About LJC

Last Refreshed: February 13, 2023

Personal communications to:  londonjazzcollector (at) outlook (dot) com


This is a vinyl jazz-lover’s education and opinion sharing site, which I started back in 2011. The emphasis is on the music and musicians rather than auction prices, though that is sometimes relevant. Once a week (Fridays) a new post features a vintage modern jazz record from the Fifties and Sixties, occasionally Seventies, including one or two tracks from the original vinyl ripped to MP3 at  320 kbps to illustrate the music written about. Headphones recommended. Most record photos enlarge to full screen up to 1920 x 1280 pixel including vinyl etchings. The liner notes can be read full screen in crisp sharp text.  It’s all high resolution so not very phone-friendly.

If you love modern jazz on vinyl, grab some floor space and make yourself at home, you are in good company. Over five million page views worldwide to date, 2,000 page views a day, and interesting comment discussions, often from people who know more than me. If you can add anything, weigh in, current and past posts always open.

Everything here is based on my experience, your experience may vary. “Good judgment comes from experience and experience is often the result of bad judgment.” (citation needed, but it’s true, whoever said it first)

What LJC is not – 

– not a record trading site. If you have records you want to sell,  that is what Ebay and Discogs is for, I am not a buyer/seller introduction site. I do not buy records from unsolicited offers. I delete posts from people looking to sell records to my readers. 

– not a revenue-generating site I do not earn any revenue from LondonJazzCollector, it’s a loss-maker. It costs me time, and money. It is a vanity project, or labour of love, I do it because I enjoy doing it.

The ads here are placed by WordPress. I am a WordPress-hosted site – Londonjazzcollector.wordpress.com –  they take care of all the web-mechanics in return for the ad-revenue. I am not permitted to place adverts. If you enjoy a post or learn something useful, you can just click the like button, costs you nothing, but gives me a little encouragement. 

-not a promotional site. I do not promote up and coming artists or events, however worthy.

-not a filesharing site. I do not offer downloads or support music piracy. If you want to hear more, Youtube usually has a selection of related uploads 

-not a political site. I do not give platform to any political viewpoint: there are plenty of other sites where people can sound off. I do believe passionately, that Black Vinyl Matters – a little joke from someone who has spent ten years writing about mostly Afro-American music. I am against coloured vinyl because it is sonically inferior.   I favour selection on merit, it makes better music.

LJC blog, website, and forum*

In addition to regular blog posts, you will find permanent pages of information about modern jazz, vintage vinyl, the evolution of record labels, hi fi improvement, eBay bidding tips, and plain whimsy – click on the headings under the top banner picture. Its not just a blog, it’s a website.

If you prefer a more informal exchange of views with other readers, I started a free *forum (hosted by ProBoards), popular topics like Saturday Night Spin, What’s on your turntable. I merely moderate rather than contribute,  it’s your space, for you to use as you wish. If you want to address something to me personally, or share something, just email me.

All previous posts for a particular artist or record label  are found by clicking on the topic list in the sidebar (over 1,000 posts to date), There is a complete list of artists with a post right hand sidebar, alphabetical order,  in brackets after the name is the number of records posted for that artist. Click on the name to retrieve all their posts or enter their name or record title  in the search box top right of the banner.

You get mostly original writing here, and mostly intelligent comments. Please see Comments Policy before posting. Personally, I find comments here a useful return on my effort. I already know what I think, so other people’s comments expand my knowledge and viewpoint. Have your say, all comments welcome, but keep it civil.

Who is LJC?  My actual identity is a private matter, and I like to keep it that way. I don’t give out my name, address or phone number, or skype-name, and I have no social media accounts (aside from a recent Instagram account I rarely use) I don’t accept invitations to meet up. 

I am always happy to engage personal correspondence off-blog, email address top of page, special interest in clearing up vinyl mysteries, helping people out. Media-invitations or publishing, if you have something you want to propose, put it in writing first, I’ll decide.

Back to the avatar LJC: here are some of the hipster “alter-egos” who appear occasionally in my blog, with a little help from Photoshop. None  of them are me

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My name is Andrew, LJC for short. Pictured right, my avatar, Professor Jazz, the character  “Louis Balfour“, host of TV spoof “Jazz Cub” running-sketch played by comic actor John ThompsonGreat!”. It’s not me.

I have no social media presence: no Facebook page, no Twitter account, no Linked-In profile, no Instagram account, no YouTube Channel.  Nothing here is monetized, not even a tip-jar.  It is entirely possible that I am a figment of my own imagination.

