Mobley 1550: what’s it worth? Play Fantasy Ebay live. Now with result update


Selection: Wham and they’re off (Mobley)


Art Farmer (trumpet) Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone) Horace Silver (piano) Doug Watkins (bass) Art Blakey (drums) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 8, 1957

Music :

It’s not BN 1568, but it’s nice, the young Mobley, a few years short of developing his full tone. As much an Art Farmer or Horace Silver album, a little short measure of Hank, but that cover beats everything: tenor swagger. There’s no mincing around with a tenor, it means business, a big Detroit clunker.

The point of the post LJC?

No, I don’t have an original, it’s a teaser, there is two days until the Ebay auction of an original Blue Note 1550 Hank Mobley Quintet closes, at the time of writing, 23rd January, 2014. Watch here:

Not a record that turns up very often, the other Mobley, still very desirable. A bit of fun, try out a new game, play live Fantasy Ebay. Guess the final price. We have a “poll” in advance of auction close, with a range of possible closing prices.  Two days to run, ends January 23rd. Hurry. You don’t have to bid for it for real, just throw in your valuation, see what it might have cost you to win. We will all know on the 24th.

Mobley guess 2 Capture

Study the Popsike  form, that’s what the trophy hunters will be doing. It has a long nose, everything depends on the one collectors deep pockets. The bulking of the tail of the price range is merely reissues, Japanese like mine, and filler-quality copies,  not an indication of the value to serious collectors..

Mobley guess 3 Capture

Check the live listing if you want to check the seller reputation, and the credibility of other bidders who have shown their hand already.  (something which I recommend you never do. Do not give your opponents the benefit of knowing your position. It’s a vanity thing to show your hand.)

Now place your bets, final auction result is two days time, 23rd January, 2014.My gosh that cover is beautiful. What do you think it will go for?

If  you still need convincing, read all about it.

Mobley-1550-rear-cover-1800-LJCJapanese Pressing Source:

My Japanese copy was I think  the personal copy of the former manager of Mole Jazz, Euston, Andy W who had this reputation for moving vinyl to and fro Japan, but at that time I was shopping in Mole for fusion jazz, foolishness of youth. This was an early addition to the born-again Londonjazzcollector, many decades later.

Vinyl: Cheapskate Alert! C’mon, you weren’t expecting the original 47 West 63rd were you? Toshiba, respectable vintage reissue, 1984, 154 gram vinyl. Compare the Japanese label with the original. No Toshiba, no! Wrong label – 47 West 63rd New York 23. Lack of attention to detail.


The idea of guess the price has emerged from exchange with DG Mono, all credit due to sparking the idea. I take full responsibility if it bombs, but I’m not resigning.



The Result: $1,430

50 visitors to LJC voted, thank you for that, and the wisdom of crowds was obviously in short supply this time around. Some overcooking, some undercooking, third place got it exactly right though second place gets an honourable mention.

1 $1,000 – 1,250  20%  (10 votes)
2 $1,501-1,175  18%  (9 votes)
3 $1,251 – 1,500  16%  (8 votes)
4 $1,176 – 2,000  16%  (8 votes)
5 less than $1,000  10%  (5 votes)
6 $2001 – 2,250  8%  (4 votes)
7 $2,251 – 2,500  6%  (3 votes)
8 $2,501 – 2,750  2%  (1 votes)
9 $2,751 – 3,000  2%  (1 votes)
10 $3,251 – 3,500  2%  (1 votes)
11 $3,001 – 3,250  0%  (0 votes)
12 $3,501 – 3,750  0%  (0 votes)
13 $3,751 – 4,000  0%  (0 votes)
14 More than $4,000  0%  (0 votes)
Votes cast: 50

Mobley final USD1405Capture

How the bidding unfolded:

Mobley Bid HistoryCapture

The 2nd placed price-setter g***h laid a snipe with six seconds lead time by the looks of it, but the winner u***1 played it very cool – put an XXL bid down several hours before close; must have been confident it wouldn’t be leapfrogged. Sad bit is all those real collectors with two-digit scores or low three digit scores. They are what I call normal. Throw a lot of money but not enough to stick.

The winner’s 30-day bid history:

Mobley Bid winner Capture

111 bids in thirty days, which includes over Christmas and the new year holidays. I have been beaten into second place by u***1 several times recently, and I was placing realistic bids. Whoever he is, he must place an XXXL bid, knowing second placed will usually be sensible. He is not the imfamous Adhourodi1947, the trading account of Tokyo’s Disc Union stores (which ebay anonymises to a***4) Though that volume of bids a day suggests a dealer rather than a collector. May be its Tokyojazzcollector’s other account, I don’t know.

Be interesting to see if he leaves any trace through feedback or not. I have followed up I think this guy before and if it’s the same one they never leave feedback. It’s not personal, it’s business.


 An Ebay “Selfie” – where LJC beats u***1 hands down, only to have victory snatched from me by a newbie. Don’t you just hate that?  This was intended to be my Christmas present to myself, my favourite Rollins I have been after for several years, and this is way over my house limit for a very special record, but to no avail.


(suitably anonymised)

Seems u***1 has learned a few lessons, and upped the ante. Interestingly, u***1’s score has risen by only 6 in the last month, from 1102 to 1108. Still, if that is six premium priced records like these, that is still some monthly expenditure on records.


