25 Contemporary Jazz Titles Coming From Analogue Productions

Analogue Productions recently announced the reissue of 25 titles from the musically rich and superbly recorded Contemporary Jazz catalogue.

The records will be cut from the original master tapes by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles and plated and pressed at QRP in Salina, Kansas.

Two cutting chains will be auditioned for the project: Grundman’s standard solid state chain and one that duplicates in a somewhat updated form, the original Contemporary Record chain, including Haeco vacuum tube electronics and cutter head.

Analogue Productions’ Chad Kassem invited analogplanet.com editor Michael Fremer to be present at the first go-round with the tapes, the day before T.H.E. Show Newport.

The footage below was shot at Bernie Grundman Mastering at that session. Though the new chain has yet to be fully completed, Bernie cut for Chad two lacquers containing two selections, each cut using both the solid state and tube chains, though the “vintage” one has yet to be completed.

The idea was for Chad to take the lacquer to T.H.E. Show Newport and let consumers hear both cuts and choose a favorite—not that the results would have proven dispositive.

The first 25 titles will include Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West and Sounds Unheard Of!— the latter a percussion-oriented stereo “demo” record of sorts featuring arguabl ho-hum (but well-played) music and plus superb sonics.

In the mastering room for the session was John Koenig, son of Contemporary Records founder Lester Koenig, Analogue Productions’ Chad Kassem, mastering engineer Bernie Grundman, Analogue Productions’ official photographer/videographer Ben Williams and analogplanet.com editor Michael Fremer.

VirginVinyl's picture

You have my support, like Chad said, there are a lot of Big players out there that are not disclosing what's in the sausage. That why I'm sticking with QRP. At least I know what I'm getting. I'm tired of spending my money on crap for these Hi Rez dumps when I can just get as digital copy.

Grant M's picture

This is great news, I was wondering what was coming after the Prestige mono and stereo reissues.
I bought many of them, can't wait for more to toes, I hope the list is out soon so I can start saving!

Jay's picture

When a review copy of Way Out West becomes available can you do a comparison between the new AP pressing mastered by Bernie Grundman and the old AP pressing mastered by Doug Sax? For me Doug's all tube mastering from 1992 would be hard to improve on.

Michael Fremer's picture
Of course... and i have an original pressing too.
amarok89's picture

I can think of a few secrets I wish Chad would divulge. When will the stereo Prestige titles finally be released? So many AP titles get set for a given release year (let alone specific date) and when that's missed they just post the next year. Why? I've been waiting for Eric Dolphy's stuff for ages. But now I get to hear the big plans for another "Way Out West" for which I paid $50 for a single LP years ago and it sounds great.

Grant M's picture

The first two, Booker Ervin and Gene Ammons are coming June 18. http://store.acousticsounds.com/index.cfm?get=results&searchtext=prestig...

rshak47's picture

Acoustic Sounds has an annoying habit of announcing a release date, then repeatedly missing the date. With a given title, this can go on for months. The Prestige Stereo titles now listed for June 18th release, were previously listed with a May date, then 6/4, then 6/11. Release of Prestige stereo titles was supposed to begin in 2014. Well, we're more than 5 months into 2015, and for far nada.

Don't get me wrong - - I really like Chad's reissue programs (I subscribed to the Blue Note 45's, the Impulse! 45's, the Prestige mono series, and (currently) the RCA Living Stereo series and the Prestige stereo series). It just seems to me that APO should do a better job of announcing *realistic* release dates.

Michael Fremer's picture
But I think what happens is that an "outside job" comes in and it's difficult to turn it down for various reasons....
amarok89's picture

probably have been coming in forever. Someone mentioned before how it would be better to just release the "coming soon" info when they know its pressed. I think I have been locked in (at my own choice of course) for a year for the Eric Dolphy releases but I already got one of the cheaper ones (at the Five Spot - OJC) because I found it an a local store. I would rather have the $30 QRP but no longer, if those aren't even on the docket for 2015 I'll get the OJC. At this point I just want the music.

rshak47's picture

The Prestige titles (re)slated for release 6/18 are now showing a 6/23 release date. I appreciate that Chad may have to juggle his pressing schedule to accommodate outside jobs, but does he understand how irritating this is to his loyal customers? In my opinion, it would be better not to list a release date until it's certain APO can deliver the goods on that date.

amarok89's picture

Gotta start an office pool.

rshak47's picture

First titles of Prestige stereo reissues delayed yet again: slid from 7/10 to 7/31. This is beyond ridiculous. At this point I wonder if we'll see any of the titles released before the end of 2015!

rshak47's picture

you would win the pool. Yet another year has gone by without a single Prestige stereo release. Chad did manage to complete the initial 25 RCA Living Stereo releases this year (the final 2 titles arrived in my mailbox today), but not one of the Prestige stereo records. Maybe too few folks subscribed to the Prestige series for APO to bother with (?)

amarok89's picture

I bought two more of the Eric Dolphy LPs on OJC. Those are fine and it's been a blast getting into the music. The only one left is "Far Cry" but I can wait Chad out for that one just to see how long this goes. Pretty funny when you think of it just how many titles this happens to. Maybe they do prioritize pressing on preorders. Whatever it is it sure makes AP look bad.

rshak47's picture

(I think). First two stereo Prestige titles were delivered via FedEx today. Hooray!

