The CD should have been made from disk parts, if the original was made on disk. Notice I said should
have, no was. Some Verve reissues are better than others. I think Granz was recording to disk as
late as 1949, although Reeves was definitely set up for tape by that time. Leon Wortman wrote a
3-part series of articles for one of the radio engineer magazines spotlighting Fairchild equipment
and part 3 focuses on Reeves. Tape was the newfangled thing and they were disk-focused but they
certainly could do tape at that point. The big thing that was innovative about Reeves and later the
first iteration of Fine Sound was the ability to work efficiently, professionally and quickly among
all the different disk formats in that transition period.
Another interesting thing about 78's -- Norman Granz was still cutting 78-single versions of jazz
stuff in the mid-50's, so was Blue Note I think. This does make sense because there was an installed
base of 78 jukeboxes dating from the 1940's out there and I'd imagine they didn't get converted to
45RPM singles boxes overnight.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "David Lennick" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 4:21 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Fine studio, was Re: Early Mercury LP
>I was remarkably underwhelmed by the CD issue. The 78s were better! I used those when I did the
>Naxos CD a few years ago. Lots of flutter on the CD, plus some bad tape burbles as I recall.
> At this point someone will jump in and ask why anyone in his right mind wouldn't use master tapes
> when they exist. Know what, folks? Master tapes can deteriorate, be badly wound, develop print
> through..recently I did a transfer of "My Fair Lady" (don't ask!) and I had an original 1955
> Canadian pressing from my family's collection, an early 70s pressing, a TimeLife issue and a Sony
> CD. Two guesses which copy sounded brightest and fullest and, oh yeah, didn't have any evidence
> of print through.
> Roger and Allison Kulp wrote:
>> Well,I don't have a copy of this.The one I sold on eBone a few years back,was the Clef
>> reissue.But most of the early Mercury Classics I have,are Reeves-Fairchild,some are marked as
>> such on the back covers.The 10" Lps were generally 3-4 songs per side on these early Mercs.
>> Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote: Hi Doug:
>> I should know better than to contradict a guy who remasters old disk recordings, but ...
>> I was always told it was Reeves. But let's be specific. Looking in the booklet of the CD "Charlie
>> Parker with Strings -- The Master Takes," it seems there was a 1950 10" LP for Mercury, "Charlie
>> Parker with Strings" (although I question that it was a 10" LP since there were 14 songs
>> totalling about 18 minutes per side recorded in 2 sessions, so I'd argue this might be incorrect
>> track info on the CD) and there was a 1952 "EP" for Verve/Clef called "Charlie Parker with
>> Strings." The Mercury sessions seem to be those pictured in the booklet, since there is a RCA 77
>> mic with a "Mercury" flag on the top. The booklet incorrectly calls the studio "Mercury
>> Recording" -- this is a very common mistake which is amplifying bad information in the Ruppli
>> (sp?) discographies. There was no "Mercury Sound Studio" or "Mercury Recording," particularly
>> back then.
>> Anyway, looking at the pictures, they resemble pictures I have of Reeves. I don't have any
>> pictures of Nola except what was known as Nola Penthouse Studio. That had very distinct features,
>> including heavy drapes, none of this seen in the Charlie Parker photos. Also, as far as I know,
>> Tommy Nola didn't own a studio until perhaps 1956 or 1957. However, I think I read an article
>> somewhere that said Nola's father owned a studio going back to the early days of disk-recording,
>> but I might be wrong on that. If you have some factual info on the Nola family and their
>> studio(s), I'd sure like to know it. I think I read about Nola's father maybe in TapeOp magazine,
>> not always an authorative historical fact source.
>> If you have the Charlie Parker with Strings CD, keep it aside and then go look through any
>> Riverside albums you have from the 50's to very early 60's because most of those were recorded at
>> Reeves too. See if you see any points of similarity, although I think I recall some or all of
>> Reeves' music studios were somewhat rebuilt in the 50's.
>> I wish I had better historical facts here. The Verve/Mercury vaults are obviously not very
>> helpful since Ruppli made many a mistake about studios, and back in 1950 Mercury didn't have much
>> studio info on most jazz records (by the late 50's, there was usually detailed recording
>> information on Mercury jazz titles).
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Doug Pomeroy" To: Sent: Thursday, January 03, 2008 9:47 AM
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Fine studio, was Re: Early Mercury LP
>>> It is "common knowledge" that the Ch Parker with stings recordings
>>> were made at Nola in the Steinway building on 59th St. Is this just
>>> an urban myth?
>>>> Date: Wed, 2 Jan 2008 19:54:16 -0500
>>>> From: Tom Fine Subject: Re: Early Mercury LP
>>>> Don't forget Miller was also
>>>> pivital on the ground-breaking Charlie Parker "with strings" sessions, also recorded at
>>>> Reeves. I
>>>> think his fame and fortune came mostly from the "Sing Along ..." stuff, though.
>>>> -- Tom Fine
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