How did it all happen?

After decades of wearing a suit and tie, I found myself retired, with  time on my hands and no interest in the usual retirement “time-wasters”: golf, cruises, or a second career in consultancy. I am simply a life long music lover and amateur writer, no connection to my former work-life, which was interesting, but on reflection, an even greater waste of time.

Possessed by a  life-long passion for music and good hi-fi, a love of photography and computer technology; Photoshop-junkie,  part-time philosopher (no previous convictions), writer, humourist and observer of the human condition: blogging seems a natural next step. You get all that in just one blog: LondonJazzCollector. It wasn’t the best choice of name, I chose it a long time ago, I live with it.

Briefly in 2016 I started another WordPress blog following my interest in wine, Age Improves With Wine, especially  French white wine, and rosé. Unfortunately this proved exhausting, many other people write about wine, some for a living.  Recently I have revived it with some new content, but I think it won’t last.

Asked occasionally “What do you do?” I describe myself as full-time self-unemployed, which allows me freedom to do as I wish. My interest in jazz and vinyl is just the last decade, unlike some whose knowledge has been built up over a lifetime. Making up for lost time, this blog features the fruits of  “panning for gold” in London’s few  remaining record stores, shopping on-line, and inspiration from other jazz collectors. Very little is now bought from auction sellers overseas due to grading issues, customs, insurance and postal costs.

Starting with an interest mainly in original Blue Note, the holy grail in audiophile and musical performance, you will also find here original Prestige, Impulse!, Contemporary, Riverside and other labels, some West Coast jazz, a bit of Free, and European and British Jazz, and UK release of US recordings. A few Japanese pressings are including, and being in the UK, inevitably some UK releases of US recordings.

In the last couple of years, the quality of reissues remastered from original tapes – all analogue process {AAA)  has transformed the reissue scene, expect some modern audiophile reissues among the posts. Be warned, there are countless modern  reissues sourced from intermediate digital copies that claim to be “audiophile” merely because they are pressed on 180gm vinyl. Analogue sampled to Digital, then remastered back to Analogue, is not “audiophile” whatever the vinyl weight. 

All records here are from my personal vinyl collection. When not much is coming in, I look on my shelves for something of interest to write about. Failing that,  I make something up. I welcome guest posts, if you have an artist or topic you would like to write about, 1,000-2,000 words, email me your idea.

You can expect the big musicians of Modern Jazz but also some lesser players you may not be au fait with. Many other bloggers cover funk, soul, dance, psych, so you will not find much of that here. You won’t find the attribute “new” has much traction here either. Of all the music produced in the last fifty years, how likely is it that something is worthy of attention just because it is “new” ? Everything was new once.

A little more on what this blog is about…

Why “Modern Jazz”?  The Fifties and Sixties were an intensely creative period in all the arts, no less in Jazz, with the period 1956-66 the golden era.  After the mid- Sixties, Modern Jazz fragmented, and many of its finest exponents became what the medical profession refer to as “dead” , moved to Europe, or worse still, Hollywood,  invested in a new wardrobe, or just followed the money, and who can blame them.

Why vinyl?  A (vintage) vinyl record stores analogue-recorded music in an analogue medium.  Good modern vinyl equipment , including power conditioning and quality of interconnects, can retrieve that analogue information  and reproduce it much as it would have sounded when performed. At its best, the resulting sound offers a fresh, immersive and exciting musicians-in-the-room experience superior to any digital source  at any price, however modern.

Why vintage vinyl? The mid-50’s to the mid 70’s was the golden age of vinyl. Every process from recording through to manufacturing was analogue, in the hands of master engineers. Not everything produced was outstanding, but with the right engineers and quality pressing, the best sounding records ever were produced. From the mid ’80’s attention became focussed on the Compact Disc format, solid state engineering and digital processes.   Many jazz reissues produced in the Eighties onwards became progressively worse. The cheapness of the CD made it difficult to manufacture quality vinyl at a competitive  price.

Modern budget-level vinyl reissues (under £20)  are mostly digital copies transferred to vinyl, pressed in Czech Republic or Germany, hyped as “audiophile” merely because on 180gm vinyl. 

Even in the audiophile domain, some engineers (like Hoffman) believed they could “improve” vintage recordings with modern studio equipment. Most recently,  since 2020, truly audiophile mastering and manufacture at an affordable price has come of age. With original tape sources, all analogue processes,  and quality pressing, some Vinyl LPs can deliver remarkable sonic performance, however mostly  only in stereo format, even from two-track tapes never intended for stereo. Mono remains largely the domain of vintage vinyl. Despite many improvements, I remain convinced originals sound the best.

