Jordan/Gilmore: Blowing in from Chicago (1957) Pathe-Marconi re


Selection: Status Quo (John Neely)


John Gilmore, Clifford Jordan (ts) Horace Silver (p) Curly Russell (b) Art Blakey (d) recorded Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, March 3, 1957


When are the Jazz Messengers not the Jazz Messengers? Here.The 1954 original Messengers line-up of Art Blakey, Curly Russell and Horace Silver, replace Lou Donaldson/ Clifford Brown or Mobley/Dorham with two Windy City muscular tenors Cliff Jordan and John Gilmore. It was Gilmore’s Blue Note debut before going off to spend the next four decades front-lining with cult resident alien Sun Ra (Quote: “The outer space beings are my brothers.They sent me here.They already know my music. Green card please”) Gilmore also pops up in unexpected places such as Blue Note’s avant-garde session, Andrew Hill’s Compulsion (BN 4217) , where he occasionally  swaps the tenor sax for bass clarinet. Eric Dolphy anyone? (noted for future post)

One of the angles of this record is the difference between two tenors – Gilmore has the harder more punchy delivery, Jordan the more mellow tone, but as they are both solid driving players, who cares, really? The headline statements in duets are a nice touch as are the swapping solo lines, its bop, the whole bop, and nothing but the bop. After a few posts recently featuring the Avant-Garde , its right to put some bop balance on the scales.

Vinyl: EMI France/ Pathe Marconi reissue 1983 (thirty years old )

A couple of posters recently has reminded me that there are more than a few jazz lovers who have significant budgetary constrains, and have a right to have their needs attended to. Its like if you ever browse the shelves for car magazines, its all fantasy, What Lamborghini, so today LJC gives coverage to the Reliant Robin of vinyl collectors, the humble Eighties French reissue.

But first, lets take a peek in Popsike at a trophy original. By no means the most expensive at over a thousand dollars, but I liked the story of the seller, liquidating his late uncle’s jazz collection.  Why don’t I have an uncle with a collection of near unplayed Blue Notes like this? It’s times like this makes you realise you chose your parents unwisely. I’m sure I was swapped in the maternity crèche, I deserve such an inheritance, LordJazzCollector

Gilmore 1549 popsike

Highest price realised for this title was $1,715. As Mrs LJC is wont to say, That’s nearly half/quarter/third of a new kitchen! In our house we have a special unit of currency with which to talk about my hobby. Anything related to my hifi or records can be denominated in New Kitchens (NKs). For example, the cost of my speakers was “more than a (bloody) New Kitchen! (1 NK), the new Dynavector TKR cartridge was nearly half a New Kitchen! (0.5 NK’s), the entire LJC record collection is worth over four NKs. It’s so much easier than real money.

Beautiful object that it is, in its original laminated cover, this was never going to appear on my shopping list any time soon. Not at nearly quarter of a New Kitchen. However it seemed worth a try-out as an inexpensive re-issue from the 80’s, courtesy of Pathe Marconi/ EMI France, for little more than the price of a nice free-standing sink tidy. Before you reach the giddy heights of the high-end trophy hunters, there is still a lot of fun to be had fishing in the record-bins of life with the low budget  jazz tramps.

French reissues do not appear on collectors most wanted lists but I have had some good experiences with them along side some less good. At half the price of a Liberty, given a good vinyl system I think you can enjoy a better musical experience than the Evil Silver Disk, but a lot depends on how your system takes to them. I rate my system today as “sensitive” (it knows when you are talking about it) and the earlier French Pathe Marconi 1982-3  pressings, mastered locally from tape (no Van Gelder imprint), can deliver quite a respectable performance for the money. However I avoid the DMMs that started around 1984, as they are mostly horrid

Uncommonly among reissues it is mono, probably how it was recorded originally so EMI France have worked with the source format and not tried to electronically simulate stereo, which is another bonus.



Collectors Corner

Envy rating 1Only an original would score much here. I might need to introduce a “pity” index in such cases

smug-index-0-It’s an 80’s French reissue, nothing to be smug about. Unless of course you are French, strike up the Marsellaise, crack open the Cote de Rhone.

cool-3Classic bop outings are more the pipe and slippers crowd than the goatee-strokers but I think you could hold your head up high with this under your arm.

