Gil Evans: Gil Evans & Ten

Gil Evans: Gil Evans & Ten

Fantasy  PRSA-7120-6

Stereo Hybrid


"Gil Evans & Ten"

Gil Evans
Jimmy Cleveland
Steve Lacy
Lee Konitz

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11 of 11 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

1. Remember
2. Ella Speed
3. Big Stuff
4. Nobody's Heart
5. Just One Of Those Things
6. If You Could See Me Now
7. Jambangle
Comments (12)

Comment by Brian VanPelt - May 4, 2022 (1 of 12)

The musicians feel clustered, and the recording is not that sharp. Analogue Productions has a version coming out soon, so hopefully that will be a big improvement. As it is, this is passable, but not great by any stretch.

Comment by Steven Harrison - May 7, 2022 (2 of 12)

The Analogue Productions disc is a long ways away. I recently emailed them inquiring about when the rest of the Prestige Stereo sacd set would be released. The answer I received seemed to indicate that they had let the licensing agreement lapse and were working on getting it back. And the reply stated that this might take quite some time. So, in short, Acoustic Sounds hasn't released anything since 2019, and it doesn't look too good for this year and maybe 2023 either.

Comment by Mark Werlin - May 9, 2022 (3 of 12)

The Fantasy SACD was sourced from the best tape available in Fantasy's archive. Compared to the Gil Evans/Miles Davis sessions produced at Columbia's spacious studios, the musicians were more tightly clustered, which is not surprising since the recording venue was RVG's Hackensack studio, a converted living room. I just listened to the first two tracks, "Remember" and "Ella Speed". The source tape sounds free of dropouts, and the peaks are clean, not at all overloaded. The arrangement of musicians in a hard left/right configuration with piano slightly left of center sets Gil apart from the rhythm section, but that was the artist's (or engineer's) intent, so you have to go with it to enjoy the album.

It's disappointing that AP had to discontinue the Prestige stereo series of SACDs, and all digital download sales. The Prestige catalogue is held by Concord, who chose to reissue LPs and hi-res PCM downloads through their Craft Records division, rather than license the rights to AP. (The Craft 24/192 Miles Davis Quintet and John Coltrane '57 sets are excellent. I recommend them without reservation.)

Comment by Steven Harrison - May 9, 2022 (4 of 12)

Mark, your comments regarding the Prestige catalog, Concord and Acoustic Sounds say what the AS email did not. Concord has never been an sacd supporter. As soon as they bought Fantasy Jazz the releases stopped. It took Concord a couple years after acquisition to put the whole of Telarc out of business, not even keeping them as a cd issue label.
Yet licensing agreements seem to be a bit different than ownership. Universal and DGG stopped sacd early on, but they have licensed considerable inventory to the Japanese division for sacd reissues of old inventory.
It's a real pity regarding the remaining 13 Prestige titles. I was really looking forward to them as they have all been very good.

Comment by Mark Werlin - May 10, 2022 (5 of 12)

Steven: a glance at Concord's Wikipedia page tells a complicated story. The corporation grew very large in recent years through major acquisitions, with recorded music, music publishing and theatrical rights licensing divisions. Several months ago, it was reported that Concord was contemplating a sale in the vicinity of $4 billion. If Sony or Universal purchases Concord, or just its recorded music division, perhaps the Prestige stereo titles AP had planned to release on SACD could eventually be re-licensed. But that's purely speculative. The Gil Evans & Ten Fantasy SACD is worth hearing for the excellent performances and clean transfer from the master tape.

Comment by Mark Werlin - May 24, 2022 (6 of 12)

I hope that Concord isn't sold before this batch of SACDs ships. Craft Recordings announcement, six SACDs on pre-order:

Five of the six albums in this series were issued by Stereo Sound (Japan) in transfers/mastering by Steve Hoffmann.

Contemporary Records Vol. 1

Contemporary Records Vol. 2

The LP pressings of these six Contemporary albums were mastered by Bernie Grundman from original master tapes. Craft doesn't disclose who mastered the new batch of Contemporary SACDs.

Comment by John Bacon-Shone - June 28, 2022 (7 of 12)

The Craft SACD page states "this new edition features mastering from the original tapes by Bernie Grundman", so I think we can assume it applies to the SACDs as well

Comment by Mark Werlin - July 8, 2022 (8 of 12)

John Bacon-Shone is correct. Although not all of the rear covers for the Craft Recordings SACDs are included in the title details, the Contemporary SACDs that display a rear cover photo show "Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman mastering." The SACD of Bill Evans's "You Must Believe in Spring" indicates "Transfer: Plangent Processes."

"Art Pepper + 11" can now be added to the Craft Recordings cart, so presumably SACDs are being shipped to customers.

Has anyone purchased and listened to this SACD?

Comment by SteelyTom - July 13, 2022 (9 of 12)

The old Fantasy SACD of Art Pepper + Eleven sounds amazing, a classic hot and rather dry Roy DuNann-engineered effort. (I've even used it as a demo disc.) Obviously Grundman is one of the best in the business, so I'd think you can't go wrong with the SACD now on offer.

Comment by John Bacon-Shone - July 14, 2022 (10 of 12)

Although I love Art Pepper, I cannot justify buying the Craft issue unless someone compares it with the Fantasy issue, hint, hint.... ;)

Comment by Mark Werlin - July 23, 2022 (11 of 12)

I don't have the Fantasy SACD or the new Craft Recordings SACD (yet). Here's a brief comparison of the two versions of Art Pepper + 11 currently in my collection.

--HDTracks 24/88.2: Very bright, flat soundstage, but a clean tape source.

--Craft Recordings 24/192: Warm, deeper soundstage, detailed, transparent.

The difference is immediately apparent. The HDTracks version was likely EQ'd; the cymbals "ping", the horn section sounds thin. In all respects the Craft 24/192 is superior. Bernie Grundman was mentored by Roy DuNann and Lester Koenig, so the Craft Recordings 24/192 download should recreate the original tape more closely.

Can anyone find a statement from Craft Recordings to confirm that the SACDs in the Contemporary 70th series were mastered directly from analogue tape, not from 24/192 files? On the web page for the Art Pepper + 11 SACD: "this new edition features remastered audio from the original tapes." That's reassuring, but doesn't address whether the SACD mastering included a PCM step.

Comment by John Bacon-Shone - July 24, 2022 (12 of 12)

Thanks Mark, it seems likely that the HDTracks is converted from the earlier SACD, given the 88.2K sampling rate. As I love Art Pepper, looks like I will be tempted into another purchase.