Lee Morgan Tom Cat XRCD24
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The Definitive Versions of Blue Note are on XRCD24... Listen & Compare!
The most common reaction after hearing Lee Morgan's Tom Cat is "why on earth
didn't Blue Note release this at the time!". The great trumpeter, only 26 at the
time of this recording, and his all-star cast with Jackie McLean, Art Blakey,
Curtis Fuller and McCoy Tyner are a who's who of the mid-1960s hard bop scene.
Quite simply, this is one of Lee Morgans' finest sessions. Even Blue Note owner
Alfred Lion, when asked, was hard pressed to understand why a session of this
caliber was held back. However Morgan was recording so frequently for Blue Note
during this era that several of his finest recordings were lost in the shuffle
as the label looked for another hit to rival the massive success of Lee's The
Sidewinder. The reasons are somewhat obscure but in any case, this classic
outing sat in the vaults as Blue Note slowly declined, became inactive and by
1981 was reduced to being a reissue company focusing on its past glories. With
Morgan no longer around (having been shot in 1972 by a jealous lover while
performing at Slugs night club in NYC), it's as if Lee Morgan is speaking from
the grave, pointing out future directions for younger musicians. This memorable,
innovative and soulful music is for many listeners one of Lee Morgan's best
"...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
Click Here to read the entire review!
"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
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.
Click Here to find out more!
• 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!
Lee Morgan, trumpet
Jackie McLean, alto saxophone
Art Blakey, drums
Curtis Fuller, trombone
McCoy Tyner, piano
Bob Cranshaw, bass
1. Tom Cat
3. Twice Around
4. Twilight Mist