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Thread: AP Blue Notes 10-13

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    Super User risabet's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    Default AP Blue Notes 10-13

    Cannonball Adderley—Somethin’ Else AP 81595
    Ike Quebec—It Might As Well Be Spring AP 84105
    Dexter Gordon—Go AP 84112
    Art Taylor—A. Ts. Delight AP 84047

    45 rpm Analogue Productions reissues of selected Blue Note Recordings

    Jazz: Bop and Hard Bop

    These titles represent the next four (10 through 13) of twenty-five reissues of selected Blue Notes by Analogue Productions. The first four (1 through 4) are reviewed Here. 5 through 9 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).

    Somethin’ Else (Orig. 1958)

    Let’s begin with what I consider the best of this group of releases. Somethin’ Else is simply a stunning reissue of a classic jazz album. This ensemble is tight and plays with some serious passion. The interplay between Miles Davis and Cannonball is beautifully rendered, with Miles horn having a sweet, burnished sound. Both with the mute and without, the horn has the true sound of brass, never tinny or harsh; Miles has never sounded better IMS. Cannonball’s alto is just as well recorded with a nice breathy reediness that has a real sound, the vibration of the air in the horn is quite audible and believable, mmm, reedy saxophone goodness. The last track (Dancin’ In The Dark) has Davis in the left channel, just inside the left speaker playing a nice melody that is offset with a nice backing of drums and bass.

    It Might As Well Be Spring (Orig. 1961)

    Not familiar with Ike Quebec? This album is a great intro to a fine musician, playing great music and a grand recording of Quebec originals, the classic “Old Man River,” and others. Backed by a rhythm section of Milt Hinton on bass and Al Harewood on drums “It Might As Well Be Spring” stands out for the warm, full tone of Quebec’s horn and the driving, swinging organ (no pun intended) of Freddie Roach on the Hammond B-3 I think. Not that the rhythm section is by any stretch lacking, Hinton supports the melody with a deep yet fluid line and Harewood can swing when needed yet always keeps tight time, this album is a pleasure to listen to.

    Go (Orig. 1962)

    Dexter Gordon, Sonny Clark (Piano), Butch Warren (Bass), and Billy Higgins (Drums) form a quartet that is definitely worth the not inconsiderable price of admission. As is usually the case, Gordon is fluid and melodic with great drive and power. The fullness of the horn is a pleasure, rich and full of harmonics. “Second Balcony Jump” has Gordon riffing off notes with aplomb, each note on its on little cushion of air. When Clark enters his piano is dead center and in the room. The playing through out is lovely and the sound is lovingly reproduced. The rhythm section is as real as one could ask for with nice clean bass lines and snappy drumming. There is not a weak track on the album.

    A. Ts. Delight (Orig. 1960)

    The idea of drummer as leader has a unique connection to jazz. Art Blakey, Gene Krupa, and Buddy Rich are prime examples of this idea. To that list add Art Taylor. Taylor keeps the beat but really drives the music with swing and a heavy sense of rhythmic control. This album is difficult, music by Monk and Coltrane along with two pieces by Kenny Dorham and two tracks with an island sound lead to a wonderful mix of music played extremely well. On Syeeda’s Song Flute, the horns play top notch solos, Burn’s trumpet and Turrentine’s sax are both nicely recorded and offer a subtle interplay with Burns in the left and Turrentine in the right. Wynton Kelly’s solo is both lyrical and commanding, a real piano in a real space. The bass and drums swing; an integral part of the sound. The other tracks are equally good and again this is worth the cost.

    The overall excellence of the music and the sound of these reissues lead one to think about how good the originals must have been (are). These are mastered from 40 to 50 year-old master tapes so one must think that the high frequencies are not as recorded. Yet the cymbals shimmer and ring as in real life, though maybe further back in the club. Maybe the collectors of the $300 to $500 and up originals are on to something. I can say that these are so much better than the cheap reissues by such a large margin as to make those lesser reissues laughable.
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