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medjuck

What's the earliest recorded stereo release in your collection

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I just received the Tristano, Konitz and & Marsh Mosaic box from Freejazz (great service btw)  and noticed that the first session from June 11, 1955 is in stereo.   The next session in stereo is from December, 1957.  Not remarkable in that  (IIIRC) stereo Lps began to be sold in 1957.    That'55 session was recorded live at a club by Tom Dowd.  I can understand that he might have used more  than one mike  but multiple tracks in 1955?  

So what's the earliest stereo recording in your collection?  (The Duke Ellington 12 inch 33rpm recordings from 1932 don't count: I've never been convinced that the 2 mikes and 2 recorders were used on that session in order to make a stereo release.) 

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Posted (edited)

There are those Hollywood film recordings of such as Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey that were released (some by Rounder I think it was), about 20 years ago..  They date from the early '40s, but were not originally intended as records.  A bonus from film-making's ability to multitrack.  (Wasn't Disney's Fantasia presented in stereo in some major markets on original release?  I think I've heard that soundtrack in stereo.  Stokowski was a bit of a 'sound nut', wasn't he?

I have a Les & Larry Elgart CD "Ain't We Got Fun" (A&M/Drive Entertainment DE2-41068) recorded in stereo at the Hollywood Palladium in February and March 1955.  Credit is given to Gerry Macdonald for original recording.  The issue comes from Les Brown, Jr., and the liner notes indicate the Brown band and Harry James also were taped in the same period by Macdonald, who in the 1970s started the Choice jazz label.

Edited by Ted O'Reilly

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Jetty Valburn's Everybody's label - EV 3005. Duke Ellington. Reflections in Ellington: The 1932 Band in True Stereo.

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21 hours ago, medjuck said:

So what's the earliest stereo recording in your collection?  (The Duke Ellington 12 inch 33rpm recordings from 1932 don't count: I've never been convinced that the 2 mikes and 2 recorders were used on that session in order to make a stereo release.) 

Since the Ellington doesn't count, I would say that my earliest is probably yours, the Tristano recording from the Confucius Room.

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48 minutes ago, Chuck Nessa said:

Jetty Valburn's Everybody's label - EV 3005. Duke Ellington. Reflections in Ellington: The 1932 Band in True Stereo.

As was pointed out in the original post, that Ellington recording was likely not thought of as a 'stereo' recording, but as a difference in microphone placing.  The binaural result was the same moment in time captured differently, and assembled.  The same technique gave us the stereo version of the Newport '56 Ellington, notably the Gonsalves marathon.

Jerry Valburn's Marlor-Meritt label put out a special release for the 1986 Ellington Conference in Newark NJ, "A Stereo Excursion With Duke Ellington" with 15 tracks.  The first three, in true stereo, (multi-mic'd, if not multi-tracked) were done in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho on October 4, 1953.

And back to the '32 Ellington, I think the version that was included in the Complete Victors was superior, using masters and newer techniques.

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Posted (edited)

I have a number of RCA classical recordings from the '50s. From Wiki:

On October 6, 1953, RCA Victor held experimental stereophonic sessions in New York City's Manhattan Center with Leopold Stokowski conducting a group of New York City musicians in performances of George Enescu's Roumanian Rhapsody No. 1 and the waltz from Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin. There were additional stereo tests in December, again in the Manhattan Center, this time with Pierre Monteux conducting members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. In February 1954, RCA Victor made its first commercial stereophonic recordings, taping the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Charles Münch, in a performance of The Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz. This began a practice of simultaneously recording orchestras with both stereophonic and monaural equipment. Other early stereo recordings were made by Toscanini (never officially issued) and Guido Cantelli respectively, with the NBC Symphony Orchestra; the Boston Pops Orchestra under Arthur Fiedler; and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Fritz Reiner. Initially, RCA used RT-21 quarter-inch tape recorders (which ran at 30 inches per second), wired to mono mixers, with Neumann U-47 cardioid and M-49/50 omnidirectional microphones. Then they switched to an Ampex 300-3 one-half inch machine, running at 15 inches per second (which was later increased to 30 inches per second). These recordings were initially issued in 1955 on special stereophonic reel-to-reel tapes and then, beginning in 1958, on vinyl LPs with the "Living Stereo" logo. RCA has continued to reissue many of these recordings on CD.[16] Another 1953 project for RCA was converting the acoustically superior building Webster Hall into its main East Coast recording studio. RCA operated this studio venue from 1953 to 1968.

Edited by Chuck Nessa

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Ah, yes...those lovely "Living Stereo" releases...  I have a couple of box sets of them from a decade or so back.  Haven't taken them off the shelf lately, but should do so.  Maximum mic positioning, minimal processing.  Mercury's efforts in the same period were Fine (pun intended) too.  And weren't some of them recorded on film rather than tape?

And somewhere, I have/had a tape of a CBC radio broadcast of Phil Nimmons' band Nimmons 'N Nine in a single-point 'kunstkopf' recording.  Effective with a stereo headset.

One more re-creation thought:  didn't someone mate some Charlie Parker recordings from the St. Nicholas arena in the same manner as the 1932 Ellingtons?  Same moment in time, two separate recordings, mated...

