The Clifford Brown Box

The Clifford Brown Box

Esoteric  ESSE-90223/6 (4 discs)

Mono Hybrid


Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Max Roach with Clifford Brown

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Analogue recording
Comments (7)

Comment by Steven Harrison - July 18, 2020 (1 of 7)

In the past I have not considered the Esoteric jazz releases, as they have mostly all been available as sacd's elsewhere, and for a lot less cost. But the Clifford Brown Box was different, as only the Sarah Vaughan disc had been a sacd release long ago and now costs a lot. This set sold out very quickly at the Japanese buying service, Buyee, which is unusual for a jazz set. Thus it will be a quick sell out elsewhere as well.
I already have 2 of the 4 discs as Verve Master Edition cd's, but I never hesitated to purchase this set. They are all superb!! I never heard 1954/5 mono discs sound so good. And to top it all off you get a Dinah Washington sacd, the only one ever. I remember Dinah. I heard her sing "What a difference a day makes" on the radio when I was a kid. It was not my kind of music then, but I'd love to hear it again. It's not on the disc, but doesn't matter. Pity what happened to Dinah.
If you like 50"s jazz music, this set is a must! And I haven't even mentioned Clifford. A Legend.

Comment by breydon_music - July 18, 2020 (2 of 7)

Don't forget the early Verve SACD of "What a Difference a Day Makes" - it's listed on this site. It's very expensive through the Amazons now but try raising a saved search on e-Bay and your patience may be rewarded.

Comment by Steven Harrison - July 18, 2020 (3 of 7)

Thanks for the reminder. There are quite a few available in various places.

Comment by PaulSARenaud - December 5, 2020 (4 of 7)

@Steven. Can you elaborate on the sound quality. How does for instance Sarah's disc compare to the other Verve SACD edition. How rigorous was the remastering done by Esoteric. I own (use to own) quite a number of Esoteric albums. Quite of few of them did not impress me as far as sound was concerned (also compared to alternative HD-PCM or SACD releases of the same albums). In particular the original digital recordings are a waste of money (Gardiner, Karajan-Bruckner). Nevertheless I made a lot of money selling a lot of them again. I love these Clifford's albums, but I do not want to be disappointed for the money.

Comment by Steven Harrison - December 10, 2020 (5 of 7)

Paul, sorry to be a bit slow to provide you some kind of an answer to your comments. Pity that there is no real listing of comments on recordings, nonetheless....

In order to provide a proper answer to your question of sound quality on these Clifford Brown recordings I should really go back and have a listen. I received the box at about the same time I received my Ruby player and these were some of the first discs I listened to at that time. The player has improved in sound quality over the initial period so I really need another listen to give a proper answer. Although, even in my initial listening these sacd's did sound really good and better than the Verve Master edition cd's of the same. I do happen to have a Japanese cd reissue of Study in Brown, so I could do a listening comparison to that and give an answer at some time, and I will try to do so sooner rather than later.

You also ask some more generalization questions about the Esoteric reissues that are hard to answer. From what I can tell Esoteric uses 96/24 remasters that are supplied to Esoteric in the licensing agreement from the providing label. In the past I have always felt that these Esoteric reissues sounded quite good. I also found that they tended to respond favorably to sound quality improvements that I occasionally made in my audio system. In short, I liked the Esoteric reissues, a lot. However with my purchase of the Marantz Ruby player, the Esoteric reissues really have not responded with sound quality improvements like many other discs in my collection have responded to this player.
Lately I have been quite astounded with the sound quality of the Tower Records sacd reissues. These discs have been made mostly with 192/24 remasters. I have commented elsewhere on these
Hope this helps. I'll write again once I have some listens and comparisons to the Clifford recordings.

Comment by Steven Harrison - December 11, 2020 (6 of 7)

Paul, okay just for You, I have now had some listens to two of the Clifford Brown Box discs.
I first listened to Study in Brown. I have a Japanese shm-cd of this that I bought earlier this year and before the Box set was announced. I listened to this one first yesterday. It sounds like most Japanese shm cd reissues, very good. I then listened to the sacd in the Box set. The sacd is just so much better in sound that the cd. Sorry that I cannot be specific in description, but I just cannot.
My earlier post mentioned the Verve Master Edition cd's of Brown and Roach, and the Sarah Vaughn discs. My opinion there stands.
Then there is the real gem of the Box Set, Dinah Jams, and 1954 Hollywood concert disc that is just fabulous in sacd. I don't even know if it exists elsewhere as rbcd, and don't care. The sacd version in the Box is absolutely great.
Hope this helps. Steve

Comment by Steven Harrison - December 16, 2020 (7 of 7)

From the Clifford Brown Box,
"This 'Original EmArcy Collection' has been newly mastered by master tapes which were directly copied digitally from the 'original tapes' never allowed to be taken out of the tape archives of Mercury Records U.S.A. (PolyGram Records Inc.) located in Edison, New Jersey U.S.A. 'Pure original master quality sound' which has never been heard by anybody is perfectly re-created."