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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 to all who have replied so far re the ECM's and I'm sorry if this has taken this thread off topic a bit. As Kevin notes above it is all really down to the quality of the mastering and to some extent the pressings. My experience with Blue Notes where I do have quite a few duplicates on both CD and Vinyl is the same as Kevin's. Any Blue Note pressing I have pre about 1980 easily Sounds better than the CD versions, especially the RVG's. The BN80's and Tone Poets of course are a real step up over the previous releases on the CD's and probably also all previous vinyl versions. Where I have things in duplicate on Impulse and Verve things are less clear cut and it really depends on the pressing. The earlier ones, provided not noisy, are usually better than CD, but this could be because that with the later Vinyl and CD a lot of both these labels mastertapes got destroyed in the warehouse fire?

    I have done a little more research on the ECM's that agrees closely with what Graham is saying above. From their start in 1969 to 1982 ECM recorded in analogue. Between 1982 to 1985 they were using both digital and analogue. After 1985 they are all digital recordings. This probably means recording date not necessarily release date. I think all my LP versions are from this time period as I think I would have bought them around then. I think on the whole these sound pretty good and the consensus I have found so far is that while both CD and vinyl sound good the vinyl sounds a little better, the main comment being 'warmer'. There is a proviso though in that is with the German pressings, the USA pressings are not highly rated.

    With the post 1985 releases the consensus seems to be that CD's do sound very good, my experience as well, and there is hardly any difference between CD and Vinyl.

    The situation for me personally is slightly complicated now in that my new speakers that I have had since November, Dutch & Dutch 8c's, carry out a digital conversion process to achieve the DSP settings. So any analogue purists now need,to dismiss any comments I make about analogue in future. ;) I am convinced though they are transparent or at least I am getting the best sound I have had in my room on both vinyl and CD. I can clearly still hear the 'glare' on some early digital recordings that I have on vinyl. You will have to plow through the D&D thread for more on this. :confused:

    A possible strategy with the ECM's maybe to buy used vinyl where available as ECM's are still fairly cheap, usually around £7 - £10 at least from Germany. That way you also get the full advantage of their excellent cover art and just buy the CD (usually very slightly cheaper than the vinyl version) or downloads / streaming if you are setup for that for anything else.
    Graham H likes this.
  2. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I picked one at random on Discogs - not badly priced at all...

  3. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    Getting back on thread, one of the good things about the reissue series is that it's got me to listen to a lot of old BN records, mainly on streaming and sometimes CDs that have been languishing on my shelves. I'm currently listening to Grant Green's Nigeria - and only recently realised I've got the music on the Complete Sonny Clark Quartets CD. There's a lot of nice stuff to revisit but , for me at least, some of it is great jazz to have on while cooking or chatting but not really stuff I'd put on to sit and listen to - and that has become the acid test for purchases for me.

    Of the current batch of TPs and 80s I definitely need the Pete La Roca BN80 which I'd not heard before, and the live Horace Silver record. I don't think I'll need any Stanley Turrentine or Lou Donaldson or any more Dexter Gordon records. Is there anything I'm overlooking that people would suggest a listen to? The sound and packaging of the TPs is so high quality I don't want to regret missing anything once they're sold out.

    For me, the BN75 had a better range - it was good to pick up some Don Cherry for example.

  4. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    Just for the record "Cellorganics" by Heinz Reber and Thomas Demenga (ECM 1196) was the first digitally recorded ECM album, recorded October 1980. All titles before 1196 were AAA, and after that date, as Poco has said, some titles were either digital or analogue depending which studio was used.

    The US ECM/Warner pressings are interesting. The two I own and have compared (Bill Connors and EW’s Little Movements) sound completely different to their German counterparts.The US pressings are louder, yet not as clearly defined. The German pressings are just preferable in every way. I’ve avoided US/Warner pressings ever since.

    10 years old, but this interview with Eicher mentioning his relationship with analogue and digital is interesting:


    Apologies for stretching thread derailment.
    kjb and poco a poco like this.
  5. Tray

    Tray pfm Member

    I personally haven't bought any of the new tone poet jazz vinyl releases but have a few friends that signed up and have bought all the monthly releases.
    One had to send a few back because they were warped but other than that they all seem to like them.
    The two a friend brought round for a listen a while ago sounded really good
  6. Theo

