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sonnyhill

Sam Rivers's "Contours"

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I purchased Sam Rivers's "Contours" this past Tuesday and have been listening to it all week. The recording sounds fine, except for how Ron Carter's bass is presented on the recording :angry: . It sounds as if he is playing in another room with a blanket over him. Especially his solo on track 3 "Euterpe," which seems like it would be an interesting solo to listen to -- if I COULD HEAR IT :angry::tdown:angry::tdown:angry::tdown:angry::tdown:angry::tdown:angry: !!!!

For those who have other versions of "Contours" (e.g. Mosiac, LP), is the extremely recessed presentation of the bass inherent in the recording or a result of the "24-bit remastering?" :tdown:rmad:

Thanks.

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Who remastered the latest Connoissoir batch?

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Who remastered the latest Connoissoir batch?

On the two I have, Countours and Dance With Death: McMaster.

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Who remastered the latest Connoissoir batch?

On the two I have, Countours and Dance With Death: McMaster.

Uh oh...

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And we have the WINNER, ladies and gentlemen!

Please step forrward and accept the trophy for "actually wanting to hear a Ron Carter solo".

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Chuck, Chuck, Chuck.

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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You mean you actually found a Ron Carter solo? :D They're about as rare as a penguin in Death Valley.

Seriously, though, folks, Ron does have an unusually treble-less sound, almost like your description, Sonnyhill, as sounding as if there's a blanket over it. I have often wondered why. You have Richard Davis, with a very trebly sound (always easy to identify him!), and Ron, sounding so different. What's the reason? Any bass players reading?

Also, Ron has a way of plucking a string, and making the note sustain itself much longer than with most other bassists. It's a trademark of his. My wife, a violinist, said that it had to do with the left hand.

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McMaster did this one and you're wondering why you can't hear the bass? :g

I don't think McMaster can hear the bass....

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is the extremely recessed presentation of the bass inherent in the recording

Interesting question....a can of worms I will not open.

'Is the bass weak on other pressings?'

Listening to original vinyl now. Always liked this titles' sound. Yes, I guess recessed is a way to describe the bass. I also think it's a very, very quiet, soft solo. When he plucks a lower string harder I get a bit of 'slam', but other than that I have to strain to hear it.

Definitely down in the mix as evidenced by the powerfully present sound of the flute after his solo.

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I don't think McMaster can hear the bass....

And I don't think Rudy can hear the treble, and that's why he boosts it so much! :D

The level of Ron's bass varies a lot from session to session. I remember first hearing Hill's "Grass Roots" and enjoying Ron on that as his sound is very prominent.

I greatly love bass, but I do hate it when (especially on recordings from the late 60s onward) the bass overwhelms the mix and is above the soloists. I'm sure you know what I mean. And, also, why did Rudy switch to trebly-sounding mikes for the bass after about 1969 or so? The previous, bassy, mike was perfect. An example is "Skylark" ("Skylard" ? :D ) by Paul Desmond. Rudy's mike for Ron is awful, even though Ron is playing as well as ever.

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Didn't Rudy start recording the bass direct, at least for CTI?

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And, also, why did Rudy switch to trebly-sounding mikes for the bass after about 1969 or so? The previous, bassy, mike was perfect. An example is "Skylark" ("Skylard" ? :D ) by Paul Desmond. Rudy's mike for Ron is awful, even though Ron is playing as well as ever.

On 'Skylark', I would say he was following Creed Taylor's instructions. The majority of Taylor's produced sessions have those overweight basses.

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Most '70s recordings are marred by loud way too trebly bass sounds. I always thought Ron's sound was a bit trebly and I've heard he wants it recorded that way. I like it when they fatten him up. I overheard Joe Chambers tell someone (who asked him to sign a photo of him from the Contours session from one of those Blue Note session photo books) that he thought his best recorded sound was on Contours. I'd take a McMaster mastered session over a Van Gelder any day. The Van Gelder re-masters are over the top bright to me. I've been told Rudy only records the bass direct these days and it's been that way for a long time.

Edited by kdd

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Maybe the fault is in the original recording. In my experience, the bass isn't all that prominent on a lot of Blue Note releases. In a couple of cases (Turrentine's "Hustlin'" and Herbie Hancock's "My Point Of View") I can't even HEAR a bass. (My reference is the original LP.)

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After a lot of BN CDs recently, I got the 8 CD Bill Evans Riverside set from zweitausendeins last year (Remember those deals for about 25 bucks? What a bargain!) and the bass sounded so much fuller and clearer on those than on most BN sessions. Columbia also seems to have done a better job with the bass over the years. In fact, it has been a ball recently to play some original Columbia LPs. Their engineers are hard to beat.

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Has anyone actually compared the mosaic with the new reissue? The mosaic was mastered by McMaster. The bass on the mosaic does not sound bad to me.

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I think the original post is off a bit and the attacks on the remastering, a bit premature.

This is a very, very, very soft and quiet solo. Carter is barely touching the strings. The piano and drums that accompany him play very, very softly. I mean, they are barely touching their instruments, also. I think it's lovely.

The delicacy comes through in the recording and for that I applaud RVG. It's a super job and if a reissue preserves this, well done.

Like I said earlier, this is a very decent sounding BN (I have a few :D to compare it to) and I've liked it since day one.

