George Wallington: New York Scene (1957) New Jazz/Esquire


Note: posted previously as a Japanese modern re-issue. This new post is the original UK release by Esquire in 1957, with a new track selection

Selection: ‘Dis Mornin’ (new)


Donald Byrd (tp) Phil Woods (as) George Wallington (p) Teddy Kotick (b) Nick Stabulas (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 1, 1957


I have to tell you, I LOVE this record so much I would kill for an original Prestige. Killing is a little extreme? OK, I would probably maim for an original Prestige, take off a few limbs. In truth, I would more likely  give a Chinese burn for a US original. What if I threatened you with a dirty look for an original? Or perhaps you would you settle for some money? Or even a lot of money…

According to Popsike the Prestige New Jazz has appeared just six times in the last six years, and only twice in the form of the Esquire. Maximum price $556, mean $350.  That is what I call rare.

There is so much great music here. Donald Byrd, Phil Woods.

Vinyl: Esquire 32-132

UK original release of Prestige New Jazz NJLP 8207.



Interesting. Despite its New Jazz LP catalogue number NJLP 8027,  the stampers bear a Prestige Matrix code PRLP. Somebody wasn’t paying attention.

Machine stamp RVG on the US metalwork, mother or stamper No. 1

Stampers from AB – Abbey Pressing Plant NJ – initials just above the label

WTF? Mystic Meg? Or may be Cistercian Monks have a hand in pressing?



Collectors Corner

Had for a fraction of what I expected it to go for. What’s wrong with you guys. Who is George Wallington? What is an Esquire?  Not RARE!  enough for you? You need it spelled out? It is the first copy I have ever seen. I am embarrassed, I feel guilty how little it cost.

But that is collecting for you, highs and lows, but always great music, you simply can not lose.


6 thoughts on “George Wallington: New York Scene (1957) New Jazz/Esquire

  1. Pingback: Kotick Name Origin | Laatuasunnot

  2. The sixties man has a point if you think about it. If he really is right, it makes it all the more desirable to focus on U.S. pressings only when it comes to our beloved Jazz gems from way back when 😉


  3. I knew it! Once again the original copy, cut by the elusive mr RVG, wins. We haven’t quite figured the Japanese Connection out yet, but we’re making progress. Next assignment: how do they do it?! 😉


    • Chatting to a guy in a record store the other day- a sixties rock and pop vinyl man – said he made a point of always looking for pressings in the country of origin, as “no one ever sent original tapes anywhere, only copies of tapes. When they remastered for local pressing, its already one generation away from the original tapes” However they tweaked the eq or whatever they do, they can not retrieve any detail that has been lost.

      I figure any loss of detail in the upper register may be obvious than in lower register.This could of course all be complete BS, I am not an engineer. But I do think our friends in Japan still have the engineering skills for cutting vinyl and this nation of digital dummies don’t.


  4. OK, Lieutenant Columbo, smart question. Almost too smart, however I anticipated it, and have played them both in a straight A:B shootout. I know the answer which is better. But you’ve got no witnesses, and I’m telling you nothing copper. And you’ll never take me alive (leaps through window)

    It is scary doing this test as you know you might have to eat your own words. Munch munch, I hate words.

    The Modern Japanese is a masterpiece of sound engineering, and I stand by that description. On first listen you sense the Esquire is a tad bass-shy in comparison, which it is. As a result the Japanese comes across superficially more attractive, with its perfect dynamic range. But after swapping back and forward, the excitement in the middle to upper register of the Esquire wins you over. The timbre of the horns – Woods and Byrd – is quite thrilling, and that is where the musical action is, not in the bass lines.

    After a couple of plays the rich bass begins to feel “bottoxed”, and at the expense of the horn lines, which seem less musical, and more mechanical in comparison. My hifi co-conspirator described the Japanese Modern as feeling as though the musicians were reading their lines from sheet music, instead of playing from the heart.

    My emotional response is drawn to the Esquire/Prestige, despite its slightly thinner bass. If I hadn’t played them side by side, I’d be quite happy with the modern pressing, and its caused me to hold back on my criticism of all “audophile” pressings. This is the best I have ever heard. But the Esquire/Prestige wins.

    You can put the cuffs on now Lieutenant. I’ll go quietly.


  5. Question of course is how your newly acquired Esquire pressing sounds!

    When addressing the sound quality of your Japanese copy you said, quote: “No indication who in Japan pressed these, nothing indicated on the photo-reproduction cover, but the sound is a masterpiece of audio engineering on 180gm ninja-assassin silent vinyl. The dynamic range and instrument balance is absolute perfection, pure Masterchef.”

    Since you now also have an Esquire that sports Van Gelder’s initials, I’m curious to know which one of your two copies you prefer audio wise 😉


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