Double Dexter, Sonny Clark, Mal Waldron

Dexter Gordon copyHere’s some of the jazz vinyl we’re watching as we brave the cold of Manhattan, starting with a few Blue Notes: Dexter Gordon, Our Man in Paris, Blue Note 4146. This is an original mono pressing listed in M- condition for the record and what looks to be VG++ for the cover. The bidding is in the $150 range with more than a day left. Thus far, however, it has not reached the seller’s reserve price. If you want to guess at the reserve price, you may use this as a guide, from the same seller: Dexter Gordon, Doin’ Allright, Blue Note 4077. The picture shows this with the West 63rd address, which is pretty rare. I think this record was right on the border. It also has a “Review Copy” stamp on it, which perhaps adds to the credibility of this as a first pressing. This one is in the $250 range with more than two days to go and it has reached the seller’s reserve price.

Okay Blue Note experts, what do you make of this one:

Sonny Clark Trio, Blue Note 1579. This one has the West 63rd Street address and the Van Gelder in the dead wax. It does not have the ear and it’s really hard to tell from the picture whether it has deep grooves. My bet is no deep grooves — otherwise the seller would have mentioned them. There’s also the small matter of a cutout hole. Doesn’t feel like an original from where I sit. It is in beautiful M- condition. The bidding is in the range of $335 with more than a day left on the auction.

Here’s one that may make it into the $1,000 bin: Mal Waldron, Left Alone, Bethlehem 6045. This is an original pressing from the same seller as the Dexter Gordon LPs. It looks to be in VG++ condition for both the record and the cover. The bidding is already at $875 and, yes, it has met the seller’s reserve price.




  • The Sonny Clark Trio BLP-1579 should have deep groove on both sides, RVG stamped in the dead wax including the Plastylite ‘ear’, as described in Dottorjazz’s Blue Note Illustrated and Fred Cohen’s book. From what I’ve learned, if the ear is missing, it’s a Liberty pressing.

    Oh, and did y’all notice the “Jazz at the Philharmonic” box in the background of picture 1? Go back to that BLP-1579 on eBay (here) click the first image and use that zoom option. He has it standing in the windowsill.

  • Alright here is the link again, should work now.

  • Okay, Blue Note Blue Note Blue Note Blue Note…..DG, no DG….w63 rd, NY, etc etc etc…To me the real gem of the Madame Mono collection is Curtis Fuller Bluesette. Here’s the real masterpeice. Of course it does not bear the Reid Miles cover, but, the music is quintessential. Much more than many Blue Note ! And by fare rarer!. This being said, knowing who actually hides behind “madam mono jazz”, i will never give a single cent to this seller. Period.

  • Of Course the Sonny Clark is no DG. Another mediocre Libery pressing that will sell for more than 500 + just for a fine laminated cover.

  • michel: do tell! is it something the rest of us should know?

  • The really telling thing from the German Blue Note auctions is that the seller says that “grading is subjective” and “no returns.” That should be a red flag to anyone interested in these lps. As an aside, I’ve purchased from this seller in the past with less than satisfactory results: I expect that m- lps look new. Or maybe I’m just picky…

  • Concerning this MMono listing:

    Goldmine has both a Prestige 8203 and a New Jazz 8203, and both are listed with a 1958 release date – does anyone know the story on this?

  • Madame mono is Ron Rambach the guy that does Music matters reissues I am pretty sure.

    Unsure why that german seller comands such high prices. Almost seems fishy

  • For Farmer’s Market, the New Jazz pressing has to be first, as Prestige did not issue a 8000 series. Although they surely sound identical.

  • Michel, why wouldn’t you give a single cent to that seller?

  • Fredrik : unpolite, arrogant.

  • Thats the reason.

  • I’ve only had one transaction with madamemonojazz and it went just fine. Can’t conclude much either way from a sample size of one but I’d be willing to give this seller another go on the basis of my experience.

