Listenin' to Jazz and Conversation

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lonson, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. jazzfreak

    jazzfreak Forum Resident

    I consider myself as an audiophile and while I appreciate the music, I can’t enjoy the sound quality especially a lot of 50’s and earlier. Many RVG recordings are actually good but still not the same quality as after 70s. I find some of RVG recordings you don’t hear other instruments well especially part of drums. Just does not sound full. Nevertheless I have a lot of respect for RVG as we are still able to enjoy many of the jazz legends because of him.
     
  2. ganma

    ganma Senior Member

    Location:
    Earth
    Played today: Tribal Tech - X (2012). The final album from these guys. It's about time they came out with something new!

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  3. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    In a word, no, in general I am far from bothered by the sound. I guess I hear the recordings as sounding better than you, and I've also made a point both a) not to think that something has to be of audiophile quality for it to move me and for me to enjoy the listening and b) to have a flexible system that through gain-raiding, tube-rolling and the use of a great EQ device like the Decware ZROCK2 I can tailor the sound in significant ways that improve the listening.

    And beyond that the music is important to me that it transcends any sonic faliings.
     
  4. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    Al Grey "Snap Your Fingers! Featuring Billy Mitchell" Argo/Verve cd

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    I'm foggy this morning. This is helping clear the cloud.
     
  5. Kiss73

    Kiss73 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Fundamentally I couldn't give a toot about recording or sound quality if the performance is great. I have spent a lot of time with radio broadcasts and private live recordings of jazz artists from the 1930's and 40's to be very forgiving of sound. Indeed one of my favourite artists is Al Jolson and his recordings start in 1911 and are somewhat primitive.

    There is a world of outstanding music to be heard if you can get your ears accustomed beyond audiophile quality studio recordings.
     
  6. ILovethebassclarinet

    ILovethebassclarinet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Great Lakes region
    Weird; I think I have most of the other Vortex LPs, but don't recall ever even seeing this one...
     
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  7. pig bodine

    pig bodine God’s Consolation Prize

    Location:
    Syracuse, NY USA
    [​IMG]
    Bobby Watson - Love Remains
     
  8. Bradd

    Bradd Now’s The Time

    Location:
    Chester, NJ
    Thanks. I do have it.
     
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  9. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues Thread Starter

    Chico Buarque Songbook, Vol. 1, Lumiar cd
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  10. chervokas

    chervokas Senior Member

    Not bothered by the sound at all, and nostalgia plays no role.

    I mean, in the '50s and '60s, recorded jazz has some of the best recorded sound quality of any jazz recordings. Sound recording quality of 1970s and 1980s jazz isn't really typically better in my experience. In fact, often, it's much worse, with instruments recorded close mic'ed in isolation and rubbery acoustic bass with bridge pickups recorded direct to the board, etc. Like, what sounds better, Kind of Blue and Jimmy Giuffre's Free Fall or Bill Evans; '61 Vanguard recordings, or Lenox Avenue Breakdown or Ulmer's Odyssey or Weather Report's Heavy Weather?

    For the stuff from before the tape era, I do like to seek out the best transfers from 78 -- there is a really wide variety of quality there: some with ham fisted noise reduction that suck the life or body out of the music, others with so much noise there's little music to be heard and no effort made at proper pitch or pitch stability.

    There's also plenty of "house sound" sort of jazz recordings that I don't particularly like -- Van Gelder Englewood Cliffs Blue Notes (though I quite like some of his mono Hackensack recordings), pretty much anything on ECM after about 1980 or so. Sometimes I find I have to work to listen around the sound on those recordings, and in truth that often means I put them on less frequently than other music I like.

    But for me, if I'm choosing a recording to listen to because of its sound quality, I'm probably more likely to pick a jazz recording from the 1950s or 1960s -- like the '61 Bill Evans Vanguard recordings, or Sonny Rollins' The Bridge or Thelonious Monk Alone in San Francisco -- than a later recording, though there are some great sounding later recordings too -- like the WSQ live at BAM, or the new David Virelles.

    Of course, in the end, I come for the music, so, a recording of great music has to be really awful for some reason to keep me away from it entirely. But certainly there's nothing about, say, Duke Ellington 1920s Victors that keeps me from enjoying them.
     
  11. Berthold

    Berthold "When you swing....swing some more!" -- Th. Monk

    Location:
    Rheinhessen
    Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald: The Decca Sessions #1




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  12. Tribute

    Tribute Senior Member

    The most important element of any recording is the music itself and the creativity of the musicians.

    If you cannot enjoy music recorded before 1960, it is your tremendous loss as many of the most creative musicians were most productive before that.

