The 1986-1987 Impulse CD Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Feelflows, Jun 6, 2010.

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  1. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Having searched the forums a number of times, I found an Impulse on CD thread discussing the 1986 MCA CD releases, but it was quite old, and not the happiest place on earth. I thought I'd reorganize the information presented by various forum members into a handy guide. Odds are that most of our North American forum members aren't going to run into a lot of 32XD Jazz titles in the bins, but the early MCAs turn up often enough. It's good to know what titles are worth looking at.

    In 1986, MCA released a number Impulse Jazz of titles for the North American market, with CDs pressed at JVC Japan. I have been collecting these discs for a few years now and have managed to turn up quite a few. In 1987 MCA released another batch of (??) titles for the North American market- at least 10, pressed at various locations- including Sanyo Japan, PDO West Germany, Cinram, JVC & Sanyo USA. At least, it seems this member J.A.W. mentioned that it seemed that each year's releases had a certain prefix: MCA-58XX for '87, the MCAD-56XX/JVC-4XX for '86. This certainly seems to be the case. Roland compiled a great list of existing titles from various Internet sources. I've bolded titles not on Roland's original list that I've found in the bins. Titles I own are in red:


    MCAD-5541 / DIDX-204 John Coltrane - From the Original Master Tapes


    MCAD-5656 / JVC-457 Count Basie - Count Basie and the Kansas City 7
    MCAD-5655 / JVC-458 Sonny Rollins - Sonny Rollins on Impulse!
    MCAD-5653 / JVC-459 Gil Evans - Out of the Cool
    MCAD-5651 / JVC-460 Benny Carter and His Orchestra - Further Definitions
    MCAD-5650 / JVC-461 Duke Ellington/Coleman Hawkins - Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins
    MCAD-5649 / JVC-462 Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
    MCAD-5648 / JVC-463 Art Blakey Quartet - A Jazz Message
    MCAD-5644/JVC-464 Ahmad Jamal: Awakening
    MCAD-5644/JVC-465 Quincy Jones Quintessence

    MCAD-5661 / JVC-466 John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman - John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
    MCAD-5660 / JVC-467 John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
    MCAD-5659 / JVC-468 Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth


    MCAD-5860 (no JVC #) Pharoah Sanders- Thembi (1987)
    **MCAD-5881 BB King
    **MCAD-5882 Olivia Newton John
    MCAD-5883 / (no JVC #) John Coltrane - Coltrane (1987)
    MCAD-5885 / (no JVC #) John Coltrane - Ballads (1987)
    MCAD-5886 / (no JVC #) Art Blakey - Jazz Messengers (1987)
    MCAD-5887 / (no JVC #) John Coltrane - Impressions (1987)

    MCAD-5888 / (no JVC #) Oliver Nelson - More Blues and the Abstract Truth (1987)
    MCAD-5889 / (no JVC #) John Coltrane - Crescent (1987)

    MCA-39105 Johnny Hartman Just Dropped By To Say Hello
    (JVC USA- does a Japan for USA pressing exist by this time?)

    The Jazz titles aren't grouped in catalog number, as shown with the BB King and Olivia Newton John titles mixed in. It is hard to tell how many titles were released each year. Anyone who has a 1986-1987 USA title not listed here, please help out by sharing the catalog number and pressing plant. I don't own multiple versions of the titles: I own a JVC USA Blues and Abstract Truth but the rest are JVC Japan (with one Japan pressed Sanyo & Denon). I'd love to know if the JVC USA or Cinram versions are identical to the Japan for USA pressings. At this point, I'm trying to collect all of the 1986 & 1987 MCA Impulse CD releases, I'd like to know how far off I am on collecting the series. I assume the Japan titles are identical to the 32XD series which came out in 1987. Not owning any 32XD titles, I don't know if the cover art is as bad as the USA versions, which are actually the most offensive hack jobs I've ever seen on an official CD release. Just terrible...but the CDs inside are the nicest I've heard the albums sound digitally. I need to know how many more of these exist!! Hopefully in last 3 years our collectors will have stumbled across some previously unknown treasures. Hopefully we can create a complete list of '86/'87 USA releases in this thread. I'm also interested if someone has a JVC Japan "Blues and Abstract Truth" to compare with my USA pressing through Exact Audio Copy, to see if they are digitally identical masterings. I would be happy to do this for any title I own, if someone wants to compare masterings.
  2. SecondHandNews

    SecondHandNews Forum Resident

    PA, USA

    I have those two titles. The Quincy Jones is the following catalogue number, however: MCAD-5728/JVC-465 I'd assume yours is a typo. It was made in Japan by JVC.

