Speakers Corner / Atlantic - 1231 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Limited Edition - Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas - Mono
AAA 100% Analogue This Speakers Corner LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head 20 Years pure Analogue
Speakers Corner has released a re-mastering of Fontessa, (Atlantic/1956). The original recording was engineered by Rudy Van Gelder and John Kraus. Their grasp of mono aural landscapes is superb and the vinyl re-mastering is faithful to the hi-frequency “roll-off” that defined that sound , Mono jazz comes alive on re-mastered audiophile vinyl! Sound 4.5/5 Audiophile Audition
Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder
The famous critic and jazz expert Ralph J. Gleason quite rightly mentioned two highly distinctive men in his liner notes – John Donne and Pablo Picasso. Almost four hundred years and a great deal of seawater separate the two exceptional artists from England and Spain. Nevertheless the four black US-Americans who make up the Modern Jazz Quartet bridge the gap between time and continents effortlessly.
This LP has a particularly strong all-around set by the Modern Jazz Quartet. While John Lewis' "Versailles" and an 11-minute "Fontessa" show the seriousness of the group (and the influence of Western classical music), other pieces (such as "Bluesology," "Woody 'N You" and a pair of ballads) look toward the group's roots in bop and permit the band to swing hard.
And what’s more, blues is also to be heard – and bebop! And evergreens from the Broadway shows of the Thirties too!
In contrast to some of the other rather more dawdling and laid-back MJQ LPs, "Fontessa" offers diversified and intense music. Nothing is routine, perhaps because the drummer Connie Kay had replaced Kenny Clark just one year previously. But maybe too because Milt Jackson’s blues influence inspired John Lewis perceptibly to forget all about discipline. All seven numbers are true gems. But if you want a special hint, just listen to "Bluesology". Well, perhaps the present author is too much of a Milt Jackson fan. Be that as it may, the music magazine "Rolling Stone" gave this LP a five-star rating!
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid. This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head.
• 180g High Quality Vinyl
• Pure Analogue
• AAA Recording
John Lewis, piano
Milt Jackson, vibraphone (vibraharp)
Percy heath, bass
Connie Kay, drums
1. Versailles (Porte de Versailles)
2. Angel Eyes
1. Over the Rainbow
3. Willow Weep For Me
4. Woodyn You
Recorded January & February 1955 by Rudy van Gelder in mono.
20 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head 20 Years pure Analogue
Are your records completely analogue?
Yes! This we guarantee!
As a matter of principle, only analogue masters are used, and the necessary cutting delay is also analogue. All our cutting engineers use only Neumann cutting consoles, and these too are analogue. The only exception is where a recording has been made – either partly or entirely – using digital technology, but we do not have such items in our catalogue at the present time
Are your records cut from the original masters?
In our re-releases it is our aim to faithfully reproduce the original intentions of the musicians and recording engineers which, however, could not be realised at the time due to technical limitations. Faithfulness to the original is our top priority, not the interpretation of the original: there is no such thing as a “Speakers Corner Sound”. Naturally, the best results are obtained when the original master is used. Therefore we always try to locate these and use them for cutting. Should this not be possible, – because the original tape is defective or has disappeared, for example – we do accept a first-generation copy. But this remains an absolute exception for us.
Who cuts the records?
In order to obtain the most faithful reproduction of the original, we have the lacquers cut on the spot, by engineers who, on the whole, have been dealing with such tapes for many years. Some are even cut by the very same engineer who cut the original lacquers of the first release. Over the years the following engineers have been and still are working for us: Tony Hawkins, Willem Makkee, Kevin Gray, Maarten de Boer, Scott Hull, and Ray Staff, to name but a few.
At the beginning of the ‘90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the reissue policy was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC Compact Classics, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and others, including of course Speakers Corner, all maintained a mutual, unwritten code of ethics: we would manufacture records sourced only from analogue tapes.
Vinyl’s newfound popularity has led many other companies to jump on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source from which to master: CDs, LPs, digital files and even MP3s.
Even some who do use an analogue tape source employ a digital delay line, a misguided ’80s and ‘90s digital technology that replaces the analogue preview head originally used to “tell” the cutter head in advance what was about to happen musically, so it could adjust the groove “pitch” (the distance between the grooves) to make room for wide dynamic swings and large low frequency excursions. Over time analogue preview heads became more rare and thus expensive.
So while the low bit rate (less resolution than a 16 bit CD) digital delay line is less expensive and easier to use than an analogue “preview head”, its use, ironically, results in lacquers cut from the low bit rate digital signal instead of from the analogue source!
Speakers Corner wishes to make clear that it produces lacquers using only original master tapes and an entirely analogue cutting system. New metal stampers used to press records are produced from that lacquer. The only exceptions are when existing metal parts are superior to new ones that might be cut, which includes our release of “Elvis is Back”, which was cut by Stan Ricker or several titles from our Philips Classics series, where were cut in the 1990s using original master tapes by Willem Makkee at the Emil Berliner Studios. In those cases we used only the original “mother” to produce new stampers.
In addition, we admit to having one digital recording in our catalogue: Alan Parsons’ “Eye in the Sky”, which was recorded digitally but mixed to analogue tape that we used to cut lacquers.
In closing, we want to insure our loyal customers that, with but a few exceptions as noted, our releases are “AAA”— analogue tape, an all analogue cutting system, and newly cut lacquers.
60 Years Pallas
Audiophile Vinyl - Made in Germany For over 60 years the family business in the third generation of the special personal service and quality "Made by Pallas" is known worldwide. Our custom PVC formulation produces consistently high pressing quality with the lowest surface noise in the industry. Our PVC complies with 2015 European environmental standards and does not contain toxic materials such as Lead, Cadmium or Toluene. Our vinyl is both audiophile and eco-grade!