Blue Note Rare Groove and Connoisseur Series mastering

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by johnt23, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. johnt23

    johnt23 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I know that the late Mr. Traugott did most of the mastering of the Connoisseur series, but did he do anything from the Blue Note Rare Groove series that was released around the same time (1995)?
  2. Parkertown

    Parkertown Tawny Port

    I do believe he did some of them. I think I may even have one with "Mastered by Capitol" and also "KEV" in the deadwax.

    Kevin Reeves, perhaps...
    AnalogJ and McLover like this.
  3. Claude

    Claude Senior Member

    Are you talking about the LPs? Because the Connoisseur CDs were mostly mastered by Ron McMaster.
  4. Ragu

    Ragu Forum Resident

    I was playing Baby Face Willette's Stop & Listen from the first Conn group last night, it was mastered by Larry Walsh.
    funknik likes this.
  5. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Maybe the LPs; the Connoisseur CDs were mastered by Ron McMaster and Larry Walsh.
    Mark J and Dan Steele like this.
  6. johnt23

    johnt23 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Can we get a Wally thread going on his Blue Note LP re-issue titles only?
    I have two, and they sound incredible.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  7. Jim B.

    Jim B. Senior Member

    I went through a batch of Blue Note titles recently looking at the deadwax. All bought in the UK from 1990 to 1997 roughly. Most are these French mastered ones, but there was quite a few with 'Mastered by Capitol' and 'Wally' in the deadwax. But what I discovered is that it is very difficult to determine from the sleeve credits exactly who mastered them and where.

    Perhaps there is some logic to it but it seemed very random.
  8. wvbkelley

    wvbkelley Forum Resident

    Elk Grove, CA USA

    Do we know if the source is digital or analogue for the LPs in the Blue Note CONNOISSEUR SERIES????
  9. bresna

    bresna Senior Member

    York, Maine
    The first batch of 6 titles (or was it the first two batches?) were made from digital masters. The later ones were from analog. They stopped doing Connoisseur LPs after only 3 or 4 batches (of 6) of releases. These LPs did not sell well at all. Vinyl was not a big seller back then.

    I was never able to get confirmation of exactly when the switchover was made. However, I have heard several of the suspected "digital" LPs and they sound very good to me. If you want to spin vinyl, these should suffice.
    2xUeL likes this.
  10. wvbkelley

    wvbkelley Forum Resident

    Elk Grove, CA USA
    I bought a SEALED copy of "Ready for Freddie" Connoisseur Series LP and was hopping it was completely analog.
  11. SteelyTom

    SteelyTom Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass.
    The Connoisseur Series CDs (as remastered by Walsh and McMaster) are the best-sounding of all US-issued Blue Note CDs, with the exception of (or prior to) the APO SACDs. You get hi-res without the narrowing of the stereo spread and diddling that mars many of the RVGs.
    Dan Steele, McLover and theron d like this.
  12. Tom Campbell

    Tom Campbell Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    Blue Note did vinyl for the first three batches of Connoisseur titles (and they are generally excellent):

    SERIES I (1994)
    Ornette Coleman – The Empty Foxhole
    Don Cherry – Symphony for Imrovisers
    Cliff Jordan and John Gilmore – Blowing in from Chicago
    Kenny Dorham – Whistle Stop
    Freddie Redd – “The Connection”
    Andrew Hill - Judgement
    J.R. Monterose – S/T
    Bobby Hutcherson – Components
    Wayne Shorter – The All-Seeing Eye
    Johnny Griffin – The Congregation
    Tina Brooks – True Blue
    Baby Face Willette – Stop and Listen

    SERIES II (1995)
    Jackie McLean – Destination Out!
    Grant Geen – Green Street
    Grachan Moncur III – Some Other Stuff
    Wayne Shorter - Schizophrenia
    Andrew Hill – Smokestack
    Lee Morgan - Leeway
    Ike Quebec – Heavy Soul
    Pete La Roca - Basra
    Dizzy Reece – Blues in Trinity
    Freddie Hubbard – Ready for Freddie
    Lou Donaldson – Sunny Side Up
    Walter Davis Jr. – Davis Cup

    SERIES III (1995)
    Lee Morgan – The Procrastinator
    Grant Green - Solid
    Wayne Shorter – Etcetera
    Bobby Hutcherson - Patterns
    Hank Mobley – A Slice of the Top
    mofuk, Dai and Dan Steele like this.
  13. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues

    I guess we're all different. I don't like the sound of the Connoisseur cds.
    rxcory likes this.
  14. SteelyTom

    SteelyTom Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass.
    Lonson's a big fan of RVGs, I know.... I think Connoisseurs like Andrew!!! and Etcetera are great-sounding CDs. That said, I'm a big fan of DSD, over and apart from the Hoffman/Grey contribution.
  15. bresna

    bresna Senior Member

    York, Maine
    But they were issued in batches of 6, spaced about 6 months apart. Here are the dates:
    Ornette Coleman - The Empty Foxhole
    Andrew Hill - Judgment
    Bobby Hutcherson - Components
    Freddie Redd - The Connection
    Wayne Shorter - The All Seeing Eye
    Baby Face Willette - Stop And Listen

