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Author Topic: Suggestions  (Read 14870 times)

Offline TomR

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Suggestions
« on: January 15, 2009, 12:50:27 AM »
I haven't done a count, but there were lots and lots of suggestions for Series 2, and a cursory scan that I did show that two seemed to have made it - a suggestion for Monk, and one for Church Windows.

Have done licensing deals myself, I can appreciate the difficulty of "t" ing this material up, and the more I look at the start of Series 2 the more interesting it becomes; however, there are still 4 titles to go, so there is still opportunity to fill out the series.

So far the jazz releases have been consisently most interesting for being "core" recordings. There isn't really a rock release yet, and the classical works chosen are not close to the core of the classical literature. Well, OK, the Liszt piano sonata qualifies, but only that one and maybe the Bruch. Everything else is peripheral - interesting, though.

My suggestions are likely naive as I don't know what actually is available to license, so with that caveat:

Classics - I would like to see one of the core symphonic works added as a release. (BTW, now that I have heard the Ansermet Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique on LP I withdraw it as a candidate - while the performance is fabulous, the recording is one of the most egregious examples of bad multimiking I have heard - there is absolutely no way to form a coherent picture of an orchestra as instruments move spatially depending on their role - one minute an instrument is located properly in the orchestra, then it moves to center stage, and then retreats. Yucch.)

So, the first suggestions assume access to the "Columbia" catalog - over the past year I have heard early pressings of many of Bruno Walter's late 50"s recordings, which I understand were recorded with all-tube analog equipment. I have also heard the 200 gram reissue of his Eroica, and I think there is merit in considering one of these as the recordings are really live and the performances of many of the works are excellent. Two for major consideration would be his Beethoven Pastorale, considered to be a classic reading of the work, and his Brahms 3rd - not my favorite Brahms symphony, but a magnificent reading. Or maybe the Mahler First - he was Mahler's key assistant, of course.

If you are doing solo piano, the Moravec Chopin recordings are wonderful.

(And if you do have access to the Columbia recordings, there is always Brubeck and Miles Davis to think about).

For rock, again, I don't know if you can license these, but one of our greatest all time voices is Linda Ronstadt - Carly Simon once said she has the best white pipes out there. Heck, if you did Heart Like a Wheel, you could kill two birds with one stone - you'd have a rock release and a country release all in one.

I'd like to see some solo acoustic guitar music - could be classical (I could go for Segovia, Julian Bream or Christopher Parkening and have no issues with any of them)or could be something else. How about Eric Tingstad's early 80's recording "On the Links" - wonderful set of original guitar works, and I believe it is an analog recording. As far as I know this never made it to CD, even though Tingstad has had a reasonable career.

Well, it is late and I am rambling more than I wanted to. I go could on.....Dexter Gordon.....Duke Ellington Live at Newport....Frank Sinatra (I am actually more of a Tony Bennett fan but more of his most interesting stuff has been done in the digital era, unfortunately). Mozart.....Satch Plays Fats......
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 01:21:00 AM by TomR »
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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 06:58:23 AM »
I enjoy a 'chestnut' as well as anyone.
However after years of listening to various versions of such titles domestic, imports, remastered analog, remastered digital, hi rez, and now 200 gram Quiex vinyl at 45 RPM, I sure would enjoy more titles of almost any genre recorded in the last 30 years which meets the TP criteria and have not been heavily rotated through the audiophile/marketing treatment.
I know the cost to subscriber versus familiarity has a natural resistance/reluctance factor which affects purchase.
However one of my most enjoyable experiences is to discover new music of artistic note which is also well recorded.

It seems an unfortunate shame if this were to be an impediment to quality material not being considered for TP release in general.

Offline docb

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 11:23:20 AM »
Thanks for this comment, Charles, as it hits very close to our heart. We too would like to see folks broaden their horizons and try the titles that may not be familiar. The Project isn't just about putting out audio spectaculars in yet another format so guys can geek out and compare CD vs. LP vs. tape at the local club meet and impress their friends. It's been interesting to see the variety of comments we get - too much classical, not enough classical, not the right classical, the perfect classical, you should only do classical, too much jazz, not enough jazz, not the right jazz, great jazz choices, "I would subscribe but I'm not too thrilled about that funk title" (the Staple Singers are not a funk band), I wasn't familiar with Robert Cray - wow he's really good, don't do mono even if it's an incredible performance, don't do known jazz titles do the more obscure, when will you do some rock, thank god you're not doing rock, why don't you do some New Age, etc., etc. Nothing like trying to please all of the people all of the time.

