ghost of miles

Resonance to release pre-Capitol Nat King Cole box set

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In fairness to the Captain (howdy again, Caps!), the Resonance website gives a song/track list that is lacking in sourcing, which when dealing with transcriptions, is useful information to the non-general consumer (and realistically, will there be any non-non-general consumers buying this?). I mean, ain't nobody gonna be saying "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer & Rambling Rose brought me here", ya' know?

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38 minutes ago, sonnymax said:

Is it too much to ask you to go the Resonance website to read the track list?

I did, and I didn't see it the first time. That's what you get when your website designer decides to get clever with tabs. 

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Posted (edited)

On 20.7.2019 at 2:27 PM, jtaylor said:

The material from the Riffin' set that will also appear in the Resonance box are the Decca sides and the session with Dexter Gordon. Everything else -- JATP, 1946 Lester session, Keynoters session -- will be omitted. The idea of the Resonance box is to cover Cole's trajectory right up until his very first session with Capitol in November 1943. 

Now that makes it a piece of interest to me, as I have only a not-so-great sounding Affinity LP reissue of the Decca sides, apart from excerpts on the big red Capitol box set "A Musiacl Autobiography", which also featured two discs of transcriptions etc.

The Dexter session, btw, left me cold. Not for Nat, but for Dexter, who sounds too immature to me. Since I had the Affinity LP and all the Pres stuff I skipped the Riffin' box.

Edited by mikeweil

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10 hours ago, JSngry said:

In fairness to the Captain (howdy again, Caps!), the Resonance website gives a song/track list that is lacking in sourcing, which when dealing with transcriptions, is useful information to the non-general consumer (and realistically, will there be any non-non-general consumers buying this?). I mean, ain't nobody gonna be saying "Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer & Rambling Rose brought me here", ya' know?

Totally true, parciularly since there are quite a few tunes that he recorded more than once. You would really have to work with an up-to-date discography or previous reissue packages to identify which is which and see where you are with what you have or don't have (and use the SEQUENCE of the tracks used in previous reissues for orientation). In short, an original release label and no. would have been MUCH more significant to the prospective buyer than the songwriters' credits.

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Posted (edited)

Just groovin' to the big red Capitol set - those early trio sides sure swing!

Nat King Cole: His Musical Autobiography

51fUvBelUML.jpg

A first glance at the track lists tells me overlap with this set could be tolerable. Onlx the first CD (which I'm spinning right now) features a selectrion of pre-Capitol recordings.

 

Edited by mikeweil

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More info from the mastering engineer of this set Matt Lutthans:

. . . the CDs were mastered separately from the LPs, and with much care to not brickwall, smash, or funk-up in any way. They turned out very well, to my ears. Regarding the needle drops aspect, because tape did not exist (at least in North America) at the time of these recordings, everything here stems from a disk of some sort or other, and at some point has been transferred (either to analog tape or to digital) from an original disk source. That's just the nature of the beast with pre-tape recordings.

•78 RPM shellac disks ("78s") -- these were only used in this set when there was no alternative (when nothing resembling a "master" exists). Only a handful of tracks are from shellac 78s, almost all in new transfers.
•The vast majority of tracks here (I'd guess 85%????) come from 1930s and 1940s *original* 33-1/3 RPM 16" VINYL transcription disks, which are generally of much higher fidelity than 78s, with far less surface noise -- pre-microgroove, with a groove more akin to a 78, but on vinyl at 33-1/3. Some sound extremely good and "hi-fi"-like. Dozens of these tracks are in brand-new transfers.

A few tracks came from dubs of metal parts, tape backups of no-longer-surviving disks, etc. -- that sort of thing is hard to completely avoid in a set of this scope -- but the above two bullet-point categories account for, I'm guessing, a solid 90% of the content. It's a very well-sourced set.

 

https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/nat-king-cole-hittin-the-ramp-new-early-period-set-from-resonance-in-november.862252/page-2#post-21715614

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The Decca stuff, what is it being sourced from?

Aimed at addressing the elephant in the room - did the MCA fire impact what sources were available for that portion of this project?

It's ok for me if the answer is yes, btw. I mean, there's this, but lord, MCA was already pressing on crappy vinyl even then, I'd hardly look to it as an "alternative".

R-2084198-1263082728.jpeg.jpgR-2084198-1263082734.jpeg.jpg

and, ok, this, but...uh...good luck on finding a true mint copy of that, and besides, only 10 cuts,

R-9085301-1474508319-3516.jpeg.jpg

R-9085301-1474508320-7114.jpeg.jpg

Just...was there an impact from the fire on the availability of Decca source material when assembling this set? It seems like a "yes" or "no" question. Either way, this is probably going to be the standard archive for this material going forth, and it sounds like they're proceeding with that reality in mind.