Any special kind of Hi Fi required?  Yes, I am afraid so.  Unlike “old vinyl”, unfortunately, with rare exceptions,  “classic old hi-fi” does not cut it. If it’s of any interest my set up is here, (last updated December 2022) or see the “For Audiophiles” page in the blog header.

Hey LJC, I don’t have “golden ears”.  Any point in this hi-fi stuff? It’s expensive!

LJC-listening-test-fastshow33No-one has golden ears, everyone can detect quality audio if they ever get the opportunity to hear it.  But beware, Hi Fi is a world of strong and differing opinions. Some of it from “experts” (journalists) , some is salesmanship, some is guesswork, some of it wrong, and too little of it forged from personal comparative listening, which is the only source of opinion that matters. You are on your own chum.

The brain’s main purpose is helping you survive, so it will give lots of well-intentioned advice: expectation bias, confirmation bias, expert opinion, all that group-think stuff, you can learn to recognise and ignore its’ whinny little voice. Attend instead to your feelings and your emotional reaction to the music. Does it engage you, draw you in? Or does it leave you uninvolved, wondering what to play next?

Judge-LJCIn no time at all really, you will be able to say with confidence “I prefer this, it sounds better to me than that”, or no it doesn’t, or I can’t hear any difference. You will arrive at your own judgement, and not hang on other people’s opinions, certainly not mine. When you reach this point, you are in charge, and it gets a little easier.  To pick up on this theme graduate to the Zen and the Art of Active Listening page.

My takeaway from a decade of upgrading hi-fi is that the main components are the least important part of your system, provided you chose reasonably good ones in the first place. Beware of equipment snobs that hang out in hifi forums. Your equipment is almost certainly capable of sounding better than it does initially. To hear how good requires improvement in the  purity of power supply,  earthing, quality interconnects much too expensive to supply with the original component. Add support infrastructure racking, and the ultrasonic cleaning of vinyl.

Equipment snobs have never actually tested these accessories, because they know they make no difference. Arrogance and Ignorance are a match made in heaven, they depend on each other for survival. There is only one authority, and I’m afraid it’s you. Bummer.

A few last questions…

Are you now or have you ever been a DJ?  Nope. 

Do you like to go clubbing or hanging out at gigs, looking cool?  Nope

So would you describe yourself as a “square” then?  Not square, more sort of round. Well, oval, really…

That’s it. Feel free to make comments (see comments policy), offer corrections,  give advice, and make other recommendations from your own experience. It’s all good.

Note regarding Intellectual property and copyright.

”Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal”

Owners of intellectual property are quite rightly closing down piracy and theft of their work: Madonna needs still more money, she’s a Material Girl, high maintenance,  and at 60, she needs a pension.

Music and pictures posted here are for personal education and  research, not for commercial gain, nor for the gratitude of file-sharers.  There are no whole albums here, the vinyl is long since out of print and accessible only through online auctions and  second hand stores. The “track selection”  is one or at most two tracks at 160 or 320 kbps MP3 files ripped from original vinyl and streamed through the embedded WordPress player. Not  hi fi quality, no downloads. No-one loses revenue from anything posted here, and I make no revenue from it, to the contrary, I pay WordPress for file storage. I notice when I post about a record, the available copies on Discogs sell out very quickly, perhaps record sellers benefit.

The adverts on this blog are placed by WordPress to help keep blogging a free service (free to both of us). Files are not hosted on third party file sharing sites. You can be confident everything you click on here is spam and virus free, will still be here tomorrow, requires no toolbar add-in, and sorry lads, no teen dating introductions in your area.

I do not endorse copyright theft, though almost all of the recordings here are over 50 years old the musicians are long dead, or soon will be (1963 is the technical legal watershed) . If you are copyright holder of any sounds or images here, please contact me directly at the email address below. If you think you may be one of the long dead musicians, get professional help, or leave a sign: a medium will get back to you soon as possible.

The content of this web-blog is for personal, non-commercial use only. In the event that there is a problem with copyrighted material, the copyright infringement is unintentional and non-commercial. Material will be removed upon request by the copyright owner.

All original writing and pictures on this blog are my copyright. You are free to use them in any educational or personal context, without alteration,  though not in any commercial activity without my express prior permission. Original material uploaded to other sites should be credited to this source. I take pride in my work, I don’t like finding it online under other people’s names, which does occasionally happen, or repurposed with the WWW.LONDONJAZZCOLLECTOR.WORDPRESS.COM  “watermark”  trimmed off. I put it outside the image not to spoil it.