Basically the way it works is this - we try to find albums that we feel are particularly special, and hopefully haven't been played to death. Yeah, we have the final judgment of what is and isn't special. But we do listen to everyone's suggestions and we are constantly redefining our wish list that we go to the labels with, incorporating many of your recommendations. We also listen to what the folks at the labels think might be a great release on tape, and hope that we are coming up with a few more obscure titles that just might be a real surprise the first time you roll them. It's been fun to see the posts to the effect of "I seldom listen to anything but classical, but the Dave Alvin is really a pleasant surprise."

If I was the Sultan of Wazoo and could afford to do this project strictly as a vanity it would probably be mostly blues and R&B. I loved Chad Kassem's comment to us at CES "I make money selling this music (pointing to his bins full of LPs), so I can spend money on the Blues." But all three of us remain sensitive to the broad range of taste of the subscribers. Over time the catalog will grow to a size that should have something for everyone. Meantime, you classical guys are welcome to send me whatever you might consider an appropriate bribe along with your suggestions.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 11:35:09 AM »
I think that if I were the one doing the deciding on titles, everybody would be happy with my selections,..not!
Seriously though, I think that making these decisions would be a really tough nut to crack. There are just so many factors involved in this that when I've tried to weigh all the things things that I know of, I just give up after a while because I can.
Of course Doc, Romo, and Paul have a slew of releases that they'd like to personally see produced. And then there's the selections that we've suggested. Then there's the actual market statistics (which in the Tape Projects context, comes as trends in new subscribers and the releases that selective subscribers have ordered). Obviously, the weight of this last factor depends on business factors such as capital needed and production limits. Just how much this factor weighs in would have to be kept on a short leash since it could easily outweigh all the other factors combined and we'd have business as usual.
Then there's the availability. Two of the "old war horses" that I'd give my left nut to get would be "Kind of Blue" and "Time Out"  which are both Columbia releases and owned by Sony/BMG. While they're obviously available to the vinyl reissue houses, they may be cost prohibitive in one way or another.
One thing that some members may not have considered is the quality of the master tapes available. When everything else works out, if the master requires a lot of processing to make it acceptable sounding, it's probably a no go. I don't know the details of this and I'd love to hear from Paul on the subject, but those lp's and cd/sacd reissues have be put through processes that can suck the life out of a recording (as we all know or we wouldn't be here in the first place).
The overall sound quality of a recording makes a big difference too. Just like Tom mentioned in his retraction of the Ansermet SF, some albums just weren't recorded to a high enough standard to be worthy of release on the TP.  Technical issues in the original recording will just be laid bare and made that much more obvious by these tapes. And then some recordings that are very good but not fantastic, just can't be improved significantly from a good vinyl reissue.
Finally, just how much time should can be spent on these decisions. These sort of things could be debated forever. So at one point someone has to make the call.
I don't envy that person. And if it's a no win decision, why not s**t can all the above and just go with your gut?
BTW This was all written before doc's post above.
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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 12:27:02 PM »
I would be most interested in having someone knowledgeable in the content licensing process give an overview of what is involved.
From how much material is available to the costs of licensing to what types of licensing deals are available that sort of thing.
Perhaps someone other than the TP owners would volunteer since I am not really interested in learning how to do this myself, or try to figure out what the TPers are up to.
I suspect I have a very simplistic and mostly erroneous idea of what is involved, and the time it takes.
A web link is fine too, if this has already been done somewhere else.

Offline TomR

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2009, 12:35:07 PM »
Hmmm - guess I am a little bit confused here. First, NONE of the selections I mentioned (with the exception of Heart Like a Wheel) have been, to by knowledge, reissued in audiophile LP pressings. Yeah, there is Walter Beethoven out on a 200 gram pressing, but it is the Eroica and not the much more famous recording of the Pastorale. It has always surprised me that no one has attempted to go after that one, as the ebay prices for the original LP's are stunning.

