Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington - 180g LP Mono

Product no.: PPANML4418

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Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington - 180g LP Mono
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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 ML4418  - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl 

AAA 100%  Analogue -  Pressed at Pallas Germany - Limited Edition

Mastered by Ray Staff at Air London - Columbia ML4418

This LP is an Entirely Analogue Production

The music is only part of what made this album special. Those who were able to lay hands on a decent original copy claimed the sound, mono though it is, was spectacular. This Pure Pleasure reissue shows that that claim was founded on solid fact. I’ve reviewed quite a few Pure Pleasure offerings, and I can confidently state that this Pallas-pressed LP, remastered from analog tapes, not digital files, is, if not at the very apex of sound quality, then damn close to it. All of the instruments have a sense of realness, and there is space around the band -- something of a surprise from such an early LP, and in mono to boot. From the plucked bass lines to the sparkle of each cymbal strike, everything rings true. The musicians seem to exist in their own space while still being part of the whole.   I’ll put this one by Pure Pleasure right at the top of the list. I simply can’t imagine this LP sounding better. No matter which you choose, this is an album you really need to have in your library. Getting the chance to hear one of Ellington’s greatest bands give full-length versions of these four tunes is using your stereo for its intended purpose -- stepping back in time and reliving an era when this was the music to hear. This Pure Pleasure LP is flat, dead silent, and wonderfully musical. Oh, and one last tidbit to really ice the cake: Pure Pleasure's deluxe gatefold sleeve is of superior quality and includes pictures of Ellington at work in the center. - The Audio Beat

To restate: top-quality sound, top-quality packaging, and perhaps the greatest big band in jazz history to whisk you back to late 1950 and delight you with exquisite music. What more can one ask for from a reissue?

Duke Ellington & His Orchestra consisting of Billy Strayhorn, Johnny Hodges, Paul Gonsalves and more, perform four selections including "Mood Indigo" and "Sophisticated Lady".

"When Ellington went into the studio in 1950 to record the longer tracks on this LP, his orchestra was a bridge between its late-1940's configuration (the 5-man trumpet section) and its mid-1950's personnel. The sax section had settled into the form it would have for most of the ensuing two decades (old-timers Hodges and Carney and newcomers Procope, Hamilton and Gonsalves); the trombone section had long-timer Lawrence Brown as well as Tyree Glenn and newcomer Quentin Jackson; and the drummer was still Sonny Greer, who had anchored the rhythm section since the beginning. Greer would retire at the end of the year, Hodges would defect for two years, Brown and Glenn would leave; Louis Bellson and Cat Anderson would join up and Ellington would begin to re-form. Ellington's orchestra from 1953 on would be a great, swinging and sensitive one, but it would not make the same lush sound that this one did.

"The arrangements and orchestrations all bear the hallmarks of Ellington's collaboration with Billy Strayhorn in the late 1940's: they are lush, symphonic, impressionistic, and densely (and adventurously) harmonic. "Mood Indigo", in particular, is a 15-minute tone-poem with shifting colors and key relationships as Ellington and Strayhorn bring the melody through a wide variety of guises, from Glenn's wah-wah trombone solo to Shorty Baker's lyrical waltz to orchestral and piano passages which do homage to the influence which Ravel and Stravinsky had on both of them. Great solos abound here and on the other tracks, most notably from Hodges, Brown, Hamilton, Gonsalves, Carney, trumpeters Baker and Ray Nance, and (most probably) Billy Strayhorn on piano, especially in "Mood Indigo"

"'The Tattooed Bride' is the only new piece from the original "Masterpieces by Ellington" LP, and it is a beauty. The others of the original tracks -- "Sophisticated Lady" and "Solitude" -- are not laid out as inventively in their harmonics or structure. Of the group, "Solitude" is perhaps the weakest, but this is a relative term. Ellington would go on to pen many more extended, symphonic works, but none would have quite the multicolored, impressionistic tone-palate that these do. And Strayhorn's presence would not be as pronounced in those future works as it is here: the orchestration and harmonies in particular bear his mark. These are masterpieces indeed: great works of art by two of our greatest composers/orchestrators, and played by one of the greatest orchestras in Afro-American music." - Andrew R. 

• Remastered By Ray Staff at Air Mastering

Duke Ellington, piano
Billy Strayhorn, piano
Mercer Ellington, flugelhorn
Cat Anderson, trumpet
Andrew Ford, trumpet
Harold Baker, trumpet
Nelson Williams, trumpet
Ray Nance, trumpet
Quentin Jackson, trombone
Tyree Glenn, trombone
Lawrence Brown, trombone
Johnny Hodges, alto saxophone
Paul Gonsalves, tenor saxophone
Jimmy Hamilton, clarinet
Russell Procope, clarinet & alto saxophone
Wendell Marshall, bass
Sonny Greer, drums
Yvonne, vocals

Side A :
1. Mood Indigo
2. Sophisticated Lady
Side B:
1. The Tattooed Bride
2. Solitude

Recorded December 19, 1950


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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

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!  

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