What Are Jackie McLean Blue Note Records Selling For?

Prices rising, but still affordable?

If you have been collecting Blue Note records for a while, you are aware of how much Jackie Mclean vinyl is selling for. Pretty much window shopping for me considering the growing prices for the first press albums like 1959's New Soil  and Swing, Swang, Swingin, or 1961's Bluesnik.

That doesn't mean you can't still collect. Many time the second an third pressings sound almost as good, if not equal to the originals. Personally I have gone after a lot of the Late 60's to Mid-70's United Artists and Liberty issues of McLean's by default.

Note: The above album Bluesnik is selling in excess of 100 dollars for 45 rpm re-issues. The original press could easily set you back $500. The NY USA issues are themselves in the $100 to $250 range.

It is important to remember that all of these prices fluctuate wildly, but it is the nature of the market. A record is only worth what the buyer is willing to pay, and what that particular seller is willing to sell it for.. Patience often times pays off.

Nothing wrong with the Liberty pressings

8 years ago I was spending 10 buck a piece for these Liberty pressings, glad I did, as the original presses, even mid 60's New York USA pressings went through the roof and easily are bringing upwards of $200 dollars, those cheaper Liberty issues are now rising fast and will set you back on average 50 bucks, with some pushing 100 dollars.

Sometimes gambling that a seller is a conservative grader helps too. Pre Liberty Blue Note vinyl seems to hold up well to moderate scuffs and marks. I have found a VG record often times plays like a much better copy at half the VG+ or excellent grade's price.

Can't beat the experience of the 12 inch cover art

I love the music there is no doubt, but for me the album covers are nearly as important. Just having a vintage copy of these iconic covers are worth it to me, even if what I have isn't usually a 1st or 2nd press.

I remember the first time I bought Blue Note records at my local record shop, thinking to myself how puny and worthless those CD booklets were. They just do not do this art work justice.

Yes, I do have nearly 500 CD's as well, I am also a liner note fanatic, and I just can't seem to get enough of  the newly updated thoughts on this timeless music.

Did that cover scare the hell out of you?

20 Years ago or so, when I was just getting into jazz, and had only briefly made my way through the Miles Davis catalog, and only barely heard of Blue Note yet, I remember thinking at the time, if this was a McLean version of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew or something?

 Of course it's not jazz-rock at all, just another good free-bop album, typical of the inside outside playing McLean mastered during the 60's for Blue Note. All be it, this time it seems to be more in a modal vein and stays grounded more, with a fairly straight ahead ballad "Toy Land".

I shouldn't judge the cover, but not my cup of tea honestly. I do like some of Mati Klarwein's covers though, Bitches Brew and Santana's Abraxes come to mind.

Demon's Dance is actually one of the McLean Blue Note albums that can be had fairly reasonably in the record shops I have noticed. On eBay though it can be tough to find, but I did purchase mine for 20 bucks. CD's are fetching as much as 40 bucks, not a chance.

Jackie McLean Blue Note record

Ornette Coleman in support of McLean, but on Trumpet!

New and Old Gospel is one of my favorite McLean records. The track "Old Gospel" has one of the greatest McLean solos I've heard. Jackie was always rooted in the blues, and to his credit by this point seems to have mastered the alto sax.

One of the oddities of the record is Ornette Coleman playing trumpet instead of alto sax. The first time I heard this record I was not impressed. Over time I have come to appreciate the simple contrasting style. Coleman's not Freddie Hubbard, and that's OK, it's a sound that grows on you.

This pictured copy is a European import I picked up on eBay many years ago for 20 dollars. As of 2018 these are selling in the 40 dollar range, not bad at all for a great record.

 Music From the Connection: A dollar thrift store find

Jackie Maclean and Freddie Redd Music from the Connection is one of my greatest thrift store finds. I found this at a local Salvation Army Thrift Store for 1 dollar. was shocked at the vinyl condition. Solid VG+.

An original or second press will run you 50-100 dollars, with late 60's pressings running about 20 bucks or so. This is one of my favorite records, but definitely worth hearing.

One Step Beyond and Destination Out

One Step Beyond and Destination Out are 2 of the best 60's post bop albums of the era. Trombonist Grachan Moncur III is the composition star here. Besides being a tremendous instrumentalist these compositions are full of interesting things. Not exactly easy listening, sort of the same style as Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch. A chamber jazz if you will. Extremely thought provoking music.

