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Berthold

Venus Records

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Looking for some new piano trio records I found the Venus Records Label from Japan.

I´ve ordered some CD´s from

- Bill Charlap

- David Hateltine

- Steve Kuhn

etc. This Label was rather unknown to me and I guess it´s only known in Japan, or the records they made are for Japan market targeted.

Do you know this Label? What are your opinions? Do you have some recommendations?

 

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Prior discussion.

 

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Many thanks for your reply - I was not aware of the previous discussion :-(((

But anyhow this discussion is rather old, so I guess we can reopen the discussion on this Topic if anybody is interested in?

What I have heard so far 

- the Music is very good

- the recording Quality is also very good

- my only issue is that the records are much louder recorded than any other (so I have to turn down the volume on my amplifier)

What do you think about this? Any comments?

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Venus is a fine label; for piano trios I would recommend any of the Eddie Higgins recordings available. If you like retro tenor sax, the Higgins + Scott Hamilton releases are also very nice.

 

 

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Is Venus still actively recording and releasing new CDs/vinyl?

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Tetsuo Hara is the owner of the label. I wrote a label feature some time ago which was posted at Allaboutjazz.com, though I am unsure if it is still accessible. He frequently likes to choose the songs for artists, while artists aren't always heard with their working bands. Bill Charles records under New York Trio for them.

 

 

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The album covers are often at least as stimulating as the music!

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I asked Hara about them (through Todd Barkan, who acted as a translator) and he considers them to be part of his "artistic concept." Though some artists, especially Charles McPherson, are not very pleased with his choices.

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Thanks Dan for your recommendation: I´m just Hearing "A Handful Of Stars". Just great!

Ken, thanks for your posting. Is it possible to post your label Feature here?

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I haven't bought many Venus releases this decade. I really dislike the covers, REALLY dislike them. And I'm not crazy about the house engineering sound at all. I do really like the Wilen, Shepp and Sanders titles I have, those I find different than later releases in important ways.

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My kind of music for sure but these are VERY expensive. Does anyone know of an affordable source for them?

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With your VAT in the UK, I imagine that they are. Anything under $20 in the U.S. is about the best I see here.

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I have a large number of Venus CDs. Here are just a few of the many I would recommend.

Sir Roland Hanna Trio - Milano, Paris New York

Barry Harris Trio - The Last Time I Saw Paris

Stanley Cowell Trio - Dancers In Love

Steve Kuhn Trio - Sing Me Softly Of The Blues

Claude Williamson Trio - South Of The Border, West Of the Sun

Cedar Walton Trio - Midnight Waltz

New York Trio (Bill Charlap) - Always

Charles McPherson Quartet - But Beautiful

Eddie Higgins Quartet - My Funny Valentine

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As mentioned in the earlier thread I do own just one Venus release - Danny Zeitlin + Buster Williams + Al Foster "As Long There Is Music" which very very good .... and the cover art is no show stopper either ....

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There are several Venus 2 cd sets that package previously released cds and that do not have the "controversial" covers.  For instance, Shepp's French Ballads (or Deja Vu) is combined with True Ballads.  Kuhn's blue waltz is combined with the red waltz. The pricing is also better.

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David Hazeltine released three on Venus that I like a lot.

Senor Blues (2001) Horace Silver tribute

Waltz For Debby (2002) Bill Evans tribute

Cleopatra's Dream (2006) Bud Powell tribute

クリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますクリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きますクリックすると新しいウィンドウで開きます

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I really enjoy a twofer of Alice in Wonderland + Cleopatra's Dream (Evans and Powell tributes) by the "David Hazeltine Trio". I ordered from Japanese seller on Amazon, not cheap but cheaper than individual CDs. Warning: this does have the soft-porn cover art (from Alice in Wonderland) and as hinted at by Lon above, the engineering is not great (e.g. audible studio chatter at times). Good music, though.

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On 6/3/2017 at 8:21 AM, T.D. said:

I really enjoy a twofer of Alice in Wonderland + Cleopatra's Dream (Evans and Powell tributes) by the "David Hazeltine Trio". I ordered from Japanese seller on Amazon, not cheap but cheaper than individual CDs. Warning: this does have the soft-porn cover art (from Alice in Wonderland) and as hinted at by Lon above, the engineering is not great (e.g. audible studio chatter at times). Good music, though.

Soft porn? I guess you've never 1) seen soft porn or 2) gone to an art museum that has nudes. :)

These covers are art, not porn.

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close, but no cigar. the intent is obvious.

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16 hours ago, Chuck Nessa said:

close, but no cigar. the intent is obvious.

It may not be art to you or me, but the cover art for David Hazeltine's "Cleopatra's Dream" and "Alice In Wonderland" are photographs by Jan Saudek. His works hang in many art galleries around the world.

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan

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The Alice in Wonderland cover is a bit sleazy, as the girl appears to be a bit young. The McPherson cover is simply creepy, nothing artistic about it.

 

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14 hours ago, Ken Dryden said:

The Alice in Wonderland cover is a bit sleazy, as the girl appears to be a bit young. The McPherson cover is simply creepy, nothing artistic about it.

How do you get "young" from that photo of her bare behind? I guess I'm no expert on guessing age from shots of bare buttocks. :)

And for what it's worth, Jan Saudek has some pretty disturbing and yes, pornographic photos among his "artwork", including some of very young nudes, that I would not like to have grace a new Venus CD cover. Quite honestly, I think that they'd get Venus in a bit of trouble if they tried using one of them, no matter how "artsy" it might be.

The McPherson photo is by another art photographer, Irina Ionesco, who is even more controversial than Saudek because she used her young daughter for many of her nude shots, though the shot on the cover of the McPherson disc is not one of them. Weird cover for sure but I don't get creepy from it. Now, if she doing something other than playing that saxophone...

Please don't get me wrong... I think these covers are very odd and don't belong on a music CD, but I also see why Tetsuo Hara is doing them this way. As I said, many of these photos hang on the walls of art galleries all over the world. Whether or not we see the "art" in them doesn't matter, the rest of the world seems to. He sees his covers as some sort of work of art when he puts these images on them. I'd prefer Monets myself.

Edited by Kevin Bresnahan

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Not my cuppa music and the covers are probably designed to elicit a response, and for that they work well -- nobody is forgetting the name of Venus Records as a result of their nudes. Not offended but also not all that interested.

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