Blue Note vinyl: the 9M etching

(Last updated: November 22, 2016)

The 9M etching found in the run-out of 10″ Blue Notes, many of the 1500 series pressings and a handful of the early 4000 series title.

The 9M


The variety 9M is uniquely found on Blue Note and not any other alpha-numeric permutation.

Blue Note wasn’t the only label Plastylite pressed. In the early days they also pressed for a number of record labels including Prestige, early copies of which also bear an additional etching which follows the same numeric/alpha pattern. Each code is likewise uniquely associated with that record label and found on no other label.

Plastylite, (or a supplier to Plastylite) is the common connection with these codes, which are additional to and do not form part of the matrix code of that record


UPDATE November 22, 2016

Eagle-eyed reader Jesse P has spotted more custom-codes:


 Photos courtesy of Jesse P

An 8J seen on New Jazz ( 8J has been seen before on Prestige titles, usually with the tail of the J facing the wrong way, here it is seen facing the correct way. Prestige is associated with the 7E custom-code, so the significance of the 8J is unclear).  4Y found on the Circle Sound (of NY) label, and 5H on the Vox label

Including those pictured above, and Riverside 14 capital I, that gives us a total of 9 distinct custom-codes.

Plastylite/ Prestige: 7E

Below, an early Prestige title with “ear”  and code, 7E



Interesting variation on Prestige 7E, appearing on Esquire pressed in UK with the same metal as PRLP 7001. Whilst the RVG and matrix are very small and faint, the 7E is in a different hand, large and well formed, probably not applied at the time of mastering.

Plastylite/Dial: 3R


Plastylite /ESOTERIC: 10Z.


Plastylite/Debut: 19H


 Riverside: 14 i (capital i as in Indigo) added Jan 2015.

Found on a 2nd pressing of RLP 12-223 Bill Evans New Jazz Conceptions (1956) utilising original master metalwork. “14 I” noted on both sides in the familiar “9M” format, number on top, alpha below, in an open hand. The “I” has a bold seriph top and bottom. There is no Plastylite “ear” since the ear was added at pressing, and this Riverside second press from early ’60s was not pressed by Plastylite, however carries the code from its 1956 original acetate.

Further confirmation that the 9M found on Blue Note  was but one of a number of “customer codes” assigned uniquely to a number of record labels, now known to include very early Riverside.


ABC Paramount (Am Par era) 1 I as in (Indigo)

Despite  the 14 I  (Riverside) this ABC Paramount has a 1 I on both sides, deep groove with a raised profile,  laminated frame-type cover mid to late ’50s.


Folkways – 3T


9M was one of a range of numeric/alpha codes identified with metalwork destined for various labels pressed by Plastylite, possibly others, applied at some point in the chain of manufacture either by a metal-plating department of Plastylite or a supplier to Plastylite if plating was done externally, to them and maybe others.

9M etching ceases as a fairly continuous run at the beginning of 1959 at BN 4001 Sonny Rollins Newk’s Time, though there are a dozen or so titles beyond this beyond this point as high as BLP 4106 (Jackie McLean Let Freedom Ring, released April 1963).

BN 4001 Rollins, Newks Time.


BNST 84057


9M appears on both sides of this RVG STEREO master, discovered on a United Artists re-issue dating from 1975 (legacy RVG metal used for pressing by United Artists, )

The last 9M (or so I at first thought, wrongly)

BLP 4067 Jackie McLean’s Bluesnik, released in 1961

UPDATE April 24,  2016: eagle-eyed reader Jim R finds 9M on another, later McLean title, BLP 4106 Let Freedom Ring. Is this just coincidence, both these outliers are McLean titles?


Latest Discovery: BLP 4106 highest catalogue number with 9M

4106 9M JimR.jpg

It’s a stretch to figure how this appeared as late as April 1963. My thanks to JimR for his discovery.

