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.
USA UNITED ARTISTS ERA VINYL LP. SLEEVE: VERY GOOD ONLY, WITH RING, SHELF,CORNER AND EDGE WEAR. DISC: EXCELLENT. CLEAN VINYL WITH NO MARKS OR SCRATCHES AND NO NOTICEABLE SPINDLE WEAR, JUST A FEW VERY LIGHT HAIRLINES.
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.