David Ayers

Classic Blue Notes on SHM-CD

1,276 posts in this topic

But it appears that they're being replaced by "reduced price" non-SHM versions that likely have the same remastering.

Bumping up The Real Wives of Organissimo thread once again to note that the "reduced price" non-SHM editions of both the Blue Note and Prestige SHM-CD series appear to be limited to the most popular titles. Clicking around on HMV and CD Japan, it would appear that only a handful of the original series are seeing reissue as non-SHM discs. Might not be that big a deal (as almost everything gets reissued at some point), but it's food for thought. Might be a while before titles like A New Conception see reissue again.

Also, it turns out the hubbub over SHM may have been misguided. According to Google Translate, the acronym SHM ("super-high material") was concocted as an allusion to a Don Redman song.

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In reference to whether the bonus material on Blue John might change anyone's mind regarding the viability of that session(s) - probably not but it just might 'cause the bonus material is noticably more straight ahead/less greasy than the originally issued. disappointingly so to me, YMMV, etc.

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I actually liked the album with the extra material better than the original release, which I filed away for years as one of those that remained unreleased for so long for a good (enough) reason. Decades later a lot more has been let out of the can and now Blue John sounds like a somewhat above average session, which of course it is, but I don't know if that's because the bar for "average" now has dropped due to a greater exposure into what "average" really is, or what, exactly. Maybe it's not any better than I first thought it was but a lot of other stuff is not as good as it. Whatever. But I very much enjoyed the album (as an album) with the extra material added, fwiw.

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I loved the album as originally released and was then a little disappointed that other George Braith I heard later was nowhere near as greasy, although it's interesting in other ways.

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I posted this on the Neil Young audiophile thread, but I think it applies here too:

It would be nice if we had more good new music and new opportunities for musicians instead of new formats recycling the same old music.

Not much written here about the "Plenty of good music" out there. There are over 800 posts on this thread alone - all about the repackaging of old music. Most of what's written on Organissimo is about old music.

This is not meant as a retort to Paul's posts, but I found this fascinating. In the new thread about the Blizzard of 2015, Tom 1960 linked to today's Marc Myers's Jazzwax blog, where Myers discusses the Boston blizzard of 1978 (it can be found here). Myers (about halfway down the page) has the lists of what he played during the storm. Note that all the Pop-Rock-Disco titles were current. ALL of the Jazz titles were old, even then. The most recent titles seem to be Stitt's Tune Up (1972) and Herbie's Headhunters (1973). So maybe that's what jazz listeners do: listen to and talk about old music.

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Comfort music.

Like comfort food, it's no implication that there isn't anything else. Better, worse, or otherwise.

Does anything beat mac-n-cheese? Well, of course.

But nothing beats a good old-fashioned stand-by...

Perception. Reality. good night, and good luck...

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Mac & cheese with lobster & truffles.

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http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cheese-lovers-5-cheese-mac-and-cheese-recipe.html

Cheese Lovers 5 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 (16-ounce) package macaroni (cellentani or other curly noodle)
1/4 pound bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to butter baking dish
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated fontina
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
3/4 cup grated Gruyere
3/4 cup grated white Cheddar (Australian)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and butter a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain.

In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, saute the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Saute the onion in the bacon drippings until soft. Add the 5 tablespoons butter to the onion mixture and melt the butter stirring with a wooden spoon.

Using a whisk, add the flour, and stir constantly until well mixed with the fat making a roux. Whisk in the mustard. Gradually add the milk and cream whisking constantly.

Add the thyme, bay leaf, and salt. Let come to a simmer and stir frequently for 15 minutes.

Strain the hot milk mixture into a metal bowl and discard the solids. Working quickly, mix in 1 cup fontina, blue cheese, 1/2 cup Gruyere, 1/2 cup white Cheddar, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the reserved bacon, and parsley. Continue to stir until all cheese is melted.

Add the cooked noodles to the cheese mixture to coat. Add the noodle mixture to the prepared baking dish. Mix the remaining cheese and bread crumbs together and sprinkle on top of the noodles. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. Remove from oven when done and rest for 5 minutes.