    Hardly any active listeners today can honestly say their interest in music before 1960 is based on nostalgia, as you would have to be well over 80 years of age to say that.
     
  13. dennis the menace

    dennis the menace Forum Veteran

    Location:
    Montréal
    Nostalgia ? Not at all.

    Although sound quality is important to me, I'm perfectly happy with 40's, 50's and 60's recordings. As a matter of fact, I prefer the sound of those over the sound of 70's recordings that sound over produced most of the time. But in the end, music and performance matter more than anything and you can't beat those older recordings for this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2023
    Mark J, frightwigwam, Kiss73 and 5 others like this.
  14. Stu02

    Stu02 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Apologies, its a quote from a Monty Python show , which was a popular Brit comedy tv show back in the late 60s early 70s.
     
    Irish51, fingerpoppin, Staxus and 4 others like this.
  15. [​IMG]

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    "CLOSENESS" DUETS - CHARLIE HADEN - A&M/Jazz Heritage [CD]
    Alto Saxophone – Ornette Coleman / Double Bass – Charlie Haden / Drums – Paul Motian
    Harp –
    Alice Coltrane / Piano – Keith Jarrett
    Four track album recorded at four different sessions in the early months of 1976
    This is a crucial Charlie Haden release! All 4 tracks were composed by Charlie Haden.
    The supporting musicians are, as you would expect, outstanding.
    The CD was digitally remastered in 1988 by John Synder & RVG.
    The original LP and earlier CD editions were issued in a much appealing sleeve.

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  16. Tribute

    Tribute Senior Member

    Unfortunately, many recordings after 1970 have a completely artificial sound, as they are often "compiled" from multiple recordings made at separate times.

    They often represent the musical ideas of producers and engineers more than the original musicians.

    I cannot count the times that a musician has told me about a final issued recording: "That is NOT the sound that I heard or wanted at all!"

    They may have performed the music in the studio with other players live, but the final product may have removed some of those musicians, and added so many tracks or overdubs that the original musician does not even recognize the result
     
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  17. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central NY
    That's pretty much all I care about. And I'm not of the opinion that all of the RVG Editions sound crappy. Some are better than others. But I do like many of the old McMaster's. I don't have a problem with ECM. Like Blue Note of the 50s and 60s, ECM has recorded many of the greatest musicians in the history of the music after the so called "golden years" before the 70s.

    As far as member Jazzfreak is concerned, I'd recommend listening to recordings on the Contemporary label. Stuff like Rollins's Way Out West, Hampton Hawes's For Real, and the Poll Winners albums by Barney Kessel, Ray Brown, and Shelly Manne sound great to my ears.
     
  18. eeglug

    eeglug Senior Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    I guess with my own experience learning to listen to jazz I'm not especially fond of older recordings. My advice to anyone learning the genre would be to listen to clearly recorded material because I think the lack of clarity can be a barrier to appreciation. Once you've got a handle on things you learn to "hear through" the deficiencies.

    My pet peeve continues to be how poorly upright bass and occasionally drums are recorded on earlier material. It's not so bad when you're listening to an ensemble but more often than I like bandleaders insist on having upright bass or drums solo and depending on the recording it's a cringeworthy event where you even wonder if the microphones are in the same room. A lot of bass solos are particularly egregious in this regard.
     
  19. ILovethebassclarinet

    ILovethebassclarinet Forum Resident

    Location:
    Great Lakes region
    As this was one of my very first jazz sets, with notoriously bad sound, I've understood the nature of the problem all along, and adjusted accordingly; 'it is what it is, and not much is going to change that.'
    Charlie Parker - Charlie Parker

    Will AI 'improve' anything?
     
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  20. dennis the menace

    dennis the menace Forum Veteran

    Location:
    Montréal
    I couldn't agree more with that. Contemporary Records releases from the period 1955 to 1965 sound amazing.
     
  21. StarThrower62

    StarThrower62 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central NY
    I haven't listened to the new Rollins mini box but the 2010 Concord reissue of Way Out West is one of the best sounding 50s jazz recording I've heard.
     
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  22. Berthold

    Berthold "When you swing....swing some more!" -- Th. Monk

    Location:
    Rheinhessen
    Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald: The Decca Sessions #2




    [​IMG]
     
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  23. GnuHigh

    GnuHigh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montréal, QC
    Nik Bärtsch - Entendre

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    Solo piano from Bärtsch.
     
  24. dennis the menace

    dennis the menace Forum Veteran

    Location:
    Montréal
    Great recording, all releases of this title sound very good.
     
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  25. Robitjazz

    Robitjazz Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liguria, Italy
    I recommend it!
     

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