Blue Note Announces Classic Vinyl Reissue Series

(Blue Note Press Release): OCTOBER 23, 2020—We’re proud to present the Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, a continuation of our acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series which was launched in celebration of our 80th anniversary in 2019. The Classic Series will once again feature all-analog 180g vinyl pressings in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray directly from the original master tapes and manufactured at Optimal in Germany.

In a review of the BN80 Vinyl Edition of Dexter Gordon’s Doin’ Allright, AnalogPlanet wrote “this reissue is a success for Blue Note in terms of quality at a great price point, and I look forward to the rest of this excellent and affordable series.” In selecting the BN80 Vinyl Edition of Herbie Hancock’s Takin’ Off as their Recording of the Month, Stereophile awarded the sonics of the pressing 4½ stars writing “The sound of this reissue is strong and articulate, with balance and clarity from all the instruments.”

The first 16 titles of the Classic Series will focus on the enduring classics of the Blue Note catalog, kicking off on December 4 with the release of two masterpieces—pianist McCoy Tyner’s The Real McCoy and trumpeter Lee Morgan’s The Sidewinder—both of which are available for pre-order now. The Classic Series will be on-going, running alongside the Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series which is produced by Joe Harley.

Classic Vinyl Reissue Series – Release Schedule:

December 4, 2020

Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder
McCoy Tyner – The Real McCoy

January 15, 2021

Horace Silver – Song for My Father
Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil

February 12, 2021

Cannonball Adderley – Somethin’ Else
Joe Henderson – Page One

March 12, 2021

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
Hank Mobley – Soul Station

April 9, 2021 Sonny Clark – Cool Struttin’
Jimmy Smith – Back At The Chicken Shack

May 14, 2021

Dexter Gordon – GO!
Eric Dolphy – Out To Lunch

June 11, 2021

Grant Green – Idle Moments
Kenny Burrell – Midnight Blue

July 9, 2021 Freddie Hubbard – Ready for Freddie
Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage

Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder (1963)

Lee Morgan’s magnum opus The Sidewinder—recorded in 1963 and released in 1964—was both a comeback and a coronation. The prodigious trumpeter had debuted on Blue Note in 1956 at the age of 18, but personal problems in the early-60s forced him off the scene temporarily. His rebound recording turned out to be The Sidewinder, an assured and energetic set of 5 indelible Morgan originals featuring tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins. The album became his biggest commercial success fueled by the irrepressible title track.

McCoy Tyner – The Real McCoy (1967)

In 1967, pianist McCoy Tyner was ready for a new start. He had left the seminal John Coltrane Quartet two years prior and moved on from Coltrane’s label Impulse! Records, as well. With his Blue Note debut The Real McCoy, he made his masterpiece and firmly established himself as a creative force of his own. Featuring a world class quartet with Tyner joined by tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Elvin Jones, the album presented five timeless Tyner originals including “Passion Dance,” “Search for Peace,” and “Blues on the Corner.”

jazz's picture

There would have been so many different great Blue Note albums to reissue and now we see the same stuff again that was reissued at least 3 times already even using the same (great) mastering engineer and was reissued probably 15-30 times already counting all different releases of the same albums.

Thanks Blue Note for just caring for best sales and releasing the same once more, I’ll not buy it!

kelossus's picture

This is great news. For those of us who missed out on the original Music Matters releases this is our chance.

The price of those titles on the 2nd hand market is criminal and I am incredibly excited to own these titles mastered by Kevin Gray.

jazz's picture


Audiophilehi's picture

This is great news and 100% agree. I also missed out on some of these titles and will not pay the criminal prices that they are being sold for.

I wish the record companies would flood the market with vinyl so the prices woul remain stable

Way to go Blue Note

Grant M's picture

save the negative crap for twitter. More AAA blue note classics is great news, my local record store will have something to sell in their jazz section that isn't a garbage public domain rip offs.

jazz's picture


xtcfan80's picture

I have two collector friends both getting into jazz in the last few years. One is 28 and works in a coffee shop and is happy to see these BN classics for a good price. He does not have the $ to buy the Tone Poet titles or even think about an earlier pressing. The other is in his 70s and does not have 2-3 copies of Maiden Voyage or The Sidewinder to enjoy as many on this site who have been collecting for 50+ years... Don Was gets it...encourage him don't dog the guy.....

jazz's picture

I didn’t consider they might have released this series as a lower budget one in parallel to all the others over the years.

vinyl listener's picture

And it's not as if the earlier reissues are rare, except the limited edition MMs.
Time for some new chestnuts.

belait's picture

I couldn't agree more. A lost opportunity for re-issuing some of the scarcer Blue Notes. I have no intention of buying the same BNs all over again.

dmac's picture

These have not been issued in Analog at a reasonable price in years. There are a lot of newer and younger Jazz fans that do not have any of these LP's. This series makes good business sense for Blue note and is good for the vinyl buying public.

afarooqui's picture

Huge collective gasp from all those people hoarding their Music Matters 45 rpms and SRX's hoping for the day they would sell them at 10 times the original price... whoops!

jazz's picture

from my side they could stop this limited edition strategy which cares for rising prices every 2 years and the same reissues every 5 years. Why not just reprint the stuff constantly and give music lovers some other Blue Note music from the various initiatives than every time the same war horses again out of the big catalog?