Recipe courtesy Rick Massa
If there's better, please post. But this is damn good no matter what.

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UCCQ 5078 • Jackie McLean: Demon's Dance

Finally! This album at last sounds good in a digital medium. It is on the slightly loud side, but compared to the original McMaster, the Collector's Choice edition, and the JRVG ... this one has more air between the horns, and doesn't sound flattened (the piano mainly) to no end. The horns sound great on this disc (really!), the piano will never sound that good, bass is clearer and more upfront, drums are recessed and (seemingly) panned across both channels. I always forget how great the compositions are on this record. Top-notch writing, every track. Woody Shaw The Composer in the studio.

If you like this record and have been frustrated with previous digital editions, I'd give this a :tup .

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UCCQ 5078 • Jackie McLean: Demon's Dance

Finally! This album at last sounds good in a digital medium. It is on the slightly loud side, but compared to the original McMaster, the Collector's Choice edition, and the JRVG ... this one has more air between the horns, and doesn't sound flattened (the piano mainly) to no end. The horns sound great on this disc (really!), the piano will never sound that good, bass is clearer and more upfront, drums are recessed and (seemingly) panned across both channels. I always forget how great the compositions are on this record. Top-notch writing, every track. Woody Shaw The Composer in the studio.

If you like this record and have been frustrated with previous digital editions, I'd give this a :tup .

Cool! Thanks for the review Laton. I think I will order it- probably my favorite McLean.

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Cool! Thanks for the review Laton. I think I will order it - probably my favorite McLean.

I hope my mini-review was measured enough. I think you'll like this new edition. For me, at least, this album now has new life to it.

I also thought about mini-reviewing more of these Blue Note SHM-CDs as I've spun them over a week or so. The Bud Powell (Vol 1.) is the wonkiest of the bunch I've bought so far. Some tracks (Track 1 for example) are noticeably boosted and would seem to come from a different source tape (because of the poor sound) than what Rudy or McMaster used. Then, when the quintet tracks come along, it's like I'm hearing them for the first time — drums aren't muddy, horns are present and balanced — really nice. That disc, in my opinion, is hit or miss. The music of course is all "hit."

The finest disc from this series that I've listened to so far is the Kenny Dorham Cafe Bohemia date. This was a well-recorded live session to begin with, but the current remastering (whatever the Japanese engineers are doing here) brings a new level of clarity and depth. The disc contains bonus tracks, but doesn't of course contain all the music from all the sets, so that's something to consider. I "learned" this album in its original vinyl track order, and could never undo hearing it otherwise, which is one reason it was easy for me to part with the RVG edition, even though it contained more music. For this particular Blue Note album, less is more for me, and Lion's (and/or Dorham's) original track selection was astute and on-the-mark in my opinion. This new remaster almost makes the live session sound like a studio session. Monterose feels less off-mike, drums (particularly bass drum) are clearer, piano is very present, and Sam Jones' bass sounds distinct in this (mono) recording. Even after listening to this record for years, I still forget about Kenny Burrell's presence. When he solos, I still think, "Oh yeah, not a quintet." I also just love Kenny Dorham on this album. He might be a player that I like quite a bit more live than in the studio.

Not really reviews, I suppose, but responses. While this series is a little aggressive (sonically) overall, I think it's consistent with the way Alfred Lion liked to hear recordings — up front.

I hope the series continues (and that Schizophrenia and Blue Spirits are next in the queue — as well as Components).

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TYCJ 81024: Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2

This series seems to do mono especially well. I never owned the BN Works TOCJ of this title. I have owned the McMaster and JRVG. This edition, to my ears, trumps them both. This title isn't too loud (except for possibly the bass at points). What I noticed first was the precise depth of the soundstage — Rollins is up front, Jay Jay slightly behind and to the left, Monk is more recessed (except for solos) than on the McMaster, Chambers is exceptionally clear and close-miked, and Blakey is to the right. It's interesting to compare Silver with Monk on this date (sonically, not musically — that's another discussion). I'll have to listen again, but it sounds like Silver is closer in the mix when he plays; it might be how Rudy responded to the two pianists playing. The JRVG of this title was actually decent, but the bass boomed uncomfortably (at least on my system). It doesn't boom on the TYCJ, but it's still fairly loud, which leads me to believe (perhaps incorrectly; I don't really know) that Chambers was miked closer than usual. That said, I hear no bass distortion or peaking on the TYCJ. (But I don't check these things with graphs or DR report charts. Just going by strictly unofficial ears.) At any rate, the mono feel is very much alive on this new SHM-CD edition. "Reflections" is absolutely gorgeous, though it sounds like Rollins was a little further away from the mike here. This track makes me long for a "Thelonious Monk Songbook" set of recordings with Rollins as the sole horn. (Five volumes, at least.)

