AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only, from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Pure Pleasure / Atlantic PPAN SD1375 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - AAA 100% Analogue
Pressed at Pallas Germany - Limited Edition
Audiophile Mastered by Ray Staff at Air London - Atlantic SD 1375
Re-mastering by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London
this reissue is all the more welcome. Originals, while not too difficult to find, will not come as clean, flat and quiet as this Pallas-pressed Pure Pleasure LP. The remastering here allows us to hear all that Lewis put into this album, and it will play on my turntable far more often than I might have thought when I first received it - The Audio Beat
This wonderful jazz mono vinyl has been reissued numerous times now (including Japanese pressings), but perhaps this version bests them all – though I haven’t heard all of them 5/5 Audiphile audition
This is one of pianist John Lewis' most rewarding albums outside of his work with the Modern Jazz Quartet. Three numbers (including a remake of "Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West") showcase his piano in a quartet with guitarist Jim Hall, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Connie Kay. A 15-and-a-half-minute rendition of "Body and Soul" has one of tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves' finest solos, while "Afternoon in Paris" features a diverse cast with trumpeter Herb Pomeroy, Gunther Schuller on French horn, tenor man Benny Golson, baritonist Jimmy Giuffre, and guitarist Jim Hall; altoist Eric Dolphy cuts everyone
There is nothing hurried about this disc. That said, the music is focused and will stretch your mind. Lewis employed masterful melodic improvisers here: Paul Gonsalves, Eric Dolphy, Jim Hall among others. Listen to "Body and Soul" as it builds powerfully and the soloists explore every possible melodic theme, where the quiet power of these master musicians is almost too much to take. Listen to "I Remember Clifford" where the players are essentially the MJQ with Jim Hall replacing Milt Jackson. This set swings, but oh-so-elegantly. Just like Mr. Lewis.
Whether you're an old-time jazz afficionado or new to the genre, this album is essential. In my opinion, Lewis' lovely solo on "Body & Soul" makes his version virtually definitive - 15 minutes of bliss. The rest of the album, particularly "Afternoon in Paris", is at the same level. "Wonderful" is the perfect title for this record.
This wonderful jazz mono vinyl has been reissued numerous times now (including Japanese pressings), but perhaps this version bests them all – though I haven’t heard all of them. With the original artwork on the front of the Atlantic release (including the photo of Lewis by Tom Dowd) and the complete notes by Ralph J. Gleason, plus the great sonics, this is a winner. Nesuhi Ertegun supervised the album. The 1960 personnel change around for the five tracks here on the two sides of the vinyl. It includes, besides Lewis on piano, Paul Gonsalves and Benny Golson on tenor sax, Jim Hall on guitar, Connie Kay on drums and Herb Pomeroy on trumpet. Lewis was for a time the director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, and he has a much more complex musical personality than just the pianist of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
This album includes two of his original tunes: “Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West” and “Afternoon in Paris.” Their beauty is brought out more than on any other version. Dolphy appeared on “Afternoon” by an arrangement with Prestige Records, and Schuller was on the same tune, along with bassist George Duvivier. The entire album has the highest musical standards, as does everything which Lewis has been responsible for in jazz. And the sonics are excellent – never mind they’re just mono. All MJQ fans should have this one too.
Despite a very long and distinguished career, John Lewis (1920-2001), pianist and musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) since its inception in 1952, was woefully underrepresented as a front man and leader during his most productive years (the other three members of MJQ either led or participated in countless sessions outside the group). Lewis's own discography does offer many recordings, most of which came after the mid-1970s breakup of the MJQ. Much of the cause for this was self-induced -- Lewis had very firm views regarding the music he performed -- and the rest was due to the lack of press he received as a solo act. But a closer examination of Lewis's work outside the Modern Jazz Quartet reveals a man whose musical interests were both wide and deep. He wrote a few scores for films and, somewhat surprisingly, even a ballet score, as well numbers for some well-received jazz albums.
On the 1960 recording under review here, we get Lewis as leader in quartet, sextet and nonet settings backed by such jazz luminaries as Jim Hall, Herb Pomeroy, Paul Gonsalves, Benny Golson and Eric Dolphy. About the only constant on this album, besides Lewis himself, is the rhythm section, which is consists of Hall, George Duvivier and MJQ drummer Connie Kay. Lewis contributes two original tunes, and the remaining three are jazz standards. The diverse group combinations allow Lewis to create a musical palate that best lends itself to the particular tune under consideration. Take "Body and Soul" which, in Lewis’s hands, sounds almost delicate compared to the more muscular versions by Coleman Hawkins and others performed in a sextet setting. The nonet version of Lewis’s "Afternoon In Paris" features a sax trifecta: the alto of Eric Dolphy, the baritone of James Rivers and the tenor of Benny Golson. The quartet setting for "I Remember Clifford" allows Lewis to imbue a very palpable sense of loss.
The sound of this 1960 stereo recording is very good despite the prominent hard-left/hard-right sound typical of many jazz recordings of the era. The instruments sound full and real. Pomeroy’s trumpet has just the proper amount of brassy bite, the saxes have the right mixture of reed and metal, the guitar has an excellent sense of fingers on strings, the bass is wooden and full, and Lewis's piano has good heft and a precise sense of hammers hitting strings. His playing also displays both his precision and low-key style, as well as inventiveness -- playing what comes to mind in the moment.
Given the rather limited all-jazz solo recordings under Lewis's name, this reissue is all the more welcome. Originals, while not too difficult to find, will not come as clean, flat and quiet as this Pallas-pressed Pure Pleasure LP. The remastering here allows us to hear all that Lewis put into this album, and it will play on my turntable far more often than I might have thought when I first received it
John Lewis, piano
George Duvivier, bass
Jim Hall, guitar
Connie Kay, drums
Eric Dolphy, alto saxophone
James Rivers, baritone saxophone
Gunther Schuller, French horn
Benny Golson, tenor saxophone
Paul Gonsalves, tenor saxophone
Herb Pomeroy, trumpet
1. Body And soul
2. I Should Care
3. Two Degrees East, Three Degrees West
4. Afternoon In Paris
5. I Remember Clifford
Recording Engineers – Bob Arnold, Earle Brown, Gene Thompson, Johnny Cue
Supervised By – Nesuhi Ertegun & Tom Dowd
A2,B1,B3 recorded July 29, 1960.
A1 recorded September 8, 1960.
B2 recorded September 9, 1960.
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.
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