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Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Universal (Japan)  UCGO-9058

Stereo Single Layer

Jazz


Bill Evans Trio

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Comment by Downunderman - September 12, 2023 (1 of 4)

Released 25 August 2023. In addition to the booklet, it includes a single sided multi fold insert of the rear cover, but in Japanese.

The Tower Records site in Japan advises the following: "--Adopts the 11 remastering sound source 2023kHz / 192bit based on the US original analog master". Whether that means it is based on the tape transfer done in 2011 for Bill Evans Trio: Sunday at the Village Vanguard (which was originally released as UCGO-9015 in 2011), or an entirely new tape transfer done in 2023 is unclear to me. Mark will have a better idea.

Sonically it sounds very good and is cut from the same cloth as Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby as you would expect. Though comparatively I did not register it as leaning quite so bright.

Certainly, well worth your coin if you don't already have a copy, but not having heard the earlier SACD versions I can't say whether it is a better version.

Comment by Longjohns and Wifebeaters - September 14, 2023 (2 of 4)

The Google translated HMV.co.jp blurb says it's a new remastering from this year:

"Bill Evans remaster series

●Japan's best-selling jazz masterpiece ``Waltz for Debbie'', which was certified as an RIAJ Gold Disc in 2016 and continues to be loved by generations, has been released entirely from the original tapes for the first time in 10 years. Following analog mastering, three titles have been remastered: "Sunday at the Village Vanguard" recorded on the same day, and the later masterpiece "You Must Believe in Spring". Released as sound source from SA-CD to SHM.

●A live album recorded on the same day and at the same location as "Waltz for Debbie". A club gig in New York that marked the peak of the supreme trio of genius bassist Scott LaFallo, who passed away 11 days after this live, and drummer Paul Motian, who later played with Keith Jarrett.

●Adopts 2023 remastered sound source 192khz/24bit based on the US original analog master.

●A high-resolution CD (MQA-CD x UHQCD) of the same work will also be released at the same time.

●Includes Japanese translation of the original LP's liner notes.

1. Gloria's Step
2. My Man's Gone Now
3.Solar
4. Alice in Wonderland
5. All of You
6. Jade Visions

Bill Evans (p) Scott Ruffalo (b) [sic: that's of course LaFaro] Paul Motian (ds)
★Recorded live at Village Vanguard, New York, June 25, 1961

SHM-SACD/liner notes/2023 remastering

(From manufacturer information)"

Similarly for the Waltz for Debbie.

Comment by Downunderman - September 15, 2023 (3 of 4)

Thanks LongJohns - much clearer!

Comment by Longjohns and Wifebeaters - October 5, 2023 (4 of 4)

Seems this new Universal Japan SACD (UCGO-9058) is licensed from Craft: the release backside bears the Craft Recordings logo and the dates for remastering match. Craft just released this newly remastered on LP & as a digital album (but not on SACD). That, according to Craft, is an "all-analog mastering from the original tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio" (from their blurb for the LP version).

So I bet Universal Japan used Kevin Gray's newly mastered Craft files for this as Craft itself seems no longer to produce SACDs.

Same applies to Waltz for Debbie (UCGO-9057).

You Must Believe in Spring (UCGO-9059) seems to have come about for Universal Japan the same route, albeit with a different mastering engineer, Paul Blakemore at Concord Mastering (the remastering dates & origin of the master tapes match between the Craft and the Universal Jpn releases).

To borrow the words of Sir Charles (Barkley, for ignoramuses), I may be wrong but I doubt it.

The results are, as far as Sunday & Debby which I have already heard, spellbinding, even compared to the previous (Universal Japan & AP) DSD remasterings of the same. Especially LaFaro's bass and Motian's cymbals & skins have benefited, but also the sense of space has become more precise and open. Background chatter and the clinkering glasses are quieter. Everything is very fresh, clean, and even more like live instruments. Not sure if it's Kevin Gray or some new gear he's using, but I'm loving it.