    The Coltrane title was made in the U.S. by JVC. Can't help out any more than that, but there you go.:righton:
  3. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    I don't think there were many more. BTW, I have a John Coltrane Meditations made by JVC, MCAD-39139, released circa 1989.
  4. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Both are awesome albums! Would you be able to provide Exact Audio Copy Peaks + CRCs for the Coltrane JVC USA disc? I understand that's out if you're running a MAC, but if at all possible...I'd love to know if EAC think it's identical to the JVC Japan pressing I've got.

    What do you think of the sound of these discs? Have you found more enjoyable masterings or are these your go-to titles for Quintessence & Coltrane?

    Great! Is it JVC USA? I'll have to be on the lookout, as I've never seen a copy of this one before. but I wasn't aware this existed until just now. What do you think of the sound? I don't think there are many more either -if anyone digs up another 1986 title I'll be gobsmacked, I'm sure the Jamal & Blakey Quartet discs were the missing links from the last list- but I'm guessing it's a higher number than 10 for 1987 and 2 for 1989. Especially when you consider how mammoth both years were for CD reissues...
  5. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    They did more in 88 and 89. I can get details although I didn't think it was within the scope of your question. For 1987 I think your list is complete, or pretty close. They weren't moving too quickly on the jazz stuff.

    Meditations sounds good. I compared it to the Verve Originals release which sounds much sharper, but perhaps what people here would call "bright." The Impulse CD sounds more like an old release, probably a master EQ'd for LP. It has each side as one long track while the newer release has five tracks.

    BTW, I have one other Coltrane Impulse CD (Africa/Brass Volumes 1 & 2) which turns out to have been manufacted in Japan by Sanyo, again released circa 1989.
  6. aoxomoxoa

    aoxomoxoa Play that fast thing one more time

    Dayton Ohio
    I have Mingus' Black Saint and I think it is amazing sounding on the original Impulse. I wish I had saved all of my original issue CD's.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I did about 12 of those, uncredited. Other engineers who I respect did the rest. All from the original tapes with the exception of SUPREME which was from the original Bell Sound cutting tape. Beautiful sounding series. Sold about 10 copies each or something. Did them on LP as well if I remember correctly.
    IanL likes this.
  8. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Uh-huh...3 of my copies are hole-punched, I think you're not too far off on the sales. I'm guessing the other copies have been sold by Toronto area collectors the past couple years as SACD or LP seems to have become the preferred jazz format around here (for the few who care at all). Honestly Steve, I'm not at all surprised to hear you did about a dozen of these. I'm sure you don't want to go naming which you did, but I will say that "The Black Saint & The Sinner Lady", "John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman" & "The Awakening" are 3 of the nicest sounding discs I own...I wind down to Coltrane/Hartman before bed almost nightly- It honestly sounds like a private performance in my room-most of these discs do-but Hartman's voice on the JVC is the best example I can give when I think of the CD "breath of life." :righton:

    Makes me wonder if those two 1988 releases we have listed aren't just held-over/delayed from 1897, rather than a whole new series. It's hard to imagine MCA greenlighting another 10 releases when the first 20 sold so poorly. I'm guessing there's still at least one more early Impulse CD here that I'm missing. Obviously MCA de-emphasized focus on its Jazz catalog in the USA. Given that decent Japanese releases continue into the '90s (32XD, then MVCI prefixes for the Impulse catalog), sales much have been a little better outside North America.
  9. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    BTW, in this 1986-7 period Impulse also put out some new records. The one I still have is Michael Brecker (MCAD-5980). They also had records by Jack DeJohnette, Mike Metheny (Pat's brother), Henry Johnson and some others I'm forgetting.

