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Author Topic: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.  (Read 14939 times)

Offline mikel

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TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« on: July 16, 2009, 11:35:20 PM »
This is great music and one of the true classics of Jazz.....i had not listened to Saxophone Collossus in quite awhile until tonight, and for the life of me i don't know why. This should and will be in my frequent rotation.

the interplay of the group is simply wonderful, the pace is perfect, and each cut delights. it's not so mellow, but never over the top either.....very listenable, tuneful and easy for a non jazz freak to get into.

Mono? who cares? this recording is alive and once the music starts you really don't even think about the fact it's not a stereo recording. (maybe the fact that it's mono has caused me to overlook this for so long.....if so my bad).

i love each cut; but my favorites are 'You don't know what loves is' and 'Blue 7'.....'Blue 7' might be as perfect a cut as i know of.....and it's 11 minutes 15 seconds long......WOW! a real musical journey.

with music this fine, it seems crass to speak about recording quality......but i know that is one part of our enjoyment. Sonny's tenor sax is wonderful on the tape; very immediate, very dynamic, smooth as butta one moment, ruff and gruff the next. the tape captures every nuance and shade without stress or strain. it's all there. the tape also captures the cymbles perfectly; which are prominent throughout the recording.....as perfect as i've ever heard them recorded. overall; the tape has great flow, is very dynamic and detailed.

TP-010 is a great sounding recording of wonderful music and i highly recommend it.....great job and congrats to Doc, Paul and Romo (and crew) for another winner! I feel very lucky to be able to own and play a fully licensed 1/4" 15ips 1.5 generation master dub of Saxophone Collossus.

i will be playing it often.

btw; one tiny nit-pic.....both tapes were 'tails-in' instead of 'tails-out'.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 12:19:40 PM by mikel »
Mike Lavigne

Offline docb

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2009, 09:43:27 AM »
Hmmm, it is very strange that the tapes would be head out rather than tail out. The tapes are recorded onto the hub and never leave it before they are shipped. It would be very unlikely that they were rewound onto another hub after recording. Was it perhaps instead that the tail was out, but the flanges were on such that the engraved flange was on the backside and the reel had to be flipped over to rewind it for the first play? That could happen if the guys putting together the reel lost track of the flanges when mounting them - and easily remedied by rewinding the tape all the way off, flipping the reel and rethreading the tape on the properly flipped reel for the first play. If that is the case I will ask the guys to be a little more observant when they mount the flanges and when we QC the package.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline mikel

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2009, 10:05:57 AM »
Hmmm, it is very strange that the tapes would be head out rather than tail out. The tapes are recorded onto the hub and never leave it before they are shipped. It would be very unlikely that they were rewound onto another hub after recording. Was it perhaps instead that the tail was out, but the flanges were on such that the engraved flange was on the backside and the reel had to be flipped over to rewind it for the first play? That could happen if the guys putting together the reel lost track of the flanges when mounting them - and easily remedied by rewinding the tape all the way off, flipping the reel and rethreading the tape on the properly flipped reel for the first play. If that is the case I will ask the guys to be a little more observant when they mount the flanges and when we QC the package.

sorry, i think my description was incorrect; what i mean't was that the 'tail' was taped onto the inside of the reel instead of the outside; the tape was properly oriented. i have always seen tails taped to the outside of the reel so i assumed that was proper.....and so figured that taping it inside (the first time i've seen that) was somehow not correct. there was no ill effect other than it caused me to wonder.
Mike Lavigne

Offline docb

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2009, 11:03:00 AM »
Ah, OK. Dunno why it was not taped onto the outside of the flange, but I will check with the guys about their procedure, as that way makes it easier to get the end free for threading up. Tail out means the end of the tape is on the outside of the tape pack and the head or beginning is at the hub, so you have to rewind the tape before playing. That assures that the tape is put on the reel with even tension before storage.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline jcmusic

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2009, 04:18:51 PM »
For what it's worth all of my tapes so far have been taped on the inside, no big deal!!!!!!!!!

