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mjzee

Dexter Gordon - Tokyo 1975

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Release date July 13:

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I can't keep the labels striaght these days, is Elemental one of the good ones or one of the ones that, you know, fuck them, I'll get a burn from a friend?

I see Cuscuna's name, so that is a strong indicator of legitimacy, right?

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Elemental is definitely "above board".

My one question on this is if it's your typical concert hall recording from Japan. I hate that sound. I'd rather hear a shoddy boot than a cavernous hall with weird-timed clapping any day.

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40 minutes ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

Elemental is definitely "above board".

My one question on this is if it's your typical concert hall recording from Japan. I hate that sound. I'd rather hear a shoddy boot than a cavernous hall with weird-timed clapping any day.

Me too - although I do like Tootie.

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I found a track today. The sound is pretty good with the exception that it has lousy bass sound that's so typical of that era.

 

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1 hour ago, joshuakennedy said:

I didn't realize this was newly discovered material. I'll have to check it out. 

Actually its floated around the private recording/dime/trade community. I still paid for a copy but haven't listened yet.

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12 minutes ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

I found a track today. The sound is pretty good with the exception that it has lousy bass sound that's so typical of that era.

 

Indeed. :( Lousy and typical. Droning, resonating, interfering. It most often was the bass part that has marred several interesting LPs I bought from that recording era (trying to give the recordings a chance but a bit disappointed because of this afterwards). Don't know what the bassists thought they were doing? Ray Brown must have felt a very, very lonely (and old-fashioned) man during that period,

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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47 minutes ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

I found a track today. The sound is pretty good with the exception that it has lousy bass sound that's so typical of that era.

 

I'm not sure if you use Spotify, but they have the whole album on there. 

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I just listened to the whole album on Spotify and enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks for sharing! 

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1 hour ago, joshuakennedy said:

I'm not sure if you use Spotify, but they have the whole album on there. 

 

16 minutes ago, joshuakennedy said:

I just listened to the whole album on Spotify and enjoyed it quite a bit. Thanks for sharing! 

Are you thanking yourself? :D

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2 hours ago, Big Beat Steve said:

Indeed. :( Lousy and typical. Droning, resonating, interfering. It most often was the bass part that has marred several interesting LPs I bought from that recording era (trying to give the recordings a chance but a bit disappointed because of this afterwards). Don't know what the bassists thought they were doing? Ray Brown must have felt a very, very lonely (and old-fashioned) man during that period,

I get your pain point on this, but I just wonder why there's like umpteen bajillion complaints about "70s bass sound" and maybe 0.0000000000211% about cymbal sounds, not just from then but from going forth. I just don't get that. I can handle the bad bass sound (unless it's a combination of super low action AND bad miking), but a thin-ass ride that either pings or whitenoises instead of creating a good full bodied cushion of overtones, that's something I just cringe about without fail.

And it's all driven by amplification, simple as that. Some people know how to use it, some don't, and worst of all, some just don't care.

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I like it quite some! The Tokyo set (with Tootie in great form) is under 40 minutes though, so they added two bonus tracks from roughly the same time ... second one is with the "Homecoming" band, Woody taking a  break ... now more by that group would be great!

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41 minutes ago, Big Beat Steve said:

 

Are you thanking yourself? :D

LOL. No. Thanking the topic starter for bringing this album to my attention. I'm a huge Dexter Gordon fan and didn't realize this was new stuff.

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8 hours ago, JSngry said:

I get your pain point on this, but I just wonder why there's like umpteen bajillion complaints about "70s bass sound" and maybe 0.0000000000211% about cymbal sounds, not just from then but from going forth. I just don't get that. I can handle the bad bass sound (unless it's a combination of super low action AND bad miking), but a thin-ass ride that either pings or whitenoises instead of creating a good full bodied cushion of overtones, that's something I just cringe about without fail.

And it's all driven by amplification, simple as that. Some people know how to use it, some don't, and worst of all, some just don't care.