24 thoughts on “Mobley 1550: what’s it worth? Play Fantasy Ebay live. Now with result update

    • Just noticed that when you pointed it out. It may explain why his score is up only a half dozen despite over a hundred bids a month. Maybe he puts in monster bids – “accidentally” one or two noughts too many – and if second place pitches the final price too high, he retracts, on the grounds it was a mistake (apparently permitted). If second place is reasonable, he keeps quiet and the record is his. He’s a gamer.


      • I figured retracting a bid meant you were doing it before the auction’s close, meaning he will walk up bids or just bid high to see the current high bidder’s max then retract if it’s too high. Is that legal??? Can you do that as many times as you want??

        The other thing you’re describing might be considered bid retractions as well, where you win the item and if it sells too high you ultimately say you can’t follow through with the transaction. I honestly don’t think eBay would allow this to happen 100 times in months–I think this is a much more serious offense than what I was describing above because their seller has to either 1. hope the second-place bidder will accept a second chance offer or 2. they need to relist the item and wait at least a week longer to have their auction close and ultimately receive payment for their item.


        • Damn. 1540? Why haven’t I got it? Answer me! I have never seen a copy in the flesh ever, any shape or form, and with a recommendation like that from these guys I just gotta have it. Looks like I will have to take my own advice, settle for a vintage Japanese press. Tracked one down, it’s in the post. 1540 ha!


          • why 1540 with long solos of an immature Donald Byrd? Hank created a masterpiece on 1544. He adapted his tone to Milt Jackson and his airy sound in the ensembles is terrific, found nowhere else.
            Try that one out.
            A simple advise: look for the Mosaic box, which includes his 10″ album and alternate takes from 1540 material.


    • 1550 is not my favourite Mobley either, Dott,, just one that happened to be coming up to auction close, so made a suitable candidate for a real time “fantasy Ebay” experimental post. Which is what it was, an experiment. As regards a regular feature at LJC, I think probably not. There are already other sites which cover Ebay auctions.(Though none to my knowledge post a track sample)


    • For me 1550 is particularly notable for the composition Funk in Deep Freeze which is a testament to Mobley’s writing skills – a talent in which he surpassed Rollins and Coltrane.I think the combination of Hank Mobley and Art Farmer though is less engaging overall than that of Mobley and Morgan which was a perfect blend of the relaxed and the energised. Just picked up Peckin Time on Toshiba-Emi and I think Mobley’s BNs are an area I would definitely like to complete in vinyl in a decent but reasonably priced form. Paying this much for a record is crazy to me


      • I have two vintage “Tosh’s” in the post as of today. I am never going to pay the premium for these early 1500 series Mobley as originals, and it looks like neither Liberty or UA reissued them due to mono format. I imagine the source tape is Hackensack and single track recording, though someone stereo buffs may know better. Vintage Japanese are the only alternative to modern audiophile which I don’t rate. They are available in Japan but you take a big hit on postage and risk customs charges and the Royal Mail’s evil tax collection charge, none of it very appealing.


      • As much as I appreciate Mobley as a songwriter, he doesn’t match Trane in my book. I’m guessing Mobley’s output as a writer may have been significantly higher (any confirmation on this?), but I personally prefer my favorite Coltrane pieces to my favorite Mobley compositions.


        • I agree – compositions such as Naima and Central Park West have a special magic but what I mean is that Mobley was much more of composer capable of writing entire albums of originals. In terms of bluesy bop classics he’s up there with Sonny Clark and Kenny Dorham.
          Some list:
          Chain Reaction
          Changing Scene
          Flirty Gerty
          Funk In Deep Freeze
          No Room For Squares
          Pec a Sec
          Stretchin’ Out
          This I Dig of You
          Three Way Split
          Two and One
          Avila & Tequila
          Bossa De Lux
          Hank’s Symphony
          Hippity Hop
          Home At Last
          Recado Bossa
          Advance Notion
          Caddy for Daddy
          Carol’s Interlude
          Comin’ Back
          Dab o’Dis and Dat
          Git Go Blues
          Hank’s Waltz
          High Voltage
          Soul Time
          Syrup ‘n Biscuts
          No More Goodbye’s


  1. $1,430.50. The winning bid was placed 2.5 hours before close, it was the only bid placed by the winner, and there was a single last-second bid, which of course set the final price.


  2. I’ll stick to the $1,000 – $1,250 range. At the time of my comment here we have a little over 4 hours to go, with the current bid at $950 and right now I can’t believe that it’ll go beyond two Grand in that short bit of time.


  3. If I saw a Japanese or French repress I might pay a tenner for it but I wouldn’t go over that. But then I have a predilection for what my wife calls ‘honk squeak music’, and you can buy an awful lot of very good honk squeak music for a thousand dollars…


  4. Ok, so $2-2.5k near mint, the seller does not appear to be a record dealer by trade though they do own a turntable and are particular enough to mention the make and model of their cartridge and speakers, they claim they found the record at a garage sale, and they elude to a mark of some sort and “extremely faint surface noise” upon playback. Well sounds like VG+ to me at best. Seeing that these are not typically the most “trustworthy” circumstances for bidders in my experience, I’m guessing it will keep the price down a bit. $1k-1250.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s