Impex - IMP6026 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - Pressed at RTI
3,000 Numbered Limited Edition - TBM5011 Three Blind Mice
AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed at RTI
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
"This is the best audiophile system demonstration LP I have heard in ages, and a must-own." " ...Packaged by Impex in slick classy gloss and full color, Greensleeves is a high-quality production for a top jazz collection. Prediction: this release will triple in price! For those smart enough to buy multiple copies and put extras away, a bonus awaits them! This is the best audiophile system demonstration LP I have heard in ages, and a must-own. Thank you Impex! Greensleeves receives my highest BUY recommendation!" - Robert H. Levi, positive-feedback.com,
Impex have always had a special place in their hearts for Shoji Yokouchi's Greensleeves. Standards, original tunes, and the title track are interpreted in breezy and surprising soulful ways. The guitarist is given immeasurable support by his band and guest organist Yuri Tashiro. Her playing is moody, fiery and funky: all often at the same time!
Impex's vinyl reissue preserves the original's clear, pristine sound (check out the bass on Yuri's organ!) while improving surface noise and definition. This rare gem of Tee Fujii's repertoire is another entertaining listen for TBM fans from Impex Records!
I am familiar, of course, with this prestige audiophile label from Japan, but only own two of their recordings: Midnight Sugar and Girl Talk. Both are famous superb recordings, and offer amazing audiophile sound and performances of top notch jazz arrangements. They have been reissued often by TBM and other companies, worldwide. That said, Greensleeves has never been reissued on LP by anyone, anywhere! Maybe Greensleeves was just too exciting, too bold, too dynamic, too melodic, too unusual to include a Hammond B3 organ, or maybe just ALL of the above!
In past years, as I trolled the halls during the CES, it was not uncommon to enter an exhibitor’s room and hear stylish jazz in dynamic, crystal-clear sound. The music invariably was LPs from Japan on the Three Blind Mice label. Started by producer Takeshi Fujii in 1970, Three Blind Mice boasted a catalogue of several hundred titles. Greensleeves, with its engaging music and direct-to-disc sound, quickly became an audiophile favorite. Original pressings are highly collectible today, commanding high prices. Greensleeves was last available from Cisco Music in 1998 as a gold CD mastered by Kevin Gray, also selling now for crazy money. With this Impex reissue, Greensleeves is again available on LP at a reasonable price.
The Shoji Yokouchi Trio features its leader and namesake on various electric and acoustic guitars, Kunimitsu Inaba on string bass, and Hajime Ishimatsu on drums. For this session, recorded in early September of 1978 at Tokyo’s Epicurus Studio, Yuri Tashiro sits in on Hammond organ. The result of the two days in the studio is a recording of jazz standards and original tunes. That the performances are engaging and enthusiastic, demonstrating exceptional musicianship, makes the event all the more compelling.
From the first notes of the album’s opener, "Willow Weep For Me," I knew I was in for a special listening experience, replete with uncompressed dynamics, frequency extension at both ends of the spectrum, great transparency and transient speed, freedom from overhang, precise pacing -- you name it. The tap of the stick on the cymbal was as realistic as I’ve ever heard. Ditto the "snap" on the strings of the acoustic guitar. What really got me, though, was the visceral "feel" of the Hammond organ. The deep throb of its bass pedals sent the notes in waves across the floor and up though the soles of my feet, causing much swaying. Kudos to Ms. Tashiro, for on "Moaning," I thought I was listening to the inimitable Jimmy Smith. On that same tune, the plucked notes of the string bass rang true, with the initial attack and subsequent decay of the real thing. And, as if one needed a better example of the audiophile sound, listen to the drum solo of this cut. It has it all: dynamics, speed, clarity and presence. Overall, I found the leader more convincing on acoustic guitar than on the electric, where he seemed tentative at best. I also feel, after repeated listens to the album, that his talent rests with his mastery of the guitar, not in his composing.
The record itself is up to the usual standards established by Impex: dead-quiet, 180-gram vinyl pressed at RTI, cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, and enclosed in a heavyweight sleeve. Faithful facsimiles of the original’s front and back graphics adorn the exceptionally sturdy cover stock. A heavy-duty, re-sealable dust jacket finishes the presentation.
Grab this audiophile bonbon while you can. With a pressing of only 3000 copies, it won’t be around long.
Kunimitsu Inaba, bass
Hajime Ishimatsu, drums
Shoji Yokouchi, electric guitar, folk guitar, gut guitar
Yuri Tashiro, Hammond organ
1. Willow Weep For Me
4. Drink Up Your Vodka Martini
1. New Orleans Sunday
3. Your Watch Is Ten Minutes Slow
Recorded September 6 & 8 1978
Impex Records is the exciting audiophile label from the team that brought you Cisco Music. With more than 20 years experience and 150 titles released, Cisco Music developed many of the techniques used by other labels to make higher quality 180-gram LPs, SACDs and Gold and aluminum CDs.
We brought definitive editions Jennifer Warnes' The Well, The Hunter and Famous Blue Raincoat in multiple formats, including a 45 rpm box set that Absolute Sound magazine declared "defines the state-of-the--art in vinyl playback." Other classic reissues we nurtured to fantastic rebirths include the jazz-rock perfection of Steely Dan's Aja, Joan Baez' Farewell Angelina, NathanMilstein's poetic interpretation of Dvorak's Violin Concerto and four exquisite 45-rpm Three Blind Mice LPs.
Even in our humbler origins we were trusted with the distribution and production of The Super Analogue Disc, the original audiophile 180-gram LPs. King Records recognized, from the very beginning, that Cisco Music brought unflinching passion to the music and unflailing dedication to the process of bringing that music to the most discerning listeners in the world.
Now as Impex Records some of the original Cisco staff (Abey Fonn, Robert Pincus and Robert Sliger), along with Robert Donnelly, will follow and expand our own high standards for a new generation of audiophile products. Analog products will always be cut using analog tapes and analog mastering at the finest mastering facilities like Sterling, Cohearent and Bernie Grundman--just as it should be. Gold CD's will always be cut with high-definition digital or analog tape transfers from original sources. We will introduce America to Sony's revolutionary Blu-Spec CD, which redefines production excellence in 16-bit digital playback.
With a singular vision for making the best records anywhere, Impex Records is poised to expand Cisco Music's peerless legacy well into the 21st century. It's going to be quite a journey and we look forward to your joining us. We have committed ourselves, with every new release, to your complete satisfaction.
RTI HQ-180 Vinyl
Record Technology is a world class record pressing plant located in Camarillo, California. We have been operating since 1974, pressing for most audiophile record labels and for many quality minded independent and major record labels from around the world.