Help me select few vinyl LPs

I owe my friend big favor, and since I know he recently obtained high quality TT I'd like to buy him few "must have" well recorded LPs in Jazz or Rock.  He is new to vinyl and has only few LPs.

I had TT 40 years ago and don't know anything about vinyl quality.  I buy CDs on Amazon, buy there might be better places to buy vinyl.  I will be grateful for any recommendation.


Any idea what he likes? Personally, I wouldn't want someone to spend a bunch of money buying me new records that I might not like - for their sake as much as for mine. Or failing that, maybe offer to fund $x of purchases? If you stick to mint media and sellers with near-perfect ratings it's pretty safe.

New vinyl can be found on Amazon's website, MoFi, Allmusic. Just google the LP your interested then go from there. Happy searching! 

@dogberry   I cannot ask him (it's surprise) and we see each other maybe once a year (he is in Europe), but as far as I remember he is not into progressive Jazz or Heavy Metal Rock.  Kind of Blue would be safe choice, but he likely has it.

@danmar123 Thank you.  I will check Amazon first - quick delivery is a must (I'm leaving in 9 days)

Gift Certificate is your best bet.  For example, to spend on Music Direct.  Since he is in Europe, there may be a mail order seller with a base in the EU that would be more appropriate, but I can't name such a business.  I do know that Sam's Records, based in Paris, has some fantastic reissues of vintage jazz by performers, like Dexter Gordon, Lester Young, and etc.  These are so quiet re surface noise, and so well done that you don't sit there wishing you were listening in stereo.

Search Amazon for any of the Blue Note “Tone Poet” series Jazz reissues.  Have not been disappointed in any selection from this series and you could receive them quickly. 

There are many lists online.  This is a short list

and this is a long list

Both lists are annotated.  My collection (in CD not LP) overlaps both lists and I can attest that the albums I own are terrific.

@drrsutliff I found so far in Tone Poet series "Here it is: A Tribute to Leonard Cohen" - seems like safe choice.

@ghdprentice  Amazon (quick delivery) sells also 180g Kind of Blue but not a Mono recording.  Perhaps not the same sound quality, but fast delivery.  I got "Out of Cool"  on Amazon remastered 180g.  Also got Time Out/Time Further Out 180g.

In addition I got Ike Quebec "Heavy Soul" (180g) and  "Tales of Time" Bonamassy (3 LP, weight unknown) and Nina Simone "The Hits" (180g)

As for "sophistication and thoughtfulness" - nobody would ever suspect me of that.

I'm grateful for suggestions and am placing order now, but any further tips will be good for next year trip.  I assume that 180g vinyl is better than plain one (whatever weight it is).

Here goes…

OJC re release of Waltz for Debbie. Just picked it up on the weekend, a winner all around.

Muddy Waters Folk Singer. The 45rpm version. Can’t go wrong with this.

good luck


Grant Green -- Green Street

Miles Davis -- Kind of Blue

Try to get 180G records

Let us know what you decide!

I like diskogs, because I can find near mint or mint vinyl of albums that are not "current" pressings. I  usually source new releases from Amazon. I suggest that your friend considers using diskogs to catalog what he purchases. It makes it a lot easier, when visiting record stores, to determine whether you already own an album. 


Another vote for the Blue Note Tone Poet series, any of the pressings there would be a fine addition to a collection. 

Oscar Peterson is an artist worth collecting as well. Lots of great choices, here's one that I think is very well done:


Look for a Blue Note compilation album


One Night With Blue Note Preserved is a fun 3-4 LP  may have to buy used but a great collection of musicians

A card with a note that the Amazon gift card enclosed is intended for him to select/buy LP's for his 'new' TT setup transfers your excitement for his TT, and transfers the content choice to him.

Amazon card, because whatever he chooses to spend the money on, i.e. garden rake, clothing  .... is easily returnable.

Acoustic Sounds are my go to source for new vinyl. Their in house record pressing /  reissues have been nothing short of amazing. They offer quite a few Analogue Productions reissues around $50, and they offer UHQR versions of limited titles. The sound quality, jackets, boxes, and goodies included have always impressed me.

