AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Pure Pleasure / Bethlehem PPAN BCP36 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - Mono
AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed at Pallas in Germany - Limited Edition
Mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering London
Mastering by Ray Staff at air cannot be faulted This is one of the great Bethlehem reissues Kuos to pure pleasure Music 9/10 Sound 8/10 Dennis Davies HIFI +
Daddy Plays the Horn has the best sound, but it's a close call. You’re not considering sonics alone here, however. It’s the rarity of titles and the music they contain that will have you itching to purchase -- and you’ll not be disappointed in the least if you do - TheAudioBeat
Before Dexter Gordon became more known as a mainstream tenor saxophonist with a strong blues influence, as well as a master balladeer; in the early ’50s he held his own with beboppers like Wardell Gray in bop sax duels.
For a 1955 Hollywood session, Gordon was recorded on Bethlehem Records with a rhythm section of pianist Kenny Drew, walking bassist extraordinaire Leroy Vinnegar, and drummer Lawrence Marable. Song selection was a mixture of standard ballads and tunes written by Charlie Parker and Dexter himself.
This session has been re-released by the English audiophile LP label, PurePleasure, and remastered by Ray Staff at Air Mastering in London. It has also been put out on CD by Verse Records (not to be mistaken for Verve Records).
On the title track, a twelve-bar blues taken at a mid-tempo, Dexter sets a comfortable mood strongly supported by Drew, who gets an extended soulful solo. “Confirmation,” a Bird bop staple has Dex blowing a little less frenetic than the standard for that time period. Again Kenny Drew gets to have several full choruses, almost getting equal time with Gordon, making the tune as much his as the leader. I dug Leroy’s walking bass lines here. Dexter’s strongest work is on the ballads “Darn that Dream” as well as on “Autumn in New York.” Gordon has few tenor peers who could match him for the lyricism that these ballads deserve. Only Ben Webster comes to mind.
Other highlights can be found on “Number Four” and “You Can Depend on Me,” with the former a medium tempo tune, and the latter having a little more heat. Both show Dex fully in command and a true master of the tenor, which he would continue to demonstrate for another three decades. The time given to Kenny Drew for some extended solos is a nice bonus on this LP. The remastering is first rate as each musician is warmly presented in the sound mix.
Bethlehem Records was a major jazz label in the 1950's formed by Gus Wildi with an impressive roster of artists including singers Nina Simone, Carmen MacRae, Chris Conner & Mel Torme, to name a few; arrangers: Marty Paich, Russ Garcia, Frank Hunter; and musicians including: Dexter Gordon, Roland Kirk, Charles Mingus, Frank Rosolino, Herbie Mann, Stan Levey, Art Blakey, Milt Hinton, Errol Garner, Zoot Sims, Duke Ellington, JJ Johnson and many, many others. The label distinguished itself by giving artists creative control of their projects and presented albums of rather cutting edge graphic design. Its legacy is a lengthy discography that freshly and ambitiously captured and preserved an era of truly amazing music including West Coast Cool Jazz, East Coast Bop, and Vocalists. For many of the artists, their first or greatest recorded work happened at Bethlehem. By trusting its staff and artists to make their own creative decisions, to experiment, and thus to flourish, Bethlehem actively helped create and not just document a whole and diverse era of Jazz music.
During a period of Dexter Gordon's (tenor sax) life -- when he was deep in the throws of chronic drug addiction -- the artist was miraculously able to reignite his career during the latter part of 1955. After several years of being out of the spotlight, Gordon resurfaced on the Big Apple-based indie Bethlehem imprint with the half-dozen sides that comprise Daddy Plays the Horn (1956). While the support team provides Gordon top-notch contributions throughout, it is unquestionably Drew who offers the most in terms of active interaction and his prominence can not be overstated. Nowhere is that as noticeable as the good-natured interaction heard on the disc's opener, the Gordon-penned title composition "Daddy Plays the Horn." In fact it could be argued that Drew enhances the tenor to the point of practically being a co-leader.
