Positive Feedback ISSUE 69
september/october 2013

 

HDTT Does High Resolution PCM and DSD JAZZ Downloads
by Teresa Goodwin

 

HDTT is short for "High Definition Tape Transfers". They made their name releasing rare out of copyright classical recordings from the golden age. They have now started to remaster jazz recordings as well, much to my delight.

The source of most of their masters are 7˝ IPS prerecorded consumer reel to reel tapes; either 2-track or 4-track from the golden age—the mid 1950s to the 1960s. This was before the invention of high speed duplication. Thus, many of these tapes are near-mirror images of their 2-track 15 IPS masters; something many reel to reel collectors have known for decades and that is why tapes from the golden age go for big bucks on the internet. Now you can enjoy this realistic sound for yourself without threading reels, maintaining a reel to reel deck, or dishing out big bucks for the tapes with the hope they are in good condition. Recordings released by HDTT are in the public domain, out of copyright and are perfectly legal, this is explained on their website.

Here is a list of the equipment HDTT uses in production of these recordings:

In addition to prerecorded reel to reel tapes, HDTT are now releasing sources from golden age LPs and even in some cases 2-track 15 IPS master tapes.

The following HDTT recordings were reviewed in their DSD128 (5.6MHz) versions.

Kid Ory plays W.C. Handy

"Aunt Hagar's Blues, St. Louis Blues, Harlem Blues, Friendless Blues, Joe Turner Blues, Way Down South Where The Blues Began, Yellow Dog Blues"

Kid Ory (Trombone, Vocals) Charles Oden (Double Bass) Jesse Sailes (Drums) Frank Haggerty (Guitar) Cedric Haywood (Piano) Teddy Buckner (Trumpet) Caughey Roberts (Woodwinds)

Norman Granz (Producer)

Recorded in San Francisco in 1958 by Verve

Transferred from a 4-track tape HDDL387

Available Formats:

Compact Disc

HQCD (High Quality Compact Disc) Playable on all compact disc players

24bit 96kHz DVD Playable on all DVD players

24bit 192kHz DVD-A playback must support DVD-A

24bit 96kHz FLAC downloads

24bit 192kHz FLAC downloads

DSD128 & DSD64 downloads playable through DSD compatible media players only

https://www.highdeftapetransfers.com/product.php?pid=7197

The DSD versions of this recording were transferred straight from the analog reel to reel tape to a DSD analog to digital converter with no PCM conversion for editing or processing. I reviewed the DSD128 (5.6MHz) version.

Get ready for some really great delta blues in great sound as was common with most Verve reel to reel tapes back in the day. Verve was my favorite jazz label when I was buying brand new prerecorded reel to reel tapes in my younger years. Muntz stereo tape stores and many audio stores sold prerecorded reel to reel tapes back in the 1960's and early 1970's and what I couldn't find there I ordered by mail. I was even a member of the Columbia tape club's "reel to reel" division. Boy am I dating myself.

This great recording starts off with "Aunt Hagar's Blues" which is really swinging and pounding, a real delight. Next up is a nice take on the classic "St. Louis Blues"

"Harlem Blues"has a perfect "foot tamping rhythm" and the some of the most beautiful playing by the various wind instruments in the band, separately and together, I've heard yet in jazz music. "Friendless Blues" is a great jazz piece with some nice guitar, bass and wind playing. And "Joe Turner Blues" offers nice rhythm and piano playing, a really wind hot band with nice percussion touches.

That is followed by "Way Down South Where The Blues Began" which is dizzying exciting, a whirlwind of a great jazz. The album ends with "Yellow Dog Blues" a warm, cool and absolutely gorgeous piece of music.

Edward "Kid" Ory was born in Laplace, Louisiana on December 25th in 1886. His desire to play music began as a kid as he often played many homemade instruments. He started as a banjo player and later switched to the trombone. At age 72 when this recording was made Kid Ory proves he's still had it and the music and sonics are fine indeed.

Kid's early experience with the banjo really influenced his style on the trombone. He is believed to be one of the originators of the "tailgate" style of trombone playing. To tailgate means to play a line of rhythm that actually sounds like it is underneath the trumpets and coronets of the orchestra.

