AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Pure Pleasure / Columbia PPAN CL591 - 180 Gram Virin Vinyl - Columbia CL591
Pure Analogue Mastering - Pressed at Pallas Germany - Limited Edition
Mastered at Ray Staff at Air Mastering London
five tracks did not appear on the original vinyl LP release. This is their first time on vinyl.
Michael Fremmer Music 8/10 Sound 8/10
If you buy this and just hear some moldy old monophonic Dixieland you deserve to spend the rest of your life listening to Aqualung and Patricia Barber, not that there’s anything wrong with either that album or that artist. I don’t mean to insult anyone but the audiophile “pop charts” are depressingly mundane and predictable.
On this album that commences with “St. Louis Blues,” W.C. Handy’s most famous composition, Armstrong, his backing band and singer Velma Middleton deliver vaudeville entertainment, the highest-grade music making and a history lesson all rolled into one as they slink, shimmy and syncopate their way through these one-time suggestive and salacious tunes.
This music may sound superficially “old” and obvious now, but upon it and upon Handy’s innovations rest a large part of 20th century American pop music making. In fact, everyone reading this will know many of these songs, which have been repeatedly covered by successive generations.
The scholarly annotation by producer George Avakian tells the story and it’s almost as entertaining and vital as the music. Both help fill in musical blanks, educating listeners about blues history generally, and Handy’s contribution specifically. Avakian also provides a song-by-song run through that adds extra dimension to the music.
Handy, who died in 1958 at the age of 84, gets credit for inventing the blues, both because as an educated musician capable of annotation, he wrote out what had previously been passed down word of mouth and because his innovations, including strong syncopation and use of “blue notes” in adapting the Negro folk music he loved, helped popularize the form throughout America and the world.
Handy was more like a classical music composer who worked in the folk idiom, like say, Bartok, than he was a Tin Pan Alley type. Listening with that understanding helps one appreciate the elegance and sophistication of the form hanging beneath its overfamiliarity today.
The songs from the original LP have been spread out over most of three sides, with the remainder of side three containing an Avakian interview with Mr. Handy. Side four contains fascinating rehearsal tapes of three tunes including the vocal “improvs” heard on the final takes.
As for the sound, it’s wonderfully mono and definitely high fidelity. Working in mono, the engineer exaggerated where the musicians were placed in the studio in order to produce a great deal of front to back depth and to highlight Armstrong, whose trumpet comes across sweetly yet with plenty of bite. While that arrangement places Trummy Young (trombone), Barney Bigard (clarinet), Billy Kyle (piano), Arvell Shaw (bass) and Barrett Deems (drums) oddly in the background, it produced a warmth and ambience that works well with the music. You really feel as if you’re in the studio all those years ago watching pops and friends work out.
The original’s hard to come by, and with the additional material, this becomes a valuable addition to your analogue discs
"Based upon the diversity of music, quality of product and their extraordinary rate of progress, Pure Pleasure Records is our re-issue record company of the year." - hi-fi+
Louis Armstrong, trumpet, vocals
Trummy Young, trombone
Barney Bigard, clarinet
Billy Kyle, piano
Arvell Shaw, bass
Barrett Deems, drums
Velma Middleton, vocals
1. St Louis Blues
2. Yellow Dog Blues
3. Loveless Love
4. Aunt Hagar’s Blues
5. Long Gone (From Bowling Green)
6. Memphis Blues
7. Beale Street Blues
8. Ole Miss
9. Chantez Les Bas (Sing ‘Em Low)
10. Hesitating Blues
11. Atlanta Blues (Make Me One Pallet On Your Floor)
12. George Avakian’s Interview With W.C. Handy
13. Loveless Love (rehearsal sequence)
14. Hesitating Blues (rehearsal sequence)
15. Alligator Story
16. Long Gone (From Bowling Green) (rehearsal sequence)
Recording engineer: Mason Coppinger Produced by George Avakian
ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
AAA 100% ANALOGUE
We use the Original Tapes and work with only the Best Mastering Studios
Plated and Pressed at Pallas in Germany on 180 gram Virgin Vinyl
Highest Quality Jackets and Inner Sleeves
Low Numbers per Stamper Released in Limited Quantities
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.
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!