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Bill Evans, Waltz for Debby

Discussion in 'music' started by efp, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’d expect Analogue Productions vinyl to be superb, the lone example I have (Sonny Rollins Way Out West) certainly is, but I can’t recall ever having been irritated by the cymbals on either of my systems from the 3xCD box. It sounds great to me.
  2. MotelBlues

    MotelBlues pfm Member

    I’ve got “Way Out West” as well, and from memory “Waltz For Debby” is just as good, apart from the sizzling. (“Milestones” usually gets deployed for demos.) I just wondered whether the cymbal sound on those recordings was some kind of elephant in the room that nobody ever talks about when discussing the (mostly fantastic) sonics.
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve just stuck Milestones on from the 3xCD box and the ride cymbal is pretty prominent, but it sounds very good to me - obvious stick hit (definitely sticks on that track, not brushes) and a natural decay, the whole kit located behind and slightly to the left (i.e. very wide) of the left speaker (Lockwood Tannoy), though with a little of the treble bleed to the right I described above where I suspect the piano mic is getting some when Motain really smacks it, especially when he’s using sticks.

    Comparing it to the copy of Waltz For Debbie in the Complete Riverside & Milestone box (a true bargain at present, folk really need to buy this!) which I’m pretty certain is the lovely old OJC masterings throughout so will almost certainly be a flat master transfer. It does sound a little different, and maybe a little brighter than the Village Vanguard box, but still very, very good (it may even be better to be honest). I have no issue with the cymbals on either mastering. I guess it could be argued they are a little too prominent, but there is no clipping or anything to my ears, very nicely recorded indeed, as is the whole session.
    MotelBlues likes this.
  4. krenzler

    krenzler pfm Member

  5. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    The Village Vanguard sessions plus the two studio albums from this trio are essential IMO. Personally I do not think Bill Evans ever really reached this level of communication and performance with his other trios, of which there are very many.

    Motian's drumming on the VV recordings has always sounded 'tizzy' to me, and I have several versions - on various CDs and Japanese LPs (but not the 3 CD complete box). I think it has more to do with his drumming style. Further, any big separation of instruments is likely to be artificially exaggerated as anyone who has been to the Vanguard will testify. The musicians are crammed into a tiny stage in an odd triangular space.

    David B Jones did the live recording and it is stunning. I don't know if he made other jazz recordings but he did make a lot of recordings for Indian classical music on the Nonesuch and Connoisseur labels, most notably of Ali Akbar Khan. Needless to say, they too are very good.
    paulfromcamden likes this.
  6. vantheman

    vantheman pfm Member

    I have the 96k download and it’s wonderful, cymbals sound fine
  7. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    As an aside, I’m listening to the Bill Evans Live At Montreux album. Sublime - and a quiet audience!
  8. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Just bought the box set as instructed 15 x CD's for £30! I have a few of them on cd/vinyl but not ideal pressings, e.g. 'Everybody digs..' with lots of surface noise. Not wanting to start a 'heated debate' but I do wonder why people bother with downloads/streaming when such deals are available. I remember buying Louis Armstrong complete hot 5s & 7s box set for a fiver! The building blocks of modern music for the price of a pint.
    Weekender likes this.
  9. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It occured to me that the cymbal ‘thing’ is at exactly the area some cartridges are less that their best, e.g. I could understand the top being a bit much with say a 2M Black or typical Lyra that do push the top a bit. I’ve only got this stuff on CD and really don’t have an issue beyond, being really pedantic, thinking the mix was probably done for when Motain was playing the kit with brushes rather than sticks, so when he changes the cymbals do become a little over-prominent, but I just accept that as part of his playing style/the sound of the whole event. He certainly likes his cymbals and plays the top end of the kit beautifully IMHO, e.g. his solo stuff on ECM is wonderful too (try I Have The Room Above Her).
  10. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I also really like the 'live at Shellys..', much looser in feel. Even when Evans was properly in his cups he still played like no other. Hard to express but he seemed to have this almost painterly lightness of touch. Just so unique
  11. Weekender

    Weekender pfm Member

    Darn it...I have four or five of those on vinyl but that is too good to miss.
  12. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It really is a bargain. It is a large fairly lightweight box containing four ‘fat-case’ jewel cases and a fairly minimal booklet, so not the nicest presentation, but it is entirely legitimate and the mastering is lovely. It is the original ‘80s OJC or Japanese VDJ mastering (usually the same thing) with any bonus tracks as they appear on the tape rather than at the end.

    These masterings have a reputation for being the laziest imaginable, i.e. they just threaded up the master up and pressed ‘record’ on the digital recorder, so no nasty compression, no hyped-up re-eq for crappy speakers, no dreadful ‘no noise’ filters or any of the other things that ruin so much modern remastering. They sound great, just like say Ron McMaster’s Blue Notes. FWIW a fairly young at the time Steve Hoffman did a fair number of the Riverside/Prestige OJCs, though I’ve no idea if any of these are his. They are great anyhow, really nothing to complain about unless you really want the original artwork on individual CD cases rather than in the booklet.
    Weekender likes this.
  13. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Golly, do I ever have a lot of soul!

    I’ve always been a bit perplexed by Paul Motian’s apparent position on the VV recordings - to me one of the cymbals seems to be to the left of the bass as Tony mentioned above, others to the right (I don’t know which cymbal is which by name, sorry) but the rest of the kit seems to be centre/centre-left in front of the telly. Then there’s a bit of a gap until we find Bill on the other side of the fireplace in the alcove on the right.
  14. MotelBlues

    MotelBlues pfm Member

    And with that one word you may have identified the gist of the problem.

    Just compared my first play needledrop of “My Foolish Heart” (recorded when I had an Orbe/SME V/Lyra Dorian) with the same record on my current system (301/SME V/Cadenza Black) and the cymbals do get a bit uncouth on the Lyra right at the end. There does seem to be a lot of treble energy on that recording, though; maybe that’s what’s thrown me, as well as the Lyra effect.
  15. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Green Member

    I'm lucky enough to have a copy of the master-tape for Waltz for Debby

    Left and right are swapped from all the vinyl and CD copies I have.

    Isn't that interesting!
  16. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    Well, that's ruined it for everyone
  17. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Green Member

    Could still be right before - maybe the mics were plugged in the wrong sockets (IIRC 1/4" ATR 15 ips machine was used to record) and then corrected when editing. Then 50 years later someone comes and copies the original...

    Ideally you'd want a picture of the set.
  18. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    There is a very similar thing with the Getz Gilberto album where the master is different to the first released vinyl (which is therefore considered the reference as it is what introduced the music to the public, despite being an accident). In this case there have been many mastering variations since with Astrud left, right, or even centre!
  19. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    My box set has arrived so the weekend is sorted. I have 4 of the set already on CD & a couple more on vinyl but some of the pressings are poor. I do think that the spare playing style probably suits CD better as you need really pristine vinyl to not be distracted by surface noise.
  20. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I have my late fathers original mono vinyl pressing, which still sounds very good despite all the playings on BSR auto changers he gave it back then, and I guess to me is the definitive version as I heard it so many times from being knee high to a grasshopper onward, and it does sound odd to hear Astruds vocals panned hard left on the CD!

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