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blue note

Lee Morgan "Search For The New Land" on Blue Note 4169

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Lee Morgan "Search For The New Land" on Blue Note 4169

You can’t go wrong with Lee Morgan.

This is my first “later” original Blue Note. Historically, I haven’t been focusing on these later Blue Notes in the 4000 series. But I have explored quite a few now and there are many superb efforts. This Morgan is of course one of them. They are much cheaper than the earlier releases in the 1500 and 4000 series so that makes them very attractive as well. When there is a choice between mono and stereo I’ll go for mono, so this copy is just that. It’s in superb condition and sounds wonderful. It came with the original shrink wrap but I removed it. My long-time readers will know that I have a special affection for Lee Morgan. Of all the great trumpeters in jazz he is my favorite. I have a few nice LP’s by him and this a very welcome addition to the collection. It captures him a little bit later into his career than I’m used to and he plays very mature and still showcases his brilliant tone and technique. All compositions are by Lee Morgan which really shows what a great composer he was.

The band consists of Morgan on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Grant Green on guitar, Herbie Hancock on piano, Reginald Workman on double bass and Billy Higgins on drums. They sound great together. Except for Morgan the others don’t appear on any other original album that I have, from what I can recall. But as I start collecting a few more of these later Blue Notes I know I will end up with more albums with these players. I know Billy Higgins for example plays on many albums from the 60’s. I dig his style of drumming. Looking forward to more albums featuring him. Wayne Shorter plays great and some more of his output is also worth checking out of course. I’m not a super big fan of guitars in jazz and I don’t own many albums with a guitar player but Grant Green sounds really good and I enjoy his playing. Listening to jazz guitar is a nice change up from time to time. Herbie Hancock I know of of course, but I haven’t explored much from him as of yet. I’m sure I will dive deeper into his catalogue sooner or later.

Overall, this album is very nice indeed with a little different sound and feeling than most of my other albums. I’ve been slowly getting into some later recordings from the Impulse! catalogue for example, some stuff from the later Blue Note 4000 series and even later stuff from different labels. I seem to find a lot of good music there. Albums from the Impulse! catalogue in particular I’ve been enjoying a lot lately. Coltrane of course, but other stuff as well. McCoy Tyner’s trio efforts for example. How does the saying go… so many records, so little time. Certainly rings true for me. I’m enjoying a few hours by myself right now and I’m taking the opportunity to listen to some records and just relaxing. These moments are rare so I’m really enjoying the moment.

Some questions for my readers: What’s your take on this Morgan album and how do you think it holds up compared to his other work? Some of your favorite “later” (let’s say from 4100 and onwards) Blue Notes?

Spring is in full bloom here in Stockholm and summer’s not far away now. I’m looking forward to a sweet summer vacation, which I’ve been saving up for for many months now. Can’t wait!

Stay tuned for more albums from the collection. Have a great day! Cheers…

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Sonny Clark's "Cool Struttin'" on BLP 1588

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Sonny Clark's "Cool Struttin'" on BLP 1588

Coolness.

How cool is this LP? Very cool. This is one of the most coveted jazz vinyl rarities there is. The music is superb. The personnel are as good as it gets. The rarity of this original 1st pressing in this condition is immense. This is quite simply one of the greatest and rarest jazz LP's you can get your hands on and treasure in your collection. If you can have one of the rarest of the rare, this is it, in my opinion. Favorite tune is "Deep Night". I love the part when the trumpet comes in and the drums slides over to the ride cymbal. Pure magic.

Art Farmer, in my top 5 trumpeters of all time makes this LP a real treat. The other cats on this are the brilliant Jackie McLean on alto sax, the legendary Paul Chambers on double bass and perhaps the greatest hard bop drummer of all time, Philly Joe Jones. Perfect album all the way through. My kind of jazz. I need to acquire all of the material Sonny Clark recorded for Blue Note. It's all fabulous stuff, and very desirable among collectors and jazz lovers all over the world.

Oh, the cover... well, oozes coolness. It's an iconic image. An iconic album. If you don't have it, get it as soon as possible.

As always, stay tuned. Feel free to leave comments. Have a nice Sunday and I'll be back with more mouthwatering stuff soon.

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A new heavy hitter, Dizzy Reece "Star Bright" BLP 4023

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A new heavy hitter, Dizzy Reece "Star Bright" BLP 4023

One of my latest purchases...

I thought I'd throw in a new addition to the collection. Dizzy Reece is truly great. He has a blistering tone that makes you a believer straight away. He's on my top 10 list of favorite trumpeters, maybe even top 5. I have a couple of albums by him now, and I'd like to collect all his early stuff. He made some albums in the Blue Note 4000 series, and this is one of them. "Star Bright" it's called, BLP 4023. This is my kind of stuff. A fantastic hard bop album with some of the greatest players I know, namely Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on double bass and the delightful Art Taylor with the sticks in his hands. I haven't decided yet which tunes are my favorites, they are all superb, but the sweet and smooth "I'll Close My Eyes" is a highlight. The original 1st pressing that I have is in very nice condition and I enjoy it very much.

Dizzy Reece was born in Jamaica but then moved to London and worked in Europe during the 50's. His Blue Note stuff I'm thinking of focusing on first before I try and get some of the other stuff, which is maybe two records. I have to check out more in-depth what's worth looking up, but I know there is at least one non-Blue Note I would like to own.

If you haven't got any Dizzy Reece albums or haven't heard a lot of his work, then check him out. He's amazing. His albums on Blue Note are highly collectible, so an original 1st pressing in nice condition will cost a bit, but believe me, it's worth every penny spent.

Have you got any Dizzy Reece albums? Do you have a favorite? Please share.

More vintage jazz collectibles coming up...

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BLP 1575 with the elusive NY23 label

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BLP 1575 with the elusive NY23 label

"City Lights" Blue Note 1575 by Lee Morgan

Some LP's in the high-end jazz vinyl collector world are considered "the rarest of the rare". For example BLP 1568, Jackie McLean on Ad Lib, Cool Struttin' BLP 1588, Jutta Hipp w. Zoot Sims on BLP 1530, Overseas by Tommy Flanagan on PRLP 7134 and so on. But one that is often not mentioned among the really rare ones are "City Lights" by Lee Morgan on BLP 1575, with a NY23 label on one side. Yes, that's right. A NY23 label has to be present to be considered a true 1st pressing. At least according to the owner of Jazz Record Center in NYC, Fred Cohen's book, titled "Blue Note Records - a guide for identifying original pressings". In that book it also says that a copy of BLP 1577, John Coltrane's "Blue Train" should also have a one side NY23 to be a true 1st pressing. As well, the BLP 1568 should have a NY23 label on side 2.

This means that, either you follow the directions of this book, to sort out what is a 1st pressing, or you go by some other notion, that they used labels randomly at the pressing plant and that a BLP 1575 copy with both sides W63 could be a true 1st also. That they were pressed in the same run.

I tend to be conservative and take no risks, and therefore consider the versions with the NY23 to be the true 1st pressings. Either way, it's probably more difficult to find BLP 1575, BLP 1577 or BLP 1568 with a NY23 label, and therefore makes those copies rarer. And therefore more expensive. So, my copy of "City Lights" have a NY23 label on one side. It's in M-/M- condition. Absolutely beautiful in every way. Almost impossible to find this nice with a NY23 I believe. How many copies of 1575 have you seen with a NY23 label in top condition? Not many I suspect.

I truly believe that a great copy of this record or "Blue Train" with NY23 is just as rare as a 1568 with NY23. You never see a 1575 with a NY23 label in top condition. Ever. At least not me, and I always keep a look out for rare records. So that said, I'm extremely proud and happy, to be the owner of an amazing true 1st pressing of this superb album.

Lee Morgan on trumpet, together with Curtis Fuller on trombone, George Coleman on tenor and alto sax, Ray Bryant on piano, Paul Chambers (of course) on double bass and Art Taylor on the drums. This is a fine session with some nice tunes. I particulary love the ballad "You're Mine You" and Benny Golson's "Tempo de Waltz". Lee Morgan's trumpet playing is outstanding as usual. Great sounding LP. A great Morgan which should be on the shelf in every jazz lovers' home.

Stay tuned for more superb jazz rarities.

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The Magnificent Thad Jones on BLP 1527

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The Magnificent Thad Jones on BLP 1527

The Magnificent Thad Jones on Blue Note 1527

This album is very enjoyable. The cover art oozes jazz to me. Thad Jones trumpet playing is smooth and his sound is quite pleasant. I like it. The formidable Max Roach plays drums on this. He always delivers high quality drum parts, and he doesn't disappoint here. He plays somewhat laid back on the majority of tunes here though and just provides some nice selected drum work to complement the quite smooth, flowing music.

The other personnel are Billy Mitchell on tenor saxophone, Barry Harris on piano and Percy Heath on double bass. The condition of this rare original 1st pressing is superb, both cover and vinyl. Favorite pick from this will have to be the opening tune "April In Paris". It sets a mellow mood.  A pleasant album. A nice addition to any collection.

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Lee Morgan's Candy BLP 1590

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Lee Morgan's Candy BLP 1590

"Candy" by Lee Morgan on Blue Note 1590.

This is one of my favorite albums of all time. By one of my absolute most beloved artists, Lee Morgan. I'm into jazz trumpeters big time. Of all the instruments in jazz, trumpet is my favorite. And Lee Morgan is a master of the trumpet. He has both the melodic, lyrical style as well as the technical brilliance. This original 1st pressing is in superb condition, with the cover VG++/NM and the vinyl M-. Wonderful session with the other cats being Sonny Clark on piano, Doug Watkins on double bass and the amazing Art Taylor on drums. I love the ballad "All The Way", where Morgan plays beautifully. If you don't have this gem, check it out. But the 1st pressing won't come cheap...

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