Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Bix Restored Volume 1: 1924-1927
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Similarly Requested CDs
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 01/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Geez, who is this ignoramus below? John, first of all, no "master tapes" for the recordings on this disc exist. These early sessions of Bix were made in the mid-1920s, a full 20-25 years before the use of magnetic tape in commercial recording studios. Everything on this set was originally recorded directly to wax discs, from which metal masters, mothers, stampers, and eventually commercial shellac pressings were made. In the eighty years since, many of the metal parts have either vanished, been destroyed, or corroded to the point where the best source material has become the commercial pressings themselves--and as any collector will tell you, many of the original recordings on this set are quite rare, and to hear them in any condition is a treat. To top it off, most of the recordings here were made acoustically, with the musicians performing into a horn that funneled the sound waves to a vibraring stylus that etched grooves in that wax disc. Not eactly high fidelity! Having said that, the remastering on this set really is superb, in many cases, these are the best transfers of this material I've ever heard (and as a big-time Bix fan, I've heard quite a few!). Not only are all of the master takes here, but every known surviving alternate as well.
Very few cornet solos on the first disc!!?? Buddy, you need to get your ears checked. Bix lets out quite a few hot cornet solos in his recordings with the Wolverines--not to mention his legendary solo on Goldkette's recording of "I Didn't Know." True, Bix is sometimes lost in the later Goldkette recordings, but that doesn't diminish their importance.
When you consider that the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens collection is only twenty-five dollars, it becomes obvious that the publishers of *those* discs should be put in jail! The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens were put out by JSP, a private British label well-known for bootlegging other reissues. They get away with it because other small reissue labels that put forth the money and time to restore these old recordings can't afford to take JSP to court for reusing their remasterings without permission or compensation. In a very few instances, JSP originated the remasterings, but even so, JSP pays no royalties to song composers, no mechanical licenses for the use of songs, and does not license any of the vintage recordings it releases. When you cut corners and steal materials, it's no wonder JSP can make their sets so cheap! And don't get started about how the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens sound better than this set. That's a result of the original recordings themselves, not the reissue sound engineer (who, ironically is the same for both sets, John R. T. Davies). The Hot Fives and Hot Sevens were recorded mostly for OKeh, known in the 1920s for having one of the best recording systems in the business, and superior-quality pressings. Many of Bix's earliest recordings (especiallly those on Disc 1 here) were made for tiny Gennett, known for having one of the crudest recording systems coupled with mediocre-quality pressings. When comparing the two, of course Armstrong's OKeh 78s will sound cleaner and clearer.
Meanwhile, as someone who has produced half-a-dozen CD reissues myself, I can tell you that doing so doesn't come cheap at all--especially not for a set like this. Finding clean copies of the recordings, making decent transfers, doing the restoration, licensing the songs and recordings, researching and writing the liner notes, and printing and pressing the whole package is incredibly time-consuming and costly. To make matters worse, the relatively narrow appeal of this set (only libraries or die-hard Bix fans) means that relatively few copies will be sold--perhaps only a thousand, maybe two or three (most buyers will undoubtedly opt for simple one or two disc sets without all the alternates). Simple economic forces are at work here; the set was expensive to produce, relatively few will be sold, thus each set will be somewhat expensive. Heck, you think this is expensive, check out the Bix & Tram Mosaic set! Better yet, I dare you to find clean original copies of all of the 78s on this set for the same price. In all liklihood, in today's collector market, you couldn't do the latter for under $20,000. When you put it into perspective, this set is really quite a bargain. Furthermore, knowing the way the reissue business works, I seriously doubt that the people behind this production are making much money--if any--on it. It's clearly a labor of love, not a get-rich-scheme. Believe me, there are far easier ways to make money out there.
For the record, I have no connection with Sunbeam or Origin Jazz Library--I'm just an extremely satisfied customer. I have all five volumes of Bix Restored, and while I favor some above others, all are winners. If I had to pick a single favorite, it would probably be this one, Volume 1. If you like Bix, there's really no other choice. The Bix here is young, enthusiastic, and a little wild. His playing is already brilliant, and I find the Wolverines, Trumbauer, and Goldkette settings here to provide more satisfying jazz accompaniment to Bix's cornet than Whiteman's band on the later discs. If you like Bix, get this set. You won't be sorry."
Jolly Good Jazz
John H. Baldus | Lincoln, NE United States | 02/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For those truly love early Jazz from the roots of Ragtime, and Bix Beiderbecke's valuable contributions to this art form, this album is a must! It is pure Jazz joy! Having the different takes of the same pieces to compare is wonderful. Through these you can clearly hear and feel Bix's improvisation skills at work. The two takes of Slow River are excellent examples of playing what he feels at the moment. They are both marvelous. The vocal music is fun to hear too. The vocals by the Keller Sisters on Sunday cuts are archetypal, and bring visions of Betty Boop dancing in my head when I listen to them. The re-mastering work done by John R.T. Davies and Micheal Kieffer is superb. This very jolly music, and is a "must have" album set for Bixophiles."
A Rosetta Stone of Jazz
Megan C. Tansen | Vancouver, B.C. Canada | 11/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ranks immedietly with the complete Dial sessions of Parker and the complete Hot Fives & Sevens of Louis Armstrong. A wonderfully mastered and thoughtfully arranged presentation."