Overall, I'm very happy with this issue — a :tup recommendation. Oh yes — I haven't heard the hybrid SACD of this recording. I like what Analogue Productions has done with their take on Blue Note, but sometimes it feels a little too polite. (In general, though I only have three of them, I like the Blue Note XRCDs better.) The TYCJ/UCCQ series are (as mentioned before) a little aggressive, but not in the way (to me) that the Rudy Van Gelder series is. I only have two RVG titles any more, so that should indicate my preference regarding that particular series.

My only objective in these mini-reviews is to share the kind of information that I'd like to read before potentially making a purchase. I am not in possession of audiophile ears or (for that matter) audiophile equipment — I just like to pay attention to the music.

Rotel amp and CD player; B&W speakers, but at the lower price point of both products; smallish listening room

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Appreciate your comments...

Seconded..

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Thanks for the recommendations.

I'm planning to buy some of these next month.

Any more titles that sound particularly good?

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Cool! Thanks for the review Laton. I think I will order it - probably my favorite McLean.

I hope my mini-review was measured enough. I think you'll like this new edition. For me, at least, this album now has new life to it.

I also thought about mini-reviewing more of these Blue Note SHM-CDs as I've spun them over a week or so. The Bud Powell (Vol 1.) is the wonkiest of the bunch I've bought so far. Some tracks (Track 1 for example) are noticeably boosted and would seem to come from a different source tape (because of the poor sound) than what Rudy or McMaster used. Then, when the quintet tracks come along, it's like I'm hearing them for the first time drums aren't muddy, horns are present and balanced really nice. That disc, in my opinion, is hit or miss. The music of course is all "hit."

The finest disc from this series that I've listened to so far is the Kenny Dorham Cafe Bohemia date. This was a well-recorded live session to begin with, but the current remastering (whatever the Japanese engineers are doing here) brings a new level of clarity and depth. The disc contains bonus tracks, but doesn't of course contain all the music from all the sets, so that's something to consider. I "learned" this album in its original vinyl track order, and could never undo hearing it otherwise, which is one reason it was easy for me to part with the RVG edition, even though it contained more music. For this particular Blue Note album, less is more for me, and Lion's (and/or Dorham's) original track selection was astute and on-the-mark in my opinion. This new remaster almost makes the live session sound like a studio session. Monterose feels less off-mike, drums (particularly bass drum) are clearer, piano is very present, and Sam Jones' bass sounds distinct in this (mono) recording. Even after listening to this record for years, I still forget about Kenny Burrell's presence. When he solos, I still think, "Oh yeah, not a quintet." I also just love Kenny Dorham on this album. He might be a player that I like quite a bit more live than in the studio.

Not really reviews, I suppose, but responses. While this series is a little aggressive (sonically) overall, I think it's consistent with the way Alfred Lion liked to hear recordings up front.

I hope the series continues (and that Schizophrenia and Blue Spirits are next in the queue as well as Components). Was "components" released on SHM?

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Was "Components" released on SHM?

Nope — just wishful thinking on my part. I don't even know if the series is continuing past March, though I suspect so. In the post above, I was simply hoping that those three titles would be included in the reissue series.

I'll have to do more close listening before I can post any more mini-reviews (with any degree of conviction). That said, checking old discussion in this thread:

• The Thelonious Monk titles were discussed waaaay back in this thread — I'd strongly recommend those.

