Frank Sinatra / Capitol Sound Quality and General Discussion: Conducts Tone Poems of Color (1956)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Artur Torres, Nov 24, 2018.

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  1. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]
    Well, I see that this album is rarely commented here by the forum. I do not know the reason, but I assume that it is an album very underestimated by the general public. Maybe it's because Sinatra is the conductor of the orchestra, I'm not sure. And I regret that this album was not recorded with a more careful preparation, considering that it was the first album to be recorded in the new studio A of the Capitol in the months of February and March of 1956 and had not even tried the same. The sound of the album did not please Sinatra, the musicians of the orchestra and much less the engineer of sound John Palladino, that needed to make several repairs in the mix (for as far as I know). The CD remastered by Larry Walsh in 1987 has a nice sound, but I find the record a bit problematic in terms of dynamics. Well, Sinatra could have remade the album when Capitol started recording on multitrack to master in stereo or the project could have been postponed just before they started recording that way. But despite all this I love this album, it's very interesting. I wish I could treat him to his original masters.

    Who else likes this album?
     
  2. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Is the sound of the original vinyl good or bad? I only know the sound of the CD.
     
  3. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    [​IMG]

    First recording session at the Capitol Tower, Studio B, February 22, 1956.
     
  4. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    A correction: The first CD edition was released in 1991, not in 1987. I'm sorry....
     
  5. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    More photos from the first session.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  6. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Does anyone know the date of this photo?

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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  8. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    See thread: Frank Sinatra Conducts

    Further correction:
    (Additional release date details in the quoted post.)
     
  9. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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  10. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    One of these: February 28, March 7, or March 15, 1956. Details of all four weekly Tone Poems sessions are linked from this post at the SFF: Today in Frank Sinatra history - Page 24
     
  11. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

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  12. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    This 1956 record could have had a much better result (perhaps) if it had been recorded in stereo, but with the ideal microphone system. I believe that nowadays, some conductor could redo this album in direct-to-disc mode.
     
  13. sinatrapicturefan

    sinatrapicturefan Active Member

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  14. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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  15. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

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    I cut engineer John Palladino a whooooooooooooooooooooooooooole lot of slack on this album -- an album I've literally never heard, although I have it on LP and CD. (One of these days.) This was literally the very first project in a new studio, and the only prep time he had to actually listen and make adjustments was during the warmup/rehearsal time just prior to the downbeat. What a nightmare! Music had not been made in that space prior to these sessions, and certainly not "full orchestra" music, and the acoustic of the space was vastly different than that of the "big room" at Melrose that would have previously housed such an undertaking. That's like moving from a very nice (acoustically), large high school auditorium with a big stage area to a barn.

    Redoing an album like this (orchestral, non-standard repertoire) direct-to-disk, while a cool notion, would probably result in a whole lotta clams in the grooves.
     
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  16. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    CCan be. Now, if someone re-recorded that album in Capitol studio "A" today, would it work with the studio's current acoustics? As much as the room has a new stereo, this is no guarantee that it would work. And look, I'm an admirer of the studio legacy of Vine Street. And I also love many recordings made there.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  17. ZippyPippy

    ZippyPippy Forum Resident

    That makes me want to pull out some Newport Jazz Festival recordings, just to write a review that uses that exact phrase.
     
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  18. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

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    The Newberg Jazz Festival would have a whole lotta lobsters in the grooves.
     
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  19. ZippyPippy

    ZippyPippy Forum Resident

    Tone Poems of Hunger
     
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  20. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

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    I am sure very good results could be had, although of a different style than may have been achieved in the 1950s when these sessions took place next door in Studio B, which is still largely intact.
     
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  21. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Yesterday I asked Al Schmitt in his instagram if studio A has room for an orchestra of 80 musicians and he told me not to. Now, I know that Sinatra was almost suffocated with 60 musicians in Studio B. Is that appropriate, @MLutthans ?

    Ps: said "suffocated" because the room was full.
     
  22. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

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    Just my opinion: groups of that size need room to let the music breathe (to say nothing of the musicians). There's no substitute for cubic footage and naturally-moist acoustics when dealing with that many players.

    Anything is possible, though, and A and B can now be combined into one big space at Capitol, if that would help. Lots of variables.
     
  23. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    Coo I said earlier: I love many recordings made in the Capitol "Tower". Nowadays, many recordings made there are great.

    Now, this is my most critical opinion: I think the Capitol Studios do not have the sound potential explored as it could. Generally, recordings are very standardized in a single way of recording. I think you understand this better than I do and you have the property to talk about, @MLutthans .
     
  24. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

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    If Al Schmitt tells you something about working at Capitol, accept it as experience-based truth, straight from the master. That's my advice!
     
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  25. Artur Torres

    Artur Torres Forum Resident Thread Starter

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    No doubt. I have Al Schmitt as a sound reference.
     
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