DG or Not DG; That Is The Question

Burrell and Coltrane Jazz VinylFound a little time this morning to peruse eBay and these are some of the items I noticed, starting with Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane, New Jazz 8276. This is listed as an original purple label pressing, but I’m not so sure. I zoomed in on those labels and they didn’t look to me like they had deep grooves. One of our regular readers asked me about this record the other day, so here it is if you want to take a chance. I’d be a little careful. The record is probably VG++ and the cover either VG+ or VG++. The start price is in the $150 range and so far there are no bidders. Perhaps I’m not the only one looking for deep grooves. One other question: To those of you who own this record and organize their records alphabetically, where do you put this one: Under Burrell or Coltrane? I used to keep it under Coltrane, but it would get lost among all of the other Prestiges, so now I keep it under Burrell and I actually notice it. Lovely record too.

I think I have an original pressing of every Sonny Rollins record, with this one exception: Sonny Rollins Plays, Period 1204. This looks to be an original pressing of this record listed in M- condition for the record and the cover, although the description of the cover sounds like it may be more like VG++. If I see writing or stickers on a cover I don’t grade it M-. But maybe I’m the exception. There are already 14 bids on this record and the price is more than $400, so I can assure that this will not be the copy that fills the gap in my collection.

Here’s one more from the Jazz Record Center auction: Ernie Henry, Last Chorus, Riverside 266. This is an original pressing with the blue labels and the small logo. This one looks to be in M- condition for the record and the cover and is tagged with a starting price of $150. So far there are no bidders, but I would think that this one will eventually sell, right? Great record, great personnel, original Riverside. Should be worth quite a bit more than $150 in today’s market.




  • I have two copies of the burrell/Coltrane. one that is the exact copy of the one listed and it is not DG. The second a sealed original that does have the DG. How do you know you may ask…a lot of patience!

  • Jason — if the second copy is sealed, how do you know it’s DG?

  • Regarding deep grooves – how can you tell if something is, in fact, deep groove? Is there any reference site that might explain it well?

  • brian o'blivion

    i keep that burrell/coltrane filed under the new jazz label…i can’t help it, i like seeing the catalog numbers run concurrently on the spines of my jazz LPs. if i get bored with that i arrange by color.

  • If you look closely at those New Jazz labels and especially the dead was of the Burrell/Coltrane, you see Van Gelder stamped on both sides and also “BB”. I don’t know enough about New Jazz to tell what the “BB” stands for, but isn’t the New Jazz deep groove or non deep groove issue comparable to Blue Note, where you sometimes deal with the exact same question?

  • Mattyman – was wondering the same thing. Are we 100% certain that the New Jazz first pressings are always deep groove? That may have been established on this board at some point in the past, but I’m not necessarily convinced, as the non-deep groove always appear, and sound, identical to me.

  • Gregory The Fish

    thanks for the shoutout al… i think!

    anyway, i’ve been looking for an affordable copy of this since day one, and my (absolutely not definitive) understanding is that this is late enough that a single sided deep groove is expected but not required, since it would vary by pressing plant at this point for a prestige album.

    any insight is appreciated.

  • Gregory The Fish

    also, when i get my copy, it will be under burrell. from top left to bottom right, his name appears first.

    (tenor conclave would go under mobley, for example).

  • Burrell for me too, DG, but my only exception is for Prestige 7074: it’s under Tenor Conclave.
    don’t ask me why, it’s always been there.

  • Coltrane. I don’t listen to this record for Burrell (great as he may be). Same with Bags and Trane. Love Milt, but it’s a Coltrane record.

  • Hey Al – Through careful examination of the cover and precise feeling of the label area. This has become a science for me since I bought a small collection with a few original sealed records from new jazz, contemporary, riverside, and others.

  • Joe L: Bags & Trane under Trane for me too, and Duke Ellington & John Coltrane?
    Trane, Trane, Trane!

  • I looked up the record’s auction results on collectorsfrenzy.com and quickly found two copies that were listed as either two-sided deep groove or only one-sided deep groove. Sorted by price with the highest first. Interestingly, the highest price paid for this record did not state that it was a deep groove record. However, the double deep groove sold for $149.50 (Oct. 8, 2013) and the single-sided deep groove sold for $154.40 (June 12, 2014). From what I’ve read from collectors, it seems that New Jazz Records are very inconsistent as to what it deep groove and what is not, or partial deep grooves. I’ve seen more partial New Jazz deep grooves than any other label. It was a small label, with small runs compared to say, Prestige releases or Blue Note, so you’d have to wonder why the deep grooves would “disappear” so quickly on a pressing run. Pressing plates get replaced because of wear from large runs or added to keep up with demand. Since New Jazz records are relatively rare compared to Blue Notes, it is an intriguing puzzle.

  • Ernie Henry on Riverside. It seems to me that the small blue labels are not the original first pressing. The first issue came with the bigger blue labels, DG, and the GB/US patent numbers in the dead wax.

  • The Burrell/Trane album on N.J. may very well be a first pressing. The later N.J. albums normally came without DG. I checked on collectorsfrenzy, but found no evidence of DG, apart from sellers’ claims to that effect, the pictures are not convincing.
    This period of N.J. with the harsh violet labels (other than the pink/violet DG of the earlier issues, can bring very unwelcome surprises of sub-standard vinyl.

  • I had two copies of Dolphy Out There in similar condition but one had deep groove and the other did not. The not deep groove sounded better to my ears so i kept that and sold the deep groove copy. Fred Cohen did tell me this once

    “First pressings of New Jazz releases, up to 8288, will have the deep groove. I don’t know if Prestige used different
    pressing plants, though I doubt it. The absence of the deep groove was not a function of the difference between
    pressing plants as much as the normal evolution of record manufacturing, when cost-cutting took it toll on the
    amount of vinyl used to make a record

  • Re Deep Grooves in general:
    There is a new publication on Blue Note pressings with extensive illustrations by a Giorgio Sarchi, available for download:


    Among many other interesting items is this statement from Allan Songer on Deep Grooves:

    “Starting with 4060 ALL “first” pressings have NO deep groove!If you find a copy of any number AFTER 4059 that has a deep
    groove in one or both sides, it’s a SECOND pressing–the new
    equipment [non-DG] was ALWAYS used for the first run! This has NO EFFECT on value however!”

    Not sure where the evidence for this comes from, but it certainly is different from what we have been led to believe heretofore, or what Fred Cohen is quoted as saying in a previous paragraph and in his book.

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