Coltrane and Quinichette “Cattin'” (1957)

Track Selection: Anatomy (8:45)


John Coltrane (ts) Paul Quinichette (ts)  Mal Waldron (p) Julian Euell (b) Ed Thigpen (d) recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, May 17, 1957


Lets get this out the way. Not as highly acclaimed or as well-known as most of Coltrane’s body of work, this 1957 session contrasts the senior-statesman style sax of Paul Quinichette with the fiery high-octane energy of the young John Coltrane. You Shouldn’t have any difficulty telling which is which, but first you need to get your tongue around the pronunciation “Quinichette”.

Referred to as The Vice Pres, Quinichette was reckoned the best player in the manner of The Pres, Lester Young, and was selected to play with Count Basie for that same reason. Cattin’ is considered by some critics his best effort, a velvet smoky tone, but among his last as hard-bop became the dominant style. His pairing with Coltrane here amounts almost to a symbolic handover of the baton for future directions of jazz.

One of the best early Coltrane albums in my view, for which I sometimes have a preference, rather than exhaustion from forty minutes of Coltrane’s later spiritual phase.(Uproar as Coltrane fans shove keyboards through monitor screens in protest at LJC. )

Mal Waldron’s contribution should not go unremarked. Beautifully solid yet unobtrusive comping behind the music, a pleasure to be carried along by, while the stars go through their paces.

Vinyl (Prestige PRLP 7158, mono, NJ labels, not DG)

Cover Contest: – Esquire UK cover for “Cattin’ “:

To turn the tables, for once this is a US Prestige, not the UK Esquire release, above. No contest which has the better cover in my view, the US, but as they say, YMMV –  your mileage may vary.

An original Prestige pressing with RVG hallmark from the original 1959 stampers, but seems on thinner vinyl than my other early Prestige pressings. Thankfully, not pressed on hissy recycled vinyl cut with extender like some other early sixties Prestige. My guess is a second pressing by Prestige but hard to be certain, could be earlier.  The sound is great, which rather confirms the suspicion that vinyl thickness isn’t necessarily an issue with an original quality stamper/matrix source, the same experience as with original Blue Note second pressings.

As far as I am aware, when Fantasy bought Prestige in 1971, they did not have remaining stocks of Prestige covers and labels for reissues in the way Liberty did after acquiring Blue Note. Nor have I found Fantasy/Prestige reissues with Fireworks labels, – those had all long gone after Prestige introduced the dark blue/silver trident label in 1964 (Discogs has one entry for a 1964 blue label silver trident reissue of Cattin‘ seen below).

Original RVG hallmarks in the run-out is not characteristic of Prestige clones or later reissues, so the exact provenance remains uncertain but it looks to me an original, but I have much less knowledge about Prestige than Blue Note

The cover looks like it belongs to the first pressing batch, with characteristic thick card and dimpled glossy laminate that more modern production could never match. Some people get a “high” from sniffing original vinyl, but the cover can do it just the same for me – a beautiful artefact and a nice picture of Coltrane toned in vermillion (now known as the less prosaic web colour Orange Red)

Collector’s Corner

From a somewhat eccentric store-owner, whose stock it must be said is often overpriced and in condition below par for collectors. He would probably agree with that, then throw me out of his shop for saying it.  Nevertheless he is an interesting chap, and has some interesting items (when he can find them) The asking price may be a starting point, depending on how he is feeling that week. It is tough making enough money selling records to pay the exorbitant rent he is charged ( which he tells me each time I drop in). It is fashionable in some quarters to decry bankers, but it is the commercial property industry which is destroying small independent shops like his, and we record collectors all be poorer without them. Before long, all collectible original jazz recordings will be out of our grasp and simply go airmail direct to Japan.

(Authors note: If there is any person or group I have failed to offend in this blog, sit tight, I will get to you.)

36 thoughts on “Coltrane and Quinichette “Cattin'” (1957)

  1. Dead thread but a great read. I believe it is original. I have the exact same,down to the quarter sized indentation on one side. Stamped RVG. Heavy laminated cover. I believe original for both as mine came from a stellar collection I recently purchased. Included original Tenor Madness, Empyrean Isles, Way Out West, Bud Powell, Rollins 1562….and on an on. A collection I was fortunate to acquire. Over 250 titles in all, and all have shown themselves to be true firsts. Provenence is sometimes earned by being a part of somethhing bigger, I’d be shocked that these copies would be shown to not have been purchased in 1959.

      • Yep. Also I meant Rollins 1542 vertical. 1562 is The Stylings of Silver I believe.
        Only thing is this collection was acquired by someone else who sold it to me. He paid the son of the original owner of these $100 for all of them. There’s a good buy and then there’s taking advantage. That part of it made my stomach turn a little, but I gladly shelled out $2250 for all of it.

  2. Sounds exciting! I wouldn’t be too confident for listenable vinyl though, the sellers had some critical comments from previous buyers… i’ll keep watch for new blog entries anyway! Good luck!