  • michel: sounds like a fun story, but i suppose we will save it for a different time.

    earl: according to london jazz collector, the first 5(?) or so were actually initially pressed on the fireworks label. but some are promo fireworks only. see this graphic:

    i dont know where he gets this but the promo stamps on the fireworks copies seem to be good evidence for his idea.

  • GTF & JoeL:

    What the LJC author is actually saying is that the Prestige (fireworks) label of 8020-8024 must have preceded the New Jazz releases of the same numbers because the Prestige labels can be found with “Not For Sale,” implying that that fact must indicate they were first; he claims that NJ 8025 was the first NJ release that can be called the original.
    But Popsike lists at least one copy of New Jazz 8023 with the “Not For Sale” stamp on the label. This to me throws the whole question open; as far as I can see numbers 8020-4 appeared to have been issued on the fireworks label and the NJ purple label at very nearly the same time.

  • My Prestige/New Jazz list should be 8201-4; I don’t believe there is a Prestige or New Jazz 8200

  • At least the very first Prestige/New Jazz (Mal Waldron,Mal 3) was commercially released with the yellow Prestige ‘fireworks’ label and without the ‘not for sale’ stamps. Subsequent numbers: no idea.

  • For the record, I have a copy of Farmer’s Market. It is Prestige 8203 with the yellow label. And it does have a “Not for Sale” stamp on the back cover. I’ve always assumed that this was the first pressing. And I still do.

  • Al:

    You’re probably right – but as I said, Popsike lists at least one New Jazz 8203 with a “Not For Sale” stamp on the label – juzt saying

  • BN1579 without ear made 578 $ !
    WOW… What would have benn the price with ear ? But I don´t beleave that any pressing without “ear” is a Liberty. I´m sure that BN made early pressings without ear…

  • Well my opinion is that any pressing without Ear (Plastylite “P”) is Liberty. However the early Liberty pressing sure quite often are high quality pressings indeed – if that is what you meant?

  • According to Fred Cohen, Plastylite pressed “most of the Blue Note records through the mid-60’s.” Which means some were pressed by other companies (ergo, no “ear,” the P of Plastylite). Though not firsts, they were therefore not necessarily Liberties either

  • To my knowledge, when BN needed a long run or a reissue and Plastylite was busy, they went to ‘custom’ pressing plants. Thus, no ear, although they were pressed at the same time as the Plastylites. King and RCA were very likely candidates for this, although the company ledgers I’ve seen in the LOC for both companies do not mention this specifically. The ‘normal’ ledgers, however, do not specifically mention outside jobs. Rite and Kay Bank may also be candidates for early 60’s pressings. Ledgers for both companies never mention who they were pressing for, but time frames and matrix numbers would suggest that BN was an occasional customer.

    Anyone know if the Plastylite ledgers still exist?


  • It’s interesting to see the chronology used by different record companies when issuing the promo’s. .. Most would agree that a promo should ideally be distributed out into the industry before the initial release to the consumer, thus indicating that a promo would be among the first run pressed. Where as companies like Atlantic (for example) often have much later stamper matrix numbers on their promo copies… Perhaps the “big guys” did such a large first run, that it became the luck of the draw as to which press they used to when adding promo labels to the vinyl or which pile they grabbed from the warehouse to put the “not for sale” stamps on.

  • Reading what you all write I get a bit puzzled. Are there any confirmed First pressings pre-65 that were pressed by other plants than Plastylite?

  • Shaft:

    As far as I can tell (Cohen is my main source) the first non-plastylite pressing original was 4193, Blakey Indestructible (1964)

    The point I was making was not that there were many (or any) of these that were original, but that there are some that represent early (not-first) pressings, and not necessarily Liberties

    As far as Promos, I see no reason why, at least on occasion, copies might be pulled well after initial release and stamped NFS, in order to perhaps give it to a DJ not previously contacted or newly on the scene

  • as for the German seller, manusardi1, I’ve had no trouble in buying from him in the past, always nice stuff accurately graded. Then again I think the only records I’ve bought have been rare Eurojazz – which seems to be his specialty.

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