Reliant RobinAn inexpensive Ebay purchase, but I still consider it quite desirable, as it is not often found in other vintage reissue formats. Maybe Liberty or UA reissued it (if they did my mailbox will be bulging) but I can’t say I ever chanced on it in day-to-day collecting.

In this context, for the budget collector, a comparable value edition has to pass under the $15-30 price barrier that the French reissues command. We are talking  Reliant Robin, it gets you from A to B , you can always get better by spending more, that’s not in dispute. The question is, do French reissues have a place for collectors? I think in some circumstances, the answer is yes.

It’s all about love of the music. And as you know, love conquers all.

26 thoughts on “Jordan/Gilmore: Blowing in from Chicago (1957) Pathe-Marconi re

  1. Record Palace in Amsterdam is also excellent. I have found some great jazz and blues there and the owner, Jan, is a lovely guy. Blowing in from Chicago is a great album, I never managed to find an original. My favorite Clifford Jordan remains the 1973 Glass Bead Games. Great blog here

  2. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but still: every once in a blue moon I DJ a bit at local jazz get-togethers here in The Netherlands and one of the ‘floor fillers’ to get the true dancers on their feet is always “Bo-Till”. A terrific track that begins with an enticing drums-intro and then Jordan and Gilmore enter with the magnificent theme of the song. The entire album is an absolute killer and I play it regularly.

    On French reissues: there’s one thing I always wonder. How come there are so many French Blue Note reissues? Was it simply a matter of EMI France / Pathé Marconi having access to the back catalogue anyway and therefore reissuing the whole lot? Or was there something else going on? I mean: I’ve never heard of German Blue Note reissues or Italian reissues, you know?

    Last but not least: I have one EMI France / Pathé Marconi pressing in my collection, it’s from 1982: Blue Note 1580, Johnny Griffin – The Congregation. It’s in mono, no fake stereo bollocks. And it sounds great. Just like your copy of Jordan / Gilmore 😉

  3. I have seen a DIVISION OF UNITED ARTISTS RECORDS MONO pressing but talk about rare. Waiting silently in a dark alley…

  4. It is a great record indeed.It was once in my collection,but I sold it some 40 years ago.They paid me 8 guilders in a secondhand recordshop in Amsterdam( Concerto,it still exists!).At that time I had to sell 3 records to buy a new one.Since than I never found an original copy again.I bought the Japanese King pressing in the 80’s.It looks and sounds good.The record was also reissued as a Blue Note twofer together with “Blowing Session”(Griiffin).Soundwise I prefer the US reissue.
    Now that I am an old man I am wondering what shall happen to my collection when I leave this planet.My wife and children have no interest in jazz nor any knowledge about collecting.Selling on E-bay is not my cup of tea.Maybe I can mention you in my last will.
    In the meantime I still enjoy listening and upgrading my collection.

    • 8 guldens, those were the days 😉 I’ve been collecting for 3 years now and know Concerto well. You should also check out Recordfriend and Waxwell too. But you probably know that already, you’ve been collecting longer than me 😉 Vinylspot in Rotterdam is also great for Jazz. Any tips for good shops here in Holland would be appreciated!

      • I know these shops.Swingmaster in Groningen is another one.The best one is Vinylspot in Rotterdam,you will find incidently original first pressings in an acceptable condition for a reasonable price.As a longtime collector I am only interested in originals,but there are only 10 records left on my wantlist.After 50 years of collecting I gathered more than 10000 records.I would be satisfied with less.

        • Wow, 10.000 records. And all of them originals. That’s quiet a collection. I have about 500 jazz records and maybe 100 1st pressings, a lot of KIngs, Toshiba’s, Music Matters and of course later pressings. Which 10 are you still looking for? And if you ever consider, selling a few of those 10.000 records, let me know!

        • I recall a conversation in a London record store a while back, when I remarked casually that my wife thought I had “too many records”. The response was eerie silence, broken eventually when another customer laughed nervously. “Don’t be silly. You can not have too many records” , to the general agreement of everyone in the shop.
          Ten thousand eh? Sound to me about exactly the right amount of records. Nowadays I count my collection in IKEA Expedits. Each Expedit holds about 300 records. I am now filling my fourth Expedit, which I bought and assembled this afternoon. Mrs LJC tells me after the fifth, its a new house or nothing.