The update of Charlie "Bird" Parker's bop standard "Confirmation" is taken at a steady mid-tempo pace, allowing plenty of room for the participants to have their say and not get in the way of the melody. Gordon seems considerably more relaxed and comfortable as he spreads line upon line of inspired improvisation. Drew is once again a real treat to hear briefly taking charge of the rhythm section. The pair of ballads on Daddy Plays the Horn are nothing short of stellar and stand as simple, emotive expressions unto themselves.
"Darn That Dream" embraces the warmth of Gordon's tenor as his sensual phrasing leaves just enough space for Drew to sonically bridge the gap with his own unhurried and stylish chords. The generically monikered "Number Four" is anything but ordinary. The Gordon original jumps right from the opening and the ensemble lets loose with equally solid licks beneath his cool tone. Drew gets in the driver's seat missing nary a measure to reveal what could easily be his most tasteful contributions to date. The same can be said of bassist Vinnegar, who is briefly spotlighted on an efficient (if not somewhat sparse) solo.
"Autumn in New York" -- the album's other essential ballad -- is proof that despite Gordon's addiction, he had retained his singular and precious sense of lyricism. Indeed, the Great American Songbook entry has rarely been permeated in such a meaningful way. The seamless transitions between Gordon and Drew are further evidence of their undeniable bond. Saving what may be the best example of the gathered instrumentalists flexing their respective be-bop muscle, "You Can Depend on Me" rounds out the platter with a bang. - by Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide
Recorded September 1955 in Hollywood, California.
Dexter Gordon, tenor saxophone
Kenny Drew, piano
Leroy Vinnegar, bass
Larry Marable, drums
1. Daddy Plays The Horn
3. Darn That Dream
1. Number Four
2. Autumn In New York
3. You Can Depend On Me
Pure Pleasure Records
The Restoration of the Art of Sound
180g Vinyl Mastered From The Best Available Sources
At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records. During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped 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 to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.
A digital delay is gladly used when cutting a lacquer disc because tape machines with an analogue delay have become quite rare and are therefore expensive. When cutting the lacquer, the audio signal is delayed by one LP revolution against the signal, which controls the cutter head, and for this a digital delay is very often employed. Of course, the resultant sound signal is completely digital and thus only as good as this delay.
We should like to emphasize that Pure Pleasure Records on principle only uses the original master tape as the basis for the entirely analogue cutting of lacquer discs. In addition, the pressing tool is newly manufactured as a matter of principle. We only employ existing tools for manufacturing if an improved result is not forthcoming, e.g. the title Elvis Is Back, which was mastered by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray, or several titles from our Philips Classics series, which in any case Willem Makkee cut from the original masters at the Emil Berliner Studios in the 90s. It goes without saying that we only used the mother and that new tools were made for our production. To put it in a nutshell: we can ensure you that our releases are free from any kind of digital effects and that the lacquer discs are newly cut.
There really is nothing quite like it. It’s the touch, the feel, you have to stop and stare, the cover, the real thing, even the smell.
Its tangible, you can feel it, see it, study it, muse/dream over it, it’s real, someone has spent hours and hours over its construction and presentation. Pure Pleasure Records is just that, Pure Pleasure and that is what it has set out to be.
The music and the physical record. Something to keep, treasure, admire and above all enjoy.Of course with vinyl it’s not just a record, it’s the cover, the sleeve notes, you are holding a unique package, produced by craftsmen.
Pure Pleasure Records bring you vinyl albums of quality Jazz - Blues - R+B - Soul - Funk, remastered by some of the best engineers in the world and pressed on 180 gram audiophile vinyl at what is probably the best pressing plant in Europe
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering
Plated and Pressed at Pallas in Germany on 180 Gram Virgin Vnyl
Released in Limited Quantities
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!