The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio – (Ray Brown, bass; Gene Harris, piano; Mickey Roker, drums) – Concord Jazz/Groove Note

by | Oct 25, 2005 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

The Red Hot Ray Brown Trio – (Ray Brown, bass; Gene Harris,
piano; Mickey Roker, drums) – Concord Jazz/Groove Note Stereo-only SACD
GRV1028-3 ****:

Since they first came out on vinyl the Concord Jazz albums have found
favor with audiophiles for their natural acoustics and all-around high
fidelity. There was actually nothing that special about the approach of
Concord’s engineers; some felt that the improvement over many jazz
releases was simply due to a lack of gimmickry and post-processing
usually carried out in the record industry. Some of the label’s masters
have been picked up by more specifically audiophile small labels and
reissued as perfectionist vinyl, DVD-Audio or SACD. 

Here’s another, but it’s not run-of-the-mill by any means. Ying Tan’s
small Singapore-based label seems to be able to squeeze even better
fidelity out of the Concord masters than Concord’s own SACD
reissues.  And that is even taking  into account that Concord
remixed all their SACDs for multichannel, and the Groove Note is stereo
only.  Let’s face it, just having a state-of-the-art format
doesn’t mean all the discs produced in that format are going to sound
worlds better than the old CD format.  The sad fact is that some
of them don’t. This disc was mastered at Airshow Mastering, which might
be part of the success equation. There’s a wonderful presence and slam
in the sonics which often reminded me of the better direct discs of
yore. The wide frequency response and low noise are also factors – of
course one doesn’t want to minimize in any way those subwoofer-tickling
frequencies put out by master bassist Brown!  This was a live
session taped at NYC’s Blue Note in l985, and it has that you-are-there
feeling that only the best recordings of live sessions seem to be able
to convey.  It really epitomizes the disc’s title of being Red
Hot. If you want to feel even more a part of the crowd at the Blue
Note, just engage your Dolby Pro Logic II circuitry, and with the
super-clean two-channel Groove Note source you’ll be right in the
middle of it with just as good a surround effect as most multichannel

Ray Brown played on the very first recording ever put out by Concord,
when they were founded in Concord, California. He accompanied
guitarists Joe Pass and Herb Ellis.  Pianist Harris had been
retired in Idaho but longtime associate Brown collared him for the Blue
Note and recording session gig. Their well-practiced affinity makes the
session a delight from start to finish. I especially dug his Erroll
Garner style on How Could You Do a Thing Like This to Me, and the eight
tracks are wrapped up with an original blues from Ray.

Tracks: Have You Met Miss Jones?, Meditation, Street of Dreams, Lady Be
Good, That’s All, Love Me Tender, How Could You Do a Thing Like This to
Me?, Captain Bill.

– John Henry 
Related Reviews
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01
Logo Pure Pleasure