AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head
Speakers Corner / Atlantic SD-1473 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl -
AAA 100% Analogue - Limited Edition
Mastered by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio - Pressed at Pallas Germany
Speakers Corner 25 Years Pure Analogue This LP is an Entirely Analogue Production
100 Recommended All-Analog ressues Worth Owning - Michael Fremer Analogplanet
Roll and smoke one and then to chill out, listen to Forest Flower. This Speakers Corner reissue cut from the original tape by Kevin Gray sounds better than my treasured original pressing. -Michael Fremer Analogplanet's Best Reissues of the Decade! 2020
Kevin Gray's cut is far superior to my original Atlantic pressing. However, this reissue is far more dynamic and far better EQ'd, especially in the far more transparent midrange that also manages to well convey the outdoor space. Highly recommended! Sound 9/10 Music 10/10 Michael Fremmer www.analogplanet.com
Dennis Davis, Hifi+, September 2016 Music 10/10 Sound 8/10
Seems that every gem from the 1950’s and 1960’s Jazz catalogue has been mined time and again, so Speakers Corner Kai Seaman could not believe his good fortune when Forest Flower turned up as available. It’s not like Charles Lloyd has been lying under the radar. 78 years old and still going strong as a recording artist and performer. Lloyd’s string of CD’s from the ECM label has enjoyed critical praise and numerous awards for 25 years. Before heading off to ECM, however, Lloyd established himself as a super star. He became one of the few Jazz artists to sell over a million copies of record (with Forest Flower) and opened for some of the greatest rock bands of the 1960’s. His combination of what became known as world music influences, classical music, and jazz spoke to the flower power generation. Which brings us back to Forest Flower, an album titled close enough to ‘flower child’ to suggest Lloyd’s lasting jazz reputation in many jazz lover’s minds. The album includes an extended version of one Lloyd’s best known songs, -Forest Flowers- presented in two parts (‘sunrise’ and ‘sunset’) that takes up side one. Side two includes three songs-“Sunrise” and “Sunset”) that takes up side one. Side two includes three songs-“Sorcery”, `Song of Her` and `East of the Sun`. The album is labelled “At Monterey” referring to the group’s performance at the Monterey Jazz Festival on September 18, 1966. However, `Sorcery and `Song of Her` were recorded in the Atlantic Recording Studio in New York ten days earlier. Canned applause is added to the studio recordings, (including airplane noise) is missing. The live and studio performances blend well together, showcasing Lloyd’s early sophistication that was accessible enough to a crossover audience to sell a boatload of records and make him a superstar. Listened to today, the performances still sound fresh and better than almost anything else that has come along in its wake. This is an essential jazz recording that belongs in the collection of any music lover with the slightest pretence of an interest of Jazz. The live recording was done by Wally Heider, who specialised in on-site recording and who made some of the best sounding live recordings of the twentieth century. The studio recording was not credited, but was almost certainly done by Atlantic’s Tom Dowd at his purpose build studio on the corner of Broadway and 60th Street on New York’s upper west side. Both the live and studio sound of the original are quite nice – significantly better than most live recordings and top-notch Atlantic studio sound. Kevin Grey of Coherent Audio mastered this reissue from the original master tapes, and the resulting sound is outstanding. Highest recommendation. DD - Recording 8/10 Music10/10
It was a clever move by George Avakian, producer at Atlantic Records, to record live the Charles Lloyd Quartet during their appearance in Monterey, and to release the LP under the title "Forest Flower". Although the hippy flower-power movement tended towards a rather different musical genre at the end of the Sixties, they were blown away by this music. The four artists attracted masses of people and ensured that every seat was taken and all standing room filled at jazz festivals such as Newport, Molde (Norway), Antibes (France) and the Fillmore East and West. The super group also appeared in Monterey, 120 Km south of San Francisco, the centre of the hippy movement, on 18 September 1966.
On the LP we have the almost 18-minute-long title piece and the standard work "East Of The Sun", which were recorded at the festival. The disc is complemented by a Keith Jarrett composition and one by Cecil McBee, both of which were recorded in the studio ten days before the festival.
Of particular note is the rich interplay, the energy that is palpable throughout, the perfect harmony in each and every change of mood, and the intensity. Even 50 years later, it is quite clear that Charles Lloyd managed to break down the barriers between pop and jazz.
Charles Lloyd is committed to this objective to this very day! All four musicians are still active, although they no longer appear together as a group. Such a special treat for the ears is offered by this newly mastered disc only.
Charles Lloyd's young group, together but a year, played this set September 8th 1966 at the Monterey Jazz Festival, opening with the title tune—actually the two-in-one "Forest Flower-Sunrise" and "Forest Flower-Sunset", both lilting, hypnotic and mesmerizing "hippie-like" tunes that presaged in its mood the next year's "Summer of Love" Monterey Pop Festival.
Side one's melodic swing and sway gives way to more adventurous fare on the side two. Given the group's short time together, its cohesion and adventurousness are remarkable but considering the pianist was Keith Jarrett, the bassist Cecil McBee and and the drummer Jack DeJohnette, perhaps it's less remarkable than it might initially seem. What an ensemble!
Lloyd switches from tenor sax to flute for Jarrett's driving "Sorcery". Your ear won't know where to tune in: to Jarrett's dazzling jagged runs (that years later show up in Mike Garson's "Alladin Sane" Bowie accompaniment), or DeJohnette's driving cymbal work or McBee's muscular playing on his "Song of Her" or the rousing concluding piece, a speedy take on the standard "East of the Sun", which the group takes apart and then gleefully re-assembles much to the crowd's delight. Lloyd's fleet playing is an album standout.
In the actual concert "East of the Sun" follows "Forest Flower" but because of LP side length limitations it ends the record. Let's hear it for side limitations because in this case "East of the Sun" is a great album closer.
The Wally Heider recording so effectively captures the outdoors, when you play the record you can almost smell the California air. This was the Friday afternoon, school's out record my roommates and I would play after breaking out and consuming some of the weed we kept stashed in the detached garage next to our apartment. It was an every Friday ritual for the entire spring 1967 semester (the record was released mid-winter 1967) and so first play of this reissue sourced from the original tape resulting in a pleasing "contact high"!
Kevin Gray's cut is far superior to my original Atlantic pressing, which despite all of the Dual 1009SK/Shure V15 plays, remains quiet and fully extended on top. However, this reissue is far more dynamic and far better EQ'd, especially in the far more transparent midrange that also manages to well convey the outdoor space.
This is so easy to recommend for the music, the sound for its being reissued just in time for the 50th anniversary of the "Summer of Love" and for every other reason real and invented. Highly recommended!
Recording: September 1966 live at Monterey Jazz Festival by Wally Heider
Production: George Avakian
Charles Lloyd, tenor saxophone, flute
Keith Jarrett, piano
Cecil McBee, bass
Jack DeJohnette, drums
1. Forest Flower - Sunrise
2. Forest Flower - Sunset
4. Song of Her
5. East of the Sun
25 Years pure Analogue
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.
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