In The Beginning Original recording remastered
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A Grammy® nominee for Best Jazz Performance by a Soloist, In the Beginning is Hubert Laws best album and a good, expansive representation of his flute-playing, according to The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, adding that his harmonic awareness and clarity of diction are impressive here on a very mixed program ... the string arrangements are impeccable. All Music Guide calls the album Hubert Laws at his finest. The music ranges from classical-oriented pieces to straight-ahead jazz with touches of '70s funk included in the mix ... Whether it be in works by Satie or Sonny Rollins, this recording is one of the most rewarding of Hubert Laws career.
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I don't even remember if I owned this on vinyl, but I remember when it was current. And I remember that I always preferred the aforementioned Afro Classic and the Rite of Spring to this. And after listening through a few times, I maintain that opinion. So what do I like here? Well, I enjoy Laws' interpretations of Satie's Gymnopedie, Sonny Rollins' Airegin, and John Coltrane's Moment's Notice. There is nothing I really dislike, although as I said earlier, there is little that commands one's immediate attention.
In The Beginning is housed in a slim digipak and offers nothing else save bare bones information about the contents. Note that this recording was made before Laws tossed aside his jazz and classical roots in an attempt to make big money in disco and pop, a trend which became apparent in his later CTI recordings and after. So if Laws' classic/jazz period is what you prefer, or if you are collecting all of the CTI remastered reissues, then you will likely enjoy this to some degree.
1. Gatefold 2 LP set, CTX 3 + 3 S1 (presumed original version*), laminated cover, 1974. Cover has photo of red, yellow painted face on a black background ("black cover"). Catalog # printed on spine.
2. Non-Gatefold 2 LP set. also CTX 3 + 3 S1. This version probably had an insert containing the information inside the original gatefold, date unknown. Black cover, not laminated. No catalog # on spine. This is the version pictured with this listing.
3. Gatefold single LP reissues titled "Then There Was Light Vols. 1 and 2, sold separately as CTI 6065 and CTI 6066, 1976. Cat. #s printed on spine. Cover is completely different with nude models frolicking under a blue waterfall ("blue cover"). Laminated.
4. Non-gatefold single LP reissues, also as CTI 6065 and 6066. Titles and covers same as 1 & 2, "In the Beginning," black cover, date unknown. No cat. #'s on spine. Early versions may have had inserts.
Some observations/speculations: I'm pretty sure that I've seen a copy with the blue cover that is not a gatefold. I have other CTI non-gatefold reissues with inserts, so I presume that the original re-issues had them. I just opened a sealed, black cover Vol. 2 that did not have an insert and that was labeled correctly.
*I vaguely remember rejecting a gatefold copy at a store because of condition. All original CTI issues seem to have had laminated covers thru 1975. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of this. I have no idea what they did with the CD reissues. What a mess. Pretty good record though. Great covers, both, er, all of them.
Hope this helps.