OTOH, several of the Series I selections for jazz have been done to death with reissues - both Waltz for Debby and Saxophone Colossus are staples of the reissue market.  I'll bet that any serious jazz fan has multiple copies of both. I haven't heard the latter TP release, but I have heard the former and it blows away my earlier versions. So - I'm happy - but we can't pretend that there aren't jazz warhorses being released.

I thought the fundamental guiding principle of the Project was to demonstrate how good a master tape can be for a broader audience - and then there would be some interesting music. I have a zillion versions (actually, let's see, Walter, Szell, 2 by Karajan, Harnoncourt, Masur, Vanksa, Reiner and probably a few others I can't recall at the moment) of the Pastorale, but yeah, I think the Walter version would be a great release, and  since not every subscriber is likely a classics maven, they might find the odd warhorse release to be, on the margin, more interesting long term than the Bruch Scottish Fantasy.

OK - last night I also thought about Stravinsky and the Tape Project. The Firebird (I would plump for the 1945 Suite) would be a terrific release, as would The Rite of Spring.
But - if we need music that is more esoteric, how about the Symphony of Psalms, one of the great choral works of the 20th Century?
Thomas Ream

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2009, 12:50:06 PM »
Tom,
I am sorry if I hijacked your post.
As your comments were more of a general nature rather than a specific title, I posted my remark to you rather than start a new thread.
Please do not interpret my comments as being directed to you, or a criticism of your musical tastes or previous suggestions.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

Offline docb

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2009, 01:12:38 PM »
Me too Tom, wasn't meaning to dispute anything in your post. I was mostly thinking out loud. And I'm not denying at all that we are indeed doing some war horses - like I said - pleasing all of the people all of the time. That's all that some subscribers want. They happen to be war horses I like. I was attempting to point out that we are trying to address the various desires of the subscribers and still offer up some things they may not be familiar with. Heck, we have a grand total of 16 titles so far. Not quite a big enough sample to declare it the World Atlas of Great Music. ;^)>
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Offline john

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2009, 01:30:34 PM »
Warhorse ???
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Offline Ben

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2009, 01:39:22 PM »
I am more curious to have a list of possible master tapes, than this hit and
miss for suggestions in different categories.As a wish list I would like to
see any of the well known classics done - nowdays you have all poor copies with added effects like the ocean or birds chirping ...
in any analog media.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 01:55:05 PM by Ben »
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Offline TomR

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 04:08:19 PM »
Hey Doc/Charles (do you go by Charles) - no offense taken, truly. Doc, I am tinkled pink that some of the releases are going to be of new recordings, and also that the titles thus far are not just a rehash of the audiophile basic repetory (if you do Jazz at the Pawnshop I am going to get sick). Gotta balance when you run a program like this. If you do a Dexter Gordon, I hope it will not be "Go", for example. And I would be suggesting something along the lines of Brubeck Live at Carnegie Hall, or West Side Story instead of Time Out (sorry Steve, although, yes I would happily listen to Time Out).

Tom
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Offline docb

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2009, 04:38:36 PM »
Quote
(if you do Jazz at the Pawnshop I am going to get sick)

I don't think you have to worry about that one. Or the Sheffield Drum Record. I do however have a warm spot for Speed the Parting Guest.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2009, 05:42:00 PM »
One thing I've wondered about is with some recordings that might have a lot of interest like "Kind of Blue" or "Sgt. Peppers" whose rights might be above what the normal subscription cost would cover, or double albums which would require 4 tapes, is if you could do special releases that would be purchased outside of any series. Of course there'd need to be a way to ensure that your costs would be covered like a deposit, but for some albums, I can't honestly say how much I'd be willing to pay to have them on a TP release. It would be way up there though.
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Offline TomR

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Special releases outside the subscription
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2009, 06:55:18 PM »
I suspect the team is flat out  (heck, you know better than I) but I think that would be a great idea. I would love to see some opera - preferably Wagner, which is going to require a big effort and not be interesting to all. What a blockbuster Das Rheingold would be! I could go for the Solti or the Karajan versions.
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Offline ironbut

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Re: Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2009, 07:01:22 PM »
Tom, I think that once the number of subscribers has leveled out somewhat , there's not going to be quite so many "make up runs". Of course, maybe Romo would like to have his life back too!
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