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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

    Thanks I'll take a risk. It is under the Blue Note label with the correct catelog number. Strange that it's a 1990 release date though because it only appeared on Jazzman fairly recently?
     
  2. hermit

    hermit pfm Member

    It is a bit strange. Did they use shrink wrap in 1990? I can't remember. Discogs thinks it is a 2000's release but doesn't have a specific date. If so I would have expected a barcode so maybe Juno is correct. Perhaps a distributor found some old stock in corner of the warehouse?
     
  3. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Just played the Andrew Hill LP. Sounds great, I’m amazed how good these records sound. Roy Haynes drums and cymbals are so vivid, and Richard Hill’s bass solos are so tactile. The packaging is very nice too.
     
  4. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Woohoo Chant, Hustlin' and Alligator Bogaloo (Yep I know BN80 :) ) all arriving tomorrow....
     
    Graham H likes this.
  5. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Looking forward to Alligator Boogaloo, mine arriving soon. Dithering on Chant (although been enjoying Kofi recently). Let us know your thoughts when they arrive.
     
    scotty38 likes this.
  6. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    "
    Graham you got one with an added 'O'. That will be special. ;)
     
    Graham H and scotty38 like this.
  7. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    My copies of Hustlin and Chant in the Tone Poet series are also due to arrive today along with Alligator Bogaloo in the BN80's. The next three in the BN80's due on the 17th September. Another expensive :( but good listening month. :)
     
  8. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Just listened to the first side of Hustlin', musically not keen on Love Letters (yet) as I've never been keen on it but The Hustler is great, nice solos...
     
  9. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    No chance to listen yet, but my three above have just arrived from Amazon. Unfortunately all just loose in a large box this time with a couple of 'air bags'. No inner mailers as with previous deliveries I have had. All seem OK though with no damage to sleeves and records look flat and clean. Usual static problem with the BN80 and had to cut the sleeve off.

    Good to see that Kevin Gray now credits Joe Harley in the dead wax of the Tone Poets. KG&JH@CA now instead of just KG@CA on the early ones.
     
  10. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Same here for the first time too, no inner box or even air bags.
     
  11. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Just playing Donald Byrd - Chant. Pressing is a bit warped but plays fine. Musically not sure - I struggle with “Hard Bop” at times.
     
  12. scotty38

    scotty38 pfm Member

    Mine was flat and liked the music too :)
     
  13. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Thoroughly enjoying Stanley Turrentine “Hustlin”. Nice relaxed groove
     
  14. Nagraboy

    Nagraboy pfm Member

    Bought the only copies of Chant and Hustlin’ in Rough Trade yesterday afternoon. Going to try them out now.

    These new releases have got me buying some of the older Music Matters/Analogue Productions LPs too. Expensive but what the hell.
     
  15. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Just finding time to catch up on playing my latest batch now starting with Hustlin. Very enjoyable if a little bit 'safe' for me but it did have my feet tapping all the way through. Sound quality though, with one anomaly that I will get to, is at the very top of the series. Impressive very deep and wide soundstage that pretty much dissolves my front and side walls when I close my eyes ( eye in my case) leaving a warm studio ambience, warmer than normal for Van Gelder. Thought I'd switched to 'SET's' for a moment ;). There is plenty of centre fill from Shirley Scott's organ and Bob Cranshaw's bass despite the wide left right spread and The tone of Turrentine's tenor and Burrell's guitar are beautifully captured.

    So I don't want to start a 'Black Fire gate' over here, but did anyone else notice something wrong on Love Letters? Starts perfectly in Stereo with the instrumental layout similar to all the other tracks until Scott's solo starts when you immediately notice that Otis Finch's cymbals have switched to the centre behind the organ and then you realise it's all centred in mono (Turrentine is not playing at this point). When Turrentine comes in, on the left, it returns to Stereo but Finch is now mid left. All very odd and I suppose done by (accident?) Van Gelder in the mix. There seems to be a change to the ambience as well, so could this be an edit dropped in?

    Not going to let it spoil the record for me just wondered if anyone else had noticed?
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 1:17 PM
  16. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    I've just played Chant and loved it, but this is the Donald Byrd period I love most. I hadn't heard this before as it was not released unti 1979 although recorded in 1961. It's pretty much 'Hard Bop' of that period though Graham and you have said you don't care for that. It's not like his later stuff such as Ethiopian Knights and Black Byrd. There are some 'hints' towards Ellington though and not just on Sophisticated Lady and I know you like him.

