of 1568 prompted me to take my copy from the shelf and remind myself what this is all about. It is a good bop outing with some very good players, and I love Mobley’s tone on this recording especially, but is it worth $4,600? It certainly is to some collectors, to judge from the auction report on this item.
A little Excel graphics magic tells the story from eBays close of auction report:
Auction timeline reconstruction from eBay bid data
As usual a few optimistic rookies at the start. Seventeen bidders in total, mostly with a score of 100 to 300 eBay purchases (=”collectors” rather than professional dealers), of whom ten were realistic bidders. In reality this was only really a fight between two bidders, both of whom bid only in the closing two minutes, although a third laid down his challenge at $2,700 on Day 1.
Over the ten days of the auction, which attracted a lot of watchers no doubt, the price was confounded by bidders trying to probe where the reserve had been placed, which I would guess from the flurry of bids a day before close, was at around $3,500. The seller was taking no chances.
With 24 hours still to run there were just four premier league bidders playing in the game. The bidder destined to be placed second pitched his snipe at $4,500 – a guess which in the event didn’t pay off, as the final winner was prepared to go higher, to probably around $5,000. Ebay auctions can be a great armchair spectator sport, and from time to time auctions like this can be quite exciting – viewed from a safe distance.
I bet that winner is very very excited, waiting for the postman to call. That must be a very special feeling. I sure hope he likes the music.