porcy62

Blue Note Sound Quality

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Anybody else think Liberty blue/white pressings aren't usually that great? I have a lot of these, most in very nice shape, but they're noisy and often pretty thin...

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Anybody else think Liberty blue/white pressings aren't usually that great? I have a lot of these, most in very nice shape, but they're noisy and often pretty thin...

They can be variable. I've had some (e.g. Lee Morgan 'The Sixth Sense') that are as good as NY USAs in terms of sound. The later ones can be a bit iffy though.

As for originals, the best sounding one I've heard to date is the 47W63rd DG of Johnny Griffin 'The Congregation'. The similar vintage DG of 'Sonny Rollins Vol 2' and slightly later Art Taylor 'AT's Delight' are also amazing. Anything 47W63rd is usually great (single exception in my experience being Freddie Redd's 'The Connection' - not a great recording). Most of the NY USAs are also pretty fine, particularly early monos.

Edited by sidewinder

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Yeah, I sometimes feel like replacing my UA mono blue/white 1500s with DG copies, but then I remember how much that would cost...

At this point, for those early titles, King is the way to roll and still stay in two digits price-wise.

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At this point, for those early titles, King is the way to roll and still stay in two digits price-wise.

Absolutely ! Very pleasing, neutral sound quality and very quiet in terms of background noise. You can't go wrong with these.

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I'll add the 47W63rd Horace Silvers to the list of great sounding originals. Just listening to the DG 'Horace-Scope' after a bit of a vinyl clean and it is wonderful. Superb presence !

Still can't work out why they screwed up with 'The Connection' though.. :rlol

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I have all of the original 12" Blue Note releases--95% of them first pressings, but all of them "original" in that they were pressed by Plastylite before the sale to Liberty (the last "REAL" Blue Note was Don Cherry's "Complete Communion" BN4226 and the first pressed by Liberty was Joe Henderson's "Mode for Joe" BN4227). It took me over 25 years to put this collection together and there's no way I could do it today without a bigger, fatter bank account!

The early 1500s are HOT--lots of sizzle and very forward and I LOVE them, but the best recordings were made after RVG opened his studio and stopped recording in the living room. Monos from this era are as good as records get.

I think the best bang for the buck is with the blue label Libetry and UA pressings--while they are not as QUIET as the Japanese pressings, they sound more like the original records (other than the uber-expensive late 70's KING pressings which are amazingly good). And SOME of the "rechanelled for stereo" records are actually MONO--BN1534 comes to mind--the jacket SAYS stereo, but the copy I once had was mono all the way.

Edited by Allan Songer

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Can I call you Dad?

I have all of the original 12" Blue Note releases--95% of them first pressings, but all of them "original" in that they were pressed by Plastylite before the sale to Liberty (the last "REAL" Blue Note was Don Cherry's "Complete Communion" BN4226 and the first pressed by Liberty was Joe Henderson's "Mode for Joe" BN4227). It took me over 25 years to put this collection together and there's no way I could do it today without a bigger, fatter bank account!

The early 1500s are HOT--lots of sizzle and very forward and I LOVE them, but the best recordings were made after RVG opened his studio and stopped recording in the living room. Monos from this era are as good as records get.

I think the best bang for the buck is with the blue label Libetry and UA pressings--while they are not as QUIET as the Japanese pressings, they sound more like the original records (other than the uber-expensive late 70's KING pressings which are amazingly good). And SOME of the "rechanelled for stereo" records are actually MONO--BN1534 comes to mind--the jacket SAYS stereo, but the copy I once had was mono all the way.

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Can I call you Dad?

No kidding...

Hey, please fill in your "location." Ya never know...you could be 'round the corner from me...

:w:cool:

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Can I call you Dad?

No kidding...

Hey, please fill in your "location." Ya never know...you could be 'round the corner from me...

:w:cool:

I'm in L.A.

