[78-L] Oct. 19th, 2017, Listening Session Report

Inigo Cubillo ice261263 at gmail.com.invalid
Fri Oct 20 04:54:04 PDT 2017

​Yesternight I was listening for a couple of hours to 78s, and enjoyed a
very good time.

I store them in the shelves by chronological purchase order: the new
records simply are serially numbered, and then go to the end of the row. It
is the simplest of systems, and very easy to use provided you have a
database of the records and are able to write an alphabetic index. Thus,
re-ordering, classifying, sorting of any kind you want you do to the
database/index, the records being simply stored that way and never changed.
Someone taught me this is the best way to proceed. You never disturb the
records, but you can publish an index sorted in every imaginable way...

The first record is randomly taken from the shelves. Yesterday it was a
spanish Odeon issue (in the 203,000 series) of FRANCISCO CANARO argentinian

After this, I continued extracting records from the shelf in sequencial
order. Sorted that way, you never know what will come next, and this is
part of the fun.

Then came another two records by Canaro, too. Nice sound. Those were
records originally issued in the late twenties / early thirties in
Argentine Odeon, and also issued in Spain, pressed from the original
matrixes. These spanish Odeons were reissued many times later. My copies
are re-pressings from the 1942-1944 era.

Later came another Odeon (early 204,000 from circa 1944). This was by a
good spanish quintet (Albalat y su orquesta) with nice clarinet and saxo
players from Barcelona and Valencia. Nice spanish swing from the forties,
with odd vocals by the Hermanas Russell, a soft senioritas trio that tried
to imitate the Andrews Ss, with not much success, for their voices are all
time in falsetto, and not very agreeable. It's similar to the Andrews'
singing, but with total lack of 'swing' and emotion. But the orchestra
behind sounds quite well.

Later, another spanish Odeon issue (204,4xx) pressed from original US
ARC-Brunswick or Vocalion matrixes, by the Jimmie Lunceford Orch. What a
sound! Times-a-wastin' is one of my favourites.

After those came two or three nice later Odeons (1948-1952) by the Roberto
Inglez Orchestra at the Savoy Hotel, London. Originally recorded by London
based Parlophone Ltd., these were reissued in Spain. The ones I played
yesterday belong to the spanish Odeon 204,000 series, in the 204,400-500
range. These were all pressed from original matrixes and sound very well.

Other spanish Odeon issues (mostly those in the 184,000 series) used to dub
the original Parlophones, with much of their original sound quality
completely muffled. I am uncapable of equalizing those properly... WHAT did
they make to the recordings? Kind of strange re-equalizing process (dubs
are recognisable by suffixes added to the matrix nos as -T1, -T2 and the
like) that discarded most of the good original freq range extreme values.

After those, suddenly came old acoustic spanish Gramofono (HMV) recordings
of the late teens/early twenties, by Banda de Ingenieros and a spanish
female singer named Carmen Flores. These were in the Scheuplein's
s-20,000-u matrix series, issued in the Gramofono green-labelled
double-sided popular series 260,000. Acoustics as they are, the sound is
not bad. Specially the Carmen Flores couplets are sung with extreme
graciousness and include funny spoken interludes in the middle of the song.
The words were all understandable, despite the age and hard use of these
records...  Carmen was a gracious singer which used to sing spanish songs
named couplets and shaped much in the old french cabaret style that was in
fashion since the Belle Epoque. Carmen used to sing these songs in a
spanish popular style, impersonating a typical girl from Madrid, from the
humblest social levels. These had a typical dialect (or special
way-of-speaking) much in fashion since late XIX century up to the early
1930s, and much used and popularized through songs, early films and theatre

Best regards,

Inigo Cubillo
Madrid, Spain

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