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Tone Poet Blue Notes

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    The problem with most of the 'preferred issues?' mentioned both by Hockman and Kevin is that there is a 'gentleman's agreement' between Joe Harley and Don Was not to reissue things that are still available or there is outstanding licenses for on Music Matters, at least for the Tone Poet series. They seem to have applied the same agreement to Analogue Productions reissues as well. There have been a couple on the cheaper BN80's, Basra and Introducing Johnny Griffin that that are on MM, but generally I think they still feel that these premium 'audiophile pressings' have a limited market and it is in no ones interest to duplicate, especially as Universal owns and sells the Blue Note Licenses. MM usually pressed 250 to 500 copies to start and still have copies left of many after up to 10 years of sales.Tone Poet pressed 500 at the start, probably taking into account MM sales history, but clearly they under estimated the demand at the lower price of the MM and AP reissues and now they have higher initial runs. So clearly price is a strong factor, but production costs are high on these limited runs.

    I have most of those mentioned on MM 2x45rpm's or other pressings that are probably as good or perhaps in some cases slightly better than the Tone Poets.

    Kevin I don't have Grant's Street of Dreams, but I do have the MM 2x45 of Matador, Solid and Talking About. Matador, Solid and Talking about are still available from Music Matters. Matador & Solid in both the 33 and 2 x 45 versions. Street of Dreams is out of stock, but may appear as an SRX eventually as I believe they have space on their license. The only problem is the prices from MM are now very high when you take into account shipping and import duty, as mentioned previously.


    Personally I like to explore recordings by great artists that are lesser known and in top quality pressings rather than see the same 'classics' reissued again and again that I probably have a good copy of already, but the downside is you can end up with somethings that eventually you may not play again. :(
  2. paulfromcamden

    paulfromcamden Baffled

    I had no idea these audiophile editions were pressed in such limited quantities. I guess that goes some way to explaining the cost of them.

    Does it really take them a decade to shift 250 copies? Wow!
  3. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Well not with some. The Coltrane Blue Train for instance went very quickly in all editions. The just got the second half of the 500 (i.e 250 copies) of the SRX 33 version and apparently this has nearly sold out within about a week. Most of my 2x45's were from the first batches pressed at 250 copies between 2007 & 2010, but I think most of those that are remaining are from second pressings from 2010 onwards. There are 33's as well of most issues that are all later production than the 45's. The SRX's are newer still, from the start of last year and first sold only as a box set, these seem to have sold quite well, but it seems likely they did not press more than 250 copies of each. What is not clear and no one is parting with sensitive information, is how many copies their license allows. I doubt it is more than 1,000 at most? The new SRX's listed are being pressed with new stampers, but made from the 'mothers' used for the normal 33's that have already been issued, so clearly not long runs previously.

    The problem for Music Matters and others who buy licenses from Universal is the cost is pretty high, so they have to recoup that as well as production costs and that makes their price higher and therefore more difficult to sell. It's difficult for them to predict Sales against production costs hence the low number of pressings. Clearly making and selling audiophile vinyl is not the way to make a financial killing. Their new business model is to have only inhouse sales and increase the price as they are selling out. One way now of telling what is selling well is to look at the sliding asking price.

    So the reason that the Tone Poets are getting on for roughly half the cost of the MM's in the US is there is no cost of the license. The BN80's are cheaper still as they do not have the expensive covers and are pressed at cheaper pressing plants. I forget the figures published for some of these, but after the initial hiccup with a low number pressed as even they had no idea how many they would sell and therefore they underestimated the demand, some have actually sold in the thousands due to a better price point.

    I think it all comes down to rarity of originals and reissue price that determines how quickly they will sell. Jazzman pressed a 1,000 box sets of the Don Rendall, Ian Carr Quintet records and they sold out on the first day. They then pressed another 1,000 individuals of each and Dusk Fire and Shades of Blue from that also sold out quickly. The Decca Tubby Hayes box set has also sold out on the first pressing, but I don't know how many were pressed. I'm still waiting for my order to be filled. But even at these relatively good prices for these reissues and high cost of originals it seems unlikely that the final sales will exceed 2,500 of each?
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  4. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    With a lineup like that, I’ll have to give it another go. Problem is, I have a love hate relationship with Grant Green. Sometimes his records are just too slick for my taste. Would love to see a Tonepoet of Talkin’ About - although I think of it as a Larry Young session.

