Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The RajahThis title is manufactured "on demand" when ordered from Amazon.com, using recordable media as authorized by the rights holder. Powered by CreateSpace, this on-demand program makes thousands of titles available t... more »
The RajahThis title is manufactured "on demand" when ordered from Amazon.com, using recordable media as authorized by the rights holder. Powered by CreateSpace, this on-demand program makes thousands of titles available that were previously unavailable. For reissued products, packaging may differ from original artwork. Amazon.com?s standard return policy will apply.
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Let's be real...
Mike DiMartino | Rochester, NY | 01/03/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off, do not hesitate to own this CD, if you can find it (and please don't pay those jerk-crooks the $42 they're asking). Though much of this material was never meant for issue, we're most lucky to have it.
At the time of this session, Lee was recovering from, well, drugs. His chops were in fact not "hot"; he is off, a little weak, and he plays cautiously, with none of the daring and balls we associate with him. BUT this is LEE--still with soul and that gorgeous tone, and notes that still spit and crackle somewhat.
The stars here are Hank and Cedar--each of their solos are the real "gems" of this date; they're right on the money and they keep you intrigued.
And NO, we don't need this issued in the over-hyped RVG series--the audio mastering is just fine here--beautiful, in fact. (A word about the RVG series: The Blue Note CD/DVD combo PERFECT TAKES features samples from the RVG series, as well as an interview with RVG himself. All do respect to the great Rudy, while the audio of his RVG remasters is very good, to my ears they just don't sound as smooth as the audio of the Japanese remasters--nothing on earth rivals the Japanese Blue Note CDs. My motto has become JUST BUY JAPANESE, which now can be found for $14.29 on Amazon. Let's hope the meticulous Japanese--not domestic RVG--reissue THE RAJAH. I must emphasize, however, if you buy any domestic RVGs at all, get the two volumes of Thelonious Monk. These are very early, pre-RVG Blue Notes recorded by Doug Hawkins at WOR studios on acetate discs, not tape. Rudy applied a process by which the acetate surface noise is now all but gone, and he brought out much detail and nuance--these Monk RVGs are really so incredible that previous issues are now simply obsolete.)
If you listen closely to "A Pilgrim's Funny Farm" (does Michael Cuscuna really think we're supposed to believe Lee and associates would title a tune in that way?!) you'll hear this was meant as a sound check for Rudy. You hear the levels, particularly of Billy Higgin's drums, going up and down throughout this 13 minute take. And by the end of the take, it is apparent that Rudy never even got to Paul Chambers' bass, which is mixed rather way low and sounds boxy and without definition throughout the CD (I'd guess Rudy was at the experimental stages of working with those confounded bass pickups--yikes, P.C. through a pickup...). The poor bass sound I guess makes this session prime for an RVG overhaul after all. Well, OK, then--mess with what needs messin' with, but don't fix classics what ain't broken. But regardless of "Pilgrim's..." being a sound check (the real reason it was never previously issued) the players were masterful improvisors, the magic happened. And years later Cuscuna had the ears to hear that and the passion to issue the session.
Make no mistake--this CD will grow on you. After almost 20 years, I still listen to it. It's a great sequencing of originals--straight ahead, funky-latinish...--and standards of the day. I'll bet you like Duke Pearson's "Is That So" best."
An underrated gem !
J. Halttunen | Jyvaskyla, Finland | 09/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is much better album than the highly acclaimed Sidewinder. Especially Hank Mobley plays fine on tenor sax. Cedar Walton is splendid on piano and Lee Morgan blows hot chops. This is one of the last great albums of Paul Chambers on bass. What else woud you need. Hopefully Michael Cuscuna from Blue Note will soon reissue this gem on RVG. Try to find it. You won't be disappointed."
D. Perrine | 10/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I only have this on cassette, so I can't comment on the quality of the re-mastering. It's hard too imagine why this album has so seldom been in print, because everyone in burning! The last two cuts were current hits probably added for commercial appeal, but the treatment given them is so musical and inventive that the corn has been leached out. The rest are attractive originals. One of the best albums by these great artists."