Blue Note Jazz Recordings

Category: Music

Check out the RVG Collector Series from Blue Note. The RVG stands for the legendary recording engineer from Blue Note whos name is Rudy Van Gelder.

I have just picked up Midnight Blue by Kenny Burrell. Just a fabulous remaster of a great classic. The RVG Collection from Blue Note is worthy of every Jazz Library out there.

What RVG has been able to do with these old tapes and put them to 24 bit CDs is remarkable. There are now several offerings under the RVG logo and if the rest are anything like Midnight Blue, they must be special indeed. I know I will be looking for additional RVG titles for my Jazz Library.

Heres the link to Blue Note.

When it comes to jazz, it just doesn't get much better than Blue Note.
Thanks for the "heads up". I recently purchased one of the Horace Silver recordings, but was not aware of the scope of this RVG collection!
Am glad to see that they are releasing new RVG CDs.
And they are quite inexpensive too !

Most were recorded in his own house in New Jersey.
Talk about a career to die for !

A couple of classics that I'd highly recommend are

"Something Else" - Cannonball Adderly
"Blue Trane" - John Coltrane
"Go" - Dexter Gordon
"The Sidewinder" - Lee Morgan
Got lucky again found another RVG Blue Note Edition. This one is Thelonious Monk "Genius of Modern Music Volume 2." Originally recorded at WOR Studios on July 23 1951 and May 30 1952. Remastered by RVG 2002. All transfers from original lacquer discs to digital were made at 24 bit resolution. These are Mono recordings.

Do not let this put you off from getting this disc because it is Mono. This captures Thelonious Monk at the peak of his creativity and includes the rare and hard to find composition of "Four In One".

This is just a masterful job by RVG to put this to disc without loss of the original. Sound is marvelous and this is a very worthy addition to any serious Jazz library.

Very thankful that RVG and Blue Note are remastering and reissuing these timeless classics.
I have a question to the guys who have the vinyl version of these disks: how great a gap is there between the RVG remixes and vinyl with with a top quality player?

I really don't mean for this to devolve into a vinyl v. cd thread, but I'm curious as to the difference. I have loved these remixes and own over 50% of the library. I've sounded them against the Japanese TOCJ versions and found them crisper with no loss of liquidity.

As Ferrari says: these are great disks. Just want to know if they may be considered the high fidelity benchmark, or if vinyl still holds that title.

I have the titles being discussed as original or reissue LP, even a few of the first 10" Blue Note LP's. In fact, I have most of the Blue Note artists and what I could not find as first press, I purchased on Mosaic LP box sets.

I agree completely with your assessment of the music, it just does not get much better.

I do not have the CD's, so I cannot compare the sound. I will say Blue Note's musicians are so spectacular, and so important to the history of American Jazz, if it were not available on LP, I would buy the CD reissues.

If you venture into turntable land, I can make enough recommendations of great Jazz to keep you broke for years :^).
Whilst browsing through a few random threads this weekend, I learned of a new source that is really going to help save me some money. Interestingly, they just so happen to have a number of the RVG Collector series available. How could you go wrong for $5.99 a pop with free shipping?

Try this
Do have a copy of Blue Train by John Coltrane on vinyl it is a DMM edition on Teldec Vinyl.It is a Blue Note LP. Also have the RVG edition on CD. Have a new 24 bit CD Player coming, so I will be able to do a heads up comparison between the two formats. Seeing as the RVG edition are 24 bit resolution and the CD Player is 24 Bit as well, will be able to listen to Blue Train CD in full 24 bit format. Should be an interesting test between a Direct Metal Master LP vs the RVG 24 Bit resolution CD.

Will post again as soon as I have a comparison.
Well this Saturday yielded another RVG Blue Note edition. This is "Sidewinder" by Lee Morgan. Once again just another fabulous job done by RVG. With Lee on this is Joe Henderson,Barry Harris,Bob Cranshaw and Billy Higgins. Six great selections. Originally recorded December 21,1963 at the Rudy Van Gelder Studio and remastered in 1998 by RVG into 24 bit CD format.

This was Lee Morgan coming out album after his recovery from addiction. Title track went straight to the Billboard charts at the time and was a big commercial hit. This album firmly re-established Lee Morgan as a force in the jazz scene. Totally recommended for any Jazz library and not to be missed - just excellent.

I fully realize that I could buy the entire RVG editions on line and be done with it. However I enjoy visiting the small Mom & Pop record stores and buying from them. They are truly the back bone of the music business. Plus the hunt for these RVG editions make it just that more enjoyable for me.

