Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lonson, Sep 1, 2016.
Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald: The Decca Sessions #3
Just want to add: as I upgraded over the years to better (and bigger) speakers, the classic 50s/60s recordings just sounded better and better to me (more true to life, spacious, etc), whereas some recordings of the 80s/90s started sounding worse (more artificial, obviously close-miced, etc). Even double bass solos became convincing.
Ooft.....even I have to say that's a harsh starting point in terms of sound. You did well to persevere.
In addition to the maestro and the incredible piano and bass, check out when Brian Blade goes off at the 10 min mark yowza.
I have beefs with RVG's stereo recordings of the 1960s, but drum audibility and fullness isn't one of them. He recorded so hot, the drums seem very big, full, forward and present (and sometimes distorted). His recordings in the Englewood Cliffs studio are very roomy sounding -- on the audible evidence it's quite a reverberant space, as, of course, were other live room (even more so say with Columbia) used in the era. That certainly make the bass in particular maybe less punchy and separated than it would be recorded in a less reverberant space with less creative use of mic leakage. But it also makes the performance sound like a whole band playing in a single space, as it actually was.
In the 1970s, a lot of jazz recording went away from that sort of paradigm and towards multi mike, multitrack recording, with lots of isolation of instruments and less or no leakage, often taking instruments like acoustic bass direct to the board from a pickup. The result certainly was much more extreme instrumental separation, but also weird perspective where some instruments can seem out of physical scale with others in the ensemble, and every individual musician seems to be playing in their own, mostly artificially added, acoustic space -- it no longer sounds like a jazz band playing together in a room, it sounds more like separate musicians held together in a kind of colloid or suspension. If what you like is maximum instrumental separation, that may be more satisfying to you than attempts to portray the sound of a band playing in real time in a shared acoustic space.
FWIW, the new David Virelles trio album was recorded in the RVG Englewood Cliffs studio by Rudy's former longtime assistant how inherited the studio and has put it back into operation and I think the sound is incredible. It doesn't have the issues Van Gelder had with piano scale and richness or with drum overmodulation, but the room sound is beautiful and instantly recognizable.
A pretty nice sounding older recording (1956)...Shelly Manne & His Men - Swinging Sounds
Shelly Manne - drums
Stu Williamson - trumpet, valve trombone
Charlie Mariano - alto saxophone
Russ Freeman - piano
Leroy Vinnegar - bass
A proper bookshelf with "dust curtains" to minimize long term damage from dust settling on the books.
Note: The CD sets where the CD slides in a pocket at the top will actually have long term damage from dust settling on the exposed top part of the CD. This is clearly evident on many 78RPM album sets where the damage to one portion of the record cannot be cleaned and affects the sound.
The high acidity of dust and the high content of toxic contaminants can do serious damage over long periods
In many recordings (both jazz and other pop), it is immediately apparent that one or more of the musicians was not present at the time that the soloist (leader) was performing.
It is similar to the sound of the human voice when comparing a live conversation (all present) and an artificially compiled spoken recording. The tone, timbre, pitch variations and expressiveness of the voice (even the same person) are very different when together with others than when in isolation.
Instrumentalists react to the setting in the same way that the human voice reacts. The sound is different.
To me, it is more sterile and often obvious when isolated tracks are used.
Most post 1970 pop and rock recordings suffer from this.
Love that bass drum
Erik Deutsch "Decades" Octave SACD
Impressive sound. I'm warming to the performances.
Logan Richardson "AFROFUTURISM" Whirlwind cd
Not really morning music but I'm digging it.
Sure. But at the same time, there are pieces that have been constructed from remote performances that can be very effective. One of the really interesting things about Dave Douglas's recent, pandemic-era Secular Psalms was that when work on it stopped because of the pandemic, Douglas was able to create the recording with each musician recording on their own often in entirely different countries, and the piece comes together incredibly well.
One can use any process one can imagine to make a successful piece of music. What I don't like so much about a lot of the '70s recordings is not so much that the instrumental performances were recorded piecemeal but that the instrumental production technique eschews the creative use of mic leakage and room mics to create a room sound in favor of close mic'ing and physical isolation techniques that create a separate sound space (and in many cases, no soundspace at all) for each of the instruments (and some of the wide, large scale, rock style drum panning), and of course, especially anything with that direct bass sound that was common enough in the era. And then the use of artificial reverb to replace what in a previous era might have been room acoustic reverberation.
I bought this in the 90s and this is my first time listening to it since then. This is an example of an album that I probably should've waited a decade or two before buying. As a young dude trying to figure all-things-jazz out Bud Powell was a name of importance, so I was told. But to my 70s rock/prog production ears this album was just difficult to take in for the cruddy audio - it really baffled me. I didn't know any of the tunes. It was like alien music to me. I listen now and think it's great and not anywhere as compromised as my memory of it led me to believe. Really fantastic playing on this, a phenomenal document. Too bad Mingus isn't very audible.
It's easy now to say that I could have bought something else instead but these were the days before the internet and youtube and streaming and this was literally the only Bud Powell disc I could find at the time. I made some wrong choices back then because I didn't know any better and had no resources to assist me in my goal - whatever I thought that was.
Bud Powell - Inner Fires
NP Joe Pass - Virtuoso (Pablo) k2 20bit cd
If its existence depended on Discogs, it wouldn't currently be in my CD player; reminds me a bit of Oregon (the group) actually - sax, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, drums/percussion.
The Goran Ivanovic Group Balkan Song Records, CD 001, 2005
There's a website listed on the CD packaging, but my computer won't go there:
A very enjoyable CD; I didn't know what to expect, and this wouldn't have been it anyway, and the packaging looks suspiciously like Tzadik, but there's no mention of Zorn or the label.
Goran Ivanovic: Goran Ivanovic Group album review @ All About Jazz
Rahsaan Roland Kirk: Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith
The discontinuity was probably the hardest thing to adjust to.
In addition to the reactions and instant choices forced by recording live, another of the things about being in the room together is the blending together of tones, and the 'ghost harmonics' that are/can be created as the sound waves whirl around the room.
Listening to Miles Davis and Barney Wilen at the Olympia Theater, November 1957 on the newly released Fresh Sound cd.
Another first listen.
Airto Moreira - The Other Side Of This
Craft has announced they’re issuing the Massey Hill concert in November in LP, Cd and digital. The LP is a three record set but a little steep, $100.
Hot House: The Complete Jazz at Massey Hall Recordings (3-LP Box Set)
The CD set is $25, Hot House: The Complete Jazz at Massey Hall Recordings (2-CD Box Set)
Two albums I've never tired of. Can't wait for the Plugged Nickle SACDs!
I was just listening to these two albums (plus Miles Smiles) the other day on MoFi hybrid SACD.
Is anyone familiar with the un-dubbed versions of the duplicated titles? I've only ever heard the dubbed ones.
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