• The Miles Davis titles I didn't find much of an improvement over the BN Works TOCJs, but if you don't have the TOCJs, then — yes— I'd recommend the TYCJ Davis titles (especially because they contain the extra material). I (personally) was very unhappy with the RVGs, and the McMasters were solid, but (again, to me) a little lifeless. I know that's not very technical — just a personal response.

• If you have the old Malcolm Addey editions of the Ornette Coleman titles (Love Call, New York Is Now), you might not need the TYCJs. I like the TYCJs, but the Addeys are more than sufficient in my opinion.

I'll post some more once I've done my "homework." :crazy:

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Ok I was excited there for a minute that "Components" was reissued on SHM! Guess I mis-read your post :)

Ive had 3 different NY pressings of "Components" over the years and even my current copy(got rid of the previous 2) is sorta noisy in a few spots :(

I placed another order with CDjapan just now for the aforementioned Rollins and McLean discs. The McLean I have on a TOCJ version but I'll take your word that this new version sounds better! In addition to about 10 other Blue Note SHM discs I ordered "Soulnik" by Doug Watkins and a few of the Monk prestige SHM titles.

While I'm generally a vinyl guy I must confess to have fallen in love with these SHM blue notes..the mastering is really nice. It just hurts my pocket book as I am often tempted to buy SHM CDs of titles I already have either on Japanese or even original Blue Note vinyl!!! :crazy: BTW that's how my wife sees me when I buy multiple versions of the same record :w

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When I read your review of Demon Dance I was like WTF Laton, because that was the one I ordered that I thought sounded the worst when I received it. So I re-listened to it and the McMaster and I agree it does sound better than the McMaster and is probably the best digital version available. . . . But I still think it doesn't sound that great. Which is too bad, such great music!

One SHM-CD I listened to lately that blew me away was Herbie Hancock's The Prisoner. That sounds awesome. All the Grant Green ones I bought I have also been quite impressed by.

Edited by jazzbo

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I got "oleo", "goodens corner", "first session" and "matador" and indeed they do sound great. Although I'll likely buy the upcoming Music Matters 33rpm reissue of "matador" as well!

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When I read your review of Demon's Dance I was like WTF Laton, because that was the one I ordered that I thought sounded the worst when I received it. So I re-listened to it and the McMaster and I agree it does sound better than the McMaster and is probably the best digital version available. . . . But I still think it doesn't sound that great.

This recording has always been problematic — sonically — it seems. But, agreed, the music is wonderful. I haven't heard a better version than the UCCQ; good to agree on that. There was never (to my knowledge) a BN Works TOCJ of this title, so there were/are (I think I'm right here) only four versions: (1) McMaster, (2) Collector's Choice (which is really the McMaster again), (3) Japanese Rudy Van Gelder edition, and (4) the current UCCQ SHM-CD. (Oh, maybe there's a domestic RVG? I stopped following that series.) I think the UCCQ is considerably improved over the McMaster, but the piano will always sound kind of wonky (to me at least). The biggest improvement, I thought, was in the horns.

I have ​The Prisoner on order. Can't wait for that one. While I'm familiar with the music, I've never actually owned a compact disc of this album!

==========================

One of the risks a person runs by posting positive reviews of a disc is that others will be encouraged to purchase it ... and then may not agree with the reviewed assessment. (Gulp.) So, I'm trying to be measured with my mini-reviews, but so far, just so board members know, I'm probably biased toward this series. I'm really enjoying it so far. The Bud Powell disc (as previously mentioned) has the unfortunate first track, but even that disc has its rewards.

==========================

Here's what I've been listening to today:

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UCCQ 5051 • Elvin Jones: Puttin' It Together

m-fepoSzDqUwy1Fhd4tYoYA.jpgmYaLizxkUyKFwwkt87iGdPw.jpgmKo_1P-NgkMa4X5sYKFAkFQ.jpgm1FFPIZgvpdy5gURH0Jz1Kw.jpg

TYCJ 81086 • Elvin Jones: The Ultimate

TYCJ 80168 • Elvin Jones: Poly-Currents

TYCJ 81096 • Elvin Jones: Coalition

TYCJ 81072 • Elvin Jones: Genesis

I first have to say that I'm enjoying listening to these discs as separate "albums." I actually sold my Mosaic set to fund the purchase of these discs (with a modest profit in return). True, the above five discs are only part of the Mosaic. A fair amount, but not all. That said, with some exceptions, I like the sound of these SHM-CDs more than the Mosaic. Now, there was nothing wrong with the Mosaic set! It has a "neutral" sound to its remastering that many will prefer over these SHM-CDs. (I'm not trying to make converts!)