Note to buyers and sellers of vinyl

I often get requests to identify if a relative’s collection is valuable or suggest what can best be done with them. I try to answer emails promptly and honestly. If you are looking to dispose of a collection of jazz records, I am not a dealer or buyer, but I am able to give advice, put you in touch with people (UK based) who can help .

Readers ask me where to find vintage vinyl jazz treasures in London. You might as well ask me at which second-hand stall can you find a Van Gogh, which is the riverbed where you can find gold nuggets, or where exactly do I dig for diamonds? Good stuff is rare. You trawl, like whales sifting plankton. Every now and then, you get lucky. More often than not, you make do with something interesting, or maybe nothing at all.

Note to fellow record collectors

I am always happy to take questions, help identify provenance, make good a gap in my subject coverage, any missed point of detail, and for you to share any anomalies or interesting finds. It’s what collectors do.

Personal communications to:

LondonJazzCollector ( at ) outlook (dot) com

Next:¦ LJC before Jazz

29 thoughts on “About LJC

  1. Hey Andy, it was good to meet you at Andrew’s on Friday. Be interested to hear more about the rock gigs you played (and attended) in the 60s! D’you have a page for that? All best! Phil


  2. Greetings from the colonies (Canada)! I’m really glad I came across your site. Lots of great information here. Look forward to reading more of your blogs.



  3. Hi LJC,

    Is there an email I can catch you regarding an editorial piece for a website, if possible we I would like to discuss something with you.

    Many thanks.


    • Hi, see top and foot of the “ABOUT” page:

      Personal communications can be sent to: LondonJazzCollector (onewordwithnospaces) ( at ) outlook (dot) com

      Its written that way so the spam ‘bots don’t harvest it. I get 20-30 spam mailings a day as it is!

      That will get through to me if you address it as a proper email should be.. You’ve got my ineterest.


  4. Hi,
    Just found your site, I do like your writing style!
    I am a big jazz fan, I play in a jazz quintet in Glasgow, getting to play (among others) many numbers from the Blue Note collection which is a joy and a privilege.
    My jazz collection is all on CD, but I have always loved vinyl, I don’t have the money to contemplate converting my collection to vinyl but at least my ears are still getting their “fine wine”, even if the packaging is a little different!
    Enjoy your collection, and retirement and keep on blogging.

    All the best,


  5. Hi from Austria! Afraid I don’t know anyone around here who is interested in modern jazz, but will keep my ears open! I found it interesting reading all the comments.


  6. I’m new to the original Blue Note vinyls and landed here looking for info on Blue Note labels to support my ebay quests. Your blog is simply brilliant. Very informative, educational and quite enjoyable to read. Thanks for your time and effort! Will be a regular visitor.

    Liege, Belgium


  7. I have several thousand vinyl records of mostly Jazz but there are is a lot of Ethno/World and Classical music. Lot them especially Jazz records are original USA Vinyls from the 50’s & 60’s. I am aware that some of them are worth a lot and I am looking for a fair dealer who would like to buy some of these records from my collection. It would be best if the dealer can send me which genre or sound is he after so I can continue talking with him and eventually sale them for a fair price.

    Kind Regards


    • Your best retun would be by dripping them into the market as an ebay seller yourself, or finding an ebay seller specialising in what you have to sell, who would either buy the whole lot or sell for you on commission. I have seen people advertise such services in Record Collector magazine small ads. I know only one ebay seller in (London, Battersea) peteandbarb01 who sold a similar very high end collection.
      If you have accesss to London shops, you wont get the same sort of value but I would go to Duncan at Revival records in Berwick St Soho or Rays Jazz 3rd Floor Foyles, Charing Cross Rd, or Tony at the Notting Hill Branch of Music and Video Exchange.
      Hope that helps


  8. Greetings!

    I came here looking for info on Blue Label pressings after a recent haul at a record show in the small mid-western city I dwell in. I really liked the informative and well researched posts you have here but particularly liked the high-res images that accompany the articles. Nicely done!

    I had been off collecting vinyl for a while (did it when I was in college in the early 90’s) but my interest in jazz recordings on the Blue Note label got me back to vinyl. I recently found an original pressing of Moanin’ for 2 bucks at a used record store and despite the scuff marks and dull surface, the sound just leapt off the recording!! Unbelievable! I’m hooked now and cannot go back to my RVG re-mastered CD’s in good conscience 🙂

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the good content!!


