Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers—Moanin’ AP 84003
Jackie McLean—Jackie’s Bag AP 84051
John Coltrane—Blue Train AP 81577
Kenny Burrell—Midnight Blue AP 84123
Fred Jackson—Hootin’ ‘N Tootin’ AP 84094
45 rpm Analogue Productions reissues of selected Blue Note Recordings
Jazz: Bop and Hard Bop
These titles represent the next five of twenty-five reissues of selected Blue Notes by Analogue Productions throughout 2008 and 2009. The first four are reviewed Here. All of these reissues are cut at 45rpm and utilize four sides per release. All of the releases are in stereo as opposed to mono (see the Acoustic Sounds website Acoustic Sounds Blue Note for an in depth discussion as to why).
Each of these five albums arrived in perfect condition and the free shipping is a great plus. At $50 per album they aren’t cheap but they are worth every penny. Musically, these albums, like the first four, are extraordinary. The Blakey album is pure Bop at its finest. Blakey’s drum work is beautifully rendered as is Lee Morgan’s trumpet. The brassy bite is lovingly rendered w/o any hard edges or glare. The rest of the ensemble is nicely rendered in that left/right space of early stereo. Blue Train is a revelation. If you’ve only heard the OJC reissue as I have you’re in for a treat. The AP version is light-years better and 5 times mo’ money. Everything is clearer, more luminous, and more detailed. If you like Coltrane you need this disc. Do you like jazz guitar, than the Burrell is for you. Burrell’s guitar is burnished with a nice harmonic envelope and a sweet detailed sound that actually sounds like a guitar. The other albums are equally worthy. Having not heard any other versions of the Fred Jackson or Jackie’s Bag all I can say is that both musically and sonically I can find no fault with them at all.
The highest compliment I can pay any recording is in how often I play them. These five reissues have joined the first four on my list of most played jazz recordings. Musical and SOTA mastering are combined to good effect in these reissues.
As a note, many have discussed the AP packaging and compared it to the Music Matters gatefolds. With out a doubt the Music Matters packaging is nicer, the pics are better, the gatefolds are gorgeous and in general the package is of higher quality. So what! I don’t buy this type of reissue to look at the packages but to listen to the music and musically these discs are the equals to any MM reissues I’ve heard. You very well may be of a different opinion. Let your taste decide.