A Pair of Blue Note Originals. Or Not?

Burrell 2 copyHere’s an interesting item now on eBay: Kenny Burrell, Blue Lights Volume 2, Blue Note 1597.  The seller, who obviously knows his stuff, describes this as a “rare original US press.” I guess that’s true in the sense that the record was originally pressed in the United States, although that doesn’t necessarily make it a first pressing. This one has the West 63rd Street address, but no deep grooves. There is also no mention of the Plastylite ears. I guess, what is original is in the eye of the beholder or, in this case, the bidder, of which there is one at about $200. In my vernacular I would not call this an original. From what I can see, the cover looks like it might be an original mono cover, although someone out there might know of some aspect that might change that view. In any case, potential bidders may be only interested in the cover anyway, since it is by Andy Warhol and it is presumably in much better shape than the vinyl, which is only in VG- condition.

I am tending to think this one is also not an original original:

Kenny Drew, Undercurrent, Blue Note 4059. This one has the West 63rd Street address, but on close examination of the photos with the listing, it doesn’t appear to have any deep grooves, and an original pressing of this record would have the deep groove on one side, right? This one is in M- condition for both the cover and the record and is now in the $360 price range with more than two days left on the auction.


  • Gregory the Fish

    all of this uncertainty in the early 4000 series is very unsettling. i need to get fred’s book to be sure.

  • You can’t use the word ‘original’ if it’s not a 1st pressing, according to the Oxford dictionary, right?
    It’s misleading, so stop use it. Early pressing are the words to use. But then they probably won’t get as much money.


    1. Present or existing from the beginning; first or earliest:
    the original owner of the house
    the plasterwork is probably original


    1. The earliest form of something, from which copies may be made:
    the portrait may be a copy of the original
    one set of originals and four photocopies

  • I know that there will be hardcore Blue Note fanatics that will burn any heretic that dares to assume that a No DG 4059 can’t be an original, i know that DG one side of this one existes and are considered as “true first”, but i’ve seen a no DG 4059 stamped “review copy”. So, for this particular 4059, the problem is not the DG or not it, is the ‘ear’ or not.

  • i meant “can be an original”

  • That Burrell is tough. The seller does, in fact, mentions the ears (“RVG Ear”). So no inc, no r, and ears; does the lack of DG make it NOT an original? That’s confusing.
    As for the Drew, the inner is from 1963. As the record was released in 1961, perhaps the LP in the listing is a New York USA-era pressing using leftover W. 63rd labels? Purely a guess, but that would explain the lack of DG and the 1963-era inner sleeve. Which would make it a second pressing, no?

  • Re: Sonny Clark.. I see no claim made that the album is “original”.. am I missing something?

  • Andy- Sonny’s Crib says first edition and Trio says original in the description

  • Michael, I agree. DG doesn’t necessarily mean original.

  • I find it difficult to believe that a seller of a vintage Blue Note title who displays the tone of being well-informed, would misunderstand the definition of “original.” Early pressing? Yes. Vintage? Yes. Original? I go with Fredrik’s logic.

    Me thinks that there is a profit motive behind using the word.

    Seen it before. Won’t be the last time.

  • The second volume of the Burrell record was released much later, so it doesn’t exist with deep grooves.

  • BN 1597 without DG is the first press, because it´s a later release ! Peter A is correct..

  • Yes, i heard the same from Larry Cohn regarding the lack of DG on 1597, because its a later pressing.

  • I am sorry to disagree with all the experts regarding DG on 1597.
    It came definitely WITH DG.
    Fred Cohen was auctioning this very item on 2012-08-17 which can be seen at Popsike.


    There also exists a post on Jazz Collector about Fred’s auction from the same day.

    I downloaded Fred’s image of the deep groove label from his eBay auction where the DG is evidently indicated and I could send that download to people who will not believe.

  • I have seen a DG 1597 before and I believe that it was sold by Jazz Record Centre with a review copy stamp. May be there was a small run of this title and it was deleted immediately to be released again at a much later date? Could both versions then be regarded as the ‘original’? I myself have also heard about the lack of DG for 1597 but after seeing that copy I am convinced otherwise. I own a copy of non DG EAR 1597 and how nice it is if it is the original!

  • Mike:

    Can I assume the reason you think the 1579 is not an original is the non-mention of the P(lastylite)? It seems otherwise original.

    As to the DG discussion,you all need to read Fred Cohen’s excellent discussion of this in his BN book (if you haven’t already). Clearly, the older the album’s release date, the more likely it is to have a DG, but it simply can’t be assumed that the absence of a DG is evidence of a later pressing – the use of other stampers contemporaneously, which increased as time went by, and wear to the DG stampers produced (in many if not all releases) examples of both, quite possibly at the same time.

    It cannot be denied that DG’s are prized by collectors because of the association with early releases. Therefore, I believe you can call your non-DG copies of 1597 original with perfect reason, but don’t expect to get as much if you sell them.

  • The “experts” didn’t say that no test pressings or review copies of Burrell 1597 exist with DG, but that the regular version was *released* much later than 1596 and without DG. Larry Cohn mentioned to me the exact release date but I can’t find it right away. Obviously the labels and covers were printed much earlier that the actual release date, as they both mention the 47 W 63rd st address (without ‘Inc.”).

    As we all know test pressings do exist of Tina Brooks’ Back to the Tracks (BN 4052) and many other titles which were not released at all! Larry Cohn also has a test pressing or review copy of Kenny Drew – Undercurrent with double sided DG. All these copies do exist – and may technically be called ‘first pressing’ – but were not ‘released’…

  • Who is “Larry Cohn”……?

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