The Piano Choir - Handscapes - 180g 2LP

Product no.: SES19730

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The Piano Choir - Handscapes - 180g 2LP
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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 / Strata East  - SES-19730 -  180 Gram Virgin Vinyl 

Limited Edition - Mastered by Ray Staff at Air London

AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed  at Pallas Germany

Simply put, Handscapes – The Piano Choir is jazz at its best! All of the Pure Pleasure qualities are there, including a balanced sound mix and top-notch hi-gloss gatefold packaging - Audiophile Audition
Handscapes is a double live album by The Piano Choir featuring Stanley Cowell, Nat Jones, Hugh Lawson, Webster Lewis, Harold Mabern, Danny Mixon, and Sonelius Smith recorded in 1972.
At the time of release Ebony reviewer Phyl Garland said "One needn't be a "piano freak" to appreciate a truly new recording. First of all imagine seven gifted and talented pianists sitting down to seven grand pianos (with electric piano, organ, harpsichord, a few tambourines for spice) and proceeding to tear up these instruments — musically, that is. ...the torrrent of sound springing from their 70 fingers is so powerful and majestic as to be unlike anything one has ever heard."

Strata-East Records was an independent jazz label in the 1970’s. With an eye toward post-bop jazz, they were founded by  trumpeter Charles Tolliver and pianist Stanley Cowell. Known primarily as an artist-centric organization, they released nearly 60 albums in the 1970’s. Probably the most notable release for the label was Gil Scott-Heron’s Winter In America in1974. Other notable musicians included Bill Lee and Clifford Brown. Musical vision and freedom of expression were essential core principles.

The Piano Choir. Recorded in 1972, this is a dizzying array of jazz improvisation with seven keyboardists furiously commandeering a variety of keyboard instruments (mostly piano) in a live performance. Joining Stanley Cowell are Nat Jones, Hugh Lawson, Webster Lewis, Harold Mabern, Danny Mixon and Sonelius Smith. Side A opens with a High Lawson composition, “Jaboobie’s March”. With an emphasis on acoustic pianos, the talented “choir” comes roaring out of the gate with a soulful repeat vamp-anchored jam. The muscular chords build to aspirational crescendos with minor touches of percussion and keyboards. Intermingled with the hypnotic, funky vibe are grandiose flourishes and brief lyrical interludes.

 The opus goes on and on…and the listener doesn’t want it to end. On a cover of Thelonious Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser”, the musicians distill the exotic bebop energy and complex phrasing. The influence of keyboards (including electric piano) lend a different texture. The piano soloing is explosive. It is polyrhythmic and memorable. In a change of pace, “Precious Lord” is as advertised, soothing gospel. A hushed elegance is framed by “Sunday” organ tonality. With countering piano lines, the number is infused with deep soul. Of course, there is an up tempo, foot-stomping transition near the end. The audience goes crazy with applause!

In his review for AllMusic, Michael G. Nastos simply states "Brilliant"
Stanley Cowell
Nat Jones
Hugh Lawson
Webster Lewis
Harold Mabern
Danny Mixon
Sonelius Smith
Side A:
Jaboobie's March
Straight No Chaser
Precious Lord
Side B:
Sanctum Saintorium
Nation Time
Side C:
Man Extensions
Side D:
The Almoravids
Recorded October 28, 1972 except for "Precious Lord" on June 18, 1972.
The Piano Choir - Handscapes - 180g 2LP
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
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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.

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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