Complete Jazz At Massey Hall Import
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1. In addition to the 6 quintet tracks on the other CD's, THIS CD includes 8 additional tracks from the concert, including a 4-and-a-half-minute self-contained drum solo by Max Roach, and 6 great tracks by a trio of Powell, Mingus, and Roach (Cherokee, Embraceable You, Halleluja, Sure Thing, Lullaby of Birdland, and I've Got You Under My Skin). Also, according to the liner notes, all 14 tracks are in the order in which they were performed at the concert.
2. NONE OF MINGUS' OVERDUBBED BASS is included on THIS CD. You can still hear him, though, but much more naturally than he sounds on the overdubbed Original Jazz Classics excerpts I've heard here on Amazon.
3. According to the notes on this CD's case, the "original analogue masters have been digitally transferred at 24 bit resolution, processed using Sonic Solutions NoNoise technology and mastered to 16 bit for CD using prism SNS Noise Shaping." Whatever that means, the sound for the most part is great. Some of the tracks start a bit abruptly, and the sound on the 6 trio tracks is variable, but the sound quality of the 6 quintet tracks is phenomenal. Again, there is no Mingus overdubbing present, and--especially when Bird and Diz are playing--the sound has great clarity and presence. There is no real audible tape hiss except when only the rhythm section is playing and the levels are raised a bit. In general, the sound is far from perfect, but is pretty amazing given the time and circumstances of the original recording.
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This edition is the closest you'll get to the original event--in terms of the programming as well as the original audio recording made by Mingus. Unlike the better-known Debut/OJC edition, this Spanish import dispenses with Mingus' later overdubbing of his bass part, has more "presence" in the treble frequencies (Roach's drum kit and the crowd ambiance are more noticeable along with slightly brighter horns), and contains 24 additional minutes of music. Any listener who first discovered Diz in the '60's (my situation) is likely to experience some eye-opening moments at hearing him on all three concert recordings with Bird. In his prime he clearly was at least the equal of Charlie Parker and very likely the greatest jazz trumpet player of all time.
Footnote: It's of particular interest to listen carefully to Bird's 4-bar break on "Night in Tunisia" on all three recordings. The 1947 Carnegie Hall date is simply unreal--a microcosmic moment of pure genius. On the Town Hall date he's fast and flashy but not as linguistically rich and complex; on the Massey Hall date he eschews pyrotechnics in favor of majestic statement.
Ironically, the problems started when Mingus decided to record the live session. He did a terrible job and the resulting mix almost eliminited the sound of his bass. So he dubbed it later, affecting the entire sound and pitch of the music. That's what you got when you purchase "Live at Massey Hall" A live performance must be a live performance. Overdubbing is not an option to me, it's like cheating. "Complete live at Massey Hall" is a gret product because it presents the concert as it was: The tracks appear in the order they were performed with a more natural sound. Beware, the sound quality of the CD is not not the best, but it's enough to identify the instruments and enjoy the wonderful performance of these great musicians.
What I can say about the concert? The tracks appear in the right order. If you listen the concert from the beginning to the end you can feel that the band is increasing their level, reaching the musical climax in "A Night in Tunisia": Incredible Charlie Parker saxo chops, Gillespie groundbreaking trumpet solo, Powell rythm section hot as hell, Mingus bass lines sounding loud and clear and Max Roach's drums section in perfect sinchronicity with the band. It's true that some of the tracks reach that musical peak and that a few of them sound erratic and chaotic, but still it's a great concert. My favorite themes are: Salt peanuts, Wee and Hot House.
Packaging of this edition please me a lot.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The title of this CD is a misnomer. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie play on less than half the songs. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Danny Mack
Cd is terrific and well re-mastered.Sound is great and selections of tunes is good.A good buy .Shipping and packaging were really great.Published 6 months ago by guitarhombre
A historic event that encapsules great talent on one stage showcasing their instrumental virtuosity of jazz improvisation!Published 11 months ago by Anthony A. Jackson
THE Jazz Primer. Start your classic jazz collection with this recording. Plus, it is a jazz musicians' summit meeting; a true one off. It is also Ginger Baker approved. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Axis, Bold As Love
WOW! Bird really does live. Awesome. I just keep listening to this CD. It is truly a fine example what great jazz music is all about. Read morePublished 20 months ago by mindy frankel