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Reviews: Wynton Kelly: Kelly Blue

Reviews: 4

Review by Claude March 11, 2006 (5 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
A straightforward and easy listening 1959 session by the Miles Davis rhythm section of the time, Wynton Kelly/Paul Chambers/Jimmy Cobb, augmented with the horn players Nat Adderley, Benny Golson and Bobby Jaspar, who can stretch out on two of the eight tracks (including one alternate take and a bonus track which were not on the original album).

Soundwise, this Fantasy SACD (remastered by Joe Tarantino) is rather disappointing. I have a japanese 20Bit K2-remastered CD from 1999 (VICJ-60299) which sounds better in every respect. The main flaw of the SACD is the muffled treble. Cymbal overtones can barely be heard. The japanese CD may sound a bit too bright (not agressive though), but is much closer to a neutral tonality. The trio tracks sound worse than the ensemble tracks, recorded at a different session and whose tapes seem to have been better preserved.

So I would recommend this SACD only if it sounds better than the cheap OJC CD, which I have not heard.

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Review by miguelito54 August 2, 2007 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Wynton Kelly was one of the most requested pianists of his generation among his fellow musicians. His comping was always supportive, his solos drenched with good spirits and blues roots without getting superficial. His recordings as a leader are not quite as stunning as one would expect from such an accomplished player. His two Riverside LPs were the first recordings as a leader after a long seven years - his 1951 Blue Notes were only on singles and 10" LP at the time.
Honestly I would have preferred his other Riverside LP from 1958 with Kenny Burrell, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones as SACD: The groove is deeper, and especially Burrell's soulfulness imspires Kelly a lot.
This second Riverside album was recorded in two 1959 sessions. The trio of Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Jimmy Cobb was Miles Davis' rhythm section at the time, and some here kind of sounds like a warming up to a Kind Of Blue session. Only the sound is not as top notch as on the Davis album, and it differs on the bonus track which sounds more direct and has a different stereo spread: Did they add reverb and remix prior to LP mastering? Anyway, the trio doesn't sound as inspired here as on its next sessions for VeeJay, which sound better (at least on the Mosaic box set).
The second session here adds Bobby Jaspar (on flute), Benny Golson, and Nat Adderley on two extended tracks (and an alternate take as a bonus). Again the music is nice but far from the best moments of all involved. Long jam session type tracks.
Sound is of course more detailed as on the OJC CDs, but no real revelations here. Nice, but not indispensable.

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Review by Barb October 18, 2007 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
W. Kelly p, P. Chambers b, J. Cobb dr, N. Adderley cornet, B. Golson ts, B. Jaspar flt, Riverside 1959.
Kelly Blue and Keep it Moving are sextet the other tracks trio line-ups, including the third Kelly original Old Clothes. There are two bonus tracks on the disk, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me and an alternate take of Keep it Moving.
As stated by the disc`s title, everything is bluesy here and Kelly`s playing is very exciting, the rhythms hardly made for sitting still. Adderley, Jaspar and Golson play thrilling solos and Chambers and Cobb are unrivalled. The music is for rising the spirits.
As it is a 50`s recording it has that typical nostalgic, pleasing sound that I like more than some of the modern over-engineered multi-tracks recorded in five different studios resulting in a completely synthetic sound. It may not reach highest audiophile standards of today but it is big fun to listen to. And that`s the point.

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Review by mlgrado February 3, 2015 (1 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Don't listen to Claude. This is a fine sounding high resolution analog to DSD recording. Natural, spacious tones, good imaging. Most of all, no CD 'digititis' due to brick-wall filtering. Just a fine all around, enjoyable presentation.

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