Legendary engineer Ed Greene talks about his Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd-"Jazz Samba"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    My mom and dad had the JAZZ SAMBA album on Verve in 1962. She loved the album and of course, it made quite an impression on me as a kid as well, helped me appreciate the jazz sax (which I really had never heard played like this before).

    Years later, when I was doing a version of JAZZ SAMBA for DCC (Gold CD and 180 gram LP) I marveled at the laid back, natural sound of the thing, so unlike a Rudy Van Gelder engineering from that era, no squashed, over the top sound, just realistic sound. Ed Greene at Edgewood Studios recorded the thing in a local church (for the nice, natural reverb).

    Well, a few years later and I was remastering an old Charlie Byrd album called "Charlie's Choice" which turned out to be the exact same album as Riverside's "The Guitar Artistry Of Charlie Byrd" and I noticed immediately a similar sound, older than "Jazz Samba" by about a year but unmistakable in tone, dynamics and overall recording technique. Sure enough, the album (an audiophile favorite) was recorded by the same Ed Green(e), same place, same wonderful sound.

    Playing my Analogue Productions, Gavin Lurssen/Mastering Lab mastered LP of "The Guitar Artistry Of Charlie Byrd" from the 1990's (one of the most flawlessly quiet LP's I have in my collection) tonight made me think about old Ed Green, what the heck else did the guy record besides the Charlie Byrd records and the Ramsey Lewis Trio's "The In Crowd"? He vanished after 1970 and I could never get a handle on what happened to him.

    Well, guess what, he didn't vanish at all, he just moved over to Television and he added an "E" on the end of his last name (no wonder I couldn't find him) and, BINGO, the guy is an award winning TV sound mixer who has engineered many important broadcasts for 45 years.

    Check this out:
    wwright, vdm, rxcory and 13 others like this.
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    I'll watch the video tomorrow, but very interesting. Thanks, Steve. I love Jazz Samba, and the DCC gold disc is great. I found a mint copy for a decent price at Amoeba in Hollywood a few years ago. One of my better finds there. :)
    Marc Bessette likes this.
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    You were at Amoeba? Why didn't you call me?

    Glad you like JAZZ SAMBA. It's a pretty nice album, and obvious from the video interview that since there was no control room and Ed Greene was using cans to mix on, neither Creed Taylor or the band had any idea what they just got down on tape or how big the album/hit single/craze was going to be.
    .crystalised. likes this.
  4. apileocole

    apileocole Lush Life Gort

    Now that's weird. Guess what album I was spinning after Thanksgiving dinner, about 45mins before you posted? Yup.

    The DCC. What a warm album. Folks like to say Stan Getz = West Coast = cool, but in this samba groove with Byrd it's rather more like Rio behind reddish shades. Rich, textured, natural, strong but unforced, the sound really breathes. :cool: Wears well too.

    Interesting about the evidently versatile Ed Green(e). Would that more recordings were engineered this way.
  5. LarsO

    LarsO Forum Resident

    I need to check this album out. I love early bossa nova and I usually go for the guys creating that style in Brazil: Jobim, Gilberto, Vinisius, Baden Powell etc. But this was the one album that introduced the style to USA, right?
    .crystalised. and Steve Hoffman like this.
  6. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    That was awesome, Steve. Thanks for posting! Nothing like the simple, direct, natural approach, and that album has it in spades with wonderful sound as a result.
  7. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana jazz vinyl addict

    SE USA
    I have this album too, an early pressing. It's funny that these Byrd and Getz albums (solo or apart) sound more like pop albums than jazz albums to my modern ears. It's not bop or free jazz, it's basically dance music in the jazz idiom. Really playable stuff. Unlike my much loved Mulligan and Konitz records, the Latin tinged Getz never annoys my wife when I play it.
    .crystalised. and Steve Hoffman like this.
  8. I have the SACD, how is that rated here?
  9. Aris

    Aris Forum Resident

    "Jazz Samba", great album.
    With a slower style, "Jazz Samba Encore!" with Luiz Bonfá was recorded shortly after, another great record.
  10. Changeling

    Changeling Aut disce aut discede

    Wow I envy you!! I got the AP SACD, but have been looking for the DCC disc for a long time.
    The album itself is one of those that's a true gem in any collection, and everytime I play it when having people over at our house, you can see them drifting away and just enjoying. I bet Steve's version is very good!
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    Sorry, Steve. It was a Sunday. I landed at LAX in the afternoon and stopped on Amoeba on the way to meet a colleague for dinner. :)

    I've gotten into Stan Getz samba material over the last several years. Of course, it started with Getz/Gilberto, but I enjoy it and Jazz Samba equally.
    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    I've been wondering that, too. The DCC gold disc is awfully good, of course.
  13. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Steve, Jazz Samba has been a demo LP of choice for me for many years. It's a superb, rich sounding recording made in a superb church. Natural and simply microphoned. Honest sounding as a recording gets. Like you are there.
  14. KeithH

