Leeway

XANADU Records

138 posts in this topic

why they so good

Because Don Schlitten was a producer with a clear vision, at least when it came to music.

Not quite - I've been told he wouldn't use RVG's studio because Rudy let him smoke marijuana. which is why most of his productions are engineered by Richard Alderson, who didn't mind.

MG

Did you mean "because Rudy wouldn't let him smoke marijuana" in the studio? Otherwise, I don't see how "Alderson...didn't mind" makes sense?

Yes, missed out the crucial bit.

MG

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then how did any blue note artist ever record for blue note records?

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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They had a hotel room in Manhattan for use before sessions.

Seriously.

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Did Rudy check their arms?

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I don't know, but Rudy's objection may have been to the smoke, rather than to the principle of doing drugs.

After all, it was his and Mrs vG's home.

MG

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Nah, some day I will tell a funny story - after Rudy's gone.

There were ashtrays in the studio, but not the control room.

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They had a hotel room in Manhattan for use before sessions.

Seriously.

Actually, you can get a feeling that something like that's going on from the sleeve notes to Gene Ammons' "The happy blues".

MG

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I worked for Schlitten years ago - middle 1970s - and he told me his favorite engineer was ___ Goodman (can't think of his first name, but I'm at work and he's on the credits to many Xanadu albums) - whom I think work for RCA/BMG (he later did a fair amount of CD reissue work, I think) - someone should check the liners, as I'm not even 100 percent sure I'm getting the engineer's last name correctly - I think he also may have done some work for Riverside - my point, however, is that, knowing Schlitten, while there may have been other factors, he used that engineer because he liked the sound he got on those "live to 2 track" recordings, something which by now is largely a lost art - and that he may have thought Rudy was over-rated -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Paul Goodman is the name of the engineer on many of those Xanadu sessions.

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that's the guy - he was Schlitten's favorite engineer. IMHO he's better than Van Gelder- gets a more natural sound -

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As I recall, most Xanadu albums (even those recorded by Paul Goodman) were compromised soundwise to some extent because this was the era of "the dreaded direct bass" (pickup) -- as Delfayo Marsalis used to say on the back of albums he produced for one or another of his brothers.

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definitely - as a matter of fact I remember listening to Barry Harris plays Tad Dameron, I think it was, with Gene Taylor on bass - I worked with Taylor once or twice and he played some weird notes - maybe wrong, maybe just his style, I never wanted to ask - and on that LP, because of the direct-to-board hookup, it just sticks out like a sore thumb -

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I hate that direct bass pickup sound. Ruins a lot of '70s recordings for me.

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definitely - as a matter of fact I remember listening to Barry Harris plays Tad Dameron, I think it was, with Gene Taylor on bass - I worked with Taylor once or twice and he played some weird notes - maybe wrong, maybe just his style, I never wanted to ask - and on that LP, because of the direct-to-board hookup, it just sticks out like a sore thumb -

I have that also and thought the same thing. Not the best bassist for that trio.

Intonation problems?

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I hate that direct bass pickup sound. Ruins a lot of '70s recordings for me.

How true ... :(

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Marcello - I think that's just the way Taylor played, as I saw him on occassion around NYC in the 1970s in addition to working with him later on once or twice. He was a nice guy but a little edgy, so I was never comfrotable trying to discuss anything like that with him.

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I'm not opposed to bass direct per se, but it has to be incorporated into the overall sonic landscape (like on CTI) and that landscape should be tailored to fit the music (ditto).

On the type of music that Xanadu tended to release, it did neither. But the music's usually swell in spite of it, so I don't let it ruin my day.

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I've been on a huge Xanadu binge this week — really listening closely to the albums I have on this label (not many), and just enjoying the hell out of them.

One thing, and this may already be obvious to some here — if you've tended to think that Al Cohn and Barry Harris are merely "excellent" musicians, listen to their Xanadu records. The Xanadus are by far my favorite Cohn on record, and Harris's touch on these records has a sensitivity to it that doesn't seem to surface as much on earlier recordings.

In my opinion, both Cohn and Harris are examples of musicians who improved by a considerable margin with age — as opposed to just hitting a comfortable plateau and staying there. Their work in the 70's (what I've heard, and I want to hear more) just knocks me out. I have nearly all of Cohn's RCA work, but for me it pales, and by a lot, in comparison with his Xanadu work.

Before I forget, here's a pretty good Barry Harris discography, with cover scans included.

Would anyone mind posting some Xanadu cover scans here? I'm looking for three in particular:

Ronnie Cuber: Eleventh Day of Aquarius

Sam Noto: Notes to You

Various: Late Flight to Dakar

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i never found a decent scan for the cuber:

11days.jpg

so i made my own cover:

^_^

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WOW! I really like your Ronnie Cuber cover. I found the Aquarius LP sealed about 8 months ago and burned it immediately to CD. I scanned the front/back covers but it's not the best pic. Mind if I use your version? Jazzshrink, do have a burn of this great LP or do you need one?

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Thanks jazzshrink! Luke — if you've already scanned the cover and feel like sharing it here, that would be great.

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Any words on Frank Butler's Xanadu work? I'll be checking it out next month at eMusic, but also have a line on some original vinyl.

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite labels.

Why isn't Sam Noto better known? Such a gifted trumpet player.

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Any words on Frank Butler's Xanadu work?

I remember a side of his w/Joe Farrell that was quite nice. Don't have that one, but I do have another one of his that's "ok".

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That reminds me: I've yet to check out Farrell's Skateboard Park. Need to do that soon.

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