The 9M found on some later reissues of early Blue Note titles

Unlike the Plastylite “ear”, which disappeared in 1966 when pressing was moved from Plastylite to new Blue Note owner Liberty’s plant All-Disc, the 9M continued to pop up occasionally on Liberty reissues of Blue Note 1500 series, an exact matching copy of all etchings and stamps to the earlier pressing (apart from the Plastylite factory-applied ear) It seems Liberty had access to legacy metalware (acetates, mothers, stampers)  which of course bear all the original etchings ie matrix codes, RVG/ VAN GELDER stamp, and 9M. It’s great when you find these things, because you know you are listening to vinyl pressed from the original Van Gelder master.

LJC  hypothesis on the meaning of “9M”

The numeric/alpha additional hand- etching “9M” s found on around two thirds of Blue Note pressings in the 1500 series and a handful of 4000 series, all  manufactured between 1956 – 61. It uniquely identifies Blue Note, and  a number of similar unique codes (one number one letter) are found on other similar specialist record labels of the period.

The most plausible explanation is that the etching is a custom identifier on metalware, in an  early stage of the vinyl manufacturing process. “9M” means client “Blue Note”, in a setting where a range of similar looking metal circular plates needed identification at client-level, be it for routing, accounting or some unknown other purpose.

The common format of all these codes – Numeric/Alpha – also eliminates another alternative hypothesis, that the Blue Note etching might be read upside down as “W6”.


The latest information from collectors identifies that around a third of Blue Notes from this period do not carry a 9M etching. There are also conflicting cases, albeit rare, where a specific title and format (mono or stereo) is found both with and without a 9M. This raises the possibility of 1st and 2nd cutting second masters, and different consumable item (acetate) suppliers.

The link between Blue Note, 9M, Plastlite, and Van Gelder mastering remains tantilisingly close. But we do not yet have all the pieces, though we have a lot more than when the enquiry set out.

Credit for research into these etchings is attributed to  LJC readers, including felixstrange, Aaron, Dottorjazz, Rudolf Flinterman, Jim R and Peter A

UPDATE November 17, 2015

LJC reader and Blue Note collector Jim R has kindly contributed a most comprehensive  listing from his own collection, which confirms the presence or absence of a “9M” etching  in the run-out.  In 75 titles between 1500 – 4001 for which we have sight  (not all titles have been validated and remain to be classified – data blank)) around 50 titles are known to bear 9M and around 25 are known to have no 9M etching at all. Thee titles have 9M on only one side.

The longest straight run of titles with 9M ends with 4001, Rollins Newk’s Time, exceptionally it appears on 4025 and 4026.The last sighting of 9M is BLP 4067 Mclean’s Bluesnik and there is a  cluster around that release time in 1961, between 4057 and 4067 .

UPDATE November 22, 2016: highest catalogue number with 9M increases to 4108, Lou Donaldson Natural Soul (hat-tip Jesse P)