  3. that’s true, but i probably suffer from much less knowledge about audio quality than you and a tendency to tolerate quite used vinyl just for having an original… would you pass on a first pressing of Miles Davis Quintet’s “Cookin with” for 15 quid? I probably collect what others wouldn’t touch i sometimes think…

    • Well, we will find out the expensive way Chris. I decided I would take a gamble on our German seller and go for his cover. Its a lot for a cover, but as I already have an EX record the math is inescapable. I reckon the combined value of his cover and my EX vinyl is double to treble my outlay. I’d be stupid not to. If it arrives OK, I’ll find out what his G minus graded vinyl actually turns out like. Watch this space.

  4. Hope i didn’t go on your nerves with this recommendation, since i just remember i have posted it before. It’s just that this Redd LP is such a temptation to me for months now, and i have really made wonderful experiences with cleaning LPs on a Loricraft Machine that a dealer near my home rents… pay 1 Euro for cleaning and sometimes get quite a new LP out…

  5. Dear Collectors, dear Londonjazzcollector,
    i’m still baffled about how much there obviously is to be learned in detail about pressings, pressing plants and so on. I’m more or less new to jazz record collecting and not always really sure if i’ve got the discipline to keep concentrated on all these details 😉 of very much help were definitely LJC’s explanations about recycled vinyl in Prestige’s Pressings, which gave me an idea why the one or other of my Prestiges seemed to hiss so unexplainably. LJC, i remember having read in your blog that you are housing a copy of Freddie Redd’s “Shades of Redd” without original cover – maybe this german auction might help?
    The record has been sitting in ebay for ages now and the seller warned me of the sound quality, but if it’s only about the cover, maybe this is a decent solution for an acceptable price.
    Thanks again for your research!

  6. brave and interested collectors, have a look on Guide to Record Labels section: all I’ve found is there, together with headache.

  7. Remember that Dolphy Five Spot LP I have?

    It was released a little before the time that they switched to the blue label. It has the correct label, NJ address, and RVG, but no deepgroove.

    When we discussed it back then we figured that this was likely the first pressing–that by then the DG stampers were gone. While this is not 100% confirmed it makes sense to me. That would make this a early, but not original pressing from the early 60’s.

    • Thanks for the comments Tim, yes I remember that exchange.. I set aside a couple of hours today and went over all my Prestiges with a fine tooth comb (silly expression that) and the macro. Oooh interesting. Runouts, labels, extra codes, different die-impressings other than deep groove, interesting! I have overlooked Prestige as I was into Blue Notes, which have now been done to death since The Fred Book. I plan to expand my Prestige pages with a forensic look. I reckon Randy nailed it – Prestige subcontracted out their pressing and there is no one consistent set of markings like our beloved Blue Note and their Plastylite ear and Deep Groove. Stuff is all over the place. I have some more time tomorrow set aside to start a more definitive guide to Prestige. Hang on in there!

      • So it could be a slightly later pressing, from the same time as that Dolphy–or–a first pressing that was just pressed at another plant….do I understand that right? I wonder how we could narrow it down?

  8. Hi Chris, and welcome. Yes I have noticed some strange noises – like rimshots but the pitch is too high and duration too short – “clicks” if you like. I assumed they were flaws in the vinyl, but I think you are on to something – unintentionally caught during the recording session.
    Our poster Randy has unearthed some useful stuff on pressing plants, about which I know very little. Time, I fear, to get out my small Prestige collection and go over the deadwax with the macro.
    I keep reference pages on record labels, among them Prestige – here:
    I’ll upload anything of interest I find there .
    There are lots of sites and some bloggers that feature record covers, fewer still that feature labels, and so far I haven’t found anyone else that goes fishing into the deadwax other than me. Strange ommission, because that is where a lot of the information you need is

  9. Hello Everybody,
    thanks for posting so much info which incidentally helped me learn something about my copy of this record. It’s obviously exactly the same as LondonJazzCollector’s, except for the sixpence-sized circle on the label. I got mine from an italian dealer, who described it as first pressing. Maybe these pressings are more common in europe for some reason? Until today i was a bit disappointed about the “missing” deep groove, now i feel better about the record – since it sounds really nice anyway. Did you notice the strange, unrhythmic clicking sounds during Quinichette’s solos? I’ve read somewhere about these in a review of a CD Version of this record, which seems to point out that this sound was somehow unintentionally recorded during the session.

  10. I have no info about different pressing sources for Prestige but what I’m gonna do is check all my Prestiges in dead wax to see what’s comin’ out: need a couple of days.
    re my Cattin’ I’m sure it has no other marks.

    • Thanks for checking Dott Prestige, it is reassuring if not spooky to know a stamper from the same matrix was used to press these two different copies of the same recording.Gives me some confidence to know we are probably listening to the “same thing”. And it is a great sounding pressing for all that.

  11. Prestige doctor here: sadly I dont think it’s original.
    mine has got two deep grooves and misses the small circle ’round the spindle hole seen on side two.