A few notes so far:

• The first three sessions (Puttin' It Together, The Ultimate, Poly-Currents) sound the most "improved" over the Mosaic, mainly in regard to how Elvin's set is clarified in the mix. Maybe I'm making this up in my mind, but the separate parts of the kit sound more distinguishable. The bass drum is definitely more noticeable. Joe Farrell (on the first session) sounds remarkably good. Garrison's bass — for those who prefer a less aggressive remaster — is not going to please. It is very much up front. (Don't sell off your Mosaic.)

• The "Coalition" disc. The bass drums peaks on this one in places. Maybe my stereo isn't set up well enough (power, I don't know), but there are places when the bass drum fills the speaker in an uncomfortable way. Horns are placed back, but do sound good. Wilbur Little's bass fares the best in my listening so far. I like this session, but I'd probably have to say that the Mosaic has the edge.

• An aesthetic note. The additional (color) photos of Elvin on the inlay card are a really nice touch. Very cool in his corduroy suit!

By the way, I think it would be good, in general, if others posted their own reviews of this series, especially if they contrasted with mine. Good to have differing views. Mine, as you can tell, are not informed by data.

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Another thank you for your balanced review of these discs. I'm increasingly cautious regarding upgrading but some sessions are either so good or previously mastered so poorly , that improved versions become desirable.

I've just ordered Monk Vol 1 -:)

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I got "oleo", "goodens corner", "first session" and "matador" and indeed they do sound great. Although I'll likely buy the upcoming Music Matters 33rpm reissue of "matador" as well!

Grant Green's "Latin Bit" SHM-CD is on its way.

Edited by Alexandros

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UCCQ 5051 • Elvin Jones: Puttin' It Together

m-fepoSzDqUwy1Fhd4tYoYA.jpgmYaLizxkUyKFwwkt87iGdPw.jpgmKo_1P-NgkMa4X5sYKFAkFQ.jpgm1FFPIZgvpdy5gURH0Jz1Kw.jpg

TYCJ 81086 • Elvin Jones: The Ultimate

TYCJ 80168 • Elvin Jones: Poly-Currents

TYCJ 81096 • Elvin Jones: Coalition

TYCJ 81072 • Elvin Jones: Genesis

I first have to say that I'm enjoying listening to these discs as separate "albums." I actually sold my Mosaic set to fund the purchase of these discs (with a modest profit in return). True, the above five discs are only part of the Mosaic. A fair amount, but not all. That said, with some exceptions, I like the sound of these SHM-CDs more than the Mosaic. Now, there was nothing wrong with the Mosaic set! It has a "neutral" sound to its remastering that many will prefer over these SHM-CDs. (I'm not trying to make converts!)

A few notes so far:

• The first three sessions (Puttin' It Together, The Ultimate, Poly-Currents) sound the most "improved" over the Mosaic, mainly in regard to how Elvin's set is clarified in the mix. Maybe I'm making this up in my mind, but the separate parts of the kit sound more distinguishable. The bass drum is definitely more noticeable. Joe Farrell (on the first session) sounds remarkably good. Garrison's bass — for those who prefer a less aggressive remaster — is not going to please. It is very much up front. (Don't sell off your Mosaic.)

As IMO Jimmy Garrison`s bass in these (and other) recordings mix- btw sonicwise was rather underrepresented, the mentioned upfront positioning (at least for me as bass fan) gives some additional insight......

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... the mentioned upfront positioning (at least for me as bass fan) gives some additional insight ...

Just to be clear, I was referring to Puttin' It Together here (i.e. Garrison's bass up front). I'll have to relisten to The Ultimate to see if I have the same impression. The bass sound on the first session, while noticeably louder, doesn't seem to distort, which is a good thing.

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