    The Impulse reissues went until 1989. After that they shifted to GRP for the early 90's.
  10. live evil

    live evil Forum Resident

    Was Charlie Haden's "Liberation Music Orchestra" issued during this time span?
  11. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
    That is from what I think was the last of that initial MCA/Impulse CD run in 1989, which excited me at the time because I was waiting for them to do the "free" stuff. The 1989 batch included that album plus:

    John Coltrane - Om
    Pharoah Sanders - Karma
    Sam Rivers - Streams
    Archie Shepp - Fire Music
    Gato Barbieri - Chapter One: Latin America
    Charles Mingus - Mingus Mingus Mingus
    Albert Ayler - Live In Greenwich Village

    These also came out on LP in single sleeve covers, with inner sleeves reproducing the original inner gatefold art.

    As I mentioned above, I believe GRP took over the Impulse reissues for a while after that.
  12. pscreed

    pscreed Upstanding Member

    There were a batch of Impulse CDs from 1987 pressed in Germany that included this title, but not in the JVC/Japan series the OP is looking for (at least that I am aware of).
  13. Feelflows

    Feelflows New Member Thread Starter

    Ontario, Canada
    Catalog # for the Africa/Brass v 1 & 2 disc? I would consider that a very lucky find. I can't imagine there were a ton of Japan for USA discs pressed by this time.
  14. pbuzby

    pbuzby Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL, US
  15. Fantastic, That's You

    There are 9 MCA / Impulse LPs listed in Steve's discography, plus the John Coltrane "From the Original Master Tapes" CD. I have copies of most of these. Most credit "Reissue produced by Steve Hoffman".

    It is news to me that other CDs in this series were mastered by Steve. Is that certain?

    Also, I recall the other titles on vinyl being 'digital'. Was that a carry-over from CD cover art, or are they actually mastered from digital?

    The Benny Carter title on LP is a favorite of mine.
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  16. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Well, if the man himself says so...
  17. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    I have:

    MCAD 5888 Oliver Nelson - More Blues And The Abstract Truth (Made in Japan)
    MCAD 42001 The John Coltrane Quartet - Africa Brass Volumes 1 & 2 (Made in the USA)
    MCAD 5886 Art Blakey - Jazz Messengers (Made in the USA)
    MCAD 5541/DIDX 204 John Coltrane - Master Tapes (Made in Japan)

    and then

    254 625-2 Elvin Jones & Richard Davis - Heavy Sounds (Made in Germany, 1987)

    I've always liked the sound on John Coltrane - Master Tapes, 'remastered'by Steve Hoffman of course!
  18. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Okay, here's a question for the experts. I just found myself a copy of Quintessence which appears to be from this series, but it has a different catalog number. It's MCAD-5728/JVC-465. It says copyright 1986 on the CD booklet, and the design/artwork matches the other 1986-87 Impulse CDs I've seen. One notable difference is that there is no mastering credit for Greg Fulginiti. The other ones I've seen say "Digitally Remastered from the Original Stereo Master Tapes" and then say "Mastered by Greg Fulginiti at Artisan Sound" in extremely small type underneath. This one has the "Digitally Remastered" tag but the tiny credit for Fulginiti is not there.

    Here's the EAC peak values. Can someone post the peaks for the MCAD-5644 to see whether it's the same mastering?

    Track 1
    Peak level 90.9 %

    Track 2
    Peak level 80.7 %

    Track 3
    Peak level 72.9 %

    Track 4
    Peak level 77.3 %

    Track 5
    Peak level 87.4 %

    Track 6
    Peak level 81.8 %

    Track 7
    Peak level 79.5 %

    Track 8
    Peak level 91.1 %
  19. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    I have this CD and can provide the EAC logfile to compare with the US 1st issue version:

    MCAD-5648 / JVC-463 Art Blakey Quartet - A Jazz Message

    TOC of the extracted CD

    Track | Start | Length | Start sector | End sector
    1 | 0:00.37 | 5:38.00 | 37 | 25386
    2 | 5:38.37 | 7:02.55 | 25387 | 57091
    3 | 12:41.17 | 4:44.18 | 57092 | 78409
    4 | 17:25.35 | 5:25.40 | 78410 | 102824
    5 | 22:51.00 | 7:27.12 | 102825 | 136361
    6 | 30:18.12 | 5:10.65 | 136362 | 159676

