Speakers Corner / Atlantic - SD 1237 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Mastered By Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio - Atlantic 1237
Limited Edition - Pressed at Pallas Germany
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
It was a fairly ordinary quintet that entered the Audio-Video Studios in New York City on 30 January 1956: one tenor saxophone, one alto saxophone, a pianist, a drummer and ... you guessed: an extraordinary man on the double bass! Not just an instrumentalist, but also an imaginative composer, wayfarer between all kinds of jazz, arranger and enfant terrible.
The Suite "Pithecanthropus Erectus" is – among other things – programme music. Having learned to walk upright, having achieved alleged superiority over animals, and having caused devastation, the destruction of mankind’s natural resources follows. The composer Mingus gives his fellow mankind/musicians the widest possible freedom, which all exploit to the full both in interplay and in the solos. Bedded down in noise and sound collages, the piece is the result of an experimental workshop. The Gershwin classic "A Foggy Day" takes on the role of intermediary between the jazz styles of the 1930s and free jazz. And in "Profile Of Jackie" and "Love Chant" the arranger calls for his soloists to go to the very limits of their artistic improvisation.
"Pithecanthropus Erectus was Charles Mingus' breakthrough as a leader, the album where he established himself as a composer of boundless imagination and a fresh new voice that, despite his ambitiously modern concepts, was firmly grounded in jazz tradition. Mingus truly discovered himself after mastering the vocabularies of bop and swing, and with Pithecanthropus Erectus he began seeking new ways to increase the evocative power of the art form and challenge his musicians (who here include altoist Jackie McLean and pianist Mal Waldron) to work outside of convention. The title cut is one of his greatest masterpieces: a four-movement tone poem depicting man's evolution from pride and accomplishment to hubris and slavery and finally to ultimate destruction. The piece is held together by a haunting, repeated theme and broken up by frenetic, sound-effect-filled interludes that grow darker as man's spirit sinks lower... Pithecanthropus Erectus resembles paintings in sound -- full of sumptuous tone colors learned through Duke Ellington, but also rich in sonic details that only could have come from an adventurous modernist. And Mingus plays with the sort of raw passion that comes with the first flush of mastery. Still one of his greatest."
Charles Mingus was certainly not an easy person to deal with for his family, friends and fellow musicians. But that fades into the background when it comes to such outstanding music. Luckily, we outsiders can once again enjoy the music of this genius 60 years after the studio recording, in its original format.
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.
Recording: January 1956 at Audio-Video Studios, New York City by Tom Dowd & Hal Lustig in mono
Production: Nesuhi Ertegun
Charles Mingus, bass
Jackie McLean, alto saxophone
J.R. Monterose, tenor saxophone
Mal Waldron, piano
Willie Jones, drums
1. Pithecanthropus Erectus
2. A Foggy Day
1. Profile of Jackie
2. Love Chant
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
MADE FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
AAA 100% ANALOGUE - PURE ANALOGUE AUDIOPHILE MASTERING
We use the Original Tapes and work with only the Best Mastering Studios Worldwide
180 GRAM VIRGIN VINYL PLATED & PRESSED AT PALLAS GERMANY
Faithful Reproduction of the Original Artwork and Labels
LIMITED EDITION Released in Limited Quantities
All Licences and Mechanical Rights Paid
20 Years pure Analogue
This Speakers Corner LP was remastered using pure analogue components only, from the master tapes through to the cutting head
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!