Speakers Corner / Atlantic - SD1477 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
AAA 100% Analogue - Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio
Limited Edition - Atlantic 1477 - Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas
AAA 100% Analogue This Speakers Corner LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head 25 Years pure Analogue
Audiophile Mastering By Kevin Gray From Original Master Tapes!
The first of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard's three Atlantic albums, this excellent set falls between hard bop and the avant-garde, often hinting at both. Hubbard's regular group of the time (James Spaulding on alto and flute, pianist Albert Dailey, bassist Bob Cunningham, and drummer Otis Ray Appleton, plus guest conga player Ray Barretto) performs the debut version of his famous "Little Sunflower," an excellent remake of "Up Jumped Spring," and four lesser-known pieces. Hubbard and Spaulding made for an excellent team and there are plenty of exciting moments on this brief but potent set.
After his great success as a new discovery through playing on tour and in the studio with Art Blakey’s creative and inspirational group, the Jazz Messengers, Freddie Hubbard made a dozen LPs over 16 years for Blue Note and Impulse under his own direction.
It was no wonder then that a big record company made him a lucrative offer in autumn 1966. All in all, Atlantic Records released six LPs and the very first, entitled "Backlash", is still until today the best of the bunch.
Three numbers by Freddie Hubbard, one by Bob Cunningham, and two by friends, provide the basis for a successful transition between hard bop and soul beat. Hubbard made high demands on his fellow musicians James Spaulding, Albert Dailey and especially the bass player Bob Cunningham and the drummer Ray Appleton because they had to cope with the ever-changing beat. Right from the very first note, it is obvious that Freddie Hubbard had Fats Navarro and Clifford Brown in his heart and fingers. All the titles are excellent. Of special note, however, is "Little Sunflower". The sound colouring of the flute harmonizes particularly well with Hubbard’s brass, and Ray Barretto’s contribution is more than mere decoration. You’re certainly on the right track with this LP, no matter whether it’s the beginning of a Freddie Hubbard collection or a further contribution to a large jazz collection.
This Speakers Corner production was manufactured 100% analogously, with the use of the analogue mastertape and analogue mastering. All royalties and mechanical rights have been paid.
Recording: 1967 by Tom Dowd, Phil Jehle and Adrian Barber
Production: Arif Mardin
2. The Return Of The Prodigal Son
3. Little Sunflower
4. On The Que-Tee
5. Up Jumped Spring
6. Echoes Of Blue
25 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.
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