Montpier's picture

the few surviving musicians (Herbie, Wayne, Kenny, Sonny) and/or their estates are receiving from these reissues? Reportedly Alfred Lion did not receive all that much from Liberty when he sold the company. (In contrast, Norman Granz apparently profited very handsomely when he sold Verve.)

Have to guess that this catalog has had a pretty hefty return on investment for Universal, so hopefully some portion of that might be flowing to the players and their families(?) Unfortunately I suspect it's more likely they received a flat session fee and I have no idea if any retained publishing?

Still it's a good thing if these iconic titles could remain in print in high quality mastered "semi-affordable" vinyl (as opposed to limited Music Matters or Tone Poet premium pressing/packaging) editions for as long as people are buying LP's.

On the other hand I'm increasingly getting the feeling that Blue Note's legacy is being recast based upon the extent to which more current artists have sampled the original recordings (cf. 2018 'Beyond the Notes' documentary; the German 'It Must Schwing' documentary also from 2018 is far superior). As a result some pretty lame albums are getting deluxe reissues because they might have had an inspired 30 seconds in the midst of a lot of formulaic crap.

While not certified "audiophile" fare, shouldn't the earliest Sidney Bechet Blue Notes (Summertime!!!) also be available on vinyl? Or how about the tragically neglected Herbie Nichols's brilliant recordings. I think the most recent US vinyl reissues for either of these were the very limited Mosaic boxes which have been out-of-print for over 30 years.

Montpier's picture

Apologies to MF if this is considered inappropriate comment, but related to my above, 50% of proceeds for vinyl documentary is going to the Jazz Foundation of America (JFA). I have not watched the documentary yet but the Jazz Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) group helping jazz and blues musicians who have been especially vulnerable in this pandemic.

Apparently some of the musicians the JFA have helped or are helping are among those included in this batch of Blue Notes...

Bob Henneberger's picture

pencil me in for 9 ..Its about time we are able to get these albums in AAA without paying a c-note

Rashers's picture

Pretty much all of these titles - MM 33 and SRX series. I live in Europe and it was extremely difficult to source those titles. They (North American) cynics don’t seem to understand that the rest of the world has not been able to obtain those AAA vinyl masterpieces in the past and this, at long last, is a great opportunity. It is the right thing for blue note to do - and the Tone Poet series continues to satisfy the esoteric releases.

dial's picture

It's only 25 $ each.

DigMyGroove's picture

Both the Blue Note and Universal Music sites have frequent sales and allow for coupon codes to be used on top of the usual 20% off. I've purchased a number of Tone Poet and BN80 LPs that way and saved a lot of money.

Of these purchases I've had three records with flaws requiring replacement. Two were scratched Tone Poet releases purchased from the Blue Note site, one was a BN80 title with bad non-fill bought from Universal. Both sites sent me replacement copies following my sending them photos of the affected areas. Blue Note was a bit quicker to deal with, but I was completely satisfied by both site's customer service.

ArcAudio's picture

I would guess the same MM 33 lacquers. 1. lacquer shortage due to fire may be a reason BN and the new AS Impulse series are happening. 2. Why run those vintage tapes "again" if Kevin Gray has already done so? I think as time goes on, we'll see 45 rpm versions for audiophile labels and 33 audiophile versions for main label.

jdrueke's picture

I have been wanting most of these titles for quite awhile and missed the Music Matters run. Most of these are a must buy for me and I'm grateful to Blue Note for making these available again in very high quality at a reasonable price.

Russo7516's picture

I would like to see DelightfuLeeMorgan and Candy Re-Issued .

Trevor_Bartram's picture

...that list looks like my first Bluenote buys from the late 80s, all classics. I slowed down when those horrible RVG remasters came out, I believe Rudy's hearing was shot by then, as is mine now but I can still tell wheat from the chaff, it's all relative.

ArcAudio's picture

Many people are asking HUGE prices for Music Matters releases. I wonder if these new releases will place a damper on that market. I hope so. The whole get online to purchase MM within a ten minute window (everything sold out in 10 minutes) is terrible.

swimming1's picture

So,I'm a little late here,but these are essentially the Tone Poet masters minus the extravagate gatefold packaging? Yay or nay?

shawnwes's picture

Premium pressings and mastering at BN 80 prices. What's not to like. Now I can replace some of the 75th Anniv lps I bought that don't sound so great w/o dipping into the retirement fund.

shawnwes's picture

I'm at a loss as to how anyone can complain about this news. Must be record flippers with a big stash.

chrisnail's picture

Can anyone tell me whether the Classic Series editions are limited? I can't seem to find any info indicating one way or the other. Because of recent distribution issues in Canada, it seems that none of the 2021 releases have made it to stores here, and I'm seeing that Blue Note is (at least temporarily) showing that the Horace Silver & Cannonball Adderly releases are already sold out.