Richard Cook and Brian Morton of The Penguin Guide to Jazz wrote, "Chaloff's masterpiece is both vigorous and moving, not for the knowledge that he was so near his own death but for the unsentimental rigour of the playing. 'Thanks for the Memory' is overpoweringly beautiful as Chaloff creates a series of melodic variations which match the improviser's ideal of fashioning an entirely new song. 'Stairway to the Stars' is almost as fine, and the thoughtful 'The Goof and I' and 'Susie's Blues' show that Chaloff still had plenty of ideas about what could be done with a bebopper's basic materials. This important session has retained all its power."The Penguin Guide includes both Blue Serge and the Definitive Records pairing of Blue Serge with Boston Blow–Up! as part of its suggested "Core Collection," and gives both releases a four-star rating (of a possible four).
Scott Yanow, writing for Allmusic.com, described Blue Serge as Chaloff's best recording, noting that the saxophonist had already contracted spinal paralysis.