I already talked about this PJ Series before but I just want to dig much deeper this time because this PJ series is really, really great in many ways.
Talking about Prestige/New Jazz reisues in Japan, most of you guys know SMJ, VIJ or VIJJ series Victor Music Japan manufactured, right?
SMJ in the mid 70's (some in the 60's as well), VIJ in the 80's (some in the mid 70's) and VIJJ in the early 90's. But this one, PJ was manufactured in the early 70's, specifically in 1972. They put the title on this PJ Series,
Prestige Jazz Golden 50
I initially thought that "50" is the 50 titles they picked up at that time but it was not...
50 means that they picked up Prestige/New Jazz titles recorded and released in the 50's.
Actually they picked up 20 titles in this Prestige Jazz Golden 50, also known as PJ Series.
They used the Prestige Yellow Black label design but for some titles, original was not Prestige, New Jazz. like George Wallington The New York Scene, Jackie McLean McLean's Scene.
OK, what about the pressing quality?
They used heavy high quality vinyl. It weighs over 150g. Basically, most of the Japanese pressings use 120g vinyl but with PJ, 150g which I think is interesting.
As you can see, the quality of pressing is really, really superb!
The sound? Surely the sound quality as well is really, really superb! Very solid, dynamic and balancing is also great!
They also put a high quality, soft inner sleeve to protect the vinyl.
OBI is also very attractive, pure RED and Black. Simple but really distinct.
The only downside of this series is that they didn't put the inserts...I think this is mainly because of the price that they sold at that time.
PJ series was priced at 1100 yen, relatively cheaper than the other jazz LPs at that time. I assume that they cut the cost of making and putting the inserts...
I also found another interesting story from a blog post one jazz collector in Japan posted. He says, at the time of releasing these PJ titles, instead of inserts, Victor Music Japan distributed a free small booklet containing all 20 titles and stories behind the scene! to the record shops and Swing Journal at that time! I wish I had one copy!
This is the front cover of that booklet.
This is inside the booklet.
Afterall, the PJ series, also known as Prestige Jazz Golden 50 Series is one of the best Prestige/New Jazz reissue series!