Pure Pleasure / Candid - CJS 9022 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering by Ray Staff at Air Mastering London
Limited Edition - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Stereophile Magazine Record to Die For!
Featured in Michael Fremer's Heavy Rotation in the October 2005 Issue of Stereophile!
The jazz experience just doesn't get any better than this! I nominated Newport Rebels... because of Roy Eldridge's ballsy, all-out trumpet playing on "Mysterious Blues" and "Me and You." Eldridge approached the horn as if neither he nor it had limits---his electrifying, perfectly paced solos prove him right. Neither do the other musicians disappoint. The result is jazz tastefully stretched beyond traditional roots. And the late-1960s, direct-to-two-track recording guarantees a natural sound with few production artifacts.
"The one positive accomplishment of the 1960 Newport Festival was the creation in rebellion of a musicians' festival at Cliff Walk Manor. As the 'official' rites were ending because of ugly rioting in the streets several hundred people were listening in calm and pleasure to the rebels at Cliff Walk. The dissidents had been organized by Charles Mingus and Max Roach in protest against the accelerating commercialization of the annual Ben-Hur-with-a-horn production of Freebody Park. It was exhilarating for the musicians involved to realize that for once in their careers, they were capable of formulating and sustaining their own ground rules without booking agents, impressarios, and other middlemen. The rebels set up their own tents for sleeping quarters, even stitching the canvas themselves; handled advertising and promotion; alternated as announcers of the rebels; and took tickets. (Mr. Mingus roamed the grounds besides, asking for payment from freeloaders outside the fence)." - from the original 1961 liner notes by Nat Hentoff
This is a real oddity, an album featuring what at first seems to be a bizarre collection of old and young (at the time) jazzmen; swingers, boppers and the nascent avant-garde all getting together for a big old jam. It's only when you listen that you realise that they all speak the language of jazz, and that the tendency to pigeon-hole artists into a particular style just doesn't need to apply.
These artists were prompted to get together by the 1960 Newport jazz festival. The story goes that Mingus, fed up with what he saw as the rampant commercialism of the main Newport festival, got together a bunch of like-minded musicians to stage a rival festival at nearby Cliff Walk. Everything was done by the musicians, from setting up the tents to promoting the event. Rumour has it that Mingus himself went amongst the audience to collect admission fees! This proved such a bonding experience that some of the musicians involved formed the Jazz Artists Guild on their return to New York, in order to promote better relations between all generations of musicians.
Like many utopian ideals, the Guild ended in failure a short time later, but not before this album was recorded, and it stands as a testament to what can be achieved by cooperation between outstanding musicians.
Side one is really the only place to be, containing the two standout tracks, 'Mysterious Blues' and 'Cliff Walk'. Both compositions were composed at the sessions, and the spontaneity shines through onto the recording. 'Mysterious Blues' is well worth hearing for the fantastic high-energy trumpet playing of Eldridge, coupled with Mingus' bass gymnastics and the superlative drumming of Jo Jones, dropping bombs all over the track. Also of note here is Eric Dolphy - not so much for the quality of his playing (which is okay), but for his presence on such a straightahead recording - i'm used to hearing Dolphy in a considerably more abstract setting.
'Cliff Walk' is a real uptempo hard-bop brnstormer, complete with the album's finest moment; the drum battle between Jones and Max Roach towards the end of the track. Perhaps battle is the wrong word, as they seem to be helping each other out more than anything. Elsewhere, Roach drops his trademark bombs over everyone, flattening the soloists and stamping his authority all over the LP.
Side two slackens off a little, with the vocal 'T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do' being particularly forgettable, but it all comes back into line for the closing 'Me and You', a long, slow blues jam with some more amazing trumpet playing from Eldridge.
I know I always say this, but this is album has some great moments. So go buy it! For maximum enjoyment, make sure to order it in fine 180g virgin vinyl - i did and it sounds fantastic; the production is of the highest standard and the pressing really lets the music breathe.
1. Mysterious Blues
2. Cliff Walk
3. Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams
4. Tain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do
5. Me And You
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!