Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby

Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby

Universal (Japan)  UCGO-9057

Stereo Single Layer


Bill Evans Trio

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4 of 4 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Comments (3)

Comment by Mark Werlin - August 5, 2023 (1 of 3)

From the CDJapan page for this release, English translation: "Features SHM-SACD format. Features remastering in 2023 (192khz/24bit), using the US original master tapes."

A 24/192 download from Craft Recordings was released on July 7, 2023. From the Craft Recordings page for that digital download: "This reissue features remastered audio from the original master tapes and is available on 192/24 hi res digital."

The Craft 24/192 download compares favorably to other reissues of the album in my collection (JVC XRCD, Analogue Productions SACD, Acoustic Sounds 180-gram LP, Milestones two-LP set). The dynamic range of the download is wide (DR 15, according to ProStudioMasters), and the overall presentation is 'warmer' and 'fuller' in the mids than the AP SACD. Mastering engineer credit is not listed on Craft's web page for the digital release. (Kevin Gray cut the lacquers for the Craft OJC Series LP directly from original master tapes.)

The previous Universal Japan SACD Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby and the AP SACD Bill Evans Trio: Waltz for Debby are now out of print and expensive. The price of this new SHM-SACD is quite reasonable in US dollars and Euros, so it could be a first choice for jazz collectors who prefer SACDs to hi-res downloads.

Comment by Downunderman - September 10, 2023 (2 of 3)

Yes Mark, the SACD does sound very good!

Your comparative assessment is interesting and useful as I have not heard the previous SACD's.

As a newbie this one comes across as a very clean sounding master, with little evidence of the tape embedded in the presentation. To my ears it leans more towards bright sounding than I was expecting. Not terrible by any means, it does sound very good all the same.

It would be interesting to know who engineered the DSD master. Seems likely that it will have been done in Japan and perhaps tailored more for the Japanese ear.

Comment by Longjohns and Wifebeaters - October 5, 2023 (3 of 3)

Seems this new Universal Japan release (UCGO-9057) is licensed from Craft: the release backside bears the Craft Recordings logo and the dates for remastering match. Craft just released this newly remastered on LP & as a digital album (but not on SACD), with "all-analog mastering from the original tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio" (from their blurb for the LP version).

So I bet Universal Japan used Kevin Gray's newly mastered Craft files for this as Craft itself seems no longer to produce SACDs.

The same applies to Sunday at the Village Vanguard (UCGO-9058).

You Must Believe in Spring (UCGO-9059) seems to have come about for Universal Japan the same route, albeit with a different mastering engineer, Paul Blakemore at Concord Mastering (the remastering dates & origin of the master tapes match between the Craft and the Universal Jpn releases).

To borrow the words of Sir Charles (Barkley, for ignoramuses), I may be wrong but I doubt it.

The results, as far as Sunday & Debby which I have already heard, are spellbinding, even compared to the previous (Universal Japan & AP) DSD remasterings of the same. Especially LaFaro's bass and Motian's cymbals & skins have benefited, but also the sense of space has become more precise and open. Background chatter and the clinkering glasses are quieter. Everything is very fresh, clean, and even more like live instruments; very beautiful indeed. Not sure if it's Kevin Gray or some new gear he's using, but I'm loving it.