Last updated: November 22, 2016

1501 Miles Davis Miles Davis Vol. 1 9M 9M
1502 Miles Davis Miles Davis Vol. 2 9M 9M
1503 Bud Powell The amazing B. Powell Vol. 1 9M 9M
1504 Bud Powell The amazing B. Powell Vol. 2 9M 9M
1505 Jay Jay Johnson The eminent Vol. 1 9M 9M
1506 Jay Jay Johnson The eminent Vol. 2 9M 9M
1507 The Jazz Messengers At the Cafè Bohemia Vol. 1 no no
1508 The Jazz Messengers At the Cafè Bohemia Vol. 2 no no
1509 Milt Jackson With the T. Monk quintet 9M 9M
1510 Thelonious Monk Genius of modern music Vol. 1 9M 9M
1511 Thelonious Monk Genius of modern music Vol. 2 9M 9M
1512 Jimmy Smith A new sound- a new star Vol. 1 9M 9M
1513 Thad Jones Detroit-New York junction 9M 9M
1514 Jimmy Smith A new sound- a new star 9M 9M
1515 Jutta Hipp At the Hickory House Vol. 1 9M 9M
1516 Jutta Hipp At the Hickory House Vol. 2 9M 9M
1517 Gil Melle Patterns in jazz 9M 9M
1518 Horace Silver And the Jazz Messengers 9M 9M
1519 Herbie Nichols Trio 9M 9M
1520 Horace Silver Trio no no
1521 Art Blakey A night at Birdland Vol. 1 9M 9M
1522 Art Blakey A night at Birdland Vol. 2 9M 9M
1523 Kenny Burrell Introducing 9M 9M
1524 Kenny Dorham ‘Round about midnight at the Cafè Bohemia no no
1525 Jimmy Smith At the organ Vol. 3 9M 9M
1526 Clifford Brown Memorial album 9M 9M
1527 Thad Jones The magnificent T. Jones 9M 9M
1528 Jimmy Smith At club Baby Grand Vol. 1 9M 9M
1529 Jimmy Smith At club Baby Grand Vol. 2 9M 9M
1530 Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims  no no
1531 Fats Navarro The fabulous Vol. 1 9M 9M
1532 Fats Navarro The fabulous Vol. 2 no no
1533 Johnny Griffin Introducing no no
1534 Paul Chambers Whims of Chambers no no
1535 Kenny Dorham Afro Cuban no no
1536 J. R. Monterose J. R. Monterose no no
1537 Lou Donaldson Quartet Quintet Sextet    
1538 Lee Morgan Indeed  9M no
1539 Horace Silver 6 pieces of silver 9M 9M
1540 Hank Mobley Featuring D. Byrd and L. Morgan 9M 9M
1541 Lee Morgan Sextet no no
1542 Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins no no
1543 Kenny Burrell Kenny Burrell 9M 9M
1544 Hank Mobley And his all stars 9M no
1545 Lou Donaldson Wailing with Lou 9M 9M
1546 Thad Jones Vol. 3 9M 9M
1547 Jimmy Smith A date with J. S. Vol. 1 9M 9M
1548 Jimmy Smith A date with J. S. Vol. 2 9M 9M
1549 Cliff Jordan- John Gilmore Blowin’ in from Chicago no no
1550 Hank Mobley Quintet 9M 9M
1551 Jimmy Smith At the organ Vol. 1 no no
1552 Jimmy Smith At the organ Vol. 2 no no
1554 Art Blakey Orgy in rhythm Vol. 1 9M 9M
1555 Art Blakey Orgy in rhythm Vol. 2 9M 9M
1556 Jimmy Smith The sounds of J. S. 9M 9M
1557 Lee Morgan Vol. 3 no no
1558 Sonny Rollins Vol. 2 no no
1559 Johnny Griffin A blowin’ session no no
1560 Hank Mobley Sextet 9M 9M
1561 Sabu Martinez Palo Congo  9M  9M
1562 Horace Silver The stylings of Silver 9M 9M
1563 Jimmy Smith Plays pretty just for you no no
1564 Paul Chambers Quintet 9M 9M
1565 Cliff Jordan Cliff Jordan no no
1566 Lou Donaldson Swing and soul 9M 9M
1567 Curtis Fuller The opener no no
1568 Hank Mobley Hank Mobley 9M 9M
1569 Paul Chambers Bass on top no no
1570 Sonny Clark Dial “S” for Sonny no no
1571 Bud Powell Bud ! 9M 9M
1572 Curtis Fuller Bone & bari 9M 9M
1573 John Jenkins John Jenkins no no
1574 Hank Mobley Peckin’ time no no
1575 Lee Morgan City lights no no
1576 Sonny Clark Sonny’ s crib 9M 9M
1577 John Coltrane Blue Train 9M 9M
1578 Lee Morgan The cooker 9M 9M
1579 Sonny Clark Trio 9M 9M
1580 Johnny Griffin The congregation no no
1581 Sonny Rollins A night at the Village Vanguard no no
1582 Cliff Jordan Cliff craft no no
1583 Curtis Fuller Vol. 3 no no
1584 Louis Smith Here comes Louis Smith no no
1585 Jimmy Smith Groovin’ at Smalls’ Paradise Vol. 1 no no
1586 Jimmy Smith Groovin’ at Smalls’ Paradise Vol. 2 no no
1587 Bennie Green Back on the scene 9M 9M
1588 Sonny Clark Cool struttin’ 9M 9M
1589 Horace Silver Further explorations 9M 9M
1590 Lee Morgan Candy 9M 9M
1591 Lou Donaldson Lou takes off 9M 9M
1593 Lou Donaldson Blues walk 9M no
1594 Louis Smith Smithville no no
1595 Cannonball Adderley Somethin’ else 9M 9M
1596 Kenny Burrell Blue lights Vol. 1 9M 9M
1597 Kenny Burrell Blue lights Vol. 2 9M 9M
1598 Bud Powell Time waits 9M 9M
1599 Bennie Green Soul stirrin’ 9M 9M
4001 Sonny Rollins Newk’s Time 9M 9M
4002 Jimmy Smith House Party no no
4003 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Moanin’ no/ +9M



