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Stereojack

How Blue Note Transitioned From Mono to Stereo

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Very interesting reading, a lot of facts I did not know. I always wondered about the March 8, 1957 date, because that would mean the Horace Silver quintet session was taped in the afternoon in Hackensack and the Jimmy Smith "Plays Pretty Just For You" session taped in the evening at Manhattan Towers. It seems to conflict with the method Rudy often stated: taking three days to set up for a remote recording. is it possible he set the remote equipment for the JOS session prior? It seems to me the same equipment he used for live club dates was the same that was used at Manhattan Towers, certainly if you look at, say the photos from Smalls for "Cool Blues" it looks like the same microphones from Manhattan Towers sessions. Also, the point made about the "Orgy in Rhythm" date being the first recorded in stereo, it seems odd that the only track recorded in mono is "Amuck".

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I generally prefer almost any BN I can get that way in mono...no distracting re-positioning of instruments in the mix from the head to the solos and generally better balance and presence.

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Anyone else notice the shoutout to our forums? "After reading this lucid and authoritative exposition, and memorizing the essential detail, you will easily be able to hold your own on the Steve Hoffman and Organisimo Forums, or post withering put-downs on any blog of your choosing (except here, careful)."

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Jack, thanks for the link. As someone who was a serious purchaser of Blue Note Lps in the 50's and 60's,

I found this article very enlightening.

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Very informative and confirmed a lot of my suspicions. One thing that was not addressed, unless I missed it:

One of the reasons for placing the bass and piano in the center had to do with the fact that the ratio between center information vs. side information increases when you collapse a stereo signal to mono. So in such a situation, it makes sense to place the louder instruments that cut through off too the sides, and the quieter instruments that are more likely to get lost, i.e., the bass and piano, in the center. I am sure that this played a role in the thought process, in addition to the fact that bass and piano typically form the rhythmic and harmonic foundations in most jazz settings.

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Anyone else notice the shoutout to our forums? "After reading this lucid and authoritative exposition, and memorizing the essential detail, you will easily be able to hold your own on the Steve Hoffman and Organisimo Forums, or post withering put-downs on any blog of your choosing (except here, careful)."

and spelled it wrong. :angry:

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Hmmm.

Oh Chuck, when I'm certain you have something useful or important to say, this is unbelievably frustrating.

MG

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Very informative and confirmed a lot of my suspicions. One thing that was not addressed, unless I missed it:

One of the reasons for placing the bass and piano in the center had to do with the fact that the ratio between center information vs. side information increases when you collapse a stereo signal to mono. So in such a situation, it makes sense to place the louder instruments that cut through off too the sides, and the quieter instruments that are more likely to get lost, i.e., the bass and piano, in the center. I am sure that this played a role in the thought process, in addition to the fact that bass and piano typically form the rhythmic and harmonic foundations in most jazz settings.

Also bass is usually summed to mono below a certain frequency in stereo lacquer cutting. So maybe Van Gelder had that in mind when placing the bass in the center? I agree with the author's conclusion from the comments section that from 1959 onwards I prefer the records in stereo. And I even like stereo on some of those early transitional sessions recorded in both mono and stereo.

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I'm not anything like an audio expert and, what I found fascinating was stuff about the relationship between RVG and Alfred.

RVG worked with loads of different producers and I wonder if anyone has looked into his relationships with Bob Weinstock, Esmond Edwards, Cal Lampley, Don Schitten and Bob Porter at Prestige; Creed Taylor in the ABC days, the Verve days and the CTI days; Herman Lubinsky (or was it always Ozzie Cadena) at Savoy; Ozzie at Choice and Prestige (Trusound) making gospel group and choir albums; Orrin Keepnews at Riverside; and others I either don't know about or have forgotten.

MG

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Whatever happened to that guy who was doing what he called the RVG project? He appeared very briefly either here or on the BNBB; sounded like he had people working with him, too.

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I'm not anything like an audio expert and, what I found fascinating was stuff about the relationship between RVG and Alfred.

RVG worked with loads of different producers and I wonder if anyone has looked into his relationships with Bob Weinstock, Esmond Edwards, Cal Lampley, Don Schitten and Bob Porter at Prestige; Creed Taylor in the ABC days, the Verve days and the CTI days; Herman Lubinsky (or was it always Ozzie Cadena) at Savoy; Ozzie at Choice and Prestige (Trusound) making gospel group and choir albums; Orrin Keepnews at Riverside; and others I either don't know about or have forgotten.

MG

Plus Bob Thiele with Impulse.

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Whatever happened to that guy who was doing what he called the RVG project? He appeared very briefly either here or on the BNBB; sounded like he had people working with him, too.

That was Dan Skea, and I don't really know what became of the RVG project. He did publish an article on RVG a number of years back:

http://jazzstudiesonline.org/files/jso/resources/pdf/RudyVanGelder.pdf

I seem to recall that the RVG project had some fairly lofty ambitions behind it... I'd love to know what's happened with it.

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I'm not anything like an audio expert and, what I found fascinating was stuff about the relationship between RVG and Alfred.

RVG worked with loads of different producers and I wonder if anyone has looked into his relationships with Bob Weinstock, Esmond Edwards, Cal Lampley, Don Schitten and Bob Porter at Prestige; Creed Taylor in the ABC days, the Verve days and the CTI days; Herman Lubinsky (or was it always Ozzie Cadena) at Savoy; Ozzie at Choice and Prestige (Trusound) making gospel group and choir albums; Orrin Keepnews at Riverside; and others I either don't know about or have forgotten.

MG

Plus Bob Thiele with Impulse.

I knew there was one I'd missed. Forgot him.

MG

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