    KeithH Success With Honor...then and now

    Beaver Stadium
    I caught a break there. The gold disc had only gotten on my radar shortly before that trip to Amoeba. I had held off on buying it because prices on eBay and Amazon were absurd. As I recall, I paid $35 at Amoeba.
  15. krlpuretone

    krlpuretone Forum Resident

    Grantham, NH
    Many times in a recording situation, simple is best, especially when you have someone who can play like Charlie Byrd.
  16. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    That was great. Thanks for posting it. Three hours work to make a perfect album. All you need is great music, great musicians, great acoustics, a great engineer and some classic Ampex tube gear. I like his philosophy a real group playing live in a good space.

    Creed Taylor didn't know what he had but he struck gold. My DCC cd version is one of my all time favorites. When you compare it to the MFSL release of Getz/Gilberto you can hear the difference especially in the tenor sound. The MFSL has a bit of upper mid range glare or brightness. I think that one was engineered by Phil Ramone, he is no slouch either.
    wwright, McLover and Steve Hoffman like this.
  17. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff

    Great stuff! I play the Steve mastered DCC version in the rotation every month. A very natural sounding recording, excellent mastering and you can hear the ambiance of the church where it was recorded...

    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  18. e630940

    e630940 Well-Known Member

    very nice to see that video - thanks.
    Steve Hoffman likes this.
  19. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Great record. The only version that I own though is Analogue Productions 45 rpm release.
  20. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes it was, although I was very young, I liked the unique sound (and was influenced by my mom, who flipped out over it, she just loved the style).

    However, that being said, wasn't Joe Harnell's "FLY ME TO THE MOON/BOSSA NOVA" the first real hit here in that style? On Kapp..
    McLover likes this.
  21. sacsongs

    sacsongs Forum Resident

    St. Louis , MO
    Take a look at the Ebay prices for DCC LP or CD.:eek:
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    If one compensates correctly for the inherent softness of the Ampex 351-2, it does capture the tenor or alto sax really wonderfully. The dubious overcompensation that some engineers tried to give this soft sax sound in those days (like on Getz/Gilberto) is missing from the Ed Green(e) engineered JAZZ SAMBA. Refreshing to listen to on good gear (or any gear).
  23. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Yes, Joe Harnell's "Fly Me To The Moon" was the first real Bossa Nova hit in the USA.
  24. bluesky

    bluesky Forum Resident

    south florida, usa
    Got the original 'Jazz Samba' CD mega years ago. My brother told me about it so I bought it. Played it once and kinda forgot about it. And I love Brazilian music: Samba, Bossa Nova, Brazilian Jazz. Jobim, Joan Gilberto and Astrude Gilberto (the latter being one of my 'All Time' favorites), and the rest of those beach folks, lol. I saw Dijavan (I know I spelled that wrong) 'live' in concert in Rio de Janeiro in 1980. It was so cool. I'll play it tonight. :)

    When I was like 2 or 3 years old I do specifically remember 2 songs - I was absolutely mesmorized by them: "How much is that doggie in the window" and Astrud Gilberto/Jobim: "Girl from Ipanema".

    Side note: When I was a little kid my dad was heavily into Nat King Cole, Connie Francis, and Hawaiian Music . I heard it all endlessly on the Zenith TT console. Then, later on in life, one of my older close working friends was 100% Hawaiian and we'd have a few drinks, and even just after 3 beers, every time!...here we go...he'd start singing Hawaiian Songs, loudly!, lol, the same ones my dad was listening to! It was so cool! He really had a great voice!

    Hooked on music and stereo. :)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    bluemooze likes this.
  25. Jim T

    Jim T Forum Resident

    Makes you wonder why we need all this kilo-buck gear to make a great record. Just great players, in a great space, and someone with the passion to capture it well. He says not more than 4 hours as kind of an indictment of the industry don't you think.

    I had been recording for our local university and at first we were recording in this huge ball room below the student center. 20+ foot ceilings in a 50 X 100 room on a concrete floor . The acoustics were wonderful with very nice reverb tales with my spaced omni mics. My recordings from there were the best I've done of this 20+ piece ensemble.

    Then they want to go to a small stage venue across campus that seats about 300 and the acoustics are as dead as anything. The side walls are within 10 feet and the floor is a metal frame riser with plywood, capped with 2 layers of black foam. The recordings from there are just acceptable to me and I have asked to go back to the ball room, but to no avail, that is not happening. So I have taken this season off from recording there. Once you find a great venue it is hard to go anywhere else.

    Thanks for the link to the short clip. Every time I come to this forum there is always something else to buy. Thanks.

Share This Page