4004 Art Blakey Holiday for Skins, Volume 1 9M 9M
4005 Art Blakey Holiday for Skins, Volume 2 no no
4006 Dizzy Reece Blues in Trinity    
4007 Donald Byrd Off to the Races    
4008 Horace Silver Quintet Finger Poppin’ no no
4009 Bud Powell Volume 5 The Scene Changes no no
4010 Bennie Green Walkin’ and Talkin’ no no
4011 Jimmy Smith The Sermon no no
4012 Lou Donaldson Lou Donaldson with the Three Sounds no no
4013 Jackie McLean New Soil no no
4014 The Three Sounds Bottoms Up    
4015 Art Blakey At the Jazz Corner of the World, Volume 1 no no
4016 Art Blakey At the Jazz Corner of the World, Volume 2 no no
4017 Horace Silver Blowin’ the Blues Away no no
4018 Walter Davis Davis Cup    
4019 Donald Byrd Byrd in Hand  no  no
4020 The Three Sounds Good Deal    
4021 Kenny Burrell At the Five Spot    
4022 Duke Pearson Profile    
4023 Dizzy Reece Star Bright    
4024 Jackie McLean Swing, Swang, Swingin’ 9M 9M
4025 Lou Donaldson The Time is Right 9M 9M
4026 Donald Byrd Fuego 9M no
4027 Freddie Redd Music from “The Connection” no no
4028 Horace Parlan Movin’ and Groovin’    
4029 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers The Big Beat no no
4030 Jimmy Smith Crazy Baby  no  no
4031 Hank Mobley Soul Station no no
4032 Sonny Red Out of the Blue 9M 9M
4033 Dizzy Reece Soundin’ Off no no
4034 Lee Morgan Leeway  no  no
4035 Duke Pearson Tender Feelin’s    
4036 Lou Donaldson Sunny Side Up    
4037 Horace Parlan Us Three    
4038 Jackie McLean Capuchin Swing    
4039 Stanley Turrentine Look Out!    
4040 Freddie Hubbard Open Sesame    
4041 Tina Brooks True Blue    
4042 Horace Silver Quintet Horace Scope no no
4043 Horace Parlan Speakin’ My Piece    
4044 The Three Sounds Moods    
4045 Freddie Redd Shades of Redd no no
4046 Duke Jordan Flight to Jordan    
4047 Art Taylor A. T.’s Delight no no
4048 Donald Byrd Byrd in Flight    
4049 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers A Night in Tunisia  no  no
4050 Jimmy Smith Home Cookin’    
4051 Jackie McLean Jackie’s Bag  no no
4052 Tina Brooks Back to the Tracks [unissued]    
4053 Lou Donaldson Lightfoot    
4054 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Meet You…, Volume 1  no  no
4055 Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers Meet You…, Volume 2  no  no
4056 Freddie Hubbard Goin’ Up  no  no
4057 Stanley Turrentine with the Three Sounds Blue Hour 9M 9M
4058 Hank Mobley Roll Call 9M 9M
4059 Kenny Drew Undercurrent  9M  9M
4060 Donald Byrd At the Half Note Cafe, Volume 1 9M 9M
4061 Donald Byrd At the Half Note Cafe, Volume 2 9M 9M
4062 Horace Parlan Headin’ South 9M 9M
4063 Kenny Dorham Whistle Stop 9M 9M
4064 Grant Green Grant’s First Stand 9M 9M
4066 Lou Donaldson Here ‘Tis 9M 9M
4067 Jackie McLean Bluesnik 9M 9M
4106 Jackie McLean Let Freedom Ring 9M 9M
4108 Lou Donaldson Natural Soul 9M 9M

At 2nd March 2016 , only one remaining mono 1500 series not verified – 1537 (Lou Donaldson 4tet 5tet 6tet)

If you can fill in information on the missing titles in the 1500 series, or have something different to add, mail me or add to comments.