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R-4313188-1497121839-2059.jpeg.jpg

Recorded on September 11 & 21, 1954 in true stereo but released in stereo in 1959 or 1960 on this LP, as there was no market for stereo playback equipment in 1954. The music was released in mono on the following two albums:

R-11230453-1512407664-9995.jpeg.jpgR-3083151-1340559568-1908.jpeg.jpg

The Original Jazz Classics reissues have only seven of the twelve stereo tracks in that format, and one (Just Squeeze Me) was never reissued.

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9 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

Ah, yes...those lovely "Living Stereo" releases...  I have a couple of box sets of them from a decade or so back.  Haven't taken them off the shelf lately, but should do so.  Maximum mic positioning, minimal processing.  Mercury's efforts in the same period were Fine (pun intended) too.  And weren't some of them recorded on film rather than tape?

And somewhere, I have/had a tape of a CBC radio broadcast of Phil Nimmons' band Nimmons 'N Nine in a single-point 'kunstkopf' recording.  Effective with a stereo headset.

One more re-creation thought:  didn't someone mate some Charlie Parker recordings from the St. Nicholas arena in the same manner as the 1932 Ellingtons?  Same moment in time, two separate recordings, mated...

I think that was one number from Rockland Palace. 

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Posted (edited)

The earliest stereo LP that I have is Artur Rubinstein's recording of Brahms's First Piano Concerto, with the Chicago Symphony conducted by Fritz Reiner. This was recorded by RCA Victor in 1954. It is the boss version of that piece. Recommended for people who don't like classical music a lot. Very beautiful. It was, of course, only issued in mono at the time. In the early 60s, Artur recorded the piece again - a markedly inferior version - and so the 1954 version was bypassed for stereo release at that time, and the stereo version didn't come out until some time in the early 70s.

Getting real stereo in the 60s was a bit of a minefield, because of the fake stereo LPs that appeared so regularly. They are still a menace if you are collecting LPs from that era. Ahmad Jamal's "Count 'Em: 88" suffers from this. The only mono LP of that album that I could find is a Rice Krispie copy. When Mosaic recently put out their Jamal set, they had to use a needle drop for the that session.

Columbia, in the 50s and 60s, was a sloppy mess. The mono LPs of "Milestones" and the Green Dolphin Street session ("Jazz Track") quickly went out of print. In the 60s, one could only get fake stereo versions of those two major albums, even though they were recorded in stereo. As well, they released "Kind Of Blue" with side 1 a quarter-tone sharp. I well remember my delight at finding a true mono LP of "Milestones" in Paris, France, in the early 70s.

My first stereo jazz LP was "Time Out". Exciting days.

A stereo version of "Dave Digs Disney" was issued not too long ago. It was recorded in 1957 and I have suspected, for a long time, that there is a stereo version, especially after "Miles Ahead" was issued in stereo.

Edited by Shrdlu

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

 Columbia, in the 50s and 60s, was a sloppy mess. The mono LPs of "Milestones" and the Green Dolphin Street session ("Jazz Track") quickly went out of print. In the 60s, one could only get fake stereo versions of those two major albums, even though they were recorded in stereo. As well, they released "Kind Of Blue" with side 1 a quarter-tone sharp. I well remember my delight at finding a true mono LP of "Milestones" in Paris, France, in the early 70s.

My first stereo jazz LP was "Time Out". Exciting days.

A stereo version of "Dave Digs Disney" was issued not too long ago. It was recorded in 1957 and I have suspected, for a long time, that there is a stereo version, especially after "Miles Ahead" was issued in stereo.

IIRC (and I often don 't) I had a fake stereo Miles Ahead.  And there was a strange phenomena where one some early cd releases  alternate tracks were in stereo while the originally released tracks were still in mono (e.g. George Russell's Jazz Workshop on RCA.)  Was this because somehow stereo tapes were destroyed in making the original mono releases? 

Edited by medjuck

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Posted (edited)

I think that, in the case of the Columbia 60s fake stereo LPs, where stereo versions were recorded, the problem was just lazy or inefficient tape storage staff.

This reminds me of the time when it was decided to put out a proper CD version of Louis Armstrong's "Plays W.C. Handy". (An earlier CD version differed from the LP.) Columbia again. It was discovered that the session tapes and any tapes used to make the LP no longer existed. In the end, clean vinyl of everything was used to make the CD.

Edited by Shrdlu

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That mix of stereo and mono tracks also occurs in the 2 CD set of Trane on the Savoy label: Wilbur Harden sessions, actually. Obviously, in this case and that of the Russell sessions, someone has carelessly lost some of the tapes. Obviously, everything was recorded in stereo.

Which leads to: I have suggested that Mosaic might do a Savoy set from, say, 1955 through 1960, narrowing it down to stop the set becoming too large. The hope would be that when the tapes are all dug out, some missing items, such as the stereo Coltrane, might show up. I wouldn't be exhaustive with the box set. There is too much material. But I would include the Yusef Lateef, Curtis Fuller, Trane, Milt Jackson/Lucky Thompson and the Pepper Adams (for which I have a rare alternate).

