Michael Fremer Rated 10/11 Music, 10/11 Sonics!
Seeking to offer definitive audiophile grade versions of some of the most historic and best jazz records ever recorded, Verve Label Group and Universal Music Enterprises' new audiophile Acoustic Sounds vinyl reissue series utilizes the skills of top mastering engineers and the unsurpassed production craft of Quality Record Pressings. All titles are mastered from the original analog tapes, pressed on 180-gram vinyl and packaged by Stoughton Printing Co. in high-quality gatefold sleeves with tip-on jackets. The releases are supervised by Chad Kassem, CEO of Acoustic Sounds, the world's largest source for audiophile recordings.
A classic big-band album and one of the first-ever releases on the Impulse! label, this 1961 recording features a superb line-up including Jimmy Knepper on trombone, Ron Carter on bass and a fiery Elvin Jones on drums. Verve's Acoustic Sounds Series features transfers from analog tapes and remastered 180-gram vinyl in deluxe gatefold packaging.
"Each step in our production process - from title selection to mastering, pressing and packaging - is designed to meet the highest standards, and we want everyone who hears these albums to feel the love and hard work we put into everything we do," says Chad Kassem CEO of Acoustic Sounds.
The sonics are alternately warm, breezy, and nocturnal, especially on the 15-plus-minute opener which captures the laid-back West Coast cool jazz feel juxtaposed by the percolating, even bubbling hot rhythmic pulse of the tough streets of Las Vegas. The horns are held back for long periods in the mix and the drums pop right up front, Crawford's solo - drenched in funky blues - is smoking. When the trombones re-enter, they are slow and moaning, and the piccolo digs in for an in the pocket, pulsing break. Whoa.
The sonics here with a cut from the master tape by Ryan K. Smith are incredibly transparent, spacious and flat-out thrilling (but the sonic picture looks nothing like the inner gatefold graphics) and somewhat brighter and less mid-band rich than the long out of print Alto-Analogue edition Bernie Grundman cut in 1997. Both are worth having for different sonic reasons and if you have a clean original Rudy Van Gelder cut (A-4) you may think you are set, but that cut is less spacious, somewhat dynamically compressed, has the RVG lower bass roll-off and is definitely less transparent - not that it's bad and some people do like the more 'in your face' excitement. This one's here now though! Do not miss it!
The five compositions, and Evans' arrangements of them, are as crisp as a well-tailored suit and have the devilish allure of a gangster's moll in a film noir classic.
- Acoustic Sounds Series reissue from Verve/Universal Music Enterprises
- 180g Vinyl LP
- Mastered by Ryan K. Smith at Sterling Sound From Original Analog Tapes
- Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
- Stoughton Printing gatefold old-style tip-on jacket
|Billy Ray Barber||tuba|
|Raymond Beckenstein||flute/piccolo/alto sax|
|Eddie Caine||flute/piccolo/alto sax|
|Budd Johnson||alto sax/soprano sax/tenor sax|
|Tony Studd||trombone/bass trombone|
- La Nevada
- Where Flamingos Fly
- Bilbao Song
- Sunken Treasure