There has been some sharp criticism on these RVG editions, mostly from purist I suppose. From the additional bonus tracks on these as well as cover art and liner notes, etc.

Personally, I find this somewhat trite on their part. I for one appreciate what RVG has done and continues to do with these remasters. The price is more than right at about $11.99 a copy or less. The sound is spectacular by any standard one will judge. Last and far from least is the saving of this great material to a format that will not decay like lacquer,vinyl, and tape. With his diligence this music will live forever. These additions are historic in their nature and is a true reference to American Jazz.
Was in a Borders Book & Music store yesterday March 1,2005.While browsing noticed in their music dept.,they have a great deal right now buy 3 CDs and get the 4th free.Also noticed they had a great selection of the RVG Blue Note editions at 11.99 each. However this offer applies to all CDs in stock regardless of price, buy 3 get the 4th free. One helluva deal. So check the local Borders Book & Music stores in your area, great way to save and get the music you want.
Islandear - Thanks for the heads up on Red Trumpet. Have bookmarked this for future use. The link is below

Will have to give them a try.

Great Blue Note section on this site.
I have purchase several of these RVG editions and think they are fantastic. Music Direct ( has recently offerred some nice deals of packages of 5 and 6 of these.
Blue Note LP vs Blue Note CD RVG editions.

Have been able to make this comparison now. And the results are below.

The equipment is Oracle Turntable,Sumiko Premier FT 3 tonearm with Grado Platinum cartridge, with Grado phono preamp. The CD Player used is the Arcam CD 73 24 Bit Dac.

Was able to switch back and forth easily due to the Forte F 44 preamp that has remote capability.

Compared John Coltranes album " Blue Train " on LP and CD. Coltrane on LP is the Direct Metal Master and the CD is the same title as a Rudy Van Gelder edition in 24 Bit format.

Being the vinyl junkie I am, been at this for 48 years now,have to admit that the gap has indeed become very narrow now. First got into CD in 1983 when there was only 25 CD titles listed in the Schwanns Catalog. So I do have some experience in the CD medium. Over that time have had several CD Players and in about the last 5 years or so CD Players have made quantum inroads in their sonic signature and probably won't be much longer until CD is totally on par with vinyl.

Like any comparison it is system dependent on the components used. Too see the complete system for this evaluation click on systems Forte/Alon. Fully aware that most of you have systems that far exceed my Forte/Alon and I tip my hat to you in that regard. However this is my current reference systems as it stands now.

First of all I have to admit this was a tough call and the CD format is a lot closer than I would have previously thought possible or care to admit to, being somewhat prejudice to vinyl.

Neither format was a let down to listen to, as both formats were very easy to listen to. But for overall sonic signature have to give the nod to the LP format, by a slim margin. In my opinion the Arcam with its 24 Bit resolution DAC has brought this much closer to the analog signature.

Brief description of the 24 Bit DAC as folows:

High-bit format for higher resolution and lower distortion from CD The 24-bit DAC re-quantizes the 16-bit digital signal to convert it to the 24-bit format. This process compensates for the conversion error that is created during recording. The result: you get a sound that is closer to the original sound, an analog signal with finer resolution.

Listen for several hours to both of these formats and came away with the conclusion, that if push came to shove I could live quite nicely with the CD version.

Rudy Van Gelder at Blue Note is to be highly commended for these reissues he put to 24 Bit format. No doubt he clealy knows what he is doing. Listed below are the formats themselves.

John Coltrane - Blue Train - BST81577LP-DMM on Teldec Vinyl

John Coltrane - Blue Train - 724349532625 - RVG 24 Bit CD

Both are from the Blue Note Label and on both Rudy Van Gelder is listed as the recording engineer. Nuff said there.

It is clear to me that the digital camp has been listening to the carping of the analog camp and finally beginning to produce software and players that have truly begin to make inroads as a serious alternative to vinyl. If the technology continues at this pace the digital format is not far off from being equal to vinyl.

I fully realize that in posting this that various opinions from the membership will emerge. And that is as it should be. Everyone hears things differently and certainly one's system and it's components will have an effect on what one hears as being the musical truth for them.

In closing I have tried to be fair and as concise as possible with the gear I have and based on some 48 years in this hobby.

Hello there.

I just got two of the RVG CD's last week. 1. The Horace Silver Quintet, "Song For My Father" and 2. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, "Moanin'".

I have many Blue Note titles on Vinyl but not these two. I don't like to own the same thing twice; I've done the CD/Vinyl comparison with only a couple of titles. I have a new-ish CD player, the Eastern Electric MiniMax. I actually would never have considered owning any Jazz, let alone the wonderful Blue Note stuff, on CD without having THIS CD player. It has brought recordings much closer in sound quality to my turntable rig: Rega P25, Dynavector 10x5 and Graham Slee Gram Amp 2 phono pre.

