Thursday, July 20, 2006
Back with Benny and a quandry
But first, some non-shellac shellac.
I was in a new (for me) thrift store and found a BUNCH of Benny Goodman on LP. These are shellac-era performances, and the one I am going to share with you is an edit of the 1938 Carnegie Hall concert. This is NOT the 2-record set (which I have another copy of now, and I'll relate the story, because it ties in with why I'm giving this out)... that will come later. I also found some of the MGM-label "performance sessions", specifically volumes 1 & 2 (which I'll ALSO be posting in the near future here). These are, I think, from radio air-checks, which would put them well within the scope of this blog.
This here archive is volume 1 of the 1938 concert as released by Columbia as catalogue number CL-814. Now, I don't know if this is a re-re-re-issue, but there are some differences in this LP and the 2-disc Masterworks set(s) I have, notably that the only tunes on this are "Don't Be That Way", "One O'Clock Jump", the "Twenty Years of Jazz" retrospective (with a different title for the first part of that one, "Sensation Rag" as opposed to "Dixieland One-step" on the Masterworks 2-LP set), and the "Honeysuckle Rose" jam session.
I noticed that the pressings are not as 'clean' on this as the Masterworks set (which I am listening to as I type this). I have the ORIGINAL Masterworks 2 part set (the green-label Masterworks), but for some reason, the second disc on that set was mislabeled and I only have sides 1, 2, and 3. Plus, they are in pretty ratty condition, so I couldn't get a good indication of how crisp the remastering job is/was. The Masterworks set, however, still has a BUNCH of the flaws from the 78rpm masters, specifically the groove grunge in the middle of "one O'Clock Jump". I removed it from the CL-814 files, as well as 'sweetening' it somewhat. On the Masterwork set, it sounds like they went to a DIFFERENT DISC after the noise nastiness. But the MW set does sound crisper and has some more dynamics than the CL-814 release. Still has a lot of the flaws though, from the original set of takes.
I wonder, if someone were to really really go through the Library of Congress discs and the Columbia discs, and do a GOOD re-mastering job, including the cuts that were deemed "too poor for LP re-issue", would this concert be a viable release? I bet it would, especially with the technology that is currently available. Anyone familiar with the concert's liner notes can see just how big an event this was... maybe even get the COMPLETE "Honeysuckle Rose" jam session (it was heavily edited on both the releases)...
So, for the first part of our journey, here is the CL-814 Columbia release, from a Six-eye mono LP that was in fair condition when I got it. It is in .rar format, in mono 160/44 FHg MP3. I hope that the sweetening I did doesn't cause cries of "Heresy!" amongst the purists....
Download the CL-814 LP archive.
I'll have the 2-disc set coming in a few days, as well as some more 78s I found in the recent weeks.
- - - ADDENDUM - - -
After doing some looking on the net, it looks like Sony Legacy released the ENTIRE concert on a 2 CD set in 1999. It is still in print, so........
It has the ENTIRE "Honeysuckle Rose", and the songs that were removed from the original LP release. BUT, there's a LOT of surface noise on the tracks, according to one of the reviews.
I think I'll remaster it for myself since the full version is still apparently in print. Sorry, kids.
My only comment on your Goodman LP is that I have a vague idea that when Columbia originally issued the concert on LP, they used 3 discs instead of 2 (this may have been before microgroove recording). That may explain your discrepancy.