John Coltrane – Lush Life – Rudy Van Gelder Remasters – Prestige

by | Mar 12, 2006 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

John Coltrane – Lush Life – Rudy Van Gelder Remasters – Prestige PRCD-8103-2, mono 36:00 ****:

(John Coltrane, tenor sax; Earl May, bass; Arthur Taylor, drums; Donald Byrd, trumpet; Red Garland, piano; Paul Chambers, bass; Louis Hayes, drums; Albert Tootie Heath, drums)

The art of John Coltrane is getting much attention in the jazz world lately, so this reissue is well-timed. It’s not the first reissue by any means – we reviewed the SACD version Here – so I’ll confine my remarks to the A/B comparison of the two formats of Coltrane’s initial solo album.

The first inescapable thing to notice is that the new 44.1 reissue is mastered at a much higher overall level than the SACD.  Matching levels for an accurate comparison was rather difficult. It took some repeated listening to come up with differences between the two discs, but the most identifiable is relates to the purity of the tone of Coltrane’s tenor sax. The instrument has a subtle edginess on the RVG disc that is missing on the SACD.  I would compare it to something like a day’s growth of beard on a man’s chin vs. a just freshly-shaved chin.  There’s no real difference in timbre between the two versions – just a slight roughness to the Van Gelder remaster not present on the SACD.  Frankly I wouldn’t say the difference is enough to rush out and pick up an SACD player if you don’t have one.

Tracks: Like Someone in Love, I Love You, Trane’s Slo Blues, Lush Life, I Hear a Rhapsody.s

– John Henry

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