    Tina Brooks - True Blue
    Don Cherry - Symphony For Improvisers
    Kenny Dorham - Whistle Stop
    Johnny Griffin - The Congregation
    Clifford Jordan & John Gilmore - Blowing In From Chicago
    J. R. Monterose

    Grant Green - Green Street
    Pete LaRoca - Basra
    Jackie McLean - Destination Out
    Grachan Moncur III - Some Other Stuff
    Lee Morgan - Lee-Way
    Ike Quebec - Heavy Soul

    Dizzy Reece - Blues In Trinity
    Freddie Hubbard - Ready For Freddie
    Lou Donaldson - Sunny Side Up
    Shorter, Wayne - Schizophrenia
    Andrew Hill - Smokestack
    Walter Davis, Jr. - Davis Cup

    Lee Morgan - The Procrastinator
    Grant Green - Solid
    Wayne Shorter - Etcetera
    Hank Mobley - A Slice Of The Top
    Bobby Hutcherson - Patterns

    I know that at least the 1st batch of 6 were cut from digital masters. After that, I was never able to get a definite answer, just that by the end, they were back to analog.

    As for the sound quality of these Connoisseur CDs, I am not all that fond of many of the ones with "SBM" on the back. Something about CDs mastered with SBM just doesn't sound right. This includes the Dexter Gordon & Herbie Hancock boxes.
    Dai likes this.
  16. william shears

    william shears Senior Member

    new zealand
    That Ike Quebec sound lovely on Connoisseur vinyl.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  17. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Senior Member

    brooklyn, ny
    A few of these are sonic standouts:

    Bobby Hutcherson - Patterns
    Grant Green - Solid
    Grachan Moncur III - Some Other Stuff
    Jackie McLean - Destination Out
    Pete LaRoca - Basra

    The early records sound a bit too bright for my liking. The series was hitting its stride just as it was cancelled. There was also a truly dreadful pressing of Lee Morgan's Sidewinder.
    Dai and Dan Steele like this.
  18. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm an ear sitting in the sky

    They are some of the finest mastered Jazz CDs available. I would say on par with analogue productions SACDs.
    Dan Steele likes this.
  19. bilgewater

    bilgewater Forum Resident

    My goodness, how incredibly cool is that list of conn. blue note lps?

    Cripes-- I'm looking at Andrew Hill, Shorter, Moncur, McLean, Cherry, all in that incredible sweet spot of mid-1960s Blue Note where these folks are really figuring how to come to terms with the Ornette Coleman paradigm-shift, the post-Monk magic of Andrew Hill, the serpentine mysteries of Shorter and Hutcherson, all alongside the wild ferment of the anti-racist revolution generating titles like LET FREEDOM RING.

    I've bought a few of those lps used and always look out for them. The originals are of course outrageously priced and for orthodontists only, at this point.But one can find these Conn lps for not much more than the recent Scorpio reissues that can be very sketchy.
    Greenalishi, Dai and Dan Steele like this.
  20. theron d

    theron d Forum Resident

    Baltimore MD
    Any ones particular that you can recommend? (Thanks in Advance)

    I just purchased my first Blue Note Connoisseur CD of Freddie Hubbard/Ready For Freddie and I think its sounds excellent!:righton:

    Dan Steele likes this.
  21. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa I'm an ear sitting in the sky


    Jackie McLean - Destination Out...
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  22. theron d

    theron d Forum Resident

    Baltimore MD
    thanks for the quick response! :) I'll listen to some sound bites and see if its to my liking....any other suggestions?

  23. D Schnozzman

    D Schnozzman Forum Resident

    Sydney, Australia
    Don't think these have been mentioned yet: I have Wally-mastered LPs of Let 'em Roll by Big John Patton and Point of Departure by Andrew Hill. They're t'riffic. Not sure whether they were Connoisseur Series releases or not, since I got 'em used and they were without those OBI-type things that the Connoisseur series had.
  24. bresna

    bresna Senior Member

    York, Maine
    I believe "Let 'Em Roll" was issued in the Rare Groove series which was separate from the Connoisseur Series. Believe it or not, they issued these titles on vinyl for the "scratchers" of the day. :)

    "Point of Departure" was part of an all analog reissue series from the early 90s. There were 10 or 15 titles issued, all big sellers like "Blue Train, "Soul Station", "Maiden Voyage", "The Sidewinder", "Point Of Departure" , "Something Else" and others.

  25. action pact

    action pact Music Omnivore

    Last week I picked up a used copy of the Johnny Griffin album from Series 1, mastered by Wally and supposedly transferred from digital. Sounds pretty darn good to me, very warm and natural.

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