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"but the best recordings were made after RVG opened his studio and stopped recording in the living room. Monos from this era are as good as records get."

I disagree - I think RVG's stuff sounded best before he built the new studio - I don't like the piano sound, the wide stereo separation, the sonic signature of later Bluenotes - too much RVG and not enough of the musicians-

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(the last "REAL" Blue Note was Don Cherry's "Complete Communion" BN4226 and the first pressed by Liberty was Joe Henderson's "Mode for Joe" BN4227).

I have the stereo of 'Mode for Joe' (ST-84227) and it's pure BN (vinyls, labels, covers with the 61St. adress).

No Liberty in sight anywhere.

Same with 'Big' John Patton 'Got a Good Thing Goin' (4229, mono).

Both still have the New York adress on the labels and come with the 1939-1966 27 YEARS BLUE NOTE inside covers!

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(the last "REAL" Blue Note was Don Cherry's "Complete Communion" BN4226 and the first pressed by Liberty was Joe Henderson's "Mode for Joe" BN4227).

I have the stereo of 'Mode for Joe' (ST-84227) and it's pure BN (vinyls, labels, covers with the 61St. adress).

No Liberty in sight anywhere.

Same with 'Big' John Patton 'Got a Good Thing Goin' (4229, mono).

Both still have the New York adress on the labels and come with the 1939-1966 27 YEARS BLUE NOTE inside covers!

Well, if you want to get into the history of Blue Note I'll give you a little rundown. When the company was sold there were LOTS of left-over labels, slicks, inner sleeves, etc. The way we know that 4226 was the last of the original Blue Notes (although there were earlier titles pressed after this--Andrew Hill's "Andrew!" being the most obvious one--Blue Note pressed and released titles out of order throughout their history) is that it is the highest catalog number that was pressed by the Plastylite pressing plant in New Jersey. On every single Blue Note LP from the first 10" through 4226 you will find in the dead wax a mark that has come to be known as the "ear." This mark is actually a capital cursive "P" for "Plastylite." There are no knows copies of any title from 4227 forward that have this mark, which means they were pressed in a Liberty pressing plant. There are other telltale markers as well, but this is the easiest one to explain here!

Anyway, after Liberty bought Blue Note they went through the inventory of labels and slicks and pressed quite a few of the OLDER titles as well, using the ORIGINAL labels and slicks--that is why you can find copies of titles as old as 1541 or 1544 that have "New York 23" or even LEXINGTON labels but with no "ear" and no deep groove--these are LIBERTY pressings!!!

There were LOTS of "blank" "New York USA" labels on hand after the sale and Liberty continued to use them through the end of 1966--that is why there are titles as high as "Sweet Honey Bee" BN4252 and "The Jody Grind" BN4250 that have the "New York USA" labels. And SOMETIMES at the very end of using up the exising stock you'll find a "Liberty" label on one side and an original "Blue Note" label on the other. I have actually seen a copy of "Fats Narvarro, vol. 2" with a LIBERTY label on one side and a LEXINGTON label on the other!!!

Hope this helps!!

Edited by Allan Songer

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Hope this helps!!

Absolutely!

Many thanks for the rundown...

Can only confirm that my copies of the Joe Henderson and Big John Patton have no ears :(

But they still sound so good!

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Hope this helps!!

Absolutely!

Many thanks for the rundown...

Can only confirm that my copies of the Joe Henderson and Big John Patton have no ears :(

But they still sound so good!

There isn't really a whole lot of sonic difference between late Blue Note and early Liberty pressings--the ones from Plastylite are cetainly TOUGHER and also of higher overall quality--but a NM copy of either one will sound killer.

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Hope this helps!!

Absolutely!

Many thanks for the rundown...

Can only confirm that my copies of the Joe Henderson and Big John Patton have no ears :(

But they still sound so good!

Just checked my monos of these two titles and it's the same - without ears. Agree that these titles both sound fantastic in this pressing so no problems with the lack of 'ear'.