Between 1912 and 1919, Kid Ory led one of the greatest bands in the New Orleans area. His band was composed of many future jazz greats, such as King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Dodds, Sidney Bechet, and Jimmie Noone.

In 1919 Kid Ory's developed health problems and his doctors advised him to move to a dryer climate, so he moved to Los Angeles, California. There he formed the Original Creole Jazz Band with musicians he recruited from New Orleans. In 1925, Kid Ory moved to Chicago and played quite a bit with King Oliver, Louis Armstrong's Hot Five, and Jelly Roll Morton. Kid Ory retired in 1966 and died in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1973, at the age of 87. He will always be known as a great innovator on the trombone as well as one of the most powerful musicians in jazz.

W.C. (William Christopher) Handy was born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873, he was known as the father of the blues. He became a school teacher and then worked in iron mills throughout the south. In the late 1880's, Handy organized a quartet in which he performed as the cornetist. The quartet toured and performed at Chicago's World Fair in 1893. Soon after, Handy moved to Chicago and found work as a cornetist in the Mahara's Minstrels. He spent some time in Huntsville, Texas as a bandmaster and music teacher at A&M College and then moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi where he taught band and orchestra at local schools. In 1913, Handy was the first African American to start his own publishing company and many of his blues songs have become a part of the standard jazz repertoire.

This is really great jazz in excellent sound, a nice addition to any collection.

The Rolf Kuhn Quartet, Streamline

"Streamline, Laura, Keystone, I Remember You, Swinging Till the Girls Come Home, Love is Here to Stay, Rolf's Tune"

Rolf Kuhn (clarinet) Joe Benjamin (bass) Bill Clark (drums) Ronnell Bright (piano)

Recording Info: Recorded by Vanguard

Recorded 1956 New York City

Transferred from a 2-track tape HDDL391

Compact Disc

HQCD (High Quality Compact Disc) Playable on all compact disc players

24bit 96kHz DVD Playable on all DVD players

24bit 192kHz DVD-A playback must support DVD-A

24bit 96kHz FLAC downloads

24bit 192kHz FLAC downloads

DSD128 & DSD64 downloads playable through DSD compatible media players only

https://www.highdeftapetransfers.com/product.php?pid=7264

The DSD versions of this recording were transferred straight from the analog reel to reel tape to a DSD analog to digital converter with no PCM conversion for editing or processing. I reviewed the DSD128 (5.6MHz) version.

The album begins with the title piece "Streamline" which is very exciting at its very fast pace with brushes on the drums. Next up is "Laura" which once again uses brushes and the clarinet playing is gorgeous on this slow romantic piece. "Keystone" is a really captivating rolling at a fast pace. "I Remember You" is a slow pianistic piece. "Swinging Till the Girls Come Home" a nice rockin' piece with a nice bass rift and clarinet playing. "Love is Here to Stay" is a wonderful version of this popular standard. The album concludes with "Rolf's Tune" a nice ending to a wonderful jazz experience.

Rolf Kuhn was born September 29, 1929 in Köln, Germany. Rolf Kuhn's style has evolved through the years. He started out playing in German dance bands in the late 1940s. He worked with radio orchestras starting in 1952 and moved to the U.S. in 1956. Kuhn subbed for Benny Goodman on a few occasions between 1957 to 1958, played in the Tommy Dorsey ghost band in 1958, and worked in a big band led by Urbie Green from 1958 to 1960. In 1962, Kuhn returned to Germany, where he has explored more adventurous styles of jazz, including dates with his younger brother, keyboardist Joachim Kuhn, but still occasionally shows off his ties to swing.

According to my research this was released only on LP and prerecorded reel to reel (the version here) so this may be the first ever digital version of it. There is some audible tape hiss in the slower numbers however overall the sonics are excellent and fully worthy of its high resolution DSD treatment. Very analog sounding and beautiful. I recommend both and hope for more rare classic jazz from HDTT.

See also my review of "Two Historic KlipschTape Reissues in High Resolution Digital" Both volumes of the KlipschTapes are from the original 2-track 15 IPS master tapes. The first volume includes Flem Ferguson and his Dixieland Jazz and the second volume is entirely The Joe Holland Quartet. http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue69/klipsch_tape.htm

 

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