          • That story would be even better if the reply had been: “You’ve got a wife?”

            Anyway, back on-topic, it’s nice to see a French repress feature. I’m not sure I own any Blue Notes that aren’t French reissues. C’mon, they’re cheaper than a packet of Gauloises, barely more than a bottle of vin ordinaire. What’s not to like?

            (Corrections made – LJC)

    • Hello Kees, I live in The Netherlands as well. Kees, if you’d like get rid of your records, then I’m your man. If you need my email address, then just let me know 😉

      But seriously: about your will: if your wife and children have absolutely no clue about jazz and or collecting, then of course the real question should be: what to do with my precious vinyls? Maybe you can pass your collection on the Dutch institute of sound and vision? The question of course is: what does one do -seriously- if you know that your family doesn’t give a rat’s ass about jazz? No one wants his records to end up in Monday morning’s trash bags…

      Maybe LJC can start a subject on this issue, to that we can share thoughts on this. I know that my wife knows that whatever I have is worth a lot, but what’s she to do if I pass away in an accident? I’m 41, but still… Interesting subject. What happens to your painstakingly assembled collection if you pass away without taking care of things beforehand?

      • … start a subject on passing on Matty? Aargh! My doctor asked if, at my age, it was wise to be buying long playing records!

        Mrs LJC has strict instructions. The database I mentioned a few posts back has the price paid for each record, as a reasonable proxy for its value. Should I step under a bus tomorrow, there is a record the financial potential that could be realised through sale. On the other hand, if she is found to be the driver of said bus…I’m taking them with me, to the other side. Vinyl will find its natural place, in heaven. As we all know, hell is entirely digital.

        • Hahaha… Good one. However: does Mrs LJC have access to your database?

          Last but not least -and maybe it would be a nice ‘side post’- it could be an interesting subject to share thoughts on with the other visitors. What to do with your collection when we end up on the Eternal Hunting Grounds…?

      • Dag Mattyman,
        I know we met before on internet( is not a daily concern but recently I was asked to sort out a jazzrecordcollection of someone who died unexpectedly at the age of 83.He owned 12000 records,only jazz.He had no family nor any friends.At my age(76) I realised : the same thing can happen to me.I decided to at least think about an arrangement for my collection.The idea that some shark enters my home to take advantage of the situation is not a pleasant foresight.My

        • Phew… That’s some story, Kees. And probably not the only one out there, I reckon. I’ll email you shortly, if not for your collection, then it at least we’ll have something to talk about in our native tongue! 😉

  5. Great find. Knowing I can afford this -,a Blue Note with the great John Gilmore – makes me a little envious even if it is a reissue. I love the bold muscularity of his playing and just wish I had more of his music on vinyl. The fact that Coltrane was a great admirer tells you everything.
    I like to collect records but when you have an 18-month old daughter spending more than a modest amount seems feckless. I do occasionally exceed my meagre house limit but feel racked with guilt afterwards.On my limited system, Pathe-Marconi, Japanese and early Liberty pressings sound good enough anyway.Scoring an original for a bargain price comes as a great pleasure.
    As Shakespeare wrote: When they seldom come, they wished for come, And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.

  6. It matters not if it is an 80s reissue: the presence of John Gilmore alone merits a top Cool Factor rating.

    Otherwise, excellent article. I’ve only just found my way to your blog, but I think I’m going to really enjoy reading it.

  7. I think this is sound advice. For a lot of up and coming collectors, particularly in the US, there is a crazy stigma on foreign pressings. We fear them! Why? As is typical of Americans, we fear that of which we know so little.

    So thanks for the advice and off I go!

    • Thanks for the article LJC! It’s about time we acknowledge the greatness of John Gilmore, a cool cat. I stumbled onto an original 20 years ago in a record shop in Australia and couldn’t believed my luck, talk about being at the right place at the right time. It remains a fav blue note even until today.
      Over the years I have bought French reissues because you just can’t have too much of good music. The DMM’s are horrid but at the time it was the only way to hear the music when no originals can be found.

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