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ARSCLIST  May 2010

ARSCLIST May 2010

Subject:

Re: Alternate-take issue--WAS: Sonny Stitt Roost records discography wanted

From:

Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 4 May 2010 22:24:37 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (114 lines)

From: Art Shifrin <[log in to unmask]>
> In the case of Whiteman's 1928 Columbia Concerto In F, you'd have to listen
> in this order: sides 1-2-3-4-6-5. BUT between 6 & 5, you'd have to listen
> to "Jeanine I Dream Of Lilac Time" and endure Jack Fulton's vocal...assuming
> that the info's correct in my edition of Brian Rust's 'The American Dance
> Band Discography 1917 - 1942.

I think there were personnel changes and multiple sessions involved.  It
sometimes is difficult to figure out from the ADBD which date which
takes were recorded. You might have to go to the Columbia Discography
set.  There may have even been re-takes of earlier sides done in later
sessions. Bix is not heard on all takes of all sides.  Numerical order
is not always the order the recordings were made.  In a case like this
the alternate takes of individual sides are more important to hear
together, not take the sides out of order.  When a long work is recorded
out of side order there often is a reason.  Sometimes a re-take of a
side might be made months later.  I haven't compared my Royal Blue
pressing with earlier Potato Head pressings to see if there are
alternate takes.  

The casual listener to a long work would not be expected to listen to
all the takes, especially in the order recorded.  But someone studying
the specific work SHOULD.  I have examined all the available alternate
takes of Rachmanoff's recording of his 2nd Piano Concerto on a
side-by-side basis.  In the early 40s RCA changed all but one of the
takes they were pressing and falsified the sheet in the artist file to
indicate a different set of approved takes.  Most of the commonly found
78 sets and all the microgroove issues used secondary takes except for
the one side where there were no existing alternates.  

I have worked off of the session sheet for Koussivitsky's recording of
Peter and the Wolf because the take ones of all sides were recorded
before lunch to get a complete performance in, and in the afternoon they
went back and did takes 2 and 3 on a side-by-side basis.  Since
different reissues have used different takes of some of the sides I have
analyzed how to tell which takes were which of the takes that are
available.  You would be amazed at the number of alternate takes of
individual sides of classical sets had been issued.  Archives and
discographies are very lax in documenting takes in classical sets, and
comparing them in their duplicate copies.  The differences are usually
very minor -- there might be ensemble unity differences -- but in jazz
it is often very enlightening to compare alternate takes and the
progression of the recording session.    

> Also, can we coin a term to replace discography? 

No. 

> If taken literally, then no cylinders should be listed within them....  Art (Shiffy) Shifrin

Then no scroll, magazine, manuscript, talking-book, electronic
publication, or other non-"book" form could be included in a
"bibliography", which is the word that discography was coined from.  We
have "filmography" to catalog movies, but not "videography" because that
term is used to indicate the act of taking video pictures.  So videos
are included in filmographies.

From the very beginning different media including wire, tape, film
sound, and other formats have always been included.  The officially
recognized international classification term for sound recording is
"Phonorecord", even if it is tape, wire, optical recording, or MP3. 




On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 10:48 PM, David Weiner <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
> > I have the exact opposite attitude. The body of work of a performer
> > exists as it was recorded in the studio. The ordering of the items in
> > the album is usually an afterthought that rarely includes the performer
>
> ---------
> Who is to say whether of not the order of tunes recorded at a session has
> any significance either? Should we listen to Whiteman's 1927 RHAPSODY IN
> BLUE with Part 2 before Part 1 because he recorded it that way?
>
> Dave Weiner


This is a comparison of apples and oranges.  A popular album of
disconnected songs or musical numbers are not necessarily required to be
heard in the order they appear on the album.  A continuous work that is
recorded on multiple sides because of the limitations of the media is
not the same.  (There WAS a reason these sides were recorded out of
order, although Whiteman's and Shilkret's stories differ -- but that is
a different matter.)  If you had a 78 popular album that was issued in
manual sequence but you wanted to play them on a changer, then you would
not be listening to the sides in the "order" that the sides were
numbered.  You would NOT do that with a symphony set.  You might not do
it with a Broadway cast album set.  But for the pop album of eight or
ten disconnected songs, who cares what order the songs are heard in. 
When you bought the 10-inch LP of the album you had on four 78s the
tracks were ordered the way they were numbered, but you might not have
listened to them in that order on the  78s, and you might prefer YOUR
ordering to that of the LP.  And if you used a changer for your pop LPs
you would hear one side of a bunch of albums and then an hour or two
later the other side of those albums would show up.  HORRORS!  You are
listening to the songs out-of-approved-order!  What if you did this with
your classical records where you split symphonies and concertos in half?
 You would do that as rarely as you might listen to Rhapsody in Blue in
reverse side order.  

By the way, Columbia issued the 78 of Gershwin playing his three
preludes with numbers one and three on one side, and number two and the
andante from Rhapsody In Blue on the other side.  You HAD to listen to
the three preludes out of order unless you flipped the record several
times.  And should the andante be played before or after the three
preludes?  Or not at all?   

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]   

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