These albums were released in 1964 (January and November), and Moncur composed 5 of the 9 tracks on the 2 albums. I consider them companion albums, along with Moncur's Some Other Stuff  and Evolution.

The greatest achievement of these particular albums is knowing that 55 years after their recording, they still sound fresh, and honestly sound like they could have been recorded today.

What are Reuben Wilson Blue Note Records Selling For?

What are Reuben Wilson Blue Note Records Worth

Another Overlooked Groove Master

If you're a organ soul-funk or Blue Note collector, these late 60's Blue Note's are still priced right. All of these can be had for under 40 dollars, and that's for excellent to near mint records. If you are OK with VG+ vinyl,  I see these all the time for 10 bucks a piece at the local shops and online.

82 year old Reuben Wilson is an active force even in 2018, but he made his bones back in the 60's and one of the plethora of soul-jazz organ master on Blue Note. 

Perhaps overshadowed by other Hammond B-3 players Jimmy McGriff and Big John Patton, his Blue Note albums have aged well, and feature perhaps the quintessential Memphis style soul funk organ sound.

From 1968 to 1971 his 5 Blue Note albums are all worth acquiring. The pictured above record On Broadway was Reuben's debut for the label, and while not as good the records to come does feature one of his best tracks "Ronnie's Bonnie".

Later stuff gets more commercial

After the records Love Bug and Blue Mode, I think Reuben, or the record label anyway, was striving for sales over art. That doesn't mean all the records aren't worth getting, they are. 

A Groovy Situation and Set Us Free are equal parts grooving soul funk and pop, rock, and psychedelia. The latter being a very lush atmospheric record, I rather enjoy that one, but the groove burners are harder find on the Set Us Free

If you are into grooving straight up gut bucket organ jazz, I'd say Blue Mode is where you should start, and then test the waters with the last 2 records.  I included a link below to a great compilation of Wilson tracks that feature the hardest grooving of his works.

Reuben Wilson Blue Note Records Value

What are Vintage Booker Ervin Blue Note Records Selling For?

Very few Booker Ervin Blue Note records to choose from

As you may know, there aren't too many vintage Booker Ervin Blue Note records available at all. The fact is, only the session The In Between is available as a regular vintage issue.

In the Mid 70's Michael Cuscuna of Mosaic Records fame produced a nice compilation unreleased music.

That re-issue series release Back From the Gig, featured albums that eventually ended up on a Blue Note CD called TexBook Tenor.

You can now get The in Between and Back From the Gig for about 20 dollars.

Booker Ervin is one of my favorite saxophonists. He has what I can best say a southern friend tone, hard boiled and drenched in blues vibrato.

He was born in Denison Texas, and that makes sense to me, his ballsy tone was as big as the Lone Star State.

Very unique indeed that tone, it worked well on those classic Charles Mingus albums Mingus Ah Um and Blue & Roots. 

Do you ever see Booker mentioned on the best all-time lists? Pity when you think of all those Mingus albums as a side man, and all those great Prestige label albums like The Space Book and The Book Cooks.

Blue Note re-issue series double albums

It is worth mentioning, those mid-70's Blue Note vinyl re-issues can easily be found, even today January 3rd 2018 on eBay or in your local record shop reasonably priced. You can find them featuring artists like Ervin, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, The Jazz Crusaders, and many many more.

The secret of those re-issues, is the fact that most of that music ended up released in CD form, on the 90's or 2000's Blue Note Connoisseur Series CD re-issue program, or as bonus tracks tacked on to other original albums. Much of the music on those CD's have never been issued in any other vinyl form than those original 1970's gate-fold issues.

When I first started collecting, and learning about the the music, I was not too crazy about those gate-fold covers, I felt they were a little on the bland side and seemed too library old-school for me. I like the classic Blue Note Reid Miles covers, and these were pretty basic.

However: Over the years after collecting nearly all of them, they do look nice in their own little section on my shelf. Plus as stated before, you have that music on vinyl and not to mention the quality album notes and detailed session info.

I'm not kidding, I see these all the time for less than 10 bucks in my local shops. eBay is more about supply and demand. You'll find huge mark ups now and then, but once a listing or two pops up to compete with it, the price drops like a rock.

Except for an Andre Hill/Sam River issue, I don't think I ever paid more than 20 dollars for any of them, and most times it was less than 10. The Andrew Hill one was a nightmare for me, I paid $75. At least it was a sealed copy.

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