I was over at the Steve Hoffman board and its amazing how dismissively people speak of the job Rudy Van Gelder did in recording the legendary Blue Notes/Impulses etc.. I wrote a response but they do not take kindly to differing opinions so I will just post it on my own blog here:
But the original impulses sound so GOOD!
I guess someday I'll pay $50 for one of these reissues and check it out but I have to say I have many original impulses and they sound- to my ears- simply wonderful....A record like Lorez Alexandria the Great, or Coltrane and Hartman.. those are some of my favorites and I just love the way they sound.. ANd when I read some of the stuff on this thread its almost like "Is there something wrong with my ears?" I mean I have some records that sound horrendous but I would never say that about the Impulses..those were well done jobs IMHO.. Same with Blue Note..Right now I'm listening to Hodges "Creamy" (original Norgran) and it too sounds good to me..
And I guess what people are saying is that they can sound EVEN BETTER and thats cool but there's something to be said- at least for me- about playing the original LP that came out in 1955 and Johnny Hodges himself took a copy of it home. I understand someone like me is not the market audience for these reissues and thats cool.. I appreciate anything that gets more vinyl out there...These classic albums deserve to be reissued forever... I wouldn't call myself a just a collector but more so an "originalist".. I like the classic stuff.. Sometimes stuff was done well the first time around and there's value to be attached to an item/product that still can give one great pleasure 54 years later. Its the real deal to my mind.
Also it would be interesting- because I do read some stuff about Van Gelder - if people think they could have done a better job if they had been in his shoes.. To my mind his contribution to recorded jazz is incredible. He was basically recording - I think- two or three jazz classics a week for a long stretch... Albums that I think its fair to say at least in some small part owe their classic status to the fact that they sound really good... There's a reason people love those Blue Notes and part of it is that they sound darn good. Now a new generation of sound engineers or whatever they are called spend their time reworking Van Gelder's original work and of course they say they are doing it better... But Van Gelder's contribution to the recording of jazz I don't think will ever be even close to touched and it would be nice to see him get a little more recognition instead of having him kind of dismissed as being "clever" in dealing with the rickety limitations of recording technology at the time.. I think he did a great job! Those old Blue Notes sound great. period.
Finally, the endless repetition about how great the Music Matters reissues are and how they blow the originals out of the water seems to me excessive. I mean is there a need to say it in every single thread about jazz LPs?
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Thursday, February 05, 2009
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