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Anne Bisson; Shelby Lynne; Duke Ellington; The Sonny Rollins Quintet Records Review

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Anne Bisson Tales From Treetops

180-gram LP pressed at RTI

Tracks:
Side 1
I live in a Treehouse
I miss my love
Lilac Blooms
Your Smile
Side 2
Everybody’s Kissing in Paris
Dry my tears
Da Unten im Tale
Love’s Philosophy Op. 370
I Do

 

Anne Bisson herself said, “I feel Tales From The Treetops is the true follow-up to Blue Mind, a collection of people and their tales we’ve already met in that first album. The themes behind Little Black Lake are still very much present and the characters move around a natural, savage landscape. We will discover still more about the magnificent Lady of the Black Lake, as we follow her journey from childhood (“I Live in a Treehouse”) to her final days (“Winter’s Coming”). These are songs of emotion, passion, love and mourning…”

An album like this is one of the real cases for why the vinyl listening experience is most often better than digital. When you set the needle down on side one and listen all the way through this LP the music tells a very abstract and beautiful story. If you sit down with a remote control and jump from one cut you like to another, you rob yourself of what the artist carefully planned for you to experience.

The album was recorded live at Les Studios Opus, December 2013, L’Assomption QC Canada, mastering by Marc-Olivier Bouchard, Le LAB Mastering, Montreal QC Canada. Its sound quality and vinyl quietness is every bit as good as her wonderful album Blue Minds. Best of all the music is equal to that album.

Anne Bisson plays piano and sings. She is joined by drummer Paul Brochu, bassist Frederic Alarie, and cellist Vincent Belanger for this album. I have played this LP several times now and the music, the experience and the performance is first class. I highly recommend this LP if you liked Blue Minds and if you have not heard Blue Minds you might want to give them both a try.

 

Shelby Lynne Just a Little Lovin’ 200g 45rpm 2LP

Features:
Plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Cut to LP by Doug Sax from analog master sources
Stoughton Printing glossy gatefold jacket

Tracks:
LP 1 - Side 1:
Just A Little Lovin'
Anyone Who Had A Heart

LP 1 - Side 2:
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
I Only Want To Be With You
The Look Of Love

LP 2 - Side 3:
Breakfast In Bed
Willie And Laura Mae Jones

LP 2 - Side 4:
I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore
Pretend
How Can I Be Sure

 

Do we need another version of this great LP? The answer is a big YES, if it sound this good! Back in 2012 I wrote this about the album. The original vinyl release of this album was mastered from a digital file and pressed at United in Nashville. Not one much of an endorsement, but a lot of us bought it for the music not the sound. What we have in the Analog Productions 200g reissue is a whole new ball game. Produced by Phil Ramone and engineered by the great Al Schmitt in all-analogue, and can you believe it — this is said to be done at the insistence of Shelby Lynne. We should all give a big thank you to Analogue Productions’ Chad Kassem for obtaining the rights to reissue the album and insisting on the original tapes. So, this reissue was mastered in all analog by Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab and cut using his lathe driven by tube electronics. Then, it was plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings in Salina, Kansas on 200g vinyl.

Well, it is simply hard to believe how good this LP sounds, the backgrounds are as quiet as any of the famous UHQR pressings. Lynne’s voice simply comes out of a silence and a real space. It is rich, detailed, and most of all, unbelievably alive sounding. This recording is so good that I swear it sound like she sings better than she did on the original. Her voice and the instruments just flow into my room, allowing you to relax and just enjoy this incredible music.

Now Analog Production has upped the ante even further with a 45rpm pressing cut to vinyl by Doug Sax. It is simply stunning. Do what I did; buy it and give a friend your previous copy.

 

Duke Ellington Masterpieces by Ellington 200g LP (Mono)

Features:
Plated and pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Remastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound from the original analog tapes
Gatefold old-school "tip-on" on jacket by Stoughton Printing

Tracks presented in 'uncut concert arrangements'
Presented in Original Mono
Tracks:
Mood Indigo
Sophisticated Lady
The Tattooed Bride
Solitude

 

How could an album recorded in 1951 sound this good? This recording was done not long after the dawn of the LP era. Michael Fremer said, “This record from 1951 is one of the finest sounding jazz records you will ever hear.” It certainly is. I’ve been a fan of mono recordings for years now and all of a sudden I’m in style, it does make me want to say I told you they were great. Don’t misunderstand me I love stereo, but let’s admit that mono can be equally good and sometimes even better.

This is a historic LP because of when it was recorded; but it is more than a historic LP. It is the first time that the technology enabled Ellington and his orchestra to record real concert arrangements and not short little songs for 78 recordings. I think this brings an extra excitement to their playing on this recording. It is really something special and you sure can’t want more from the song selection.

I have to be honest I don’t know of many Ellington LPs I don’t love, but this is my new favorite. The fact that you can get it now on pristine, quite vinyl is something to be thankful for.

 

The Sonny Rollins Quintet Rollins Plays for Bird 200g LP (Mono)

Features:
Pressed at Quality Record Pressings
Plated by Gary Salstrom
Cut from the analogue masters by Kevin Gray
Deluxe high-gloss tip-on album jacket

Musicians:
Sonny Rollins, tenor saxophone
Kenny Dorham, trumpet
Wade Legge, piano
George Morrow, bass
Max Roach, drums

Selections:
  1. Medley: I Remember You / My Melancholy Baby / Old Folks / They Can't Take That Away From Me / Just Friends / My Little Suede Shoes / Star Eyes
  2. I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face
  3. Kids Know

 

Man! What an album. There is surely some great music out there recorded in mono and now thanks to some people that care we can hear it on brand new LPs that are quiet and sound great. Here we have an album where the great tenor sax player Sonny Rollins and some jazz greats play a set of standards in tribute to the great alto saxophonist, Charlie Parker or simply known as Bird. The great Bird had died only a year earlier, way too young at the age of 34.

This album was recorded in1956 and is another example of what rare gold there is on those old mono tapes that were done at Rudy Van Gelder’s Studio. Thankfully, this Analogue Productions release of Rollins Plays for Bird was cut from the analogue master tapes and then pressed on 200-gram vinyl.

The tenor sax is not in the same key as an alto sax so Sonny Rollins would have had to transpose a lot of music to make this tribute to Bird. Instead, Rollins has chosen standards associated with Parker, and recorded them within a year after Bird’s passing. The result is superb. The 29-minute medley of standards is just an incredible musical experience. The two other cuts are equally good. Highly Recommended!

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One Response to Anne Bisson; Shelby Lynne; Duke Ellington; The Sonny Rollins Quintet Records Review


  1. Charlie mathews says:

    Thanks Jack for the record reviews!

    Best

    Charlie

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