TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the March 2021 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Oblique is one of only two quartet sessions the great vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson recorded for Blue Note (the classic Happenings being the other). Both albums featured the seminal pianist Herbie Hancock and drum master Joe Chambers, with the only variable in the line-up here being bassist Albert Stinson. Hutcherson's breezy opener "'Til Then", Hancock's tremendous "Theme From Blow Up" and Chambers' adventurous "Oblique" are standouts of a session that, taken as a whole, is an incredible journey from hard bop grooves to exploratory sonic tone poems. Recorded in 1967, the album wasn't first released until 1979.
Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series:
"Tone Poet" Joe Harley - co-founder and co-producer of the acclaimed Music Matters audiophile vinyl series - is the producer of this new series of all-analog, mastered-from-the-original-master-tape 180g audiophile vinyl reissues in deluxe gatefold packaging. Mastering was done by Kevin Gray (Cohearent Audio) and vinyl was manufactured at Record Technology Incorporated (RTI). The titles were handpicked by Harley and cover lesser-known Blue Note classics, modern era standouts, and albums from other labels under the Blue Note catalog.
Extreme attention to detail has been paid to getting these right in every conceivable way, from the jacket graphics and printing quality to superior LP mastering (direct from the master tapes) by Kevin Gray to superb 180 gm audiophile LP pressings by Record Technology Inc. Every aspect of these Blue Note/Tone Poet releases is done to the highest possible standard. It means that you will never find a superior version. This is IT.
The so-called Tone Poet (Joe Harley) is confident that his audiophile reissues will allow 21st-century listeners to hear what the musicians heard as the master tape was played back on the studio monitors in Rudy Van Gelder's studio 50 or 60 years ago. He believes that, in terms of quality, Blue Note albums have never sounded or looked better. "Every aspect of these Blue Note releases is done to the highest possible standard," he says. "It means that you will never find a superior version."
Oblique's pristine recording deftly captures the delicate vibes-and-piano interplay of Hutcherson and Hancock, the firm bass lines of Albert Stinson, and the combination of power and restraint that Chambers displayed behind the drum kit. If you love jazz, this one's a no-brainer.
- All Analog 180g Vinyl
- Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series
- Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio
- Mastered From Original Master Tape
- Reissue supervised by Joe Harley
- Pressed at RTI
- Gatefold jacket
- Til Then
- My Joy
- Theme From Blow Up
- Subtle Neptune