The Ray Brown Trio – Soular Energy

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This Concord Jazz LP has excellent sound. There is a half-speed mastered audiophile version of this record cut by Stan Ricker himself.

Now hold on: half-speed mastering by its very nature causes a dramatic loss of bass definition, not to mention the fact that much of the deep bass usually goes completely missing. This is a record built around the sound of Ray Brown’s double bass. Do you really want the lowest octave of bass to disappear and the bass above it to turn to mud on a record that features a bass player as its leader? It’s crazy, right?

I’ve never heard the half-speed and don’t plan to track one down in order to audition, but I guarantee you that this “full-speed” mastered version will blow the doors off any version mastered by Stan Ricker.

There is plenty of commentary on the website about his incompetent mastering and I recommend you take a moment to read some of it before you buy any half-speed mastered record. (We of course do not offer such records, with the exception of John Klemmer’s Touch, which is a half-speed mastered record that actually does sound good, superb in fact.)

AMG  Review

This album is important as an early milestone in pianist Gene Harris’ second career. Harris, who had led the popular Three Sounds in the 1960s, had been living in obscurity in Boise, ID, for several years before he was urged by bassist Ray Brown to come to the West Coast for some recording sessions. Harris became a permanent member of Brown’s regular trio for quite a few years before launching his own quartet. He had lost none of his technique, soul, or swing in the interim, as he shows throughout this fine release. Seven of the eight numbers (highlighted by “Exactly Like You,” “Teach Me Tonight,” and “Sweet Georgia Brown”) feature Brown, Harris, and drummer Gerry King playing soulful bop, while “Mistreated But Undefeated Blues” adds guitarist Emily Remler and the tenor of Red Holloway. An excellent effort.

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