Kenny Burrell: On View At The Five Spot Cafe (1959) Blue Note/ Division of United Artists


Track Selection: Birks Works (Gillespie)


Tina Brooks (ts) Bobby Timmons (p) Kenny Burrell (g) Ben Tucker (b) Art Blakey (d) recorded at “Five Spot Cafe”, NYC, 2nd set, August 25, 1959


Tina Brooks!! Bobby Timmons, and “Kenny Burrell with Art Blakey”. Really, it’ should have been credited to The Jazz Messengers with Kenny Burrell. Great line up, great live atmosphere, beautifully recorded. This recording is a gem that stands well out from the crowd. Its one of those lower the lights, reach for a glass, sit back, and be there records, in the same league as Blakey’s Cafe Bohemia volumes.

Vinyl: No, it is not an original pressing of BLP 4021,  but a Division of United Artists mono 1970-73 non-RVG mastered reissue. No RVG, no VAN GELDER, not deep groove, no ear, all the “wrong signals” but nevertheless great listening until an original turns up at an affordable price, which may be never.



It’s that NB again, Mr Nota Bene. We have seen these hall marks on a few other Division of United Artists classic blue/white label releases, though not all. He did a very good job, whoever he was. The audio play quality is remarkable.

The DIV UA jacket is a facsimile of the original Blue Note mono release from 1959, though an  unlaminated cover and of course no Blue Note Address. Quite a different league to the later downbeat United Artists Blue label/ black note VAN GELDER reissues.



Collectors Corner

Source: eBay

Sellers Description:


An exception to my “original vinyl” objective, but there are times you have to compromise and Division of UA blue/white is one of them. I have chased and lost the  original Blue Note first  pressings a few times. At the 5 Spot sells at a bewildering range of prices, maxing at $566, but often for only a few hundred dollars. It is not considered by collectors as desirable as the Warhol cover Burrells, which attract a considerable premium. However the music is I think better, and it is not like they were real Warhols.

In the “Quite Interesting” category,  an auction for a Capitol Direct Metal Master 80’s reissue of Live at the Five Spot, autographed by Burrell at a recent concert. Burrell would have had no idea what he was signing, other wise he would have put a huge cross across it..Capitol DMM – the worst thing anyone did to vinyl. Dilemma. Autographed fairly recently, not at the time of issue in 1959, somehow feels wrong, but its hard to explain why.  It gets the “no” buzzer.

Burrell is still going strong, at the age of 80. Perhaps autographs require the scarcity factor that comes only with being certain there will never be any more.

6 thoughts on “Kenny Burrell: On View At The Five Spot Cafe (1959) Blue Note/ Division of United Artists

  1. It’s not that surprising that any of the most original BN pressings sound good when you read the figures for the average sale of BN albums being 5000-10000 copies.
    If these were rock LP’s that sold in the hundreds of thousands the stampers would become worn out but with BN low sales if the pressing plant dug them out to be used again surely they would have plenty of life in them.

  2. I, too, have noticed -as discussed so many times before- that some of the UA copies that I have, indeed sound just fine. Maybe one day these particular UA copies will end up on the wish list of audiophiles that look for audio quality instead of 1st pressings. When that happens, these cherished and still quite affordable pressings may fetch much, much more than they do now…

      • Jeez… Sellers quoting LJC. Who would’ve thunk that one day your reviews would become part of someone else’s sales pitch? Especially your pay off stands out on that eBay link: “…recommendation: BUY…” I guess I’m going to try to lay hands on more of these UA copies before they really go through the roof 😉

        • hey, our man is climbing the hill!
          as I wrote in the past, I’m not good enough in describing/criticizing a recording as Andrew is. I lay down on discography.
          I can’t find the words for talking about WHY I like that single record OR which are the reasons that move me.
          Andrew does, and does it good.
          someone, out of this restricted brotherhood, noticed and quoted him.
          we all are very proud of his work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s