Benny Carter – Swingin’ the ’20s – Skip the OJC from the ’80s

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This album is fairly common on the OJC pressing from 1988, but we found the sound of the OJC pressings we played seriously wanting. They have the kind of bad reissue sound that that plays right into the prejudices of most record collectors and audiophiles for whom nothing but an original will do. They were dramatically smaller, flatter, more recessed and more lifeless than even the worst of the ’70s LPs we played.

The lesson? Not all reissues are created equal. Some OJC pressings are great — including even some of the new ones — some are awful, and the only way to judge them fairly is to judge them individually, which requires actually playing a large sample.

Since virtually no record collectors or audiophiles like doing that, they make faulty judgments – OJC’s are cheap reissues sourced from digital tapes, run for the hills! – based on their biases and inadequate sample sizes.

You can find those who subscribe to this approach on every audiophile forum there is. The methods they have adopted do not produce good results, but as long as they stick to them they will never have to worry about discovering that inconvenient truth.

DCC

This is one of the all time great Contemporary recordings. DCC was going to do this on CD at one time; I loaned Steve Hoffman an OJC LP back in the ’90s which he promptly fell in love with. Unfortunately DCC went out of business, and ANALOGUE PRODUCTIONS, the people doing the new jazz reissue series on 45 RPM heavy vinyl, wouldn’t recognize a great title like this if it bit them in the ass.

And if they did it their version wouldn’t sound good anyway — none of their stuff ever does, which is why you can find all of their reissues in our Hall of Shame.

The Players and Personnel

Alto Saxophone, Trumpet – Benny Carter 
Bass – Leroy Vinnegar 
Drums – Shelly Manne 
Piano – Earl Hines

Producer – Lester Koenig
Recorded By – Roy DuNann

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Thou Swell 
My Blue Heaven 
Just Imagine 
If I Could Be with You (One Hour Tonight) 
Sweet Lorraine 
Who’s Sorry Now?

Side Two

Laugh, Clown, Laugh 
All Alone 
Mary Lou 
In a Little Spanish Town 
Someone to Watch over Me 
A Monday Date

Concord Music Group Notes

Some things never change. When this CD was released in 1988, Benny Carter was as active as when this album was recorded 30 years earlier. And the eleven standards herein are as fresh as when they were written in the Twenties. Benny is joined by Earl Hines (whose great 1928 composition “A Monday Date” is included here), along with Shelly Manne and bassist Leroy Vinnegar of “Friends” fame. Great musicians produce great results, and most of the LP’s tracks were done in one or two takes. The result is “a spontaneous, swinging record of what happened” when Carter met Hines “for the first time. . . .”

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