Jay
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Offline dwilawyer

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2009, 07:02:39 PM »
 habit I tape my on the inside, this is because I have always wanted to avoid taping anything to a prerecorded tape label.  I'm left handed and I think taping on the inside a more natural motion if you are left handed.   I hold some tension on the tape with my right thumb and apply the tape with my left.   

As already stated, I don't think it is a big deal either way, but by any chance is the tech who tapes the tape, is she left-handed?



Travis

Offline ironbut

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2009, 05:36:16 PM »
When I was using one of Paul's demo tapes at a Headfi gathering a visitor from Fl remarked "This is the ultimate way to hear ST. Thomas!" I couldn't agree more. The session's sound really puts you there as you can literally feel the interplay between the players. I believe that's one of the things I find lacking in even the best vinyl reissues. All that subtle stuff like small dynamic changes the other players make when someone else solos or the tone and attack that the soloist takes when he trails off to join the rest of the ensemble.
The breath and tone that Rollins gets out of his tenor is something to behold. Anyone whose seen him live will never mistake his style for any of the other greats (BTW He's still amazing to see). I can't help but see him up on stage when I listen to this.
This TP issue really has me listening closer to all the cuts but particularly the ones that I just coasted through before. I'm appreciating the small things from Flanagan, Watkins and Max Roach like I never have before. I can't help but respect their talent even more when hearing this. And isn't that the point here?  Having great releases of world class albums like this wouldn't amount to a hill of beans if it didn't serve the music contained in them.

Well done boys. This one tape is worth the years subscription to me!
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2009, 06:00:09 PM »
I got Sax Colossus this afternoon and just played it for the first time. I am not a jazz afficionato, and have only heard Rollins in "Way Out West."  This is a real fun album. The dynamics are great in my Avantgardes, which are very good with musical horns - horns playing horns :-). I can see why Rollins is considered one of the best. I enjoyed the Mac the Knife cut (sorry about that) as he switches between dynamic and soft and smooth. I didn't at all mind the mono - the sound field was broad and deep. The only way I could tell the mono was that there wasn't the strong left right of "Waltz for Debby" or "Creek Bank". I think all three albums were produced by the same person.  BTW, in my system, the sax sounds bigger and more dynamic than the piano. Great job on this one.  Larry
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Offline docb

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 06:14:56 PM »
Paul and I were talking the other day about how the old mono albums don't really seem to be narrow channel right in the middle mono, that they seem to have a certain depth and even a sense of breadth to them. The sax sounds more dynamic than the piano in all systems, I suspect. A friend was over who has been in the recording business many years, and upon listening she asked if it had been done with a single mic. I would guess no, because of the way the drum kit sounds. But it does almost sound almost like the piano sound is spill from a mic on the sax or drums. Also possible that they used a piano mic that was somewhat rolled on top, and/or maybe the lid was closed. At any rate I find the recording fascinating because it has that wonderful vintage jazz mellow tone, and at the same time it's really dynamic.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline JoeG

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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2009, 08:24:22 PM »
Doc- I have to agree with what you just said above. I am listening to LP versions of it tonight on my Walker TT, and the piano mic (if there is one) seems really rolled off up top. I suspect it is being mic'd on the recording because when the piano solos come around, there is no way that the sax or drum mics are picking up spill only, but it is really rolled off. Looking forward to spinning the tape when it arrives next week.
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Re: TP-010 Saxophone Colossus, first listening impressions.
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2009, 01:02:13 PM »
You guys have to remember that Saxophone Colossus was recorded by Rudy Van Gelder who was famous/notorious for how he recorded piano.  He didn't make all people happy with his piano sound, including some of the jazz musicians he was recording at the time.  He was also a 'secret squirrel' with regards to his recording methods.  He didn't want anyone to know what he was using to record with or how he was recording a particular session.  He was known to place dummy mikes in addition to the real mikes he was using so not even the people who were there knew what was actually being used in their recording session.  His reel to reel decks were supposedly hidden behind a wall so they couldn't be seen either.