    • I think you must be right. The vinyl weight is not right for 1959, and it is not deep groove, and I agree, that sixpence-sized circle on side two – I have only ever seen that on modern records, though I still can’t figure how they got the catalogue number and RVG in the runout. Those must have come from original stampers.

      I am fairly sure what it is not – not a 1959 first press.. What I don’t know is what it actually is.

      • Are there any other marks in the deadwax that might indicate where the LP was pressed? Many labels did not have all of their records pressed at the same plant and just used whoever had the best deal at that moment in time. I’m fairly certain that Prestige used more than one pressing plant, so perhaps that would explain the aberrations you see.

        • Thanks for your observation about the “AB” indicating the plant, Randy. I have seen that AB many times but never knew what it meant. Now I do, thanks.
          There are no other identifying marks in the runout of this pressing, not a squiggle, symbol, number or letter, or voodoo sign, nothing. That in itself is interesting.

      • My perhaps less-than-educated guess is that you have a record which was not pressed at Abbey, but at an unidentifiable other plant which didn’t use an indicator stamp in the deadwax like Plastylite,et al. Here’s a page with some nice info about pressing plant marks (mainly rock and 45 oriented, unfortunately).

        I believe that the unusual quarter-sized (heh) indentation, like the deep grooves would have been created by the die used to press the record. Since I haven’t seen an ‘AB’ Prestige with that particular feature, it seems that could be more evidence that your record was pressed elsewhere.

        Does that mean your pressing is not ‘original’? It seems like there is really no way to prove or disprove from a factual point of view. It seems that from the point of view of a collector, it would not be considered such.

        It would be really interesting to hear from anyone else who knows more about such issues…

  12. I’m interested in your comment about “hissy recycled vinyl cut with extender”. I certainly am in possession of a few of these beauties. While in general I’ve had good luck with the Purple Trident pressings, I definitely have some hissy pressings. What is “extender” and how did you become aware that this was the culprit in these noisy pressing?

    My current understanding is that Prestige pressed most of their records at Abbey Record Manufacturing (indicated by an ‘AB’ etched in the deadwax) which seems to have had very hit and miss quality (although I recently acquired a Prestige 10″ – NJLP 101 Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz – which has a Plastylite ‘P’). More info here:

    Prestige seems to be the less-understood, poorly documented cousin of Blue Note, so any info is always appreciated. Blue Note seems to have the more consistent quality, but there’s an edge to Prestige sessions that I always enjoy.

    • I have several sixties New Jazz and a Prestige pressing which hiss all the way through – i.e. the sound carries on hissing in the break between tracks, meaning it is an attribute of the vinyl, not the recording.
      From what I have read, sorry I haven’t kept the references, it was practice in some quarters at that time to reduce the cost of the vinyl by cutting it with recycled vinyl, which contained micro-fragments of detritus – odd bits of paper where the label had failed to be punched out accurately, and general environmental recycling junk. I also read of vinyl having colour and other materials used to bulk it up, refered to as “extenders”. Same reason I guess as loading up smoothies with banana.
      I don’t think the use of such very noisy vinyl was widespread – I have only come across it with Prestige pressings around that time. I doubt if with record players of the day it made any difference then, but it sure does now, it is painful.

      • I have a few hissy Prestige LPs, but I also have at least one other I can think of off the top of my head: “Rip, Rig and Panic” on Limelight (70s Pink and Green label repress with VAN GELDER stamp). Again, I tend to fault the pressing plant and not the label itself.

        On a related note, I believe have run across another, unrelated source for persistant hiss. Yesterday I was playing my new Prestige 10″ and as soon as the needle came out of the run in the hiss started. I wasn’t entirely surprised as I have come across this many time with early 10″ LPs and 7″ 45 EPs. It is usually accompanied by various degrees of crackle and distortion at points where the record is loudest and after the record is done playing, the stylus is often covered in with a fine black ashy powder.

        I ran this by a more knowledgable vinyl partisan at a local record store and he agreed with my conclusion: these pressings used an early form of PVC which is either disintegrating due to age or environmental problems. At any rate, it seems I am stuck with several very nice, but unplayable EPs and 10 inch LPs.

  13. Hi Not a doctor but it should be an original according to Goldmine Jazz Price Guide. Bergenfield adress runs after no7142 so it looks just fine for a 1959 record. Listed at $80 in that old book.

  14. This must be an original first pressing. The labels, the deep grooves, the trail offs; all of it. The vinyl may not be as thick as is usually the case, but you never really read that the weight of the vinyl 100% confirms the record’s ‘firstness’. But I agree, if there’s a Prestige doctor in the house, then let him speak now! 😉

  15. You haven’t offended longtime jazz fans who remember running out of the stadium used for the Queen City Jazz Festival in 1964. Coltrane was the final act, and he was in the midst of his middle, atonal and meandering, period that saw him turn “So What” into a 45 minute exercise in self-control

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