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7 hours ago, jazzbo said:

More info from the mastering engineer of this set Matt Lutthans:

. . . the CDs were mastered separately from the LPs, and with much care to not brickwall, smash, or funk-up in any way. They turned out very well, to my ears. Regarding the needle drops aspect, because tape did not exist (at least in North America) at the time of these recordings, everything here stems from a disk of some sort or other, and at some point has been transferred (either to analog tape or to digital) from an original disk source. That's just the nature of the beast with pre-tape recordings.

•78 RPM shellac disks ("78s") -- these were only used in this set when there was no alternative (when nothing resembling a "master" exists). Only a handful of tracks are from shellac 78s, almost all in new transfers.
•The vast majority of tracks here (I'd guess 85%????) come from 1930s and 1940s *original* 33-1/3 RPM 16" VINYL transcription disks, which are generally of much higher fidelity than 78s, with far less surface noise -- pre-microgroove, with a groove more akin to a 78, but on vinyl at 33-1/3. Some sound extremely good and "hi-fi"-like. Dozens of these tracks are in brand-new transfers.

A few tracks came from dubs of metal parts, tape backups of no-longer-surviving disks, etc. -- that sort of thing is hard to completely avoid in a set of this scope -- but the above two bullet-point categories account for, I'm guessing, a solid 90% of the content. It's a very well-sourced set.

It sounds as if most of this set has been sourced from tape, either analog or digital, with only a relatively few brand new transfers made expressly for this project. Or from god knows where. Then again it's hard to tell from this description. It would have been nice if Resonance had provided this info officially rather than leaving it up to their reps to spread it across message boards. :(

From the mastering engineer, Matt Lutthans:

 

There is a very, very small amount of overlap between the Resonance set and the Mosaic set. It's something like ten tracks or so. This is because the Mosaic set began with the first tracks that Capitol OWNED, which were actually pre-Capitol tracks for which Capitol later bought the masters, while the new Resonance set goes up to (but not including) the first session RECORDED BY Capitol. The overlap is "Vom, Vim, Veedle" through "My Lips Remember Your Kisses" on little labels like Excelsior and Premier. Funny thing we discovered while working on this set: The version of "My Lips Remember Your Kisses" in the Mosaic set is an alternate -- it's not the original 78 version. We have both versions in the new set, both of which I newly transferred from original 78 RPM disks. (The alternate version, which exists as a white-label test pressing, wins the award for coming the farthest distance, being safely shipped from Australia to the Seattle area for transfer.)

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Well, yeah, tape. And everything here stems from a disk of some sort or other, and at some point has been transferred (either to analog tape or to digital) from an original disk source. I mean, yeah, no shit Sherlock. Who knew?

But the Decca stuff...let's assume that the metal masters were gone before the fire. Just lost or trashed or rusted or pocketed by Jerry Valburn or god knows what. So you - Decca/MCA - got tape transfers dating back a while, most likely pretty good ones. Did they get lost in the fire or not? If they survived, excellent. And if not, just say so, tell us what did, what did you use for this set, and then pimp it out like hey, we're doing this right and nobody's ever going to do it more right, because this is all that's left to work with now. We got what was left and nailed it for posterity. Now sit down, STFU, and say "thank you".

Or is this one of those industry politics things where everybody's sworn not to talk about it except people who are threatening to sue, and you know, Resonance ain't gonna last forever and at some point people might need to ask for a gig at MCA, right?

And I find no fault with that, except...just tell the truth, all of the truth. This set might not be simply for collector geeks, it might be for true posterity, ya' know, like reference for the rest of time.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

Well, yeah, tape. And everything here stems from a disk of some sort or other, and at some point has been transferred (either to analog tape or to digital) from an original disk source. I mean, yeah, no shit Sherlock. Who knew?

This means for the most part the box is sourced from tapes, not the original masters. This means for the most part they didn't do new transfers. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that's not how e.g. Mosaic works on a project from this era. Mosaic would use the original sources (or the best available in the event that the originals were unavailable or deteriorated). 

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But it all stemmed from a disk of some sort or other! :g

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11 hours ago, Captain Howdy said:

Mosaic would use the original sources (or the best available in the event that the originals were unavailable or deteriorated). 

Looking at the info the engineer provides above, if 85% or so are from tranacription discs and the second biggest source is from 78s, my guess is that Resonance has done what Mosaic does and would have done.

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11 hours ago, JSngry said:

But it all stemmed from a disk of some sort or other! :g

So is a cassette I taped of a LP I borrowed from the library. 

10 hours ago, jazzbo said:

Looking at the info the engineer provides above, if 85% or so are from tranacription discs and the second biggest source is from 78s, my guess is that Resonance has done what Mosaic does and would have done.

But notice that he doesn't say those are new transfers directly from transcription discs and 78s: he says "Dozens of these tracks are in brand-new transfers." The rest--the majority--come from tapes that were made who knows when: "everything here stems from a disk of some sort or other, and at some point has been transferred (either to analog tape or to digital) from an original disk source." I don't know if he was intentionally trying to pull a verbal sleight of hand but that's the effect: he suggests that everything comes from a disk, but what he's really saying is that everything comes from tape.

