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Blue Note 2019 80th Anniversary Series

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    As requested in the 'Tone Poets Blue Notes' reissue thread by Graham I have started this new thread for the 'Blue Note 80th Anniversary series'. This follows a few posts and growing interest on page two of Tone Poets and will help stop moving too much off topic there as both sets of reissues progress. See posts 29 to 36 for the earlier posts at

    The Blue Note 80 vinyl reissue series starts on the 10th May and runs till April 2020 with three albums a month. These will be their standard mid price 80th Anniversary reissues. These will be 180g pressings and be curated by Don Was and Cem Kurosman. They will probably not be anything like the Tone Poet series quality, but cheaper (at least in the US) and there are some very interesting lesser known records this time.

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  2. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    One interesting aspect to this series of Blue Note reissues is that they have grouped them around themes so we have:
    Blue Note Debuts, Blue Grooves, Great Reid Miles Covers, Blue Note Live, and Blue Note Drummer Leaders. I'm not totally sure how successful a concept this is unless you buy all the releases in a theme and then they would work like a box set, but only if you keep them together?

    The real upside though is this is probably what has resulted in the less than obvious usual choices being reissued yet again (and again) this time. This was a self perpetuating cycle. Reissue the previous best sellers which then sell well again further increasing their rated popularity so next time you reissue them again. (Even if the sales are dropping off the total sales rating is higher).

    There are some real treasures in the Blue Note catalog, equally up there with the usual favourites, that we get little chance to hear (many I have never heard) especially in a good vinyl version. So if you curate with themes and it results greater exposure for some of these I'm all for it. Anyone want to suggest a few more / better themes to Blue Note? ;)

    Blue Note Catalog (early issues):
    paulfromcamden and Graham H like this.
  3. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    As I said earlier, my first purchase of the 80 Seriies won’t be until the second batch, but it will be interesting to read feedback on all titles. Some interesting Soul Jazz and ‘spiritual’ titles in the series which I’m looking forward to. Not sure about the grouped themes, but no harm done.
  4. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    The 'Great Reid Miles Covers' series made me chuckle :)
  5. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    I didn’t realise he’d written any tunes either......

    I’m particularly looking forward to the Blue Grooves months (apart from the Scofield). Nice to see the Bobbi Humphreys in there. Never seen or heard an actual copy of this one, only streamed. Great cover! Going to be an expensive couple of months......
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  6. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Am I less impressed with Don Was helming BN than others?

    The list contains many albums that have been reissued before, although some have not been. Can't they use a bit more imagination and reissue some of the really rarer albums like a lot of the late 60s and early 70s stuff? Aside from the usual BN classics such as Blue Train or Sidewinder, they are all pretty much of a marginal interest to most folk anyway, so why not pick more interesting and harder to get albums? For example, Andrew Hill's Andrew!!!, Blakey's A Night in Tunisia or John Patton's or Larry Young's later albums.

    I can't get excited over the Blue Note of today.

    I'd have to add that I find that this is the problem with most reissue programs these days. They take the easier & safer route and reissue common more popular stuff. I'd really like to see more rare, difficult and expensive to buy albums reissued.
  7. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    I (mostly) agree with you, in fact I was considering joining Hoffman with the sole purpose of making a few suggestions for the Tone Poet series as Joe Harley is posting and taking note there, and it looks likely that due to the success of the TP series so far it will be continuing into a second year. I personally think all of the Andrew Hill titles should be available and in every jazz collection, (I'd like something better than my Conn pressing of Compulsion!!!!), along with the likes of the more adventurous titles by Bobby Hutchinson, Jackie McLean, (although fairly well covered by MM), Ornette, late Larry Young, Sam Rivers et al. And, as I've said previously, what about the woefully neglected Herbie Nicholls? Can't get my head around that one. I'm on a one man mission to get his stuff released.

    I'm not going to make excuses for Don Was or Universal/Blue Note, but some titles were never best sellers even in their day, and as with most viable record labels the popular titles financially support the less popular. Andrew Hill never sold in great quantities, which is probably why there are Van Gelder stamped 70s pressings (I have a few). I've resigned myself to making the most of what's on offer, living in eternal hope that titles like Contours will continue to be reissued.