    • Well don’t start with a beret, you may think it’s all bebop and Gillespie, but rest assured everyone else will think you like Frank Spencer!


        • The Don Draper look is good, but he lacks the ubiquitous button-downs which rest assured he would have been wearing and buying from Brooks Brothers during the early 60s. It will be interesting to watch the sartorial decline into the bell bottomed hippy era as the series progresses.


  9. I first came across this site whilst researching the Vogue label, and I must say, I keep on coming back as Andrew is passionate, informed and his musings are a delight to read. I thoroughly concur and endorse everything he has posted so far.

    It’s interesting that you consider the decade 1956-1966 as the golden era of Modern Jazz, as this is also the boom period of the Ivy League style for men, as sported by Miles Davis and the rest of the jazz cats on Blue Note and other jazz labels. The two are both uniquely democratic and American modernist forms, forged together in that brief period of extreme optimism post-Korean war. I dig modern jazz and I also dress in Ivy style for today.

    Perchance Andrew is no stranger to Bass Weejuns and a Brooks Brother oxford cloth button down shirt?


  10. Well, not only do you have great musical taste sir, but you write wonderfully well, tight, lucid and witty. Not an once of flab. Surely a book must be in the offing? Being a self-unemployed painter living up a mountain in the pyrenees my wallet can not stretch to collectable vinyl. Or indeed, cd’s. But I receive much hand-me-down pleasure from this blog.

    I salute you and your credit card. Long may you both continue.


    • Blush, kind words, thank you.. You must have a wonderful view from your window each morning. Many would envy that. Plus be of good heart, the painting and decorating business is sure to pick up soon.


  11. Great site, when I read your description I thought that’s me (well apart from the retired bit) Looking to buy jazz on vinyl in London can be a challenge but at least in North London where I live there are still a good few shops with good jazz sections & due to the competition between them the prices are generally lower than the rest of the UK.


  12. What a great blog!! I sold my Blue Note vinyl and my few thousand other records over twenty years ago. Although they were 70’s pressings, I don’t think digital is anywhere close to analogue. In fact it’s the very reason I moved to digital I believe is the problem – everything is just too sterile. When I heard my first CD it was the lack of noise that suckered me in. MP3 – ok for casual listening.

    Over the past few years I’ve re-discoverd Blue Note and have now accumulated around 200 CDs, as sadly even CDs are being deleted from the catalogue. Many of the rarer Blue Note CDs that were deleted some years back are fetching silly prices as well. EMI (who I think owns Blue Note) seem to have a random policy for which CDs should remain in the catalogue.

    Companies such as Mosaic (www.mosaicrecords.com) and at the budget end Real Gone Jazz (http://www.musicmelon.co.uk) at least provide an alternative way to get some of the rarer discs.

    If anyone wants a great book on the amazing Blue Note covers, then the The Cover Art of Blue Note Records book is simply amazing. I was lucky enough to get this as a present at Christmas from my three daughters.


    • Blue Note! The world would be a much poorer place but for the passion of Alfred Lion, Rudy van Gelder, Francis Wolff, and Reid Miles, four men who have enriched my life immeasurably. Come home to vinyl, all is forgiven.


  13. Your site is fantastic. As a relative newcomer to Jazz, I am quickly realizing that some of the finest examples of the art are to be found on vinyl, and the archive you are creating here is a testament to the crackling wonders of both the medium and the form.


  14. Nice site LondonJazzCollector. Takes me back to my days of making occasional trips down to the smoke from the grim north in the 80’s and 90’s to buy up anything interesting from Soho 2nd hand shops, Ray’s etc..
    Now living in Italy and not much chance to go back these days. Last time I was in town I couldn’t find Mole. Where’s it gone?
    Keep up the good work!


    • Thanks Marco. Ah Italy – “Nice country, I’ll take it”
      Sadly, Mole has gone down the hole…along with many others. Remember Cheapo Cheapo in Rupert Street? That’s long gone too. But Rays Jazz is still live and kicking in Foyles, unlike Ray, who departed just a couple of months back.
      The American who ran Mole Jazz for some time, Andy,is still around, running the jazz basement in Harold Moores Records, Gt Marlborough St W1, just around the corner from Berwick St.
      As long as the market interest in 60’s Rock and Pop vinyl continues, viable outlets will too.


    • Cool Michel. Allow me to link you on my blogroll. We need more blogs on jazz, as jazz is unknown except to the few. I love to read and write about it – but where can you read – nothing in the media except celebrity pop music.
      You have some lovely records there, I will take time to go through them.


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