Klipsch Tape Reissues Vol. II is an analog recording of the Joe Holland Quartet playing Jazz classics in a live recording. Songs on the album include Yesterdays, Night and Day, Blue Moon, The Lady Is A Tramp, September Song and Pennies From Heaven.
In July of 1955 when the music in this album was recorded, none of the principals concerned had any idea that the tapes would one day find themselves on the market. The purpose was merely to record material suitable for demonstrations. As a result the performers were under no strain whatever, and the playing clearly shows a spontaneity and vitality that one seldom hears outside of live and informal performances.
In keeping with the nature of the music, intimate microphone placement was employed with the result that certain extra-musical sounds are clearly audible at times. The usual practice of recording engineers is to edit out sounds of this sort, replacing them with portions of later “takes” of the same piece in which “errors” of this sort do not occur. While editing of this sort might result in a note perfect performance, it is in no sense a natural one. Since we believe that these sounds enhance rather than detract from the performance, and, since they are actually a part of what did take place, we wouldn’t think of cutting them out.
To be specific, the drummer’s suspension seat, as he bobs up and down on it, emits a sometimes audible squeak if one knows what to listen for. In addition there are breathing sounds and occasional key clicks from the clarinet as well as a few random subdued comments from the players. And perhaps the best of all occurs in the introduction of one of the numbers where one player, somewhat in doubt as to what the piece is, looks around quizzically and says, “What is this, Blue Moon?” (Whereupon one of his fellows nods affirmatively telling him that it is Blue Moon.)
The performers on the album are: Joe Holland, drums; Fred Rogers, clarinet; Bill Wallace, piano; Howard Ward, bass.
Total time: 01:02:26
Hapi Analog to Digital Converter
Bob Witak, High Definition Tape Transfers – Original 15ips 2-track Analog Master Tapes transferred to DSD 128
|Original Recording Format|
Paul W. Klipsch
Paul W. Klipsch
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
Analog to DSD 128
|Release Date||December 29, 2017|
Kip Peterson, Native DSD Blog
One of my favorite things about NativeDSD, and which I’ve commented upon previously, is the sheer variety of high-resolution music it offers. I’ve spent more time than I’d care to admit sampling tracks from many albums in DSD, much to the detriment of my savings account! But for anyone who finds music to be one of the true joys of life, it is an exciting repository of fabulous artists, venues and sound.
On one such recent sampling journey, I came across the album “Klipsch Tape Reissues Vol. II” by the Joe Holland Quartet. Though I’ve never owned any products from the audio company Klipsch, I was very eager to hear this album because it unabashedly states on its cover that it is from a “first generation stereophonic copy” of the master tape, when it was originally sold as a tape to lucky owners of tape machines back in 1955 (which I suspect was a rare group). Of course, this release is a DSD version of the recording, but from my experience digitizing tapes I own from my analog tape machine to a DSD recorder, the results can be magic. As it turns out, so is this DSD album.
If you’ve ever been curious about how analog tape sounds on a high-quality audio system, this album conveys much of what you would hear. There is an organic richness to music on tape, and a sense of density that seems lacking from CDs or even vinyl (of which I am a big fan). It’s just fun to listen to tape, and it remains my favorite format. In my opinion, the DSD format seems to preserve much of the subtle nuances of the sound of tape very well. This album is incredibly open and transparent with startling dynamics, all hallmarks of tape. The drums on this recording are a standout in this regard. Without knowing how it was made, I have a strong suspicion that compressors and limiters did not find a role in its creation.
Also, I’ve always felt tape sources sound closer to the true timbre of instruments. This release is an experiment in instrumental veracity, I think, and so the timbre of all the instruments on this album bring you to the venue wonderfully. To hear what I mean, listen to “Holland’s Holiday Drum Solo,” as it contains great examples of these attributes.
The mix generates a soundstage that seems a little too separated at times to completely suspend disbelief, but anyone familiar with Blue Note recordings will feel right at home and comfortable with this effect, as I do. One thing modern recording have become very good at, I think, is soundstage. But if this quibble is the only price one pays to be brought so close to a performance of great jazz, I’ll gladly pay it.
With terrific, virtuosic performances, great jazz standards like “Night and Day,” foot-tapping swing melodies and several mellow, slower entries anchored with a beautifully sweet clarinet, I can’t imagine any buyer of this album finding it anything less than stellar. Thanks again, NativeDSD, for bringing a great DSD release to music lovers!
Originally conceived in 1956 by Paul W. Klipsch and assisted by recording engineer John Eargle, KlipschTape provided early audiophiles with reference quality program material, as well as offering Klipsch compelling audio demonstrations at trade shows. Throughout its two-year existence, the KlipschTape division was able to create seven tapes that were amongst the earliest stereo recordings ever offered to the public. In addition, Klipsch was one of the first equipment manufacturers to attempt to make direct tape masters available to audiophiles.
Klipsch decided to make his own stereophonic tapes, mostly to have some reliable software to demonstrate the abilities of his Klipschorns. His tapes were made at 15 IPS (inches per second) to achieve the highest fidelity possible and the first ones were sold in 1954. Luckily the master tapes were still in miraculously good shape, so Bob Witrak of HDDT transferred them directly to high resolution DSD digital.
Yes, you will hear some tape hiss at the very beginning, after all this is a 58 year old analog recording. However after the music starts tape hiss pretty much disappears, combined with the realistic attack of high percussion instruments and the spot on correct timbre of all the instruments is a testament on how well these tapes were recorded nearly six decades ago, and how well they have been preserved and restored.
I had trouble making notes about the songs as I kept getting pulled into the music, all I can say is every selection is wonderful and a total joy to listen to. I wish all jazz was this good.
From the opening notes of “Yesterdays” I knew this recording was going to be something very special. The bongos are really cool in “Night and Day” and “Lullaby in Rhythm”. I found their version of “Blue Moon” to offer a sweet romantic vibe. Some really great drumming in “Fine and Dandy”, “Holland’s Holiday” and “Jazz me Blues”.
You’ll find these recordings in any of the DSD resolutions simply amazing. I highly recommend it!
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