Oscar Peterson – Plays Pretty, 1952 LP

From the point of view of musicality, the recording is great. By the mid-1950s it is almost impossible to find tracks on the LP recorded with such warmth and expressiveness, in the 1960s studios with such a sound were already absent, as a class. The record itself is ruined by bad needles. However, if you listen to it on a old tube system, a warm, enveloping sound fills the room so that the cracks will not interfere at all. Oscar Peterson is young here, his fingers are not clogged with cliches, and the most important thing – maestro does not play too fast passages, which makes a very pleasant impression.

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Charlie Parker : Why the bird? – 1950th Mono Vinyl Rip

When we’re listening to Charlie Parker through the Internet, it is difficult to understand why they call him The Bird – the digitization muffles the unique sound of his instrument and inspired passages. Initially substandard recordings are also interfered – there were only two illustrative tracks among five LPs, I placed them at the beginning of the collection. These beautiful melodies allow you to appreciate the genius of the Bird. I wonder where is he flying now.

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Charlie Parker & Lester Young – 1950th 78rpm shellac rip

In my opinion in jazz there were two saxophonists who talked to God on equal terms – it's Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. Parker's recordings presented here were made in 1952, during this period of creativity in almost all Parker’s improvisations feel a piercing sadness – two years later he will die at the age of 34. Young’s records are a wonderful LO-FI of the early 1950s. After the shake-up caused by Parker's play, Young acts soothingly, aided by the characteristic sound of his saxophone's lower register.

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Billie Holiday ‎– Solitude, 1956 LP mono rip

The album is a prime example of Clef's recordings in the mid-1950s. The wholeness of the sound is somewhat lacking, but on successful tracks the vocals are still clear and tremulous – "You Turned The Tables On Me" and "You Go To My Head" are recorded cleanly and sound comfortable, in the second case only the piano failed.

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Billie Holiday ‎– Music For Torching, 1955 LP Rip

Clef, as always, has carelessly recorded trebles, someone there liked to twist the sibilants to the maximum. The record as a whole sounds sharp and harsh on the forte. You can abstract from the distortion when listening to good equipment, remastering Back To Music allows you to do this without any problems. Billy sings most emphatically in “It Had To Be You” and “I Don’t Want To Cry Anymore”.

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Django Reinhardt ‎– The Great Artistry, 1953 LP rip

The album was recorded by Django a month before his death. Contains unusual composition without a rhythm guitar and a second soloist. Django emphasised on sound extraction and gave rise to a surprisingly melodious, plastic and expressive guitar improvisations.

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Jazz At The Philharmonic – vol. 2, 1957 LP rip

The jam session was recorded in 1946, released only in 1957, which is probably why the record sounds too harsh for the 1940s. In musical terms, everything is played somehow not smoothly. The recorded track is a fragment of a performance, where Lester Young begins on tenor, then Charlie Parker picks up on alto, and Willie Smith ends, also on alto. You can hear that compared to Smith, Parker has a lousy instrument. Packer was famous for constantly pawning his instruments and playing most of the time on anything but the ones he really deserved.

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An evening with Billie Holiday, 1953 LP rip

NEW – Energophone take – 28-02-2020

Studio recording by Clef Records in 1952. The record is jaded and makes a lot of noise. Billy is not as fresh as in the 1930s, but it only gives a deeper meaning to her interpretations.

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Lionel Hampton trio, 1955 LP

Strange trio without double bass: vibraphone (Hampton), grand piano (Art Tatum) and minimalist drums (Buddy Rich). Support from the bottom is clearly lacking, the two pronounced leaders Hampton and Tatum do not quite match each other in style, but the honey sound of Clef is quite delivering.

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