.UPDATE – Folkways – 3T


46 thoughts on “Blue Note vinyl: the 9M etching

  1. My Bird in Hand BLP 4019 has a 9M engraving 🙂 in addition the cover on the side edge with the inscriptions is orange like the cover, on the other hand, the lp without the 9M the border is white (I have two copies for comparison …a real oddity


  2. Hi,
    is the 9M always and exclusively connected with Plastilyte? I had a “Moanin'” copy from Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with RVG, 9M but no Plastylite “P”. It has Inc and ®, so it has to be a reissue from around 1960/61.
    Thanks 😊


    • The 9M is found on many Van Gelder acetates of the 1500 series and early 4000 series. It is found only on Blue Note, and is the customer code for acetates supplied to Blue Note. There are many other letter/number codes on acetates supplied to other labels.

      When all the other etchings, and stamps are present, but the Plastylite cursive P is missing, there are only two possibilities.
      The most common explanation is an All Disc pressing for Liberty around 1966/7 pressed with legacy stampers using inherited old stock labels.

      The much less common circumstance is an Abbey Mfg. pressing. On a couple of rare occasions, Blue Note wanted additional copies of a big seller and turned to Abbey Mfg. to press more copies for them, supplying them with stampers and labels.. The only two I know of were 1595 Somethin’ Else and 4003 Moanin’, If yours is one of these Abbey Mfg. pressings, it won’t have the Plastylite P, but it may have the signature marking of Abbey presses, a small circular pressing ring around the spindle hole on just one side. If it doesn’t have that ring, the most likely explanation is a Liberty pressing.

      Interested in your observations


      • Thanks for your answer! 😊
        I don’t think it’s a later Liberty pressing, it has also deep grooves on both sides. As Fred Cohen stated in a three part interview with Ken Micallef there are BN originals from Plastylite with several Ps on one vinyl or only one P or a complete absence of a P. The shocking reality for every serious BN collector… 😳🤣


  3. I have two original Lexingtons of blp 1537,+Lex, +fr, +p, +dg, +RVGe, cover : +Lex, +f, +bs, +nl.

    I have one sitting in front of me : what information do you want from them?


  4. I have a 1538 Lee Morgan’s Indeed that is flat edged, Lexington Ave address, no “r” had rvg stamp but doesn’t have the 9M. Curious as to what pressing this is. I don’t have the cover.


  5. Just got my hands on an early pressing of The Albert Ayler Trio’s “Spiritual Unity” and was surprised to find the Plastylite P / “Ear” in the dead wax. Seems ESP was a customer of Plastylite, too. At least that was a surprise to me. So far I had thought the ESP records were pressed rather cost cutting. But perhaps ESP went the more expensive rout for the early runs of their first records?


  6. Isn’t the point though that in the vast majority of cases, the presence or absence of the 9M does nothing to indicate the vintage of a pressing, meaning that all copies with the 9M (almost) always have all the other markings of a first pressing? It would be interesting to focus on the titles where, all other first pressing markings being identical, some have the 9M and some don’t? What titles are those? I feel like it was addressed on here at one point. What copies is this the case for? One, more than one?


  7. I just picked up Blue Note 4025 Lou Donadlson The Time Is Right. 47w63rd on both sides, RVG, non DG, NON EAR. It DOES have 9M on both sides. Liberty pressing using original metal. NM/VG+ condition. Listening right now…..Excellent LP !


  8. Hi,
    I found in my collection a Blue Note 4003 on heavy vinyl (191 grams) with 9M etched on side 1 and K stamped on side 2. It has RVG stamped both sides, but no “ear”.
    Also it has the deep grooved Blue Note Records INC – 47 West 63rd – NYC labels. The address on back cover is : BLUE NOTE RECORDS INC., 43 West 61st St., New York 23
    Strange isn’t it? Which kind of pressing is it? What’s the meaning of K stamped on side 2 on your opinion?
    Many thanks! …..As usual!


