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Tone Poet Blue Notes

Discussion in 'music' started by poco a poco, Feb 26, 2019.

  1. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    I thought I would start a new thread for this new Tone Poet series of Blue Note Jazz reissues. There are quite a few posts in the Music Matters 33 thread: https://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/music-matters-33rpm.224461/ so worth starting there, but I thought it would be easier to find comments that I expect to be ongoing in a dedicated thread.

    Well I received my copies of the first two releases, Wayne Shorter - 'Etcetera' and Chick Corea - 'Now He Sings, Now He Sobs' on Sunday. Excellently double box packaged now from Amazon. The fold out covers are excellent nicely laminated on really heavy card. A bit thicker than Vintage Impulse covers. Downside is I don't have an outer that they will slip into. They are I am fairly sure imports rather than pressed by a European plant that are often different and inferior. My matrixs on both LP's are A2/B2 with the Kevin Gray KG@CA markings in the dead wax and the numerical code for the RTI pressing plant. Both very clean, flat shiny vinyl.

    So how do they sound - excellent, top rate. Very CD quiet black backgrounds from which the music emerges. Even the dead wax has virtually no noise. It's hard to imagine the new premium vinyl (and premium price) that the latest Music Matters issues are being pressed on is much better. Are they as good as Music Matters previous issues? I'm no authority on these as I don't like the splitting of original albums into 2 x 45 rpm discs, but I have listened to some of the 33 rpm's and I would say these are at least as good. I usually find if I have early originals they are hard to beat, but I don't have originals of either of these. The Wayne Shorter was not issued until 1980 on Blue Note Classics despite being recorded in 1965 so I'm fairly sure from the ones I have that the vinyl won't be as quiet for a start.

    'Etcetera' is a typical Van Gelder of recordings of the period, very left / right channel with Tenor Sax, Bass and Piano around the left channel and Drums spread over the right channel. Very little centre fill. I agree with Fremer on Analog Planet the recording is a little 'dry', but not in anyway hard or bright. Shorter's tone is excellent and he appears to be further forward than Hancock and McBee. Almost seems to be in my room in front of the left speaker. The detail and front to back depth and seperation of instruments is excellent. Chambers drum set seems to be back about 10 feet beyond my front wall spread over the right channel in his own acoustic space about 19 feet away from me, but still sounding like a life size kit with fast transients and explosive dynamics. The macro and micro dynamics are really excellent with fine non smeared detail way up into the high frequencies even towards the inner grooves. And the music? I had not heard this Shorter album before, but it and he are good. Hancock is outstandingly inventive in some of his solo's. Four compositions by Shorter, but so far it's the long Barracudas track by Gil Evans that is my favourite.

    'Now He Sings, Now He Sobs' is also has excellent sound, but quite different. More conventional layout with Roy Haynes, drums left channel, Chick Corea, centre and Miroslav Vitous on Bass right channel. Much more forward recording with them in roughly the same plane around the speakers, but in no way stuck to them. Again great dynamics and detail. Life like close up recording of Vitous's acoustic bass. You can hear a little high frequency tape hiss on this recording, but it sounds soft and natural on this pressing. Again I had not heard this Corea recording, but much prefer his acoustic piano recordings to his electric efforts. I played an original of his 'Delphi 1, Solo Piano Recordings from 1979 following this which is an excellent recording, but not quite up to this and mine has picked up some noise. I'm glad I got this as well as Excetera as its very good. I was only going to risk buying that at first to see if the recordings were worth the premium price, but as the first issues looked liked quickly selling I brought both.

    So are these reissues worth having? Definitely, I'll be continuing to buy this series as it progresses. Some of the future ones are must haves.
  2. Moko

    Moko pfm Member

    Thanks for the review...they sound very interesting.

    Where can you get them in the UK and for how much?
  3. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

  4. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

  5. Moko

    Moko pfm Member

    Thanks will investigate
  6. Peter McDermott

    Peter McDermott pfm Member

  7. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I’ve not had any. The records were well packed in rigid cardboard mailers. I had them delivered to a local Amazon locker so that I could collect them when convenient.
  8. Peter McDermott

    Peter McDermott pfm Member

    Thanks for this Stunsworth
  9. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Mine came from Amazon as well next day, a Sunday, with Prime. The mailers seem improved, although I have not had any problems with the earlier versions. The two mailers were packed in a larger box for further protection. So probably standard now as I took in a parcel in for my neighbours (adult) son who I know buys vinyl and his pack looked the same as mine.
    Peter McDermott likes this.
  10. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Interesting radio interview with Tonepoet Joe Harley. Brace yourselves, it contains quite a bit of level headed myth busting:


    Honest Jons and Jazz House are stocking Tone Poet series.

    Now that Joe Harley and Universal are working together, it would be nice if Universal could come to an agreement with Music Matters for international distribution of their complete catalogue.
    Stunsworth and poco a poco like this.
  11. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Graham thanks. Fascinating stuff. Myth busting indeed. Makes a bit of a nonsense of the collectors of early original Blue Notes at $1,000 upwards each, claim they are the only ones that are 'accurate' and then play them on highly resolving modern turntable systems when they would probably sound more accurate on a radiogram.:p
    Joe Harley really comes across as a non pretentious honest guy.
  12. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Thanks for that I really enjoyed listening to it.
  13. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Agreed, once you get past about the first four minutes of DJ intro, it’s well worth a listen by anybody who has an interest in recorded music. From the horses mouth, as it were. And JH has such a well balanced, pragmatic, POV. Looking forward to receiving ETC and Contours.

    BTW, in case you are interested, the current Jazz House mailshot has several second hand Music Matters titles graded NM.
  14. Elephantears

    Elephantears Trunkated Aesthete

    Absolutely. I agree with what you've said about the virtues of these superb releases. I received them last night and was transfixed by both. The clarity and dynamics are striking; in particular, on Etcetera; the kick drum has much more weight than I'm used to with 60s jazz recordings, and as you say these releases have a full range sound that captures both the weight and the delicacy of the instruments. Shorter's horn comes out wonderfully too. The recording manages to capture the range of his horn so that you get both the velvety texture and the nasal upper edge, when frequently recordings veer on one side (for example, Juju really pushes the nasal emphasis).

    I'm delighted with both of these releases; I'll listen to the Chick Corea again before commenting again on the music, but it's a compelling album. In comparison to the Music Matters reissues, I think these LPs combine the naturalism of the best of the 33RPM series with the clarity and dynamics of the 45RPM. So far, the Tone Poet series looks like a shining example of what vinyl can do.
    poco a poco likes this.
  15. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Yes this makes a nonsense of the claims that vinyl is incapable of conveying the full dynamic range of music unlike CD. I have yet to hear CD's this good. ;)
  16. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Lovely packaging. My Etc. is mucky as hell though.
  17. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    Both my Shorter and Corea were very good, though I gave them a precautionary clean.

    Incidentally, as above, both mine had A2/B2 in the deadwax.
  18. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    I'm loving both these Shorter and Corea albums: they are great pressings (they were clean, but I Okki'd them anyway), and very dynamic. Side 2 of 'Etcetera' is some of Shorter's finest work IMO, and the band interplay on the Corea album is fantastic.
  19. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Received my copy of ETC today, and entirely agree with you about Shorter. But is side 2 recorded on a different session to side 1? Different feel to the playing, esp drums and bass. More energy. Never noticed this before on CD, just an observation.
  20. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

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