My observations with these two new RVG cd's is that the Horace Silver sounds very much like a good quality vinyl pressing... to me that = good! The Art Blakey disc sounds more CD-like in that it is a little more present with a little more high-frequency energy that can cause fatigue. I find myself listening to the Horace Silver more, not due to the music but due to the pleasant nature of the recording.

Of course not all my Blue Note albums sound identical, and that may be the case here... but so far I am batting .500 with the series. I will probably seek out more though. I am a huge fan of the extra tracks and the ease of getting CD into my car or on my iPod for example. But... but... if I go shopping and I find a nice Blue Note album I'd grab the vinyl first... but could be happy if I found the RVG CD instead... it’s all for the MUSIC!

PS. Kenny Burrell's, "Midnight Blue" is my favorite jazz album possibly of all time!
Beware of Blue Note releases that are not "audiophile" such as the rvg editions. They can be some of the worst reissues you will ever hear.
No problem, Ray. They may not have a huge selection of what you might call 'audiophile' quality recordings, but there are a few gems and there are probably quite a few pieces you can use to fill out your collection where you wouldn't want to pay full price. As a member of some standing, I can also say that their customer service is very good. Only one shipment with a cracked jewel case and they sent out 4 replacement cases the same day I complained!

Loonytunz,I signed up and found 9 CDs that i like in a few min..also a very good website,very user friendly!
Ray, they have a pretty decent website. It would be nice if they would add the ability to search by record label, though. I sent them a suggestion for same during a particularly frustrating session where I was trying to queue all the Blue Note RVG releases that they have available. I had to track them all down one at a time by artist! But at least they only set me back $6 a piece... 8^)
I have recently bought Blue Train (Coltrane) and Somethin' Else (Adderley) on Classic Records DAD 24/96. Both are very good. They claim to be very close to analog tape and I wouldn't argue. These DVD's require the right hardware, but I am OK with a Pioneer DV-525 and Bel Canto Dac 1.1 setup. I will be buying more of these.

My other sources are CD using the mentioned playback gear and my trusty old Linn Sondek/Ittok/Denon DL-405.
A lot of these recordings have something going for them in that many of the ninyl editions have edits on them for longer songs, plus extra versions. Even the 20-bit copy of Mingus Ah Um I have is worth owning just for the 17(?) extra minutes.
I quickly started buying the Blue Note RVG's as soon as I saw them online. I do have a complaint with the RVG remasters. They are high resolution recordings, but from a sonic standpoint they are lean-sounding. There is no comparison between the JVC XRCD Jazz remasters(example: the Prestige label) and Rudy Van Gelder's. I have 10-15 of the Blue Note RVG remasters and they are must-have jazz classics from jazz greats. But, the XRCD jazz remasters have meat on their bones, with a palpable midrange, exceptional clarity, weighty presentation and strong muscular bass. (sonics with impact). No doubt, the XRCD jazz remasters take my cdp and system to another level of presentation. I keep an eye out for XRCD jazz releases now because they are absolutely superior remaster recordings. I no longer pull the trigger as quickly on the RVG's; but if you want to experience many of the jazz legends doing ground-breaking classics you have no choice but to purchase the RVG Blue Note remasters. I just wish JVC was doing Blue Note.
I started buying the RVGs when they came out and found that Tower Records frequently holds jazz sales that reduce the RVGs even I think they do free shipping on their website. I agree with foster about XRCD for almost every type of music, but the RVGs do give those who aren't vinyl hounds (which sadly I am) access to some nice things.
I agree the new cd's are a little - I don't know that I would say lean, but dry or something... However when they went from mono to stereo many of the early stereo pressings and mixes were not superior to the mono's, and people said the same thing. Maybe the mono's gave them some bloat in actuality, although I know for a fact that RVG denies this. Maybe the original master tapes just were a little more dry than some of the better vinyl pressings. Vinyl will have it's way with us all...
I always go for the audiophile option (XRCD, DCC, Analogue Productions, etc) over the RVG issue wherever possible. As has been said earlier, there is just no comparison between an XRCD Blue Note (usually mastered by Alan Yoshida) or a DCC remaster (Steve Hoffman, Kevin Gray), and an RVG. The RVGs are usually dynamically compressed to sound quite loud and lacking "punch" or depth, and are also unnaturally bright. However, on the plus side they are very cheap compared to audiophile issues, and are very nicely packaged with original album notes, so this makes them very accessible and popular with those who are less discerning about the actual sound.