In an interview by Richard Seidel in the February 2006 issue of DownBeat, Rudy Van Gelder replied to the question as to why nearly a half-century after they were recorded, albums that he engineered sound so modern: “I just heard ‘The Sidewinder’ [recorded by Lee Morgan in 1963] on the local jazz station and the commentator said, ‘That sounded like it was recorded two weeks ago.’ All I do is try to recreate the musicians’ performance in the way I think they want to be heard. I try to emphasize the good parts.”
Van Gelder sounds modest in his self-assessment of how he went about meticulously engineering thousands of albums in his New Jersey studio for labels such as Prestige, Blue Note, Savoy, Impulse!, Verve and CTI. In fact, he’s considered the master of sound, who since 1954, has recorded a passel of the all-time jazz greats. As Seidel puts it, “It would be easier to mention the musicians he hasn’t recorded than the ones he did.”
Today Van Gelder’s work continues as he remasters classic sides from the Prestige catalog, which today is owned by the Concord Music Group. Initially reluctant to revisit some of the albums he originally worked on, Van Gelder was encouraged by the technological advances of recording equipment and challenged by giving these masterworks a renewed 24-bit lease on life. He says of these artists that he still “feels strongly that I am their messenger.”
In the fifth edition of the RVG Remasters series, five more classic albums are polished for February 6 release: John Coltrane with the Red Garland Trio: Traneing In; Jackie McLean: 4, 5, and 6; Miles Davis Quintet: Cookin’; Pat Martino: El Hombre; and Sonny Rollins: Plus Four.
Prestige inaugurated its RVG Remasters Series in March 2006 with ten seminal titles, then continued in June, July and September with five more discs each month. Each RVG engineered album includes original and new liner notes, and some albums are augmented by alternate take bonus tracks.
Sonny Rollins "Valse Hot"
John Coltrane "Traneing In"
Miles Davis "Blues by Five"
Titles Include Such Classics As:
John Coltrane’s Traneing In
Pat Martino’s El Hombre
Miles Davis Quintet’s Cookin’
Sonny Rollins’ Plus Four
Jackie Mclean’s 4, 5 And 6
Original Recording Engineer Rudy Van Gelder
Meticulously Transfers The Music
From The Analog Masters To 24-Bit Technology
All Reissues Feature Original And New Liner Notes
Jazz from Amazon.com
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