Regarding the Contemporary titles, APO has yet to make an announcement on its website. Or did I miss it?

jazz's picture

We're talking about Contemporary, not Prestige here, right?

jazz's picture

I meant this as comment on Grant M

Grant M's picture

amarok89 asked "When will the stereo Prestige titles finally be released?"

Certainly agree with rshak47 that Acoustic Sounds delivery dates change often,
and they should try to be better at forecasting and communicating news about
upcoming releases.

As far as i know, there is no word yet on what titles or when these Contemporary titles are coming

amarok89's picture

it is not even an off topic post if it refers to something said in a posted video. As in "secrets". All of the special get togethers for announcements of new things is really exciting and I can't wait to get a new copy of Way Out West (not really) after I thought the other one from AP was great (I just listened to it and it is! $50 worth even) but this time the album jacket will have paragraphs written so now I will *know* that it's top notch. Ah but now I see that Eric Dolphy is not even listed as a "to be released in 2015". What to do.

amarok89's picture

Thanks Grant, I tend to look at the upcoming releases list or my wish list every couple weeks on the AS web site which until last time I checked had the ED stuff coming out this year. I see now from the list at your link they are now blank as to possible release date. I guess with two releases a month Dolphy's stuff may not come out until next year. I just may have to take a stab at the current OJC(?) releases in that case.

jazz's picture

I hope, before all the 5-10 doubles, previously already reissued (also by Chad Kassem and Sax, Grey/Hoffman as mastering engineers) are released once more, they do a few new ones which the audiophiles not already have in their shelves.

I also hope, Bernie Grundman does these not with the artficial sounding treble of his Blue Notes, Columbias and even some of the ORG's and various other releases, but more like his better and great ones, which are also among his releases always more or less frequently.

I love many of his reissues and hate about an equal number. Let's be optimistic the Contemporary will be winners!

soundman45's picture

I love mastering rooms although I have to admit when I saw the cup of Latte sitting next to the mastering desk, It made me squirm. I've seen coffee spilled into a console before and the havoc it causes. Having sugar in it is even worse, lol.

McFaden's picture

What other titles will be included? And will these be cut at 45 or 33 1/3?

DaveB's picture

...in that video! Makes one realize that setting up a great playback system should be as simple and logical a process as recording those original jazz recording sessions. Don't buy turds and polish them with EQ.

amarok89's picture

I should listen to all of my best LPs flat or set up my system the way I want it to be?

AxiomAcoustics's picture

This is fantastic news, can't wait to hear those great DuNann/Holzer tapes get the AP treatment. Here's hoping they are cut at 33 and include the early Ornette dates, especially now: R.I.P.

Where do we subscribe?

amarok89's picture

I hope this series contains those two early Ornette releases.

usernaim250's picture

I seem to recall he already did Way Out West for AP, as an alternate to the Sax mastering. AP also already did Sounds Unheard Of and several other Contemporaries in the Revival Series.

jazz's picture

AP did several of them already by Doug Sax and Kevin Gray/Steve Hoffman, but not with Grundman. Stan Ricker also did many Releases for them as Sterling Sound etc.

So I'd say hard to speak of an "AP Sound" as AxiomAcoustics wrote, as it seems AP is trying out all mastering engineers after another, even multiple times on the same tapes. I don't know if Chad Kassem Plays a big role influencing the mastering, so I guess what we hear is the style of the individual engineer.

AxiomAcoustics's picture

....the use of "_" means you are quoting something, which sent me to my post wondering where I had said "AP Sound". Funny, looks like I said "AP treatment", which includes things like: excellent mastering, pressing quality and faithfulness to the original master tapes, regardless of who is behind the board. I'm well aware of the variety of mastering engineers who have done work for AP over the years.

In addition, did you happen to notice that I did indeed mention the original "engineers"? Those recordings were generally some of the best of that or any era.

Next time you "quote" someone please be sure it's an actual "quote".

jazz's picture

To me what you wrote just sounded as if those recordings get an AP treatment the first time. If you were aware of the fact, some of them get that treatment for the 2nd or 3rd time then by a different engineer under AP, it was a misunderstanding from my side.

ColoKurt's picture

...but has anybody heard anything recently about when these Contemporary Jazz titles will actually be available? The Prestige Stereos are done so it seems like this might be next up?

Michael Fremer's picture
Concord is releasing themselves from digital masters.
RubenH's picture

Does this mean they were lost in the 2008 fire?