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6 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

I think that, in the case of the Columbia 60s fake stereo LPs, where stereo versions were recorded, the problem was just lazy or inefficient tape storage staff.

This reminds me of the time when it was decided to put out a proper CD version of Louis Armstrong's "Plays W.C. Handy". (An earlier CD version differed from the LP.) Columbia again. It was discovered that the session tapes and any tapes used to make the LP no longer existed. In the end, clean vinyl of everything was used to make the CD.

That's right, about being lazy...  There was some re-issue or another where they couldn't find the master of a hit, of a George Avakian production.  He told me they simply never went to him in his office down the hall to ask...he happened to have the master sitting there, as it was re-used for the 45 version.  They didn't bother to either ask him, or even look for it in the 45 masters.  (Coulda been 'Mack The Knife', but I'm not sure...)

I've gotta admit though, the first issued CD version of the Handy was an interesting listen to the sessions...

I wonder how often the masters differ from the Mono and the Stereo versions of the supposedly-same item.  As an example, Bobby Hackett's wonderful "Jazz Ultimate" on Capitol, with Jack Teagarden, has 3 or 4 tracks that show different takes between the two.  One wonders why?, unless there was some technical reason...

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If you have an extensive collection. I am not sure how to determine the earliest stereo recording I have without spending many hours going through an awful lot of recordings. Yes, I know to ignore the more recent ones, but that still leaves a huge number.

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3 hours ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

That's right, about being lazy...  There was some re-issue or another where they couldn't find the master of a hit, of a George Avakian production.  He told me they simply never went to him in his office down the hall to ask...he happened to have the master sitting there, as it was re-used for the 45 version.  They didn't bother to either ask him, or even look for it in the 45 masters.  (Coulda been 'Mack The Knife', but I'm not sure...)

I've gotta admit though, the first issued CD version of the Handy was an interesting listen to the sessions...

I wonder how often the masters differ from the Mono and the Stereo versions of the supposedly-same item.  As an example, Bobby Hackett's wonderful "Jazz Ultimate" on Capitol, with Jack Teagarden, has 3 or 4 tracks that show different takes between the two.  One wonders why?, unless there was some technical reason...

Aren't the stereo and mono editions of JJ Johnson and Stan Getz at The Opera House completely different?  

 

2 hours ago, Peter Friedman said:

If you have an extensive collection. I am not sure how to determine the earliest stereo recording I have without spending many hours going through an awful lot of recordings. Yes, I know to ignore the more recent ones, but that still leaves a huge number.

Well at my age, as Douglas Adams said  "everything is recent  since The Beatles broke up"  but is everything since 1955 recent? 

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Ted, I have that earlier "Plays W.C. Handy" CD. It uses alternate takes of some items. It was pulled after the later CD came out. The same situation occurred with CD versions of "Satch Plays Fats".

Hey, maybe we can find fake stereo LPs of both albums.

There is a 60s Brubeck album where a different take of one item was issued on the mono LP. I forget which album it is.

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7 hours ago, Shrdlu said:

Ted, I have that earlier "Plays W.C. Handy" CD. It uses alternate takes of some items. It was pulled after the later CD came out. The same situation occurred with CD versions of "Satch Plays Fats".

Hey, maybe we can find fake stereo LPs of both albums.

There is a 60s Brubeck album where a different take of one item was issued on the mono LP. I forget which album it is.

Me too. I presume the first released   Handy cd is now a collectors item-- especially if the Mosaic Pops never comes out. 

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10 hours ago, medjuck said:

Aren't the stereo and mono editions of JJ Johnson and Stan Getz at The Opera House completely different?  

 

 

 

Yes indeed, and IIRC the 1986 CD edition gets things backwards. The three "up" numbers and "My Funny Valentine" were recorded twice -- once in LA and once in Chicago -- but the CD liner notes say stereo in Chicago and mono in LA, but when I checked against my old original issue LP mono recording, the LP's far superior mono performances presumably came from Chicago, although Granz was capable of getting the venue wrong on anything. BTW, one likely reason the (I assume Chicago mono performances) were superior to the (I assume) LA stereo ones, is that on the stereo tracks the rhythm section was spread  widely over the stage for stereo effect (and thus perhaps it was less easy for the horns to hear/feel them and for the rhythm section to hear/feel each other) while on the mono tracks the rhythm section was (or sounds like it was) in one place. In any case, Stan and J.J. are inspired on the mono takes.

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Also, IIRC there was an intervening early '80s LP reissue of "JJ Johnson and Stan Getz at The Opera House," with the three IMO inferior stereo tracks subbed for the original 1957 LP's  mono tracks; there wasn't room on the LP reissue for everything. And knowledgable annotator Bob Porter, of all people, claimed in the LP's liner notes that the stereo tracks were much better performances. To steal a line from LeRoi Jones, on this occasion Porter needed ear braille.

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IIRC the stereo release prepared by Steven Lasker is also on the big RCA Centennial box.  

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3 hours ago, medjuck said:

IIRC the stereo release prepared by Steven Lasker is also on the big RCA Centennial box.  

Yep - disc 6, tracks 6 & 7

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