I agree on the gift card idea, but it is nice to receive an actual gift. Maybe a selecting one or 2 records and including a GC would be a nice way to go. 


I checked and Music Direct does not offer international shipping but it looks like Acoustic Sounds does offer FedEx International Economy shipping. You can sort by 45 rpm records on Acoustic Sounds website and you will see quite a few titles.

Here are some recommendations that haven't been mentioned yet. These are all well known audiophile records - the type of thing you would hear at an audio show. The highest quality sound is in the 45 RPM pressings using 200 gram vinyl. These are expensive but they are collectors items, sold in beautiful packaging and often in limited, numbered release. The UHQR records from Analog Productions and the Mobile Fidelity Ultradisc are very nice. Even if he already owns a particular title any of these are a great addition to his collection. I own all of these in one form or another and they all sound excellent.

Hugh Masekela - Hope
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue UHQR Clarity Vinyl
Diana Krall - several titles
Jenifer Warnes - Famous Blue Raincoat
Patricia Barber - several titles
Doug MacLeod - Exactly Like This (acoustic blues)
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
Stevie Ray Vaughn - Couldn't Stand the Weather

Send me an email and I'll give you some great recommendations.


Dave Freeman

OMG!  You say you are not sure what the guy likes, and you don't know what LPs he already owns.  This cries out for a Gift Certificate.

I throw out 3 for you to think about

Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66

Julie London





180 gram pressings are audiophile pressings… I think “normal” are around 120 (just guessing… and it is variable). Most of the time these 180g are better sounding pressings… but not always. I have a few 180 gram stinkers. If you start collecting them, then it is best to read reviews first.


Yes, I would get him the stereo version. My mistake if I linked to the mono. Some folks love the mono versions. I am not one of them and the stereo version of Kind of Blue is wonderful.


Yes, they are available from multiple outlets.

If you friend is 60-something maybe a nice copy of Television's "Marquee Moon". 

Look for the Elektra/Rhino release.



Thank you everybody for help.  So far I got

1. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue (180g)
2. Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out / Time Further Out (180g)
3. Gil Evans - Out of Cool (180g)
4. Ike Quebec - Heavy Soul (180g)
5. Here It Is - Tribute to Leonard Cohen (180g)
6. Nina Simone - The Hits (180g)
7. Joe Bonamassa - Tales of Time (weight unknown)
8. Black Pumas - Black Pumas (Delux Edition, weight unknown)

This should be enough for him to start.  Well known records, like Kind of Blue, can be easily exchanged with others.  My choices were limited by delivery date (have to have it this month) and often price.  One of LPs was $250.
Some, like Nina Simone, are "remastered".  

I wonder why many of available LPs, like Time Out, are imports - not very common with CDs.  As for sound quality, Jazz records used to be of good quality while Rock was catching up. Today technology is there, but some artists chose no to care.  Bonamassa concert recording Tales Of Time sound quality is very good, at least CD version, while Rolling Stones Grrrrr is horrible.  Jagger's voice is too loud and drums are soft and muffled.  



Since this is a gift, get an album from Better Records. Kinda pricey but you get a very good sounding album and it is meticulously cleaned. I believe anyone who enjoys listening to albums should have at least 1 in their collection.

Joe Nies

I had read awhile ago that 'Jazz at the Pawnshop', which was recorded in Stockholm Sweden in 1976, is one of the best quality jazz recordings ever. Quite a feat for a live performance. I bought a copy few years ago, a double vinyl. It is wonderful music, and beautifully rendered on LP. Highly recommended!

Check out a small recording studio called Newvelle Records. They specialize in Americana Jazz and Blues and all production from recording to the cover is top notch.

An absolute MUST HAVE recording is one simply titled:

John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman


Look for it.


Your so far list is definitely a good start, but also look At Kenny Barton,  Sonny Stitt, Kenny Drew and Oscar Peterson.  They each have big libraries to choose from.

All the best.