    There are some great Prestige titles hidden away, but when I asked Joe Harley via LJC about the chances of that happening he kindly responded that Tonepoet weren’t allowed access to Prestige, a question of ownership etc.

    Anyway, all you guys talking about Don Cherry had me playing Ghosts - his LP with Albert Ayler (aka Vibrations depending on country/label. Mine is an old Fontana LP). Great stuff!
  5. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    I've got that as Vibrations on Arista - I have to confess I haven't played it for ages and will give it a spin later tonight.
  6. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Yes that's the one I have as well on a 1975 US pressing. Along with Witches & Devils (no Cherry) of the same vintage.
  7. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    I do indeed commend Blue Note's efforts to put out audiophile grade reissues of the less common BN records at a more reasonable price. I suppose I am pickier than most, having bought and listened to a lot of Blue Notes for a while. I just think that there are plenty of less common but musically important albums that should be reissued, rather than some of the previously unreleased sessions which ultimately are really inferior to the individual artists' other work that are more commonly available. Off the top of my head, I can think of say the albums of Andrew Hill, John Patton, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, Duke Pearson, Ronnie Foster, etc.
    Graham H and poco a poco like this.
  8. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    I certainly agree there are many other less common Blue Notes I would have personally chosen for reissue over some of those that have been released so far in these two series including from those you mention. Some of us have had 'wish lists' in this thread. Of those realeased others have quite liked (and in a few cases their enthusiasm has encouraged me to buy) some that ultimately I personally should have passed on and I suppose vice versa?

    Unfortunately it seems that more Andrew Hill that was scheduled on Tone Poet got pulled because of 'Blackfiregate' piano wobblers on Steve Hoffman, but at least Smokestack is still scheduled on BN80 in May.
    Graham H likes this.
  9. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    With you all the way on this. If Tonepoet manage another 3 or 4 years, as has been indicated by Joe Harley, we can only hope the likes of the artists you mention are included. I’d also like to think that maybe future BN vinyl releases post BN80 - once it has run its course - will be AAA mastered by Kevin Gray and dig a bit deeper into the catalogue. So I live in hope.

    Hockman, what was the Ronnie Foster title you had in mind?
  10. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Just ordered the next two as getting in early has always got me the cheapest price so far.... Famous last words though :D
  11. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    Sorry for the late reply, Graham, I just saw your post.

    Ronnie Foster's Two Headed Freap. It's rather sought after especially by DJs and collectors for its funk oriented beats. I have an original but I don't understand why it should not be more easily available. The same goes for Bobby Hutcherson's Montara. I am still looking for a reasonably priced original.

    Graham H likes this.
  12. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Martin, probably a good move because for some strange reason the Stanley Turrentine Coming Your Way is still priced at £41.99 on Amazon. Unless these get put back as well its going to be an expensive and busy listening time at the end of Feb. and beginning of March with what is already on pre order (at least that's when my birthday is so I need to put out hints :)). Plus my Tubby Hayes vinyl box arrived late yesterday afternoon so 11 LP's to work through (and pay for) there as well. Especially looking forward to a decent copy of Money Jungle though.

    Must try to try to cut down on buying vinyl. Mustn't try to ........... :(
  13. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Very true Jim, very true.... I’d like the Tubby Hayes set too but I can’t bring myself to add another £200 to what I’m already spending so I feel your pain. I’ve resisted buying the single album as I know I really want the full set :)
  14. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Well I did get 10% off, by signing up for their newsletter, but I had to chase them for the discount code to get it. But that's really no excuse for spending the money. :oops:
    mikechadwick and scotty38 like this.

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