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I do agree with "wolff" here. I just received and have now compared a Mosaic cdr to this new Connoisseur. The solo and interplay say on "Euterpe" (love those eastern modalities and was concerned when I first read this post ) at 5:00 + are very quiet. The sonics on the Mosaic might be a touch louder to me but the fact that McMaster now clears the deck of all the noise he put into the Mosaic in the first place makes this new re-issue a strong buy. And no "ssssss" behind this disc whatsoever. :tup

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The sonics on the Mosaic might be a touch louder to me but the fact that McMaster now clears the deck of all the noise he put into the Mosaic in the first place makes this new re-issue a strong buy. And no "ssssss" behind this disc whatsoever. :tup

I haven't heard the Rivers Conn yet, but I'm not so sure removing the noise is such a good idea. In my experience removing tape hiss / noise often does more damage than good.

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And, also, why did Rudy switch to trebly-sounding mikes for the bass after about 1969 or so? The previous, bassy, mike was perfect. An example is "Skylark" ("Skylard" ? :D ) by Paul Desmond. Rudy's mike for Ron is awful, even though Ron is playing as well as ever.

This may be the time when he started to prefer recording the bass directly from the pickup. I dunno. RVG's is not the best bass sound of his time. I had the same problem with the new RVG of Wayne Shorter 's "Adam's Apple", where the bass is similarly obscured. It had more prominence on the previous US CD.

Same with bass drums - you hardly hear them on RVG recordings. He had strange preferences, in some respect.

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I do agree with "wolff" here. I just received and have now compared a Mosaic cdr to this new Connoisseur. The solo and interplay say on "Euterpe" (love those eastern modalities and was concerned when I first read this post ) at 5:00 + are very quiet. The sonics on the Mosaic might be a touch louder to me but the fact that McMaster now clears the deck of all the noise he put into the Mosaic in the first place makes this new re-issue a strong buy. And no "ssssss" behind this disc whatsoever. :tup

Thanks, Mike, for the the reply. I guess I am going to plunk for this since it's one of my favorite Blue Note sessions.

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McMaster now clears the deck of all the noise he put into the Mosaic in the first place .... And no "ssssss" behind this disc whatsoever. :tup

Just curious....

Did you hear this tape hiss(I assume that's what it is) on the CDR? If you could describe the noise a bit more, I'd appreciate it.

Have others noticed this on the Mosaic CD set?

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McMaster now clears the deck of all the noise he put into the Mosaic in the first place .... And no "ssssss" behind this disc whatsoever.  :tup

Just curious....

Did you hear this tape hiss(I assume that's what it is) on the CDR? If you could describe the noise a bit more, I'd appreciate it.

Have others noticed this on the Mosaic CD set?

Not a CDR issue at all.

I guess I should clarify myself in that it's not really a "hiss" - tape or otherwise - but that over-all brightnessss to the 'Contours' session on the Mosaic that seems to carry into those lulled passages (and mind you that it's not a glaringly serious issue with the Mosaic set). It still is very hot on the Conn but that session in particular on the Mosaic was almost too crisp in a "domestic RVG kinda way".

FWIW I think that the Conn of 'FSS' is just a freeking oustanding improvement over the Mosaic. This one seems slighter than that but still better to me.

Simply put: the Mosaic session sounds like a new RVG / the Conn sounds good. I guess I only posted as when I first read thru the thread I was looking for the worst in this newest re-issue.

Then again if I'm up against wolff and Hans I should with all due respect check my ears at the door. :g

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FWIW I think that the Conn of 'FSS' is just a freeking oustanding improvement over the Mosaic.

BTW-I happened to listen to the CONN of Fuchsia Swing Song today and agree, it's a nice listen.

Ok, 'brightness' and 'too crisp' works for me.

It's very interesting reading and listening with the endless array of BN originals and reissues around.

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McMaster now clears the deck of all the noise he put into the Mosaic in the first place .... And no "ssssss" behind this disc whatsoever.   :tup

Just curious....

Did you hear this tape hiss(I assume that's what it is) on the CDR? If you could describe the noise a bit more, I'd appreciate it.

Have others noticed this on the Mosaic CD set?

Not a CDR issue at all.

I guess I should clarify myself in that it's not really a "hiss" - tape or otherwise - but that over-all brightnessss to the 'Contours' session on the Mosaic that seems to carry into those lulled passages (and mind you that it's not a glaringly serious issue with the Mosaic set). It still is very hot on the Conn but that session in particular on the Mosaic was almost too crisp in a "domestic RVG kinda way".

FWIW I think that the Conn of 'FSS' is just a freeking oustanding improvement over the Mosaic. This one seems slighter than that but still better to me.

Simply put: the Mosaic session sounds like a new RVG / the Conn sounds good. I guess I only posted as when I first read thru the thread I was looking for the worst in this newest re-issue.

Then again if I'm up against wolff and Hans I should with all due respect check my ears at the door. :g

If it's brightness / aggressive highs you're referring to, I fully agree. Many remastering engineers tend to bump up the higher frequencies (and sometimes the lower frequencies too; result: a "happy smiley" EQ) and they're often also using noise-reducing devices, and I hate it when they're doing that.

Edited by J.A.W.

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