AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Warners - BS 2617- 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl
AAA 100% Analogue - Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearant Audio
Limited Edition - Pressed at Pallas
Speakers Corner 25 Years Pure Analogue
Well mastered by the ever reliable German audiophile company, Speakers Corner and, for jazz fans, still impressively brilliant.- TheAudiophileMan
And I’d still choose the Speakers Corner, which is cheaper by a considerable margin, with zero hunting effort. Kudos to Kevin Gray and the folks at Speakers Corner for this one. Killer. 5/5 Thevinylpress
In the 1970s, Herbie Hancock’s "Crossings" was to be found on every IKEA record shelf in the student pads of jazz-fusion fans. The cover, with its psychedelic touch, also contributed significantly to its popularity – although it was unclear where the crossing was going to take us …
Nevertheless, the excellent trumpeter Eddie Henderson – often underestimated as an improviser and composer, and Benny Maupin – who like Hancock had grown up under Miles Davis’s wing, present a wide range of sound-generating instruments – as was all the rage in those days. Synthesizer and Mellotron (a polyphonic tape replay keyboard and as such practically the prototype of the sampler) were permanent members of the group – and even produce here melodic arches of sound! Whether Bennie Maupin’s "Quasar" launches the group and us into extraterrestrial territory (as stated in one review) is a moot point.
With the frenzied knocking of what sounds like a clock shop gone berserk, Crossings takes the Herbie Hancock Sextet even further into the electric avant-garde, creating its own idiom. Now, however, the sextet has become a septet with the addition of Dr. Patrick Gleeson on Moog synthesizer, whose electronic decorations, pitchless and not, give the band an even spacier edge. Again, there are only three tracks -- the centerpiece being Hancock's multi-faceted, open-structured suite in five parts called "Sleeping Giant." Nearly 25 minutes long yet amazingly cohesive, "Sleeping Giant" gathers a lot of its strength from a series of funky grooves
the most potent of which explodes at the tail-end of Part Two -- and Hancock's on-edge Fender Rhodes electric piano solos anticipate his funk adventures later in the '70s. Bennie Maupin's "Quasar" pushes the session into extraterrestrial territory, dominated by Gleeson's wild Moog effects and trumpeter Eddie Henderson's patented fluttering air trumpet. Even stranger is Maupin's "Water Torture," which saunters along freely with splashes of color from Hancock's spooky Mellotron and fuzz-wah-pedaled Fender Rhodes piano, Gleeson's electronics, and a quintet of voices. Still a challenging sonic experience, this music has yet to find its audience, though the electronica-minded youth ought to find it dazzling.
This LP is a contemporary historical document, though it certainly doesn’t sound antiquated. That’s why younger listeners too will find pleasure in this experiment from the previous millennium.
Maybe that’s why younger pianists constantly look towards him as an inspiration. Maybe that’s why he’s seen as an epitome of cool. Maybe that’s why he was such a valued employee by Miles Davis. Because Herbie Hancock didn’t really give a damn. OK, maybe he gave a bit more of a damn than Davis but, still, Hancock ploughed onwards, developing his increasing complex style, his musical chops, the type of instruments used within his work, he crossed genres from jazz to R&B and electronica and evolved his keyboard voice and associated signatures. Hancock left Davis’ band in 1968 and formed a sextet taking the concept of jazz-rock head on but adding the important ingredient of electronic instruments. So, even at this early stage of the development of electronic instrumentation, Hancock was there, eager to learn and experiment. That included a synthesiser-toting Patrick Gleeson (actually Doctor Patrick, if you will) as well as his owns Echoplexed, fuzz-wah-pedaled electric piano and clavinet.
This album forged into the avant-garde, with Gleeson’s Moog as one of the star attractions. Only three tracks occupy this LP. Sleeping Giant is a 25 minute, extraordinary five-piece, complex yet exploratory sequence that hangs together despite it adventure in ideas. Hancock’s Fender Rhodes electric piano adds a funky edge to the work. Quasar sends us into space, care of that Moog effects and the organic trumpet effects from Eddie Henderson. Water Torture comes from the bass clarinet playing Bernie Maupin – in fact, Maupin pens two of the three tracks on this LP. Maupin continues the adventure with Hancock’s other-worldly Mellotron and fuzz-wah-pedaled Fender Rhodes piano providing shades of musical colour.
Well mastered by the ever reliable German audiophile company, Speakers Corner and, for jazz fans, still impressively brilliant.
1. Sleeping Giant
2. Water Torture
Recording: February 1972 at Pacific Recording Studios, San Mateo, CA., by Patrick Gleason
Production: David Rubinson
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!