WCES '97 Recorded Music
Aaaah, the smell of new music recordings on CD and vinyl LP... Kinda like when in Elementary School i'd sniff the newly copied test papers. To say that vinyl's dead, or that CD is going out due to DVD is a BIG MISTAKE in my humble opinion. Chad Kassem keeps 'em comin' to us. Just take a look at this!!!
For fans of Miles Davis here's a no brainer, must have, buy it now or forever regret not buying it. Then you'll haveta pay some collector down the road much more $$$ for it. This here is a five vinyl record box set containing the following recordings:
Prestige 7014 The New Miles Davis
Also available now is Albert Kings great recordings titled "I'll Play The Blues For You." It's available on gold CD in HDCD and is a Stereophile R2D4. Can U dig it man? What's more, Chad's also made available two Gene Ammons recordings on vinyl. Nice An' Cool as well as The Soulful Moods Of. Both available on 180 gram vinyl ONLY folks. As Michael Fremer would say, "Buy a turntable."
One of my VERY favorite dudes who do reissues is also Cisco. i must say i just kvetch and kibbets so much 'bout these dudes. They're are out of Japan and use custom made or highly modified cutting heads for their Living Stereo and Decca reissues :-) . With the aid of minimal signal paths in the mixing/remastering stages and using 180 gram vinyl these guy do it right the first time. Needless to say i found myself spending a great, big, like forever WCES time discussing these matters. Last year it was with their head engineer no less! Cisco, for those who aren't familiar with their name, distribute some of THE BEST Decca and Living Stereo vinyl reissues in my humble opinion. My ears continually tell me go Cisco and forget Classic Records. My humble apologies Classic Records, but they just seem to do it better and quite a few of my friends agree with me.
ANYWAY, Cisco offers not only the Living Stereo and Decca reissues, they also offer Three Blind Mice recordings. As a matter of fact, three recordings on the Three Blind Mice label are also available in the new JVC extended resolution compact disc (XRCD) process. These three recordings are Midnight Sugar by the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio, Mari by Mari Nakamoto and Misty by the Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio). As another matter of fact, the Misty album won "Best Engineering" award, Jazz Disc Award of "Swing Journal"!
OK, so i've ranted and raved here BUT when the MUSIC is so very carefully and lovingly made, mastered (or remastered depending on the title) in such a way as to win music lovers and audiophiles hearts around the world.... Well, what would YOU be doing if you had to write this WCES review? Where would YOU be the very first day of the WCES show? YEP, like me you'd want ALL the newly released music. What was that you said? Buy their stuff did i hear? And that's exactly what i did!
Ya see the recording above. YEP, it's by Three Blind Mice and it also won the Best Engineering award too. So if ya enjoy that funk 70's electric piano jazz music, then i HIGHLY recommended this recording. Three Blind Mice has been the best jazz label in Japan since, oh, say the early '70's. Their records are pressed on HQ-180gram vinyl by RTI here in the good ol' US of A. Heck, even their original super-cut records of the '70 are now legendary! Need i say more?
Last, but not least we have Reference Recordings who are now making, dare i say it, vinyl. Well, they now also sell Audioquest's excellent recordings and shortly, the Mighty Sam McClain recording "Sledgehammer Soul...." will be available on vinyl! If you don't know who Mighty Sam is WAKE UP!!!!! He's one of the hippest soul/blues musicians on killer recorded audiophile-like vinyl and CD's. One cool cat in my humble opinion. Also available shortly will be Joe Beard with Ronnie Earl Blues Union, Doug MacLeod You Can't Take My Blues and last but certainly NOT least Ronnie Earl Eye to Eye. Ok, so i've ranted and raved about vinyl long enough BUT just as Mobile Fidelity seems to be slowing down on releasing reissued music on vinyl, others are gaining momentum. Yo MoFi, wake up and reissue something folks actually want to buy!!!
MA Recordings (say who?). Yeah, that's what i said too. Sheeesh, what haze did i live in? Their booth looked good and all but only offered two vinyl records (i've been known to walk a mile for a Camel, or vinyl) so what the heck. Besides, Harvey Rosenburg said their vinyl is schmokin' so i had ta check 'em out. Boy do i feel stupid because their stuff is awesome. They use some killer recording gear with all the right minimal mic'ing and recording gear too. Being a sucker for well recorded piano music i bought the title Itoema (for CD it's M024A, for vinyl it's Mo24AV). It's J.S. Bach Goldberg variations preformed on a, get this, 1903 Steinway and Sons Model D grand piano! MA Recordings used three totally different systems to record the performance. Separate all the way down to even the microphones too! Just to show you the care taken for this one recording (for which they have many), they used a Studer A-820 running at 30ips, Bruel and Kjaer 4006 microphones, and pressed on 180 gram vinyl for the 100% analogue system. The digital recording used just as tweaky of stuff. i auditioned the CD through Stax headphones i believe and the CD was also very impressive.
Ok, so now i'm home and playing the vinyl record. MAN-O-MAN Harvey Rosenburg is right. These guys really know what they're doing. Piano music is so rarely captured this faithfully and contain a performance that's enjoyable. i can count on two hands how many really good solo piano recordings here that sound like, well, a piano in my music reproduction system (and i have over 6,000 pieces of music software). So here's another humbly suggested recording. Since they have no www site, their telephone number is (818) 907-9996. Why not get a catalog of their stuff? The more i read, the more i like... You may too!