Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Off The Record: The Complete 1923 Jazz Band Recordings
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Off the Record offers an amazingly fresh and simple alternative--one that proves to be a definitive step in presenting these truly classic sides. By special arrangement with Archeophone Records, Off the Record is proud to ... more »
Off the Record offers an amazingly fresh and simple alternative--one that proves to be a definitive step in presenting these truly classic sides. By special arrangement with Archeophone Records, Off the Record is proud to present all 37 issued titles by the Oliver band, newly transferred from the best available original sources, issued on two compact discs. Engineer and master sound recording restoration specialist Doug Benson--known for his definitive work on "The Complete Hit of the Week" on Archeophone Records--and David Sager--jazz historian and trombonist--have searched far and wide to gain access to the cleanest copies of all the Oliver discs, including the unique copy of "Zulus Ball" and "Working Man Blues." Using a meticulous musical ear, a wide variety of styli and the subtlest application of digital technology, Benson, perhaps for the first time, has revealed the natural ambience of these discs. Unprecedented Detail and Clarity: The Oliver ensemble has never been heard to better advantage. Passages long accepted as muddy and indistinct pour forth with unprecedented clarity. Even the introduction of the ultra-rare "Zulus Ball," often lamented for its poor condition, shines through crystal clear! Straight off the discs with as little processing as possible: There is no better way to bring these old discs to life than with the right stylus, a sensitive ear, and careful application of non-invasive processing. Whereas many reissues are marred by over-processing, resulting in muffled sound and/or digital artifacts, Off the Record has judiciously applied just enough non-invasive technique in order to remove ticks, pops, harsh resonances and other unwelcome noise--leaving the music to speak for itself. Expertly Speed Corrected: Just because we call them "78s" doesn't mean that they really are. Sound recordings from the early days of sound recording rarely spin at exactly 78 rpm. Back in those days there was no standardization regarding speed; often discs ran a
THE set to get
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson | 01/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As anyone with more than a passing interest in jazz knows, these are among the most important records in the history of the genre. King Oliver was one of the legendary New Orleans jazz trumpeters of the 1910s who made the move to Chicago with his protégé, Louis Armstrong, in the early '20s. The recordings on this disc indicate clearly why Joe Oliver was "King." His band has an irresistible ensemble sound and a certain indescribable "drive" that no band since has captured in quite the same way. I've yet to hear any of the so-called trad jazz revival bands play with collective improvisation this tight. Just listen to "Froggie Moore" on this CD and you'll hear what I mean! This was exciting stuff when it was recorded in 1923, and it's still plenty exciting now! Undoubtedly, many people will be turned off by the relatively thin sound of these 85-year-old acoustic recordings, and that's a shame. These recordings are classics that every true jazz fan should own. The music here has been reissued many times in the past several decades, but *this* is the set to get. While the audio is a far cry from CD-quality, this 2-CD set presents the best-sounding transfers I have ever heard! I already had these tracks on releases from Olympic, Milestone, Joker, and Classics, and the hype is true: the sound on this new Archeophone/Off The Record set simply blows all previous reissues away. There's just a freshness and crispness on these transfers that has never been there before. These records have *presence* now. Listening to these on a decent set of headphones or on quality loudspeakers, the piano finally sounds like a piano again--not just some muddy percussive tinkling. Oliver's and Armstrong's cornets come shining through with full force. Even thought these are all acoustic recordings, there's a certain electricity in the air when listening to them. I had never fully appreciated King Oliver's band before, but now that I can better hear what's going on, I finally "get it." All of my collector friends who have purchased this set and compared it with previous reissues (those I mentioned plus the famous Retrieval set) agree--the sound on this issue is far superior. The beautifully-illustrated booklet (with scans of *all* the included records) contains lengthy detailed notes and discographical information and is worth the price alone. I simply can't say enough good things about this set. Get it!"
Outstanding Transfer: Best So Far!
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 12/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have several of King Oliver's jazz recordings, both LP, and CD, and this one is by far the best to date. I agree with the previous viewer: as far as the sound is concerned, our technology is limited, and this may be about as far as they can go with these recordings. But, hey, they still sound terrific. I have never listened to the original recordings [an original album] of King Oliver, however, this recording is outstanding and it sure puts the other recordings I have of King Oliver to shame. With the technology going about as far as it is going to go [at least for now] a remarkable job has been done in at least restoring the sound to some degree on this particular CD.
Irregardless, I like hearing King Oliver's sound. It's just great to listen to. I would also highly recommend this particular King Oliver CD, to other reviewers who are not sure just which copy to purchase. I remember hearing a lot of great talk about the Milestone issue [which I have] and this one definetly puts it to shame. I really did not realize how different the sound quality was on the Milestone issue, but after listening to this CD, WOW, what a difference! This is the one to purchase [for now anyway].
Some of the sounds on this particular recording are to name just a few: JUST GONE, CANAL STREET BLUES, MANDY LEE BLUES, CHIMES BLUES, WEATHER BIRD RAG, DIPPER MOUTH BLUES, FROGGIE MOORE, SNAKE RAG [a great one] SWEET LOVIN' MAN, HIGH SOCIETY RAG, SOBBIN' BLUES, WHERE DID YOU STAY LAST NIGHT, DIPPER MOUTH BLUES, JAZZIN' BABIES BLUES, ALLIGATOR HOP, and a lot of other great, great sounds. There are 37 tracks in all, and once again, I believe that these are the BEST King Oliver sounds that I have ever heard on CD. I highly recommend this particular CD to those who like the jazz sounds of the 1920s. My favorite era of jazz runs from about 1923, to the early 1930s. Not that the later periods are not good, I just like the sound of jazz during this particular era."
Absolutely the best reissue ever!
Warren Steele | Massachusetts | 11/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't understand the person above who gave this set one star! I'd give it ten stars if I could. The Creole Jazz Band recordings are possibly the most important early jazz documents we have, and as far as I know, there have been two other attempts to release them in complete sets. There was a French reissue in the '80s and the Retrieval version in the '90s. Both of them had, in my opinion. "pretty good" sound. This set blows everything else out of the water. I've been listening to these for over 30 years, and now, for the first time, I'm hearing piano parts I never knew were there, Louis' subtle 2nd cornet parts that had previously been obscured by boxy sound, Johnny Dodds' clarinet lines sounding so clear they seem almost electric! The natural ambience of the recording room is often evident as well. And the Paramounts--- previously always the worst sounding of the bunch, now full, clear and satisfying. The biggest surprise of all is Zulu's Ball; with only one known copy of the record in existence, and in very bad condition, "Off The Record" has presented it cleanly, clearly and honestly. I almost cried when I finally heard the elusive intro clearly for the first time.
What is so different about this sound? They explain in their notes that the records have been adjusted for (what they call) "true flat response" so that the presentation is consistent. I don't completely understand that explanation, but the proof is certainly in the pudding. The sound is natural, not messed-with. I feel like someone sent me a box containing every one of these records in brand new condition. There is a little record noise left over, but it doesn't get in the way.
I would recommend this to anyone, anytime, anywhere.