Jazz Vinyl Countdown: Jackie, Bluesnik

So I went through this whole process of cataloguing my Blue Notes a few weeks ago. It was quite interesting and, if you’ve been following my adventures, you will recall that it led to (yet another) existential crisis. More on that later. For now: In going through my Blue Notes I came to the realization that some records I thought I owned as original pressings were not originals. This is fine, except for the ones that are blue label late pressing Blue Notes, of which, unfortunately, Jackie McClean, Bluesnik, Blue Note 4067, was one. This, I thought, was a record that needed to be replaced by a better copy — i.e., an earlier pressing that wouldn’t cause me to hang my head in disgust every time I looked at it.  With a blue label Blue Note, no matter how good the record, I was never going to listen to it, period. The problem, however,  is that Bluesnik is now selling

for several hundred dollars apiece in decent condition, which is hard to justify when, in fact, I am supposed to be scaling my collection down. Anyway, I came across a VG copy on eBay and there were no bids and the starting price was $50 and I said to myself, what if I put in a bid of $50? What would be the harm in that? So I put in the bid and I won. The record arrived today. It is a legitimate VG record in that it has plenty of marks and scuffs. Yet . . . on the turntable, aahhh, bliss. It sounds great. Is there a little surface noise? Perhaps. Would I rather watch this one spinning and hear the sound out of my speakers from a West 63rd pressing and know that this record has been properly played and enjoyed — versus having a later pressing with no surface noise? Hey, this site is Jazz Collector, is it not? So Bluesnik — the VG one with the West 63rd label — says in the collection in an exalted place while the blue label Bluesnik is on its way to eBay.

7 comments

  • Al: gee, this is exactly what I did the other day, I traded in a mint blue label Prestige 7201 Gene Ammons (with Coltrane on alto and nice charts by Mal Waldron) for a VG++ yellow/black label copy, first pressing. I got it for very modest price ($ 21), so it was worth trying.

  • Great minds think alike — or at least compulsive jazz collectors do?

    The thing I forgot to mention in this post: This is another great album, which, if you haven’t put it on in a while deserves another listen. Jackie is in super form here and he gets the best out of Freddie Hubbard and Kenny Drew as well. Jackie made some great albums for Blue Note, and this is certainly one of the best.

  • is the one sided deep groove version the first or the double sided one? I think i once saw a demo copy but only one side had deep groove.

  • Great session. I have 2 mono originals of this – a VG+ one with double sided DG and a near-mint copy with the single sided DG.

  • my Bluesnik copy has 2 47W63rd labels but one only is DG. The cover adress on the back is 61st Str.
    What is peculiar is the front photo, Jackie sitting in a Paris Left Bank side walk café. Photo credit Francis Wolff. I cannot imagine that Francis went especially to Paris to take the picture. I remember that I saw “the Connection” on stage (on the Continent) in the very early sixties. Would Francis have travelled with group? Jackie was also on stage, but the play has not left a lasting impression on me.
    Bluesnik is a fine album. Jackie’s theme “Bluesnik” is very thin material, the compositions by his mates have more substance.

  • Mine is the same — two 47 W63rd Labels but only one DG. Back cover is 43 WEst 61st

  • I can deal with “a division of liberty records” and won’t let myself start discerning between NY addresses, but I’m with you – blue labels, BLECH!

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