With some trepidation, I bring this thread up (from two huge months ago) ... ... to discuss sonics and music .
I, wisely or unwisely, ordered nine titles from this (24-bit WPCR) series. If it helps anyone regarding purchase decisions (within this series), this post will have been a moderate personal success. Here are some subjective reactions:
1. Lennie Tristano: "Tristano"
If you have the U.S. edition, no need to purchase the Japanese disc. The sound on the Japanese disc is not bad (the session wasn't well-recorded to begin with, I'm guessing), but is no better than the U.S. disc. This Japanese edition sounds like it uses some compression. There are peaks that hurt the ears. I wish I would have purchased the 20-bit AMCY edition when it was available.
2. Lennie Tristano: "The New Tristano"
Get this one — not because the sonics are superior to the U.S. edition (they're about equal), but because it reinstates the missing track from the U.S. edition: "C Minor Complex." I haven't heard the EU edition.
3. The Max Roach Trio Featuring the Legendary Hasaan
I haven't heard the U.S. edition(s) — I think there are two. This one doesn't sound so good (a fair amount of hard-panning, and the piano sounds fairly distant and brittle), BUT the music is ... so good. Who knows, maybe this edition is the best out there. I wouldn't know. But for 952¥, you can at least hear it. There's still a TON to be written/thought about regarding Hasaan's playing. And how much Monk influence there is/isn't.
4. John Lewis: Improvised Meditations & Excursions
Again, I have no comparison, but this one sounds GOOD — . Drums are clean and (seemingly) not boosted. Piano isn't bloated (how could Lewis's piano ever be bloated)? Bass is somewhat thuddy, but not booming. This is my first exposure to this album. I love the "squareness" of Lewis's piano. That seems like a slight, but I don't mean it to be. In fact, I find Lewis's playing to be hip in a way that Wynton Kelly, Bill Evans, or Herbie Hancock could never be. The pleats are ironed, and the aftershave (not too much) is on — neat (like a proper martini).
5. Billy Taylor: One For Fun
Eff. I LOVE this album. This disc sounds too loud to me. Eff. Eff. Eff. Again, I wish I'd purchased the AMCY edition (how many years back?). I don't like this Japanese edition (but will listen to it anyway). The music, to me, is some of Taylor's best, hippest, playing — very much overlooked. Earl May is killer.
6. Shorty Rogers: Martians Come Back!
Oh eff. What the eff. Are you effing kidding me? What the eff did you say? I couldn't hear you! This disc makes Jimmy Giuffre's (heaven-sent) clarinet sound like a barge horn. If I were a cartoon character, I would stomp on the disc, take a bite out of it, throw it out the door, run outside, and then stomp on it some more. I love the music on this album. The sonics (maybe it never sounded so good to begin with? I hope so ~ ) kill me. I never use this smiley, but here it goes: . Please, someone, tell me I had too much whiskey when I listened (listen) to this. Tell me I don't know what I'm talking about. I will keep trying.
7. Ornette Coleman: Ornette On Tenor
Finally! This one sounds good. Ornette's tenor is personal and up-front, Jimmy Garrison's bass is better-defined than in the U.S. box set, and it's not too loud. (It's louder than the U.S. edition, but not in a peak-hitting way.) I will go on record again as stating that this is a grossly under-valued Ornette recording. What tenor player could or can play like this? Here is a marker for bad-ass: . Thank you, Ben Wallace.
8. Ornette Coleman: Ornete!
To be honest, I haven't listened enough to this one to give it any kind of review. To be continued.
9. Roland Kirk: The Inflated Tear
Overall, sounds better than the U.S. "deluxe" toilet paper roll edition — whew. Piano parts are cleaner, bass does boom on parts, and Kirk's horn is up-front, but not glaringly so. Does anyone else get choked up (not all the time, but sometimes?) listening to the title track? Jesus — what a piece of music. A great album. Jimmy Hopps = underrated drummer. Also has to be one of the best (most fun) bonus tracks ... ever.
Scientific? No. Informed? Partially. Literary? Definitely Not.
But the music itself keeps a person up into the night, listening ... .
Edited by Late, 16 February 2014 - 01:34 PM.