Back-to-Back Part Two: the complete New Jazz Esquire


Hot on the heels of the Prestige Esquire pairs, Prestige’s other label New Jazz, whose artists and covers alike include some of the most iconic work in the genre. Think Eric Dolphy, Roy Haynes, Oliver Nelson, Dizzy Reece…

Esquire deliver the same sonic performance as originals, however there is one specific reason why Esquires are to be preferred. Original New Jazz pressings are occasionally marred by the presence of recycled vinyl, added somewhere in the production chain. Not all, just some, unpredictably.  No risk of hiss with Esquire

The back-to-back complete series continues with the incredibly rare titles of Donald Byrd on the short-lived Transition label, then the complete New Jazz Esquires, and a concludes with a finale, at the end, where else? Hosted here on LJC for posterity in the  Esquire label guide, link below.

The Complete Esquire Back-to-Back: Part Two – New Jazz

Pedantry Alert! For the sake of accuracy, there are a handful I have not been able to access a picture good enough for an illustrated reference guide. “Complete Guide” is the intention, eventually.





The last Prestige/ Esquire pair above stands out, with an air of resignation.

Bossa Nova, that’s the next big thing. No more swinging, now everybody’s swaying. Samba meets Jazz. We gotta have some, Carlo. Get me on the next flight to Rio!

Tall and tan and young and lovely
The girl from Ipanema goes walking…

salemlp2johnnie-pate-at-the-blue-noteAnd still a number of intriguing possibilities Esquire were experimenting with, including this title, recorded July 1956, originally released on Salem Records (right) reissued on Stepheny Records, a recording of Johnny Pate at the Blue Note, Chicago,, Esquire 32-169.


All the things that could have been but sadly the cash registers fail to ring, and Esquire was no more.

But what a legacy.


Personal note

Producing these image-pairs has been subversive, brought me face to face with some very desirable records that I have never seen in the flesh, and of which I probably would never have heard or thought about of otherwise. Hopefully it has the same effect on you. Those Dolphy’s I have, but… Flanagan / Coltrane The Cats,  so much music, Prestige or Esquire, it doesn’t matter which.

1 thought on “Back-to-Back Part Two: the complete New Jazz Esquire

  1. LJC here are a couple more New Jazz / Esquire pressings to add to the list.

    Don Ellis- New Ideas

    Gigi Gryce Quintet- Saying Somethin’

    King Curtis- The New Scene of King Curtis

    Yusef Lateef- The Sounds of Yusef (although this was originally released on Prestige)

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