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Columbia Ellington LPs: Who are the engineers?


Mark Stryker
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Gang,

A friend (seriously) is looking for some information about who engineered Ellington’s Columbia records. Engineer credit was not given on the original LPs, and a lot of the CDs don't include this detail either. Masterpieces by Ellington was recorded by Fred Plaut at the 30th Street Columbia Studios, but it's not clear if Plaut recorded all of the Ellington sides of the era made at that studio.  Also, as my friend notes, there are a few things recorded at Radio Recorders in LA such as Anatomy of a Murder, which ranks with the greatest sounding large-ensemble jazz recordings of all time, as well as the title track from Blues in Orbit and “Track 360,” the latter originally issued on Listening In Depth: An Introduction To Columbia Stereophonic Sound. The engineer isn’t listed in the album credits for this either. 

So, can anyone shed any light on this. Thanks as always.

Coda: OK, late-breaking addendum. My friend find the booklet online for the UK Columbia box 1951-58 and it has some but not all credits. So now, the question is can anyone fill in the gaps here, as well as for the Columbia records from 1959-61. Parentheticals below are from my friend.

• Masterpieces by Ellington: Fred Plaut and Harold Chapman (I assume Chapman recorded the 1951 session where the CD bonus tracks come from)

• Ellington Uptown: Fred Plaut and Harold Champman (not sure which engineer recorded which sessions)

• Blue Rose: Fred Plaut and Robert Waller (I assume Waller recorded Clooney’s vocals in LA)

• A Drum is a Woman: no engineer listed

• Such Sweet Thunder: no engineer listed

• Ellington Indigos: Fred Plaut (“The Sky Fell Down” and “Cop-Out,” Harold Chapman (all other tracks)

• Black, Brown and Beige: Lowell Frank (recorded in LA)

• At The Bal Masque: no engineer listed

• The Cosmic Scene: Fred Plaut

 

 

Edited by Mark Stryker
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On 8/11/2022 at 1:35 PM, Mark Stryker said:

Gang,

A friend (seriously) is looking for some information about who engineered Ellington’s Columbia records. Engineer credit was not given on the original LPs, and a lot of the CDs don't include this detail either. Masterpieces by Ellington was recorded by Fred Plaut at the 30th Street Columbia Studios, but it's not clear if Plaut recorded all of the Ellington sides of the era made at that studio.  Also, as my friend notes, there are a few things recorded at Radio Recorders in LA such as Anatomy of a Murder, which ranks with the greatest sounding large-ensemble jazz recordings of all time, as well as the title track from Blues in Orbit and “Track 360,” the latter originally issued on Listening In Depth: An Introduction To Columbia Stereophonic Sound. The engineer isn’t listed in the album credits for this either. 

So, can anyone shed any light on this. Thanks as always.

Coda: OK, late-breaking addendum. My friend find the booklet online for the UK Columbia box 1951-58 and it has some but not all credits. So now, the question is can anyone fill in the gaps here, as well as for the Columbia records from 1959-61. Parentheticals below are from my friend.

• Masterpieces by Ellington: Fred Plaut and Harold Chapman (I assume Chapman recorded the 1951 session where the CD bonus tracks come from)

• Ellington Uptown: Fred Plaut and Harold Champman (not sure which engineer recorded which sessions)

• Blue Rose: Fred Plaut and Robert Waller (I assume Waller recorded Clooney’s vocals in LA)

• A Drum is a Woman: no engineer listed

• Such Sweet Thunder: no engineer listed

• Ellington Indigos: Fred Plaut (“The Sky Fell Down” and “Cop-Out,” Harold Chapman (all other tracks)

• Black, Brown and Beige: Lowell Frank (recorded in LA)

• At The Bal Masque: no engineer listed

• The Cosmic Scene: Fred Plaut

 

 

When I recorded at the 30th Street studio in the '70s union rules dictated 2 engineers and 2 assistants for set ups.

Robert (Bob) Waller was the "tape operator" aka 2nd engineer.

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53 minutes ago, Chuck Nessa said:

When I recorded at the 30th Street studio in the '70s union rules dictated 2 engineers and 2 assistants for set ups.

Robert (Bob) Waller was the "tape operator" aka 2nd engineer.

Interesting. Would those same union rules likely been in place a generation earlier in the 50s and early 60s?

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