As record collector on a limited budget I’m always looking for reasonably priced versions of the classic jazz, blues, and soul records I’d like to own. As far as the Blue Note label goes, that means early Liberty pressings, 1970’s pressings, nice modern reissues, and even (gasp) a clean CD copy. Every now and then I go on our favorite auction site and specifically search for Japanese reissues of these classics. I have several in my collection and they generally sound quite good, although I find the early Liberty’s as much or more enjoyable.
A while back I found a seller with a bunch of clean (more recent?) Toshiba reissues and I bid away. As usual I was outbid on most of them but I did snag Jackie McLean’s 1960 session Capuchin Swing. In addition to checking out the music, I was looking forward to comparing this to the nice sounding King-era Japanese reissues I have. I like the music quite a bit, but I can’t say this measures up sonically. It sounds ok for sure, but doesn’t have the life or dimension to it that I was hoping for. I’d say it’s comparable to a good CD, but not a great deal for the $20 I have in it.
Prior to getting this I had only heard McLean’s excellent Destination Out. Capuchin Swing is decidedly more in the hard-bop style, with Blue Mitchell (tp), Walter Bishop Jr. (p), Paul Chambers (bs), and Art Taylor (dr) in tow. He takes a long solo on the opening cut, which is included below, with his aggressive tone and some adventureous phrases in the latin sections giving a nod to the direction he was heading.
(Details