180 grams 45 RPM Vinyl Pressed at Quality Record Pressings! Mastered For 45 RPM From Original Analog Master Tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound!
A historic record - recorded just four years removed from the dawn of the analog tape era!
Masterpieces By Ellington shines from an astonishingly brief period of history that gave the recording industry two of its greatest achievements — the introduction of magnetic tape recording and the 33 1/3 LP, or long-playing record.
Four years. That's all it took to go from the discovery by Americans, of German advancements in the field of sound recording, to the marketing of tape decks in the U.S. by the Ampex company, to Columbia's unveiling of its 12” LP, and the first long-playing record to be sold to consumers.
The four selections contained here catapulted the Maestro Ellington into the LP era, as the great composer/arranger/pianist and his matchless orchestra took full advantage of the possibilities afforded by magnetic tape recording and the still-new 33 1/3 RPM LP to, for the first time, capture uncut concert arrangements of their signature songs.
This album wouldn't have been possible without a chain of events starting at the end of World War II. Recorded in December 1950, just five years after Germany fell to the Allies, revealing the Germans' advances in magnetic tape recording, Ellington's master work holds its wonder still today and the recording quality hands-down betters the sound of many modern-day albums.
In 1950, two years into the LP era and the transition from disc to magnetic tape recording, Columbia Records got Duke Ellington and his orchestra into the studio to cut a long-playing record. The Columbia 30th Street Studio opened in 1949 and Masterpieces was one of the first recordings done in the studio!
December 19, 1950. Masterpieces by Ellington recorded at Columbia's 30th Street Studio. Released in 1951. Recording engineers Fred Plaut and Harold Chapman. Recorded on an Ampex 200, using 3M-111 magnetic tape running at 15 inches per second.
The Columbia 30th Street Studio (CBS 30th Street Studio) nicknamed "The Church" was considered by some to be the best-sounding room in its time and others consider it to have been the greatest recording studio in history.
Masterpieces is a revelation and a throwback to a golden recording age. So much history and so much luck combined make this album truly special.
"Even in this august company, 'The Tattooed Bride' is a swinging virtuoso piece that, as everyone present must have known, couldn't possibly have been captured in this manner in any era before this session — this was also one of the last sessions to feature the classic Ellington lineup with Johnny Hodges, Lawrence Brown, and Sonny Greer, before their exodus altered the band's sound, and so it's a doubly precious piece (as is the whole album), among the last written specifically for this lineup." -Bruce Eder, allmusic.com
Features: • 45rpm 180g Vinyl • Double LP • Pressed at QRP • Mastered from original analog tapes • Mastered by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound • Gatefold old-school 'tip-on' jacket by Stoughton
Musicians: Duke Ellington, piano Billy Strayhorn, piano Russel Procope, saxophone Paul Gonzalves, saxophone Johnny Hodges, saxophone Jimmy Hamilton, saxophone Nelson Williams, trumpet Andrew Ford, trumpet Harold Baker, trumpet Ray Nance, trumpet William Anderson, trumpet Quentin Jackson, trombone Lawrence Brown, trombone Tyree Glenn, trombone Mercer Ellington, horn Sonny Greer, drums Wendell Marshall, bass Yvonne, vocals
Selections: 1. Mood Indigo 2. Sophisticated Lady 3. The Tattooed Bride 4. Solitude