A Question About Blue Note Labels in Transition

Someone asked us off-line if the LP Dexter Calling by Dexter Gordon, Blue Note 4083, is known to have pressings with the West 63rd Street label. There is often confusion about some of these titles right on the cusp of when the company moved and changed addresses. I’ve seen sellers on eBay list Sonny Rollins Volume 1, Blue Note 1542, as a West 63rd Street original when I have a Lexington Avenue copy on my shelf. Anyway, on the Dexter Record, the original pressing is New York USA. This question had come up a few years ago and the Blue Note expert Larry Cohn set us straight. The real question is on the Dexter Gordon LP Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. There actually are pressings of this with the West 63rd Street label, but there is no evidence to suggest that these are any earlier than the New York USA pressings. This album was issued at a time when Blue Note was in transition and they simply used both labels while they

had an inventory of those with the West 63rd Street address. We have some expertise in these areas, but we would never pass ourselves off as an expert, so when questions come up we will reach out to our reader base and try to find the answers for you. By the way, I did a search on eBay to find a picture of Dexter Calling to accompany this post and the one copy selling on eBay now is from the aforementioned bobdjukic. This is listed as an original pressing and in this case that is accurate: The copy he’s selling has the New York USA label. We’ll watch it and let you know what it sells for.


  • Rudolf A. Flinterman

    I have a copy of 1542 which I consider to be an authentic first pressing (flat edge, the typical deep groove; cover Lex Ave adress, frame cover, thin spine) but the adress on the labels is 47 W 63rd NY 23, not Lex Ave!
    (I have a 1538 with one side Lex label, the other side 47 W 63. But I consider it to be a 2nd issue for a number of reasons, even if the adress on the cover is also Lex Ave). Now to continue on 1542: I have another one with 47 W 63rd NYC labels, DG less deep, with a thicker spine, no kakubuchi and 47 W 63rd adress on the cover. Also the cover is different: the yellow band and Rollins’ picture are horizontal, not vertical. This is definitely a second pressing. When a seller says it is an original, he is right, it is not a fake or facsimile. It is an original US issue, the way it came!
    I have no idea on the later Blue Notes, my Dexter Gordon lp’s are NYC.
    As Larry will learn you, the absolute truth in Blue Note matters does not exisy.

  • I don’t think there are w63rd Doin Alright. I ve never seen one. I think they were all issued with NY label both sides. The 1542 you have is the original, Rudolf, you are right. Original issues feature a mix of NY23labels and Lex cover ! Very rare…

  • Rudolf A. Flinterman

    4083: don’t you mean 43 W. 61st St.?

  • Indeed 4077 exists with 47 West 63rd adress on the label, it fetched 600 USD in 2008. With the exception of 4077, 4074 is the last Blue Note with 47 West 63rd on the label, from 4075 onwards the New York USA labels are used. However, I have seen a copy of 4080 with mixed labels (NY USA on side 1 and 47 West 63rd on side 2). Additions and corrections are always welcomed.
    I have a question about deep groove pressings around the same time. From 4061 onwards it appears that the double sided deep groove is no longer applied on all Blue Notes, as I find copies with deep groove on one side only, or without deep groove that appear to be original. Some others still have a double sided deep groove (as 4074 for instance). Can someone comment which numbers need to have a deep groove in order to be original?

    Kind regards,

  • When did the R (registered)show up on the labels. Year? Nr? For example I have a Jackie Mclean´s Jackie´s bag with “R” on the label, right adress etc. I know that there are ones without “R” What press do I have? Paid top $$$ for my copy. Can I say I have the original?

  • Karl: to the best of my knowledge the R mark (and “INC” after BLUE NOTE RECORDS) first appears on 4018. Could also be on 4017, which I have seen 5 times with R, and never without. Anyhow, Jackie’s Bag (4051) always has the R mark. In order to be original, the record should have a double sided deep groove, EAR in the dead wax, and 47 West 63rd adress on label. Inner sleeve can also provide information and shouldn’t promote records that were released years later.
    Kind regards,

  • It doesn´t have deep groove but everything else. The sleeve has different add (43W 61st) What press is this. 2nd?

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