    I like Byrd's clarity of tone and interesting improvisations from this period and there is plenty of that here and wonderful input from Pepper Adams on Baritone (beautifully recorded) and Herbie Hancock especially as it's his first Blue Note session. Very good recorded balance to his piano (but don't mention the warble ;)) as well for a change from Van Gelder. Very good dynamic recording throughout as usual with these Tone Poets and probably will be on my play list a lot. Try to have a listen before you buy though as it may not be for you.
     
    Graham H and Nagraboy like this.
  17. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    I've played most of these on Spotify before deciding: 'Hustlin' is certainly too 'safe' for me, and 'Chant' is borderline, though I love Byrd's later period. The BN80 'Ethiopian Knights' is a regular play.

    I've ordered the Jutta Hipp/Zoot Simms BN80, alongside Hancock's 'Inventions & Dimensions': two of my favourites. I may go for the Tone Poet Tina Brooks 'Minor Move'. Starting to be more selective now.
     
    Graham H likes this.
  18. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    I think what is becoming apparent with the AAA BN80s, Tone Poets and Music Matters is how much the master tapes are suffering with age. I’ve noticed many flaws (tape flutter, sudden and progressive HF loss, pitch issues etc.), but I’d prefer such annoyances to a ‘fixed’ digital remastering. Digitally remastered BNs never sound as good to my ears (usually down to excessive compression).

    I agree with your observations, I’ve decided against Hustlin’ and Chant. I’ll be checking Hipp/Simms soon. Inventions and Dimensions remains a personal favourite.

    Enjoying Alligator Boogaloo (with an extra O especially for you guys;-) ) - the good pieces are well worth the admission price, despite some annoying HF loss and dropouts that affect cymbals in RH channel.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 7:46 PM
    scotty38, poco a poco and Theo like this.
  19. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

    Crikey: you read the diatribe on Hoffmann's forum and you'd think that half these records were slurred beyond reasonable enjoyment. Does anyone here feel the same? Granted, now its been pointed out, there may be some minor issues, but nowhere near enough to put me off enjoying these releases. One of the posts had some background info from kevin Gray regarding the state of the tapes, which is relevant:

    “Scotch (3M) 111 was the very first U.S. recording tape formulation produced in quantity in the U.S. It was released in 1948 and was about all there was in the U.S. until 1964. About 90 percent of the recordings I master from that period are recorded on 111. All the RVG Blue Notes from that period are on 111. It is a red/orange iron oxide basically glued to clear acetate. It bears no resemblance to modern tape.

    “Acetate is very unstable over time. It becomes extremely brittle. You can pull on it slightly and it breaks. This tape never wound totally smooth on the reel, but that has also gotten much much worse over time.

    “The biggest problem occurs when the tape was wound off at high speed, as opposed to being played though. This might occur when a tape was perhaps wound to the head to copy one song. Then the rest of the tape is wound off in “Fast Forward”. The result is that the tape cinches slightly and if left that way develops a permanent curl or ruffle. This is very common on 111. Once this has happened the tape does not wrap smoothly over the playback head and tends to wander slightly. This is clearly visible as the video shows. Another problem is that NONE of the recorders from the 50s and early 60s had constant tape tension, which all modern tape recorders have. The tension would be higher at the end of the reel than the beginning. This also took a toll on tape.

    “The 2nd generation 3M tape was Scotch 201. Although the oxide changed (dark brown), the base was still acetate, and the same problems exist. Around 1965, 202 was released, which was on modern mylar/polyester. But RVG used both 111 and 201 for several more years.

    “So the tape wandering over the heads as opposed to staying flat does introduce speed anomalies. How could it not? And it isn’t consistent from tape to tape. Some wind smoother than others. Fast winding, as mentioned before, things like temperature and humidity in storage, and age have taken a toll.

    “There are other factors effecting speed, such as sticking splices. The adhesive in the splicing tape oozes with age. It can’t be cleaned off very effectively because of the brittleness of the tape.”

    In other words, if you want releases that go back to the original tapes, you have to take into account that they're likely to have some flaws. If you want warble-free, either buy a digitised/sanitised version (nothing wrong with these, if done well), or shell out for an original.
     
    Graham H likes this.
  20. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    It's a complete overstated nonsense that has ruined what started out as a decent thread over there and stopped Joe Harley from posting as we have commented on here. A grain of truth, but turned into a diatribe of over 60 pages perpetuated by a few individuals who as Graham has said are carrying out a pissing up the wall contest. Started with 'Black Fire' and now spreading through many of the releases no matter how more sensible voices try to put an end to it. Of course there are going to be problems with 50 - 60 year old analogue tapes, but it's very apparent to me that despite these minor faults these AAA Tone Poet Blue Notes are are among the very finest recordings and pressings I have owned or heard.
     

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