Speakers Corner / Verve - MGVS-6009/10 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany
AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
This album is a treat indeed Absolutely essential - Music 10/10 Sound 9/10 Hifi +
It’s something everyone has experienced: whether at one of the great jazz festivals in Berlin, Montreux or Paris, or in a small, provincial jazz club which exudes the charm of a dingy jazz cavern in the Fifties - you sit, listen, and then rack your brain to remember the name of the number which the young jazz musician is playing with all his heart. Just what was the name?
Put the "Ella Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book" album on your turntable and you’re guaranteed to recall “My Funny Valentine”, “Blue Moon” and “It Never Entered My Mind”. All these and many more excellent ballads flowed out of the pens of the songwriting team - and each and every one of them is a winner.
But don’t make the mistake of associating merely scat singing taken at a cracking pace with the most famous (the name ‘Ella’ is a fully adequate epithet) and the BEST (for that’s what she is and she will remain so!) jazz vocalist between 1930 and 1995: this album more than demonstrates her excellent powers of expression and her brilliant modulations. The ballads are done true justice in these sensitive, almost subdued arrangements by the West Coast film music expert Buddy Bregman, which put Ella’s voice, Richard Rodgers’ melodies and Lorenz Hart’s lyrics in the limelight. With the exception of “Blue Moon”, all the numbers are themes taken from Broadway musicals, virtually none of which will ever have been seen by us, but whose evergreen melodies will remain in our memories for ever.
What is more, there is a special treat for us in store on this album: three titles are now appearing on stereo-LP for the very first time. A further milestone along the road of jazz singing is at last re-released with this song book: it constitutes an important documentation of Ella’s musical path which began with the children’s song “A-tisket, a-tasket”.
The second of Ella Fitzgerald's famed Songbook series features her singing 34 of the best songs co-written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. The arrangements by Buddy Bregman for the string orchestra and big band only border on jazz but she manages to swing the medium-tempo numbers and give sensitivity to the ballads. With such songs as "You Took Advantage of Me," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Where or When," "My Funny Valentine," and "Blue Moon," it is not too surprising that these recordings (originally released on a two-LP set) were so popular.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings The Rodgers And Hart Song Book
and the Buddy Bregman Orchestra
1. A Ship Without Sail
3. Blue Moon
4. Dancing On The Ceiling
5. Give It Back To The Indians
6. Have You Met Miss Jones?
7. I Could Write A Book
8. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
9. Isn't It Romantic
10. I Wish I Were In Love Again
11. It Never Entered My Mind
12. Johnny One Note
13. Little Girl Blue
16. Mountain Greenery
17. My Funny Valentine
18. My Romance
19. Spring Is Here
20. Ten Cents A Dance
21. The Lady Is A Tramp
22. There's A Small Hotel
23. This Can't Be Love
24. Thou Swell
25. Wait Till You See Her
26. Where Or When
27. You Took Advantage Of Me
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.