Japanese UHQCD pressing. High Resolution CD name board series is a high sound quality CD (UHQCD) that can be played on all CD players (44.1 kHz / 16 bit). Universal. 2018.
Overall an excellent recording, the guitar tones are so pure and clean whilst the double bass has a resonance all of its own. It is the guitar edge and cleanliness that is almost magical.
This recording is so open, clean and detailed yet it is not cold or clinical having a feeling of space and intimacy. When the musicians are all playing together the sound of the whole is than the parts. All the instruments sound integrated into the whole and no element is lost or masked.
Both ethe music and sound quality of this recording are excellent and it is worth getting this version (release) for your collection.
I have not set out to write reviews of the music content as “beauty is in the ears of the listener”. These reviews are about the quality (or not) of the recorded sound. To read about how the reviews are done please see my profile.
• Clarity – excellent, open , detailed, clear
• Channel separation – good left and right with a detailed stereo image
• Channel balance – very good instrument placement
• Sound Stage – very good, wide and subtle not “fancy” or clever but a realistic and accurate mix. It is possible to clearly place the musicians
• Distortion – non audible
• Compression – excellent volume shifts and range. Good frequency range
• Atmosphere – a very good studio recording but it is still quite intimate, you can imagine Burrell sitting on a chair playing. At times almost captures the feeling of a small smokey basement jazz club, 7/10 for effort
• Bass – low frequencies – the double bass has a warm rich woody sound, the notes decay slowly whilst the instrument resonates. The drum hit sounds a bit weak in the mix but there are far worse drum recordings. The snare drum and cymbals are crisp and clear. The kick drum is audible and the saxophone is rich and dirty.
• Treble – high frequencies the guitar has an effortless tone. It rings and has a clean edge balanced by the bass and saxophone. The relaxed playing is so clean, detailed and effortless sounding. There is a great feeling of space. The cymbals shimmer but are sometimes a little soft in the mix.
• Vocals - none
As a general rule of thumb recordings from the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s are nearly always better on the original vinyl. Remasters often fail to please as it’s just not possible to make a silk purse from a sows ear, i.e. the original recording lacks the necessary detail to be processed digitally and show an audible improvement. Indeed such processing can make the sound worse.
Modern recordings which have been processed digitally from start to finish can be as good as vinyl. CD’s are often unfairly criticised for being poor quality. This is not the case, it is the original recording or the process which is to blame. Modern “remasters” can both enhance and degrade a recording. The statement GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) is the limiting factor. Ignore this at your cost.
I first heard of Kenny Burrell 30+ years ago when I was a RAF wireless technician in Berlin. I heard the AFRS radio station playing something of his, and made a mental note to check him out. There was no chance of getting a record from the NAAFI stores and I couldn't find anything in the US PX stores either, but there was a fairly large selection of record shops in Berlin and so I found an LP. It cost me about three times what it would have cost to buy a Rock LP from the NAAFI and about 4 times what it would have cost me to buy it in the American PX, and It turned out to be an acoustic performance,. Not what I was expecting. But I still have the LP (Black Vinyl - remember those?)
However on this new disc I got what I was looking for - Laid back jazz and lovely it is - not smooth Jazz, but it was real cool jazz. What's the difference?. I guess it's in the timing and the drums.
It really does make a change. I love it and I will be getting more
AFRS = American Forces Radio station ,NAAFI = Naval, army, and Air forces Institute, a kind of multiple store, every base had more that one, Berlin had many , but there was one Large department store in the city.A bit like a kind of like one of the bigger stores you would once have found in a big city. PX= US forces Personnel exchange store similar to the NAAFI.
Burrell plays guitar with Stanley Turrentine on tenor sax, Major Holley Jr on bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga.
Burrell is at his best and this CD makes you realize that Turrentine is perhaps one of the most underrated tenor players. He certainly is on this showing.
Ideal for gentle listening this is a CD (with 2 additional tracks added to the original LP release) which you will want to play over and over. Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, the addition of the conga adds to the group rather than the reverse.
Playing time of around 43 minutes is not particularly long for a CD, but quality takes precedence over quantity this time and it is a highly recommenced disc.
If ever the term 'elegant' could be used of modern jazz maybe this is it.
The whole album is so consistently good it's almost impossible to pick out any particular highlight: it just flows, effortlessly. Burrell's playing is virtuoso, understated and minimalist; the perfect counterpoint to the fine sax playing of Stanley Turrentine. Together they weave intricate conversational pieces of intelligence and humour, backed by a clever and interesting rhythm section: Major (`The Mule') Holley Jr on bass, Bill English on drums and the excellent conga playing of Ray Barretto whose inclusion, unexpectedly, adds much to the overall sound. If the listener chooses to become involved the rewards are great, and yet the music is overall so mellow and non-intrusive it might qualify as `easy listening' without any of the usual pejorative associations with the derivative or bland.
If your taste is beginning to mature into an appreciation of jazz, the greatest musical genre of all, then you will never regret adding this minor classic to your collection. If you like `Kind of Blue', the chances are you'll like this too.
The line-up on this 1962/3 date under the name of tasteful, well toned & honed guitarist Kenny Burrell includes Stanley Turrentine (1934-2000) on tenor sax, his sinewy, nicely placed interjections aptly complementing the bluesy ambience of the tracks on which he plays. Burrell himself plays with his customary succinct restraint, his mix of gently strummed chords and always to-the-point improvisatory runs a pleasure to hear.
I don`t always take to jazz guitar, simply due to the somewhat spidery, arid tone some players adopt (at least when recorded) which can have a `neither one thing or the other` effect on this listener. Burrell, however, has a wonderfully full, coolly sweet tone, perfect for this set of blues numbers, mostly written by the guitarist, with the exception of a fine rendering of eighty year-old standard Gee Baby, Ain`t I Good To You.
Burrell`s sole solo, his own brief Soul Lament, is an evocative, beautifully executed highlight of this well-planned disc.
Major Holley Jr is excellent on bass, and Bill English`s drumming is fully fit for purpose, if occasionally a touch pedantic, though an Elvin Jones or a Tony Williams would have unbalanced this mostly serene selection.
Anything but serene is the first of the extra tracks, a welcome uptempo workout, Kenny`s Sound, where the drummer comes into his own, as does Ray Barretto`s conga. This is followed by the second of the extras, K Twist, an unremarkable closer to a hugely pleasurable set.
Not a disc for all moods, the clue being in the title, but a perfect accompaniment to those times when you do need to let gently swinging blues played by master musicians embrace & envelop you.