AUDIO WAVE 0024
Kenny Drew was an underrated master of bebop. A brilliant pianist who started with the example of Bud Powell and then developed his own sound within the style, in the '50s Drew worked with the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Buddy DeFranco, Dinah Washington and Art Blakey. By 1960 when he recorded Undercurrent, Drew had already led ten albums of his own, mostly with duos and trios. Oddly enough he only had the opportunity to lead two albums in his life for Blue Note, an early effort from 1953 and the classic Undercurrent. Matched in a quintet with the young firebrand trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and the always-stimulating tenor-saxophonist Hank Mobley, the 32-year old pianist was ready to truly make his mark. All six compositions are his, and in his accompaniment of the passionate horn men and in his soulful solos, Drew shows that he was one of the major hard bop stylists. He would not make another album as a leader until 1973, nine years after he permanently moved to Europe, but Kenny Drew's playing on Undercurrent, a superb and very well-recorded Blue Note album that is arguably his finest work, is timeless.
"When I listened to the Audio Wave XRCD release of Lee Morgan - Tomcat I was awestruck. My conclusion was that rather than comparing digital to analog, a more logical conclusion was that the entire digital vs. analog debate becomes irrelevant when listening to a recording that is so far superior to anything that has come before it. My analog setup costs six times what my digital one does, but given the same Blue Note title on LP or XRCD I'd choose the XRCD each time. I question the motive of any writer who claims that there is an LP re-issue that equals the sound you all are achieving."
"I recently purchased three more Audio Wave Blue Note titles and the sound on each of them is really stunning. The clarity (without any brightness), dynamics, instrumental timbres and subtlety that I hear in these performances is amazing. You can really hear the emotion and intent of the performers in a way I have not experienced with my Blue Note records before, be it an original pressing, RVG remaster or one of the 45 rpm re- issues from other labels. When playing Horace Silver- Cape Verdean Blues over the weekend, my mom (who was visiting from out of town) and daughter actually came in the room and started dancing around. Its magic on a silver disc."
"I hope you will have the opportunity to visit other back catalogs or more Blue Note titles with wizard Alan Yoshida at the helm. I have a new appreciation for the importance of mastering. Thanks for the great music." - Steven Frost, Elusive Disc Customer
"I recommend these highly. If you want the best digital versions of these great Blue Note albums, grab these. In my opinion they are the best that have ever been done and probably the best that ever will be. They can't stay in print forever so don't delay!" - Steve Hoffman, Mastering Engineer
"Blue Note has never sounded this good on CD before - these are the first digital Blue Notes that come close to the sound of vinyl. And the packaging is outstanding. I love the high quality glossy covers, and the insert booklets are the first effort I've seen to fit high quality photography into such a small package. Keep up the good work!" - Dennis Davis, Hi-Fi+
"Astute listeners know that the very first Blue Note CD issues are sonically superior to the more recent RVG remasters. Well, these XRCD24s absolutely crush them both, displaying high-frequency air, midrange presence, and bottom-end definition and weight missing on earlier CDs and many LPs as well." - Mark Mickelson, TheAudioBeat.com
"Compared to the 45 r.p.m. vinyl, the LPs still have a slight edge in smoothness and liquidity, but thanks to the XRCD process and the care that was taken transferring these albums directly from the original analog masters, these CD's have to be approaching the limit of what the compact disc is capable of resolving. Instrument timbre is stunningly real, and the amount of air and decay present on these recordings will make the uninitiated swear that there is a record playing on a turntable somewhere. I've never heard this music sound this good in any digital format." - Jeff Dorgay, TONEAudio
"The quality is next to none and as far the sound goes they are absolutely beautifully recorded, the timing is perfect and the clarity of the instruments is spot on, I will treasure these CDs. I am eagerly awaiting the rest of the collection." - Victor A., actual Elusive Disc customer
"The sound is absolutely stunning and natural and represents digital at its best. The space around instruments and decay times are reminiscent of live acoustic performances. The mini-hardcover book format packaging is exceptional with great photography and legible liner notes. Truly well done and keep them coming." - Roger B., actual Elusive Disc customer
"a well done XRCD... It's a sound that comes about as close to analog excellence as we've heard from any digital format" - Wayne Garcia, TAS Issue 203, June/July 2010 pg. 120-123
"These discs are open, dynamically free, tonally natural... the bass is textured, melodic, and explosive when a drummer lets loose." - Wayne Garcia, TAS Issue 203, June/July 2010 pg. 120-123
"...they may not quite equal the breathtaking sonics of the vinyl discs in transparency, immediacy, and ultimate dynamic pop, they come very close. So close, in fact... I was prepared to get up and flip the LP to Side Two—except I wasn't listening to an LP but to a Yoshida-mastered XRCD." - Wayne Garcia, TAS Issue 203, June/July 2010 pg. 120-123
• Mastered and produced by Alan Yoshida and Joe Harley from the Original Rudy Van Gelder Blue Note 2-Track Analog Tapes!
• Highest Quality Analog-to-Digital transfers from tape to CD
• Deluxe Packaging with Hi-Resolution Black & White Session Photos by Francis Wolff.
• Includes Original Album Liner Notes
• XRCD24 is Compatible with ALL CD PLAYERS!
Kenny Drew, piano
Freddie Hubbard, trumpet
Hank Mobley, tenor saxophone
Sam Jones, bass
Louis Hayes, drums
The pot's on
Groovin' the blues