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Here's another bit of trivia: Even though BN4226 is the highest catalog number pressed at Plastylite, the last two titles actually pressed there and released by Blue Note before the sale were Larry Young's "Unity"

BN4221 and Lee Morgan's "Search for the New Land" BN4169--an album that had been sequenced and prepared for release over TWO YEARS before hand. Copies of 4169 with the ear are VERY VERY rare--I have been told that only a couple of thousand were pressed.

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Anyway, after Liberty bought Blue Note they went through the inventory of labels and slicks and pressed quite a few of the OLDER titles as well, using the ORIGINAL labels and slicks--that is why you can find copies of titles as old as 1541 or 1544 that have "New York 23" or even LEXINGTON labels but with no "ear" and no deep groove--these are LIBERTY pressings!!!

Makes sense ! I've come across quite a few of these. They often have the original laminate jacket and the runouts for the older titles have 'RVG' but no deepgroove or ear. The vinyl is usually noticably thinner than LPs from 'Plastylite'.

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Here's another bit of trivia: Even though BN4226 is the highest catalog number pressed at Plastylite, the last two titles actually pressed there and released by Blue Note before the sale were Larry Young's "Unity"

BN4221 and Lee Morgan's "Search for the New Land" BN4169--an album that had been sequenced and prepared for release over TWO YEARS before hand. Copies of 4169 with the ear are VERY VERY rare--I have been told that only a couple of thousand were pressed.

Interesting ! I didn't even realise there were copies of 'Search' around with the ear (just checked my copy and it doesn't). My mono and stereo 'Unity' LPs have the ear though.

Edited by sidewinder

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Interesting ! I didn't even realise there were copies of 'Search' around with the ear (just checked my copy and it doesn't). My mono and stereo 'Unity' LPs have the ear though.

I have never seen a Stereo issue, though I know someone who owns one. I have a mono that is BEAT BEAT BEAT, so I play the NM copy without the ear.

Another late release that is tough to find with the "ear" is 4204 Dexter Gordon "Gettin' Around"--not as rare as 4169 but still 90% of the "New York" copies you see do not have the ear.

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As far as I know the following pre-4226 BN originals have no ear:

4118 DonaldByrd - Free Form

4171 George Braith - Extension

4193 Art Blakey - Indestructible

4196 Freddie Hubbard - Blue Spirits

4203 Andrew Hill - Andrew!!

4204 Dexter Gordon - Gettin' Around

4206 Sam Rivers - Contours

4209 Hank Mobley - Dippin'

84212 Lee Morgan - The Gigolo

4213 Bobby Hutcherson - Components

4215 Jackie McLean - Right Now!

4217 Andrew Hill - Compulsion!!!!

4218 Jackie McLean - Action

4219 Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye

4222 Lee Morgan - Cornbread

Allan, have you ever SEEN a copy of 4204 with ear yourself? Either mono or stereo?

Regards,

Peter

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As far as I know the following pre-4226 BN originals have no ear:

4118 DonaldByrd - Free Form

4171 George Braith - Extension

4193 Art Blakey - Indestructible

4196 Freddie Hubbard - Blue Spirits

4203 Andrew Hill - Andrew!!

4204 Dexter Gordon - Gettin' Around

4206 Sam Rivers - Contours

4209 Hank Mobley - Dippin'

84212 Lee Morgan - The Gigolo

4213 Bobby Hutcherson - Components

4215 Jackie McLean - Right Now!

4217 Andrew Hill - Compulsion!!!!

4218 Jackie McLean - Action

4219 Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye

4222 Lee Morgan - Cornbread

Allan, have you ever SEEN a copy of 4204 with ear yourself? Either mono or stereo?

Regards,

Peter

Your list is 100% correct. The only copy of 4204 I have seen with the ear is a test pressing with a white label. I must have had a brain fart when I mentioned 4204 (typical of me--typing off the top of my head!!). And isn't it true that some titles (not the ones on this list) exist in MONO with the ear but not in STEREO? I have never seen a list broken down--do you have one?

