[78-L] California Ramblers Edison mystery
rjh334578 at gmail.com.invalid
Tue Feb 16 21:08:56 PST 2016
All that chat about flanging a couple days ago reminded me of a story I've
been intending to share with the Board of Experts for a while.
I guess it was last spring when 78-Listmember Dave Blue Pages Diehl paid me
a visit here in West TN on his way to ARSC. He pulled a box from the trunk
and said they were just some souvenirs of Arkansas. Indeed. One was a
Diamond Disc of Sweet Man by the Golden Gate Orchestra. This has been a
favorite of ours since we heard Bill Givens play it on WHAM in Rochester, NY
on April 4, 1965. We taped that and wore the tape out. Fast forward to
1970 and it showed up on Biograph BLP-12020 as Miss Annabelle Lee - The
California Ramblers on Edison, Vol 1. We put that on cassette and enjoyed
it in the walkman or the Buick until the cassettes croaked. Fast forward to
2007 when I got my first computer that allowed me to burn my own CDs and
that track was among the first 100 CDs I burned.
We knew this record well - very well, and count it among the best of its age
by any band. But when confronted with an original Edison, we did what we
would have done as teenagers - washed it and played it, regardless of the
fact we had it on CD.
Well..as it played, we noticed minor differences and chalked it up to EQ
settings, for it all sounded so "right" - the solos were all familiar, note
for note, lick for lick, the attacks the same - until we got to the clarinet
passage at the 2:30 mark and that sent us looking for the CD. Marked
differences. The old DD says it is take C, and the liner notes to Biograph
BLP-12020 says it, too is take C. So we slapped 'em both into a digital
file to get a "stereo" version, the LP transfer in one channel and the old
DD in the other. (It sounds a bit "flanged" and that's what prompted my
memory of this to pass on.)
Easier said than done. The LP version was brighter, played faster, and
consequently, shorter. The assumption here is the LP transfer may have been
a tad fast, my original dub of the Lp to digital may have been too fast,
etc., before I got the nice turntable I have now. So, anything's possible.
The DD transferred at a flat 78.26 and we used the software to perk it up
appropriately and that helped to even the score, but not completely. Not
wishing to waste all night on this project, we got it pretty close by
dumping the first two minutes or so and centering it around the middle of
the clarinet passage, and there you can really hear the difference. One
break is ascending notes, the other is descending. No amount of EQ
difference is going to produce that.
Take a listen. I've put the LP and DD files in Dropbox as mp3 files and our
crude composite of the final 1:20 or so is also there, marked "sample
2-edit." Every other solo is exactly the same.
It amazed us that such a group as this would ever be able to play the same
arrangement note for note twice and make a near carbon-copy performance -
especially Adrian Rollini on bass sax. He could be counted on for fresh
stuff on every take. The DD has the complete title, the Lp is obviously a
rip from the CD and marked with "LP" as part of the file name.
Could the LP be mismarked as -C? Could there be more than one -C? The DD
wax is pretty clear.
Here's the link:
1-At first I thought the clarinet passage was a solo, but now I believe it's
two guys trading off, one takes 16 bars of the refrain as a subtone and then
trades 8s for the last half with a guy playing alto in a higher register.
My son the band director thinks they trade positions for the two takes!
2-Also noted that the LP liner notes said "Original sound qualities have
been retained and no artificial echoing or rechanneling has been
introduced." But I think I hear a little echo here on the LP transfer, and
I had no way to add any.
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