    • If it has deep groove labels – it will have the ear. Liberty issues never had a DG (or were that heavy for that matter). Can you post a picture of the label and the stamped “K”?


        • Hi Aaron, here we are.
          I’ve done that!………but, how can I upload the pictures?
          …..can I upload in Google photo and give you the permission to see and share that?


            • OK! Thanks! I’ve done that a few minutes ago. Let me kindly know your opinion on this strange “pressing enigma”.
              Considering the weight, the “K”, the cover and so on…I was thinking about it as a 1st european pressing…..Germany!?…..mumble, mumble.


  9. Add this to the database. I recently acquired a copy of Donald Byrd At The Half Note V2 BN84061. 47 W63rd VANGELDER Stamp, and 9M on both sides. NOT a DG pressing, “Ear” is not present, and lightweight vinyl. Suspect this is an early Liberty pressing, using inherited BN lacquers and matrixes.


    • Thus far the database is confined to presence of 9M on mono editions – I hadn’t thought of classifying 9M on stereo editions, I admit I am a bit surprised to find it on stereo but I guess it’s a logical possibility, thanks!


  10. LJC, I’m going to send you an email shortly, I recently acquired a mono copy of BN 4108 Lou Donaldson’s Natural Soul, to my surprise I found 9M in the deadwax! I also have a few different label codes for you with photos, from the Circle label and also Vox


  11. I’ve got a new Plastylite “customer code” for you, a super heavy, flat-edge, deep-groove pressing on Period with “7D” in the deadwax on both sides. I can provide a picture tomorrow when the sun is out it’s helpful.


        • I checked 3 Period albums and found one with 7D. It is # 1210. Labels bordeaux red, no phoenix logo, gold lettering, flat edges, ears and 7D in dead wax either side. 7D is very faint and hardly visible.

          1204 and 1208 have no ears nor 7D. The labels are red with black and white blocks, black lettering and the Period phoenix logo. Beaded rims.

          I wonder what album Aaron has got here.


              • Everest was basically a classical music label. As Aaron said, the Period album most known amongst collectors is the Rollins album (1204). 1208 is Mad Thad (Jones), (two different groups). 1210 is the Jones Boys (also Thad and other unrelated Joneses.
                The 1954 New York recording sessions for Vogue, organized by Henri Renaud and issued on 7 ten inch Swing (Vogue) LP’s (i.a. Al Cohn, J.J., Duke Jordan, Gigi Gryce, Oscar Pettiford) were partly re-issued on Period in three volumes, under the title “the Birdlanders” (on the top of my head # 1212-4).


                • As an aside, added to “Other US Labels” collection.

                  Pricey, isn’t it? Up to $2,000 for a Rollins, period.

                  The liner notes, found on-line, give an insight into manufacture.
                  “The Jones side recorded in the Esoteric Sound Studios, New York City, by Jerry Newman.
                  The Rollins side recorded at Beltone Studies (sic) New York City, by Charles Raucher.”


                  • 4000 if one discars the Thad Jones side which is very average compared to the 3 extraordinary Blue Note sessions Thad made.


                • Rudolf, do you know how many titles were recorded during the “Birdlanders” sessions? I only know of 22 (plus one alternate take, I think). Are you sure the seven 10-inch discs you are referring to were long playing records, not 78 RPM’s? – Then the number of tracks must have exceeded 22 by far!