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Posted (edited)

Okay. I'm sticking to my guns that Mosaic would be likely using the same available sources. I'm interpreting this less critically than you seem to be I guess. Perhaps Jordan Taylor (above) may chime in here. From all the other Resonance releases I have I expect this to have excellent sound quality.

Edited by jazzbo

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1 hour ago, Captain Howdy said:

 I don't know if he was intentionally trying to pull a verbal sleight of hand but that's the effect: he suggests that everything comes from a disk, but what he's really saying is that everything comes from tape.

I concur with this interpretation, but will also add that I have every confidence that they are indeed using the best currently available sources. I have no reason to think otherwise.

so let me ask it this way - what are the best currently available sources for the Decca material?

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48 minutes ago, jazzbo said:

Okay. I'm sticking to my guns that Mosaic would be likely using the same available sources. I'm interpreting this less critically than you seem to be I guess. Perhaps Jordan Taylor (above) may chime in here. From all the other Resonance releases I have I expect this to have excellent sound quality.

You may be right. Everyone here and on Hoffman seem to have high regard for Resonance. I don't know Resonance from Adam's off ox. We live in a public domain era now, and if you're not a major label but you want to charge major label prices I want you to prove to me you didn't source your material from Chronological Classics CDs and Spotify rips. Or, you know, fifth generation CEDAR'ed tapes. 

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This is starting to somewhat resemble the needle drop discussion regarding the Keynote set made by Fresh Sound. Not saying it’s exactly the same discussion but there are some elements there.  

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I have infinitely more confidence in Resonance's ethics than I do Fresh Sounds'.

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Posted (edited)

If some of the tracks on this set are needle drops, what’s the difference. I’ll answer it for you.  None. 

Otherwise, I do prefer Resonance. However, I have no idea what “ethics” means. The term “practice” I understand. 

Edited by Brad

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18 minutes ago, Brad said:

If some of the tracks on this set are needle drops, what’s the difference. I’ll answer it for you.  None. 

Otherwise, I do prefer Resonance. However, I have no idea what “ethics” means. The term “practice” I understand. 

Forgive me Brad but isn't it a cliche to point out that a lawyer would know what practice means but not "ethics"?

:g

 

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18 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I have infinitely more confidence in Resonance's ethics than I do Fresh Sounds'.

Infinitely more, and then some.

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30 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

Forgive me Brad but isn't it a cliche to point out that a lawyer would know what practice means but not "ethics"?

:g

 

Touché but even lawyers have a code of ethics.  I’m not sure there is one in the music industry. 

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1 hour ago, Brad said:

If some of the tracks on this set are needle drops, what’s the difference. I’ll answer it for you.  None. 

I don't know if anybody has questions about needle drops as it pertains to this set. That's kinda ill-informed actually, because it was ALL on a record of some sort as it began life. If there ain't a "needle drop" in the mix at some point, there ain't no CD, and very unlikely no LP of this material. Duh.

Nor is the idea of a tape transfer a big deal for me. 16" 33 1/3 transcription discs, hell yeah you're going to transfer those to tape at some point, at least if you got any sense.

Now, what is a fair question is what are you using for this set and why. Are those OG transcription discs still available, and if so, were you able to go back to them and do your own work? And if they're no longer available, what tape source did you use? Or what digital transfer did you use. Those are all legitimate enough questions that are fair to ask and the only bad answer is a dishonest or obfuscatory one.

But none of that matters to me, not really. What I would like to know is simple - what source was used for the Decca material?

Why is this relevant?

For musical reasons, none, not really. But a few weeks ago, people were OUTRAGED about the MCA warehouse fire and all the culture that had been disregarded and all this and all that, and no matter how little of that outrage was really sincere on a detail-level rather than emo-outburst, the point remains, yeah, shit got lost that some of us would rather not have been lost.

I would think that the Nat/Eddie Cole Decca material was housed in that MCA warehouse, that would be where it should logically belong (and if somebody pulled it out of there and took care of it, so much the better). So now the question is - what did that warehouse have, of this specific material - before the fire, and what does it now have after the fire. And what did Resonance have to work with? Dubs of individual 78s? LP master tapes? DATs? Purely digital files?

This is not a hard question. And it's not got one whit to do with "needle drops". It's got everything, though, to do with what we and those after use, can look forward to in terms of source material. Resonance can't control that (but they can control their messaging...), but really - MCA wants to act like nothing happened.

Well, something happened. And it pertains to this product. Either "best available sources" has a different meaning after the fire than it did before, or it doesn't. Which is it?

I'd like an answer.

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Posted (edited)

So who are you asking?  Why not email Resonance. . . since only Jordan Taylor who posted in this thread might have an answer, and he's not responding to you, I think he just dropped by once.

Edited by jazzbo

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