Maybe because

a) IMHO the bass ought to provide some sort of pulse or "body" and these bass men don't. Intruding and overamplified (or ineptly amplified - probably, but that doesn't help matters), and to my ears they just get in the way, trying to show they can "do their solo thing too" at a moment when their place isn't among the soloists. (But that's just my personal impression, and maybe I am expecting things incorrectly, given what the times - and their musical trends - were like, but then I'll just side - again - with those over in the Shirley Scott thread who feel they won't like to touch many jazzmen's output from decades that have that different stylistic connotations)

b) I did not pay that much attention to the cymbals, maybe not expecting much in the first place (or being glad there were any at all), seeing what drummers' work in 70s/80s music - outside jazz - often was like (making you wonder what the drummers had cymbals for anyway)

In short, apparently some can handle the bass better, some can handle the cymbals better. Different strokes ... ;)

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I'm one of those that isn't usually bothered with warbly cymbal sounds but reacts strongly to foogly bass sounds - part of it, in my case, is problably that I love the bass in jazz (and pop) so much that it really makes me cringe ... but yeah, the Woody Shaw on Elemental suffers from badly sounding cymbals as well (they don't even mention what hall or location it was recorded in--bet Woody III knows but dosen't want us to know as much as he does ... the main notes are by Cuscuna as well btw  --- and don't forget that Elemental is the label that did the amazing Giuffre 2-CD-set a couple of years back, it seems to be a spin-off or sister-label/project of Resonance in some way, so probably about as legit as it gets) - anyway with the Shaw, it was the drunk piano that I noticed (but it doesn't keep Mulgrew Miller from playing excellently).

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A record is a record and it will almost alwaus sound like a record in some way. It's best to learn to make the adjustments, no matter how difficult some of the are. If the playing's good, that can be done with no hard feelings. If the playing's not so good....grrrrrrrr......

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I was always under the impression that the lousy bass sound from this era was due to the advent of cheap electronic pick-ups, the "direct bass" days? I thought I read where they went away from pick-ups and back to mic'ing the bass in the early 80's?

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21 minutes ago, Kevin Bresnahan said:

I was always under the impression that the lousy bass sound from this era was due to the advent of cheap electronic pick-ups, the "direct bass" days? I thought I read where they went away from pick-ups and back to mic'ing the bass in the early 80's?

Honestly, I think mike-ing and recording of the bass part is only part of the problem. My main quibble is that the bass players of those times too often tried to play the busybodies trying impose themselves into the overall mix way too much instead of just keeping the pulse of the rhythm going and flowing (outside their solo space). In short, it is the STYLE of bass playing of that period that very, very often bugs me. The leaders of the dates apparently felt differently and this opinion of mine may make me a "moldy fig" but anyway ....;)

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so many bass players lowered their action to gain speed at the expense of a good/fat sound, at least some of this was in reaction to Scott LaFaro's processes. I've ehard differing accounts of how much LaFaro's facility was due to a lowered action and how much was just plain old hard work (and re-evaluating him a few years ago, his tone was bigger than I remembered it being), so I can't really hold him responsible. But then as now, I point to Mingus as the still-definitive example of how a bassist can "do it all" - have/keep great time, have a big fat sound in all registers & in all tempos, and play interactively with the front line. Mingus, FTW as far as OG All That.

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2 minutes ago, JSngry said:

so many bass players lowered their action to gain speed at the expense of a good/fat sound, at least some of this was in reaction to Scott LaFaro's processes. I've ehard differing accounts of how much LaFaro's facility was due to a lowered action and how much was just plain old hard work (and re-evaluating him a few years ago, his tone was bigger than I remembered it being), so I can't really hold him responsible. But then as now, I point to Mingus as the still-definitive example of how a bassist can "do it all" - have/keep great time, have a big fat sound in all registers & in all tempos, and play interactively with the front line. Mingus, FTW as far as OG All That.

Re-listening to Mingus always comes as revelation in this respect ....

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Yep.

And Wilbur Ware as well, although he was not nearly as extroverted about it as Mingus. Still...

I get why LaFaro is venerated for what he did, but I am not into the "idolatry" around him as somebody who just appeared out of nowhere doing things that had never been conceived of before. Bill Evans of the time was the perfect foil for him, Evans left "blanks" that he wanted "filled in" in the interest of an ongoing conversations, and LaFaro was perfect for that. It was a true and natural synergy. But it's not like he had no precedent in terms of being an interactive, as opposed to supportive role,

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10 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Yep.

And Wilbur Ware as well, although he was not nearly as extroverted about it as Mingus. Still...

 

 

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And truthfully, to get all macro about it, what is the difference between "interactive" and "supportive" anyway? I know that the best support IS interactive and the best interaction is supportive, so...no matter how you go about it, it should all come down to

 

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