Edited by Allan Songer

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And isn't it true that some titles (not the ones on this list) exist in MONO with the ear but not in STEREO? I have never seen a list broken down--do you have one?

No, I am afraid I don't have a list of stereo originals w/ear. I have nearly all mono originals - still looking for a bunch of 1500 series titles - and only some stereo copies. At some point I started collecting the stereo counterparts as well, but I did not go through with it. Perhaps Larry Cohn could supply you with such a list.

Perhaps even more interesting would be a complete list of BN originals, each title specified with all the neccesary features: flat edge, address on label, DG, jacket type etc.

I have made annotations on each title in my Japanese Blue Note guide.

Regards,

Peter

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And isn't it true that some titles (not the ones on this list) exist in MONO with the ear but not in STEREO? I have never seen a list broken down--do you have one?

No, I am afraid I don't have a list of stereo originals w/ear. I have nearly all mono originals - still looking for a bunch of 1500 series titles - and only some stereo copies. At some point I started collecting the stereo counterparts as well, but I did not go through with it. Perhaps Larry Cohn could supply you with such a list.

Perhaps even more interesting would be a complete list of BN originals, each title specified with all the neccesary features: flat edge, address on label, DG, jacket type etc.

I have made annotations on each title in my Japanese Blue Note guide.

Regards,

Peter

Like most of us, I started collecting old jazz records long before I knew of ANY of the pressing details. Later, when I really got into it and met guys like Jack Brown and Larry I started paying attention. I lucked into a lot of early, rare pressings in the old days--stuff I couldn't even begin to think about buying at today's prices. I am happy with what I have and still "upgrade" when the opportunity arrises--sometimes I run across a real oddity for Larry's "museum"--last year it was a 1543 with "ear," Lexington address and no deep groove. A couple years back it was a DEEP GROOVE 1598--something Larry was convinced did not exist!! And recently I came acress a 4046 with "ear" and no deep groove--something Larry had never seen or heard of.

Edited by Allan Songer

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Like most of us, I started collecting old jazz records long before I knew of ANY of the pressing details. Later, when I really got into it and met guys like Jack Brown and Larry I started paying attention. I lucked into a lot of early, rare pressings in the old days--stuff I couldn't even begin to think about buying at today's prices. I am happy with what I have and still "upgrade" when the opportunity arrises--sometimes I run across a real oddity for Larry's "museum"--last year it was a 1543 with "ear," Lexington address and no deep groove. A couple years back it was a DEEP GROOVE 1598--something Larry was convinced did not exist!! And recently I came acress a 4046 with "ear" and no deep groove--something Larry had never seen or heard of.

Interesting! I remember Larry told me he finally found a copy of KB's Blue Light vol. II with DG!

BTW, have you seen this guy in NYC selling - parts of - complete collection of BN originals, all stamped "audition copy", on eBay recently?

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Interesting! I remember Larry told me he finally found a copy of KB's Blue Light vol. II with DG!

BTW, have you seen this guy in NYC selling - parts of - complete collection of BN originals, all stamped "audition copy", on eBay recently?

His name is Dave Kidd and he's a really, really nice guy. He inherited an amazing collection of Jazz LPs from his father--he was a DJ from about 1957 until 1970 and was sent all kinds of stuff and barely played any of it!! Dave really needs the money and he contacted me through another forum and asked for tips and I in turn told him everything I know and introduced him to Larry who also helped out.

Dave loves the music--he has been careful to made a nice CD copy of every LP he is selling. He wouldn't be selling them unless he really needed the money.

I was able to get some nice records from Dave for very fair prices--NONE of them Blue Notes--those are all going up on ebay. Dave hooked me up with a Sun Ra Savoy and some minty Ornette Coleman mono Atlantics and few others things as well before he went to ebay.

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