                  • I have seven 10″ long play albums with a total of 42 titles, being the harvest of Henri’s trip to the USA in Feb/March 1954.
                    Henri Renaud was given a free hand and he did two trio albums by his favourite pianists, Duke Jordan and Al Haig. Of these two albums (16 titles), two by Duke only made it to the Birdlanders.
                    The Henri Renaud – Gigi Gryce band (5 titles) made it to the Birdlanders, n.b. according to Jepsen. But this is false information: I had the three volumes of the Birdlanders (1211-3), but no Gigi Gryce at all. Since I have the original records I decided to sell the Periods, so I cannot give details on the Birdlanders, only that they are incomplete.
                    Here is the list of 10″ on the French Vogue “Swing” label. They have the mention “Enregistré aux U.S.A. par Vogue p.i.p.” (p.i.p. stands for ” productions internationales phonographiques “)
                    Swing M 33.320: Henri Renaud nous rapporte des U.S.A. (J.J. Bags, Al Cohn)
                    321 ditto. These two albums 8 titles in toto.
                    322 ditto (Renaud-Cohn quartet) 7 titles
                    323 Duke Jordan trio 8 titles
                    324 no data available (anyone?) Maybe unissued??
                    325 Al Haig (I have this one on U.K. Vogue L.D.E. 092) 8 titles
                    326 Oscar Pettiford sextet 6 titles
                    327 Henri Renaud US Stars (Gigi Gryce, J.J.) 5 titles
                    Henri made the recordings at Esoteric studios. Sound is excellent. Esoteric had an apparent link with Period Records, whence the Birdlanders I guess.


  12. I just found an original copy of Sabu’s Palo Congo (Blue Note 1561) at my local record store for $1… Okay, done bragging. It says 9M on both sides.


      • You’re welcome. I’ll be honest, I was unfamiliar with the artist and just bought it because it was on Blue Note and was $1… I was looking up details on it to identify the pressing (first, luckily), and saw that you needed information on it, so… Glad to help. It’s pretty good, by the way, but it’s completely unlike any other Blue Note record I’ve ever heard thus far… Probably why nobody else seems to have it. It’s a bit out of the usual Blue Note territory.


  13. I have a Blue Note 1501 that has 47 West 63rd (Side 1) 161 Lexington Ave (Side 2) labels. 9M is only in that run off of Side 2. Perhaps the 9M listed in the above chart for that release would be for matching labels. Not the case with this one.


  14. I just bought a Sonny Rollins vol. 2 with 9M on both sides. No Ear, but RVG. Wonderful sound…and record quality is great for what they sold it for. The record shop just opened in my neighborhood and looks like they’ll be getting a lot of my money.


    • Interesting, and not the first example where a pressing sourced from original metal is found both with and without 9M.

      1558 original exists without 9M, with 9M both sides (I assume you checked both sides).

      My copy is DG/ear/original, but has 9M only side 1, and not on Side 2.

      On a possibly related matter, I note both the matrix codes on my copy are a third mastering by Van Gelder: 1588-A-2 and 1558-B-2.

      A previous title I found copies 9M present and not present, that was also a second mastering . Could these things somehow be connected? It remains a puzzle.


  15. A year or two back when the 9M controversy was raging (OK, smouldering) one of my readers contacted Fred Cohen as to what he knew about the meaning of the 9M, and Fred said he had no knowledge. Effectively he hasn’t recorded it, so presence of 9M is not part of his authentication process in his book. It is an unknown unknown.

    We know 9M is present on many 1500’s and stops at 4001. Is 9M is present on every 1500? You would have to own them all to know.. If anyone out there has 1533 with a 9M, now would be a good time to shout. Otherwise we reach the point that “some do, and some don’t” and we are no wiser.


  16. Hi.
    Wondered if anyone could shed some light on this.I have 2 original Blue Note 161 Lex’s in my collection? Horace Silver Jazz Messengers BLP 1518 and Johnny Griffin:Introducing BLP 1533(playing now Mmmmmmm!).Both bear all the markings of first press originals:Kakubushi sleeves,no spine writing,deep groove,no r,no inc.flat edge at label,RVG hand etched,Plastylite ‘ear’.However,the Griffin has no ‘9M’ which the Silver does have.I noticed that you state on your Blue Note label guide that most but not necessarily all original Blue Notes up to around 1959 had the 9m label identification code.I’m not that concerned if my copy of the Griffin album is an absolute first press or not but it would be nice to get others views.

    I purchased both these beauties from Fred Cohen at the Jazz Record Centre in Manhattan in approx 2004/5 to my recollection when my wife and I were regular visitors to New York.Not sure what the going rate would have been at the time but I recall paying approx $250 for each of them.Needless to say they are the pride and joy of my Blue Notes.


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