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Mini reviews of some of my favorite albums - regardless of genre

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  • Mini reviews of some of my favorite albums - regardless of genre

    Time to pull another Music Matters 45 out of my rack. But this time it was no random choice. I picked this one due to the fact that it features one of my (if not the) favorite tenor sax player, the sadly neglected Tina Brooks. No, this is not his session, that distinction belongs to another overlooked jazz musician, pianist Freddie Redd. But Tina stars here as only he can. Paired up with Tina on the front line is one of my favorite alto sax players, Jackie McLean. Then of course you have a rhythm section of Redd, bassist Paul Chambers (another indication this is going to be a great session) and drummer Louis Hayes. As I said, I pulled this album due to Brooks being on it, and if you read the liner notes you'll see that writer Nat Hentoff must have felt the same way, as he singled out Tina's contributions to this albums quality. But each player contributes to the success of "Shades Of Redd." The sound is typical Blue Note, enhanced by the remastering work of Music Matters and the 46 rpm format. These albums are as close as we are ever going to come to what was on the master tapes. I urge you to pick up copies of any titles that interest you (and they all should) before they go completely OOP and prices rise to levels that will both make you cringe and kick yourself for not having grabbed them while they were still affordable. Oh, and it's another Music Matters reissue that will let you close your eyes and feel like you are in RVG's studio. Due to Brook's inclusion this album receives my highest recommendation.

  • #2
    Time to return to analog, and I can think of few (if any) better ways to warm the ole VPI up than with the Music Matters 45 rpm double LP of the classic Eric Dolphy album "Out To Lunch." I told Ron Rambach at the time of its release that I considered this reissue to be THE reissue of the year. And I stand by that statement. The complexity of Dolphy's compositions, depth of musicianship displayed by Dolphy, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Richard Davis, and Tony Williams has never been rendered clearer than on this album. There are those who will argue that these Music Matters reissues lack a certain warmth and/or glow that the originals display. And I will not argue with them. But what these Music Matters albums have, that the original LP's simply do not, can not, nor ever will have, is a closer approximation of what engineer Rudy Van Gelder captured on the master tapes. For you see, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since Rudy's Blue Note hey-day. Not just in recording and mastering equipment but also in playback equipment. Thus, when the Music Matters team did their remaster, they were not bound by the same constraints the RVG labored under. So while these Music Matters LP reissues will never sound like the originals (nor were they intended to), they will sound far closer to what Rudy and Blue Note owner Alfred Lion heard in Rudy's studio. And isn't that why we are audiophiles? To get as close to the original sessions as possible? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with loving the original pressings. Only that, if we truly want to hear as closely as possible what this group of musicians laid down back in 1964, then you really owe it to yourself to dip your toes (toes hell, dive right in and wallow around) in this reissue series before it's gone - and prices rise to levels that will be much harder to justify. This series in general and this album in particular get the absolute highest recommendation I can give.
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    • #3
      Thanks John for your capsules of these great Blue Note reissues! Hard to go wrong with any of the Music Matters Jazz 45 or now 33 rpm reissues! The Grant Green, Lee Morgan and Jackie McLean reissues are some of my favorites!
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

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