Cannonball Adderley – Bill Evans – Know What I Mean? – Our Shootout Winner from 2015

More Bill Evans / More Cannonball Adderley

More Know What I Mean?

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A distinguished member of the Jazz Hall of Fame

One of our favorite Cannonball Adderley albums here at Better Records, and the sound is killer on this copy. Both sides are Tubey Magical, rich, open, spacious and tonally correct. We’ve never heard the record sound better, and that’s coming from someone who’s been playing the album since the ’80s when it was first reissued in its current form.

These guys are playing live in the studio and you can really feel their living, breathing presence on every track — assuming you have a copy that sounds like this one.

Based on what I’m hearing my feeling is that most of the natural, full-bodied, smooth, sweet sound of the album is on the master tape, and that all that was needed to get that vintage sound correctly on to disc was simply to thread up that tape on a reasonably good machine and hit play.

Original Vs. Reissue

The original Riverside pressings are the best, right?

Not in our experience. We think that’s just another Record Myth.

Some of you may have discovered that the original Bill Evans records on Riverside are mostly awful sounding — I can’t recall ever hearing one sound better than mediocre — so we are not the least bit worried that this OJC won’t beat the pants off of the original, any reissue you may have, and of course the Alto Heavy Vinyl pressing.

Horn and Hoffman

George Horn was doing brilliant work for Fantasy all through the ’80s. This album is proof that his sound is the right sound for this music.

The DCC Gold CD of the album is also excellent. As with many of the better DCC CDs, it’s proof that Steve Hoffman’s sound is also the right sound for this music. But as we all have learned by now — all too painfully in fact, having wandered for thirty plus years in the digital wasteland — a CD, no matter how well mastered, can only take you so far.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Waltz for Debby
Goodbye
Who Cares?
Venice

Side Two

Toy
Elsa 
Nancy (With the Laughing Face)
Know What I Mean?

AMG 4 Star Review

What’s better than a Bill Evans Trio album? How about a Bill Evans trio album on which the leader is not Evans but alto sax god Cannonball Adderley, making the group actually a quartet? It’s a different sort of ensemble, to be sure, and the musical results are marvelous. Adderley’s playing on “Waltz for Debby” is both muscular and sensitive, as it is on the other Evans composition here, a modal ballad called “Know What I Mean?” Other treats include the sprightly “Toy” and the Gershwin classic “Who Cares?”

The focus here is, of course, on Adderley’s excellent post-bop stylings, but it’s also interesting to hear Evans playing with a rhythm section as staid and conservative as Kay and Heath (both charter members of the Modern Jazz Quartet). It’s hard to imagine any fan of mainstream jazz not finding much to love on this very fine recording.