    Track 1

    Filename E:\Music FLAC\3. JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ\Art Blakey- Jazz Messengers\A Jazz Message (MCAD 5648)\(01)Cafe - Art Blakey Quartet.wav

    Peak level 76.0 %
    Track quality 100.0 %
    Test CRC CD367793
    Copy CRC CD367793
    Accurately ripped (confidence 2) [F52F9142]
    Copy OK

    Track 2

    Filename E:\Music FLAC\3. JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ\Art Blakey- Jazz Messengers\A Jazz Message (MCAD 5648)\(02)Just Knock On My Door - Art Blakey Quartet.wav

    Peak level 57.7 %
    Track quality 99.9 %
    Test CRC 3095A2AF
    Copy CRC 3095A2AF
    Accurately ripped (confidence 2) [1D33F279]
    Copy OK

    Track 3

    Filename E:\Music FLAC\3. JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ\Art Blakey- Jazz Messengers\A Jazz Message (MCAD 5648)\(03)Summertime - Art Blakey Quartet.wav

    Peak level 65.7 %
    Track quality 99.9 %
    Test CRC D1C446EF
    Copy CRC D1C446EF
    Accurately ripped (confidence 2) [A38D2067]
    Copy OK

    Track 4

    Filename E:\Music FLAC\3. JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ\Art Blakey- Jazz Messengers\A Jazz Message (MCAD 5648)\(04)Blues Back - Art Blakey Quartet.wav

    Peak level 82.0 %
    Track quality 100.0 %
    Test CRC 720299E2
    Copy CRC 720299E2
    Accurately ripped (confidence 2) [A0B8971A]
    Copy OK

    Track 5

    Filename E:\Music FLAC\3. JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ\Art Blakey- Jazz Messengers\A Jazz Message (MCAD 5648)\(05)Sunday - Art Blakey Quartet.wav

    Peak level 84.2 %
    Track quality 100.0 %
    Test CRC B018FDA2
    Copy CRC B018FDA2
    Accurately ripped (confidence 2) [3C3F5A3A]
    Copy OK

    Track 6

    Filename E:\Music FLAC\3. JAZZ JAZZ JAZZ\Art Blakey- Jazz Messengers\A Jazz Message (MCAD 5648)\(06)The Song Is You - Art Blakey Quartet.wav

    Peak level 62.5 %
    Track quality 100.0 %
    Test CRC BBB294AD
    Copy CRC BBB294AD
    Accurately ripped (confidence 2) [DC251E09]
    Copy OK

    All tracks accurately ripped

    No errors occurred

    End of status report
  20. 93curr

    93curr Senior Member

    Was the MCA Coltrane 'Om' CD from the master tapes? Unlike the later GRP, it had the unnatural fade/break between sides one and two.

    I recall being rather enthusiastic about getting rid of my MCA 'Black Saint' CD just because they credited "Charlie Mingus" on the cover instead of Charles, and that was exactly the kind of thing up with which I was not willing to put as a young whippersnapper. Just one more thing to regret in life, I reckon.
  21. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    Yup, I sold off my jewel box original issues in favor of the new remasters as soon as the notice hit ICE. 'Cause "remastered" always means "better," right?
  22. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Marysville, WA
    I was working at a library when then-new 1987-ish LP of McCoy Tyner's NIGTS OF BLUES AND BALLADS came in. I sneaked home with it that night before it reached the shelves, popped the seal, and copied it to VHS hi-fi. Gorgeous sounding LP. Wouldn't mind getting a copy of that again.

  23. I picked up two Impulse CDs today:

    - Duke Ellington and John Coltrane MCAD 39103 (MFD BY JVC) Made in USA 1988

    - John Coltrane - Meditations MCAD 39139 (MFD BY JVC) Made in USA (no date)

    No mastering credits. Are these ones that Steve Hoffman mastered uncredited?
  24. Campbell Saddler

    Campbell Saddler Well-Known Member

    Central Valley, CA
    On the CDs from this series I have, you can barely see under the "Digitally Remastered From The Original Stereo Master Tapes" orange print:

    Mastered By Greg Fulginiti At Artisan Sound, LA, CA

    The same information is on the vinyl editions of this series as well. The Artisan studio logo is in the deadwax runout groove of the vinyl. I don't know if there are telltale signs that SH mastered a particular album compared to this information...
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