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Midnight Blue Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, March 9, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This release is part of a new series of Blue Note jazz masterpieces newly remastered using 24-bit technology by the original, legendary recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder. Alfred Lion considered this his favorite production! Without piano, Burrell, Stanley Turrentine and company get a clean, open sound and a deep groove on such classic compositions as the title tune and "Chitlins Con Carne" (now a blues band staple). Includes 2 bonus tracks and extra photos!

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Kenny Burrell's music is a wonderful blend of elegance and conviction, musical inventiveness and thoughtful restraint. On this 1967 session, the guitarist is joined by regular associates--tenorist Stanley Turrentine, conga drummer Ray Barretto, bassist Major Holley, and drummer Bill English--and together they concentrate on the subtlest and deepest hues of the blues, combining strong rhythmic grooves with a feeling of late-night reflection. There's never a misstep or a superfluous note, from the funky Latin hit "Chitlins Con Carne" to Burrell's deeply felt solo "Soul Lament" and the concentrated swing of "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You." The result is a masterpiece, and the 24-bit remastering by the original engineer, Rudy Van Gelder, adds to the spaciousness and intimacy that have always been hallmarks of the session. --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 9, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Note
  • Run Time: 43 minutes
  • ASIN: B00000I41G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,406 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While this album is one of the greatest jazz guitar albums of all time, extremely poor mastering significantly detracts from the enjoyment it can bring the listener. Except for the two Monk titles, the RVG Edition is a seriously flawed series, especially the first batch that was released in '99, and Midnight Blue was among those. Excessive noise reduction has erased virtually all clues of air and ambiance, and they possess a hard glare. The glare is generally absent in releases after '99, but the other issues persist.

Another flaw in this series is that many of the titles are in mono when excellent stereo masters exist. Rudy Van Gelder recorded exclusively in mono prior to March '57, and stereo exclusively after October 30 1958. He only recorded in both formats during the time spanning those two dates. While some will rightfully argue that the mono master sounds best in some instances, the RVG series has many titles in it that were recorded after Oct. 30 1958 that are mono. No mono masters exist for these sessions, so these CD's are simply the stereo master folded down into one channel. What's the purpose of that?

Relief is Available: Most of the RVG Edition titles are available in an earlier US version and as a Japanese import here on Amazon. These sound dramatically better and actually give you a sense of stage depth and air around the instruments. They are also stereo when possible, and appropriate, and they lack the glare of the RVG Edition. So far, everything I've purchased that was released before 1999 in the US has been good, and all of the Japanese versions have been good. The imports are very pricey so you might want to get the older US versions through the Amazon Marketplace. I've purchased many of these for under $10 in "Like New" condition. To avoid problems, I recommend only dealing with sellers who have a positive rating of 98% or better. They don't generally misrepresent the condition, and they'll usually get it to you within 4 business days.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording, and "Midnight Blue" in particular, is the greatest expression of late-night "bluesy" jazz guitar playing I have ever heard in 35 years of listening. Kenny Burrell was, and is, the master of this style. His touch, tone and rhythmic placement of notes -- all are immaculate. He is joined by Stanley Turrentine on tenor, Ray Barretto on congas,Major Holley and Bill English -- a perfect group. Lots of mid-tempos and minor keys. Sometimes I listen to the "Midnight Blue" track over and over. I have transcribed most of it, chords and solo lines -- Fm7, Gm7, Abmaj7, Gm7, etc. It takes me to a different place and time. The recording is magnificent, as if the musicians are in your living room, you are lounging at your table 3 feet away, nursing a Tom Collins . . . It doesn't get any cooler.
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Format: Audio CD
As far as jazz guitar on Blue Note records goes, there are two names you must know: Grant Green and Kenny Burrell. And while Grant's discography for Blue Note is humungous, Kenny did much of his recording as a sideman. But the numbers are all irrelevant when you listen to this masterpiece -- seven tunes that reach deep, deep into the blues and achieve that wonderfully lazy, after hours groove.
The performances are all classic, from the Latin groove of "Chitlins con Carne", to the brisk swing of the title track, to the solo guitar of "Soul Lament". Stanley Turrentine's soulful saxophone playing is among his finest, and the bass/drums/conga rhythm section is impeccable at setting up a groove. And the leader provides tasty guitar playing that mixes bebop lines and bluesy feeling perfectly. As far as hearing some classic jazz guitar, Midnight Blue and Grant Green's Idle Moments album are a perfect start.
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Format: Audio CD
You'll never go back to silly, boring, 3-chord blues after hearing what Kenny Burrell can do. None of the songs here are really traditional blues at all, but there is a relaxed bluesy FEEL in these songs. Burrell has the most incredible guitar tone and his note placement is perfect. This music is both relaxed and low-key AND dramatic all at the same time. Listen to Soul Lament and then Midnight Blue and you'll feel it too. He's the best.
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Format: Audio CD
In a word... the SACD version is stunning! I have several other versions to compare to, including the newer RVG Edition, the original Blue Note CD issue and a few versions of the LP. The mix features a wider separation than the recent RVG Edition (more like the old Blue Note LP mix you love and remember), with lots of space around each instrument, and the sound is warm and intimate. Kenny's guitar is all tube-amp warmth, the drums and conga have a tactile presence, the upright bass sounds full and natural and Turrentine's saxophone sounds big and glows like a warm fire. A really outstanding job, Analogue Productions!
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Format: Audio CD
I was in a trendy, yuppy club in Sydney's Darling Harbour one night a number of months ago. The atmosphere was radiantly buzzing with the excitable banter of the young professional set. A working class boy like myself sat in a corner slightly bemused, nodding and smiling at all the right moments, but otherwise absorbed in the music that was drifting from the speakers like a blue haze, sifting around the room and settling into a fine mist around my soul. The music was none other than Mr. Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue. The irony is that none of the people around had even the slightest clue of what they were listening to. Completely indefferent, they talked and they chatted, laughed and drank expensive cocktails. I felt like grabbing each and every one of them by the shoulders and shaking them, screaming at them to try and penetrate their glossed over, trendy, Mr. Cool guises, 'This is some of the the most sublime music that was ever created, you baboon. How can you be so impervious to it's magic. Bow down and worship his greatness, you fools, you make me sick!' The only thing stopping me was that I knew that the only response I would receive would be an ambivalent, confused and sorry-assed stare. And so I continued to sit there with my eyes half closed, swaying from side to side, in a blissful state of guitar-induced nirvana.

Dont make me grab you by the shoulders, give you a shake and hurl abuse at you. Buy this album and become initiated.
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