Wes Montgomery – Echoes of Indiana Ave – Resonance Records double-vinyl-LPs at 45 rpm HCD-9011 (1957-1958), 52:48 ****½:
This is the vinyl version of the early Wes Montgomery material which was reissued on CD recently. First, you should read Jeff Krow’s review of the CD here. Then we can discuss the vinyl release.
It’s great to have such an enjoyable jazz album on vinyl. It has much more space for notes and photos. Outstanding is the large color photo of the 600 block of Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis in the late 50s, where Wes plied his unusual self-taught fingering and style of jazz guitar. The photo can be spread across 1½ 12-inch sections, because the album consists of two discs, which are required due to the 45 rpm speed.
However, I have to admit I don’t really understand the reason for the ultimate audiophile treatment of this material at 45 rpm instead of 33 1/3—that is generally used for jazz and classical material of the highest original fidelity, and these are historical recordings which in some aspects don’t quite achieve that audiophile level. The pricing is fortunately not at the extremely high level of some of the other 45 rpm double-disc sets ($50 to $65). [It was difficult to determine in what section to put this review since we’ve been listing only hi-res vinyl in the hi-res section, but I decided to put it here since that’s where all the other vinyl reviews have been going…Ed.]
I did an A/B comparison of the vinyls with the CD reissue and was surprised to discover they did not sound identical, as I had expected. The vinyls had less of a somewhat juke-box bass sound of the CD, at least on my system, but they also had a more distant perspective—not as in your face—which I liked better on the vinyl. So it’s up to you; if you’re a big vinyl fan you’ll have to have this version.
1. Diablo’s Dance
2. Round Midnight
3. Straight No Chaser
4. Nica’s Dream
5. Darn That Dream
6. Take the A Train
8. Body and Soul
9. After Hours Blues (Improvisation)
This is a special upscale audiophile vinyl that is worth it!