    Theo pfm Member

  7. dave charlton

    dave charlton pfm member

    First thought was surely not all the mic's are being used :oops:. [More off topic] my go to for state of the art quartet playing and recording is David Murray's 'Lovers' recorded and mixed by Jim Anderson at A & R Recording NYC in January 1988 and released on the Japanese DIW label.
  8. mikechadwick

    mikechadwick pfm Member

    Just a gentle reminder - This is a thread for Tone Poet releases, not ECM.
    poco a poco and Tray like this.
  9. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    I hadn't heard the Pete La Roca before either and it has already become a firm favourite. Taking into account what you are saying above then my recommendations to ' sit down to listen to' if you don't already have them are probably Sam Rivers - Contours and Andrew Hill - Blackfire, both great music and top notch recordings on Tone Poet despite what some say about the piano on Blackfire and possibly Now He Sings Now He Sobs. Plus Herbie Hancock- Invensions and Dimensions and possibly Introducing Johnny Griffin on BN80's. Plenty of other Hard Bop and Post Bop worth having as well, but you might only want it as 'Cookin Music' that seems a good term in another sense. ;)

    Don Cherry is a favourite with me as well. I have the Blue Note 75 Complete Communion, but I wish they would reissue 'Symphony for Improvisers' that I think is the only other release under his name as leader on Blue Note. If you don't have it double live concert from 1972 'Universal Silence' on LP of him with Carlos Ward released last year on Lepo Glasbo is worth getting.

    I'm trying to keep mainly back on thread Mike and I did apologise at the start of my second ECM post. :)
    kjb likes this.
  10. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    They're two of the ones I've got along with Shorter's Etc and the Cassandra Wilson record.

    I am also hoping for the other Cherry record to be on the list. I don't know the 1972 record - one to look up.

    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  11. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
    kjb likes this.
  12. dave charlton

    dave charlton pfm member

    Back on track...

    The only thing putting me off the TP Etcetera is the (large) inner gatefold photo of Wayne Shorter is back to front.
  13. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    It is reversed from Francis Wolf's original. Perhaps Mosaic should have 'don't crop or edit' in their licensing agreement as Eugene Smith had if they think Francis Wolf would have taken exception to the change. Not enough to put me off buying the LP though. :rolleyes:
    dave charlton likes this.
  14. Graham H

    Graham H pfm Member

    My personal choice of sit down and listen to ECMs, whoops, I mean Tone Poets for 2020 will be The Kicker and Oblique by Bobby Hutcherson, and Jackie McLean’s It’s Time (great sleeve). Over at BN 80 just a reminder that Sam Rivers plays on Larry Young’s Into Something, another favourite. And although it’s in the post bop genre A.T’s Delight is...er....delightful. Nice version of Syeeda’s Song Flute.
    kjb and mikechadwick like this.
  15. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    And for Sam Rivers on the label that keeps interrupting the Tone Poets thread Contrasts and Conference of the Birds.
    Graham H likes this.
  16. poco a poco

    poco a poco pfm Member

    If you like Pete La Roca on Basra then its worth checking him out on Charles Lloyd's Manhattan Stories that was recorded in 1965, but not released till 2014. The vinyl is expensive now, but the 2 CD set is reasonable.

    Nice atmospheric recordings as well with the 'Slugs' concert part made on a Nagra portable.
  17. hockman

    hockman pfm Member

    It's great that Blue Note and Harley have made these Tone Poets available at 'reasonable' prices but I'd tend to agree with you. I was unconvinced about the Tone Poets at the beginning but started to dip my toes in because of the hype of the series here and elsewhere. As I ponder whether I should get more titles, I am coming to the view similar to yours. I already have a lot of Blue Notes in various pressings and have to question whether I need yet another "latest and greatest" version. FOMO is what it is.

    The Hill, Shorter, Corea, Henderson, RIvers are pretty much essential if you don't already have them. I'm less sure about the rest although I do enjoy the Turrentine, Brooks, Burrell and the Green (Nigeria). Overall I'm of the view that there are better, more essential, hard bop Blue Note records out there. Compare, say, the TP Dexter Gordon with his Go! or Doin' Alright. Or,the Lee Morgan with his Search for the New Land or Candy. The Grant Greens with his Solid or Idle Moments for instance. Often (but not always) originally unreleased sessions were not released for good reasons. They were weaker than many of the artists' released works. I suppose they are worthwhile listening anyway but would one really return to them again and again like in the case of the classic albums?

    mikechadwick, Graham H and kjb like this.
  18. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    The two releases due today have gone back to the end of Feb.
  19. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    I'd pretty much agree with you on Gordon, Morgan and Green. My personal fave Grant Green record is Matador, with two of Coltrane's band ( Tyner and Jones). As far as I can tell its been a age since that easily available was on vinyl.

  20. kjb

    kjb pfm Member

    I also like Grant Green's Street of Dreams. It's a similar line up to Into Something but with Hutcherson instead of Rivers. Both great records IMO.

    A few years back Tower were doing a load of BN vinyl for £7 a pop. I picked up Into Something, Shorter's Adam's Apple and a few others I can't recall. I think it was a French imprint. The still sound pretty good to me. I wish I'd bought a lot more!

    Graham H likes this.

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