For many years, RR has been searching the world over for the best possible vinyl mastering, plating and pressing facilities so they could re-enter the LP market. They now have a production chain that allow them to produce LPs to meet their high standards and satisfy their customers' demands, who have been waiting for these LPs for a long time!
Assembling the Team
Disc mastering is done at half-speed to insure maximum accuracy. The lathe system has custom electronics by Nelson Pass. The simple signal path contains no compression, equalization or unnecessary circuitry. RR Chief Engineer and Technical Director, "Prof." Keith Johnson consulted on the design of the system and helped with the rebuilding of the lathe and electronics, which is owned and operated by long-time mastering expert Paul Stubblebine. "Prof." Johnson has pronounced it equal to the challenge of our master tapes!
Once successful results were achieved in disc mastering, Reference Recordings faced the difficult task of choosing the best plating and pressing facility to manufacture the discs. Fortunately, the new Quality Record Pressings plant in Salina, Kansas was coming on line, and they felt that waiting for this plant to open was well worth it. A crack team of experts was assembled to design and run the plant, employing many unique techniques and features that clearly set QRP apart from all other pressing plants. The 200-gram deluxe vinyl pressings from QRP are truly exceptional.
Multiple Configurations for Reference Mastercuts
Depending on program lengths, some releases are cut at 45 rpm, some at 33-1/3 rpm. Some are single discs, some double. All feature deluxe gate-fold jackets crafted by Stoughton Printing . An unusual feature of new RR masterings is called the "FDS finish": the end of each side will have a 30-second band of silent grooves before the "pull-away." No one today uses a record changer, and the silent grooves allow time to lift the arm before the always-somewhat-noisy tie-off. (Some 1950s vintage Capitol Full Dimensional Sound pressings sported this feature.) RR founder, J. Tamblyn (Tam) Henderson deserves special recognition for identifying the value of this unique production feature and reintroducing it with the new Mastercuts.
Note: Half-speed Mastering involves a capturing process in which the original recording master is played back at exactly half of the recorded speed. A sequenced cutting lathe is then timed at exactly half of the playback speed. This process allows twice as much time to carve a groove that accurately represents the sound on the master tape. Half-speed mastering allows for cleaner reproduction and also permits extended high frequency response, extending into the ultrasonic region.
"Yerba Buena Bounce" crackles with hot solos and intimate musical explorations! This is the 10th album by the Hot Club of San Francisco, America's longest-running and finest Gypsy Jazz ensemble. The album contains explorations of Django Reinhardt's tunes, plus originals and more. The shimmering, lifelike sound is some of Professor Johnson's finest: you'll swear the group is in the room with you! As a special bonus, two tracks feature mandolinist extraordinaire David Grisman.
The Hot Club of San Francisco is a quintet of accomplished and versatile musicians who celebrate Django Reinhardt's and Stephane Grappelli's renowned Hot Club de France. The ensemble borrows the all-string instrumentation of three guitars, violin and bass from the original Hot Club, but breathes new life into the music with innovative arrangements of classic tunes and original compositions from the group's superb lead guitarist, Paul Mehling. Hearing the ensemble takes the listener back to the 1930s and to the small, smoky jazz clubs of Paris. The music of The Hot Club of San Francisco has entranced audiences around the globe for more than a decade. Their performances have been hailed as "intricate, scorching, and often brilliant" (Acoustic Guitar).
Mandolinist David Grisman, father of Dawg music and good friend of The Hot Club, makes a special guest appearance on two tracks. The set is further enhanced by bandoneon virtuoso Seth Asarno. Two bonus tracks feature the quintet augmented by three Dixieland horns!
Recorded by multi-Grammy-nominated "Prof." Keith Johnson at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, the Yerba Buena Bounce sessions benefited from the historic ambience, scene of hundreds of classic jazz and rock recordings. Using his own custom-built microphones and electronics (as always), Johnson was able to utilize some of Fantasy's unique facilities, such as a legendary echo chamber, to add luster to his always life-like soundscapes.