Donald Byrd The Cat Walk XRCD24
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The Definitive Versions of Blue Note are on XRCD24... Listen & Compare!
Donald Byrd has had an episodic and very productive career. Whether it was
playing at recorded jam sessions for Prestige in the 1950s, combining voices
with a hard bop group on Cristo Redentor, or becoming a major commercial success
in the 1970s with his funk/R&B recordings, the trumpeter was in the musical
headlines for decades. The finest group of his career was the quintet that he
co-led with baritonist Pepper Adams during 1958-62. The blend between Byrd and
Adams, their individuality, and the sparks that always flew when they performed
together were always mutually inspiring. The Cat Walk is arguably their finest
recorded collaboration. With pianist Duke Pearson (who would work with Byrd
throughout the 1960s), bassist Laymon Jackson and drummer Philly Joe Jones, The
Cat Walk has an all-star lineup. Pearson's four compositions (one co-written
with the trumpeter), highlighted by Hello Bright Sunflower and Dukes Mixture,
helps give this group its own unique identity even beyond the sound of the two
horn greats. The results are quintessential hard bop that is essential and
certainly a highlight in the careers of Donald Byrd, Pepper Adams and Duke
"...the analog master tape is converted to 24-bit digital and then regenerated with a suite of JVC's finest electronics. From master tape to analog-to-digital conversion, from storage on magneto-optical disk to the cutting of the glass master from which the stamper is created, the XRCD24 process relies on extreme care -- in mastering and manufacturing -- to produce a noticeably better sonic outcome, one that transcends digital's usual limitations." - Marc Mickelson, The Audio Beat
"If you're looking for sonic comparables to these discs, forget CD, where the earliest Blue Note releases have better spectral balance than the thin-sounding RVG reissues but still fall miles short of the naturalness, detail and balance of these XRCD24s. The sound approaches the free-and-easy resolution of analog -- exceptional analog, like that of the Music Matters 45rpm LPs of these same titles. This is not surprising, given that Joe Harley is involved in both series, and Bob Bantz, the executive producer of the XRCD24s, is no stranger to great analog sound. His first business is music-and-equipment retail outlet Elusive Disc. Credit also goes to XRCD co-creator and mastering engineer Alan Yoshida. As Bob Bantz put it, "If Alan had mastered every CD ever made, there would be no DVD-A or SACD!" - Marc Mickelson, The Audio Beat
"When I listened to the Audio Wave XRCD release of [AWMXR0008] 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 [AWMXR0010] 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
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"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
"The LP veers between the nimble-footed title track and the muscular
jauntiness of "Duke's Mixture" to a pair of straight-ahead boppers. The sound is
immediate, exquisitely balanced, and tonally natural across all instruments,
with explosive dynamics and a real sense of five guys playing in a room
together" - The Absolute Sound, A Perfect 10, November 2015
Protect your Audio Wave Music/Blue Note XRCD24 Collection!
The Japanese Top Sealing Resealable CD Outer Sleeves
are also Recommended! Also featuring a 3-Mil Thick Mylar that keeps out dirt and dust and protects from nicks and scratches, this Top
Sealing Sleeve features a Looser Fit for easier jacket removal and Top Sealing Strip creating a seam down the spine.
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• 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!
Donald Byrd, trumpet
Pepper Adams, baritone sax
Duke Pearson, piano
Laymon Jackson, bass
Philly Joe Jones, drums
1. Say You're Mine
2. Duke's Mixture
3. Each Time I Think Of You
4. The Cat Walk
6. Hello Bright Sunflower