    The Tone Poet series has already proven itself from a quality POV, and if the 80 Series turn out to be well mastered, cut and pressed, (a big ask.....), there are some titles that haven't been around for a while that I'll certainly buy. I'm looking forward to how things turn out, which is one of the reasons why I think threads like this are important. Sharing info with people whose opinion I respect.
    mikechadwick likes this.
  8. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    I post mostly as an observer of the reissue market because I am generally not a fan of reissues especially when originals or earlier represses can still be found at reasonable prices. I think reissues fill a real void when, say, the original or earlier represses are genuinely rare and/or expensive or if the originals had issues (e.g. bad vinyl quality, poor sources, bad masterings). OTOH I am exasperated by record companies who often take the easy way out and tie up pressing plants to put out records that are generally common or musically mediocre.

    The culprits are usually the big labels. For instance, Superfly out of Paris (really just a couple of guys running a record shop) can put out reissues of interesting rare sought after records, all done with great care and faithfulness to the originals, and at reasonable prices. A small outfit like Jazzman can reissue something truly rare and expensive like the Ian Carr/Don Rendell recordings and they sell well. Yet labels like Blue Note which have a huge and interesting back catalog continue to put out the same old titles again and again and only occasionally reissue the less well-known albums. Even Music Matters have had a more interesting reissue program although their stuff is targeted mostly at a different, more audiophile-oriented market (with deeper pockets).

    Don Was came to Blue Note with great aplomb and promise but take a look at the label today. It's a pale shadow of its former self; mostly I see just marketing hype, their current artists are pretty lame and not particularly interesting for a label of such great history and pedigree. I'd argue that even the current Impulse have done a better job of making interesting albums.
  9. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Don't knock the Connoisseur reissue program. They really reissued some of the more obscure titles and some albums had never been released ever before. Many were in fact nicely done soundwise. I have quite a number although my copy of Compulsion!!!! is not one of them. Quite a number of albums of the artists you mentioned below were also reissued under this series. The Rare Groove series of the same era had some very tasty titles too although the music was more of the funk and soul oriented variety (which I also like).

  10. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    This is turning into one of my favourite threads - thank you :)
  11. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    You didn't like the box set with the posh scarf then? ;)

    Would be really nice if they issued some of the Tina Brooks catalogue...
  12. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    paulfromcamden likes this.
  13. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Not knocking Connoisseur reissues, I’m simply stating I’d like something better than my Connoisseur Compulsion!!!! as it is noisy. I also have it on CD, but I’m not convinced by the mastering. The fabulous track with John Gilmore’s bass clarinet solo demands the very best treatment, and I was hoping Tonepoet or MM would oblige. I have about half dozen Connoisseurs and I agree with you it was one of the more adventurous reissue programs.
  14. ian r

    ian r 401's Nakman

    I recommend listening to Kenny Burrel 'Midnight Blue' . I have it on cd and it is a real keeper. I read an infotainment ad saying this will be re-released
  15. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Great record. I’ve got the Classsic Records Quiex SV-P pressing - one of my go to albums.
    Nagraboy and ian r like this.
  16. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    I posted something about this as a reply in the Tone Poets thread, but thought I would post here to keep this thread on track.

    Alan from Jazzhouse Records (a dealer worth supporting) has emailed to say he will be stocking the the Blue Note 80th Anniversaries at £28 each. They may turnout to be cheaper from Amazon Market place.

    The price of the Blue Notes 80's maybe somewhat higher than the 75's as despite what I thought and earlier Blue Note statements they will not be from a digital master. Respectable posters on Steve Hoffman (but not Joe Harley) who claim to know are now saying they will be AAA mastered by Kevin Gray. They are all being pressed by Optimal with supposedly better QC than the 75th Anniversary issues. I assume the metal work will be made at Optimal?

    Of the 75's I brought, which were a mixture of United and Optimal pressings. The United were generally not very good and there were many complaints about these that probably presauded Blue Note not to use them again. While nowhere as good as RTI pressings I found the Optimal ones were OK if not perhaps optimal. ;)
  17. MotelBlues

    MotelBlues pfm Member

    That did make me :).
  18. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Have just checked Amazon and they are quoting from them (no Market Place prices yet) a guaranteed price of £27.49 for the Robert Glasper (a double album) and £21.74 for the Dexter Gorden and Herbe Hancock. Delivery at the moment from 10th May.
  19. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Nice Tips on Herbie and Dexter, thanks! I need to get a strategy for these 80th releases. The ones I'm really looking forward to are in October, particularly Herbie's 'Inventions and Dimensions' and Joe Henderson's 'In 'n Out'.
  20. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Thanks. Hard to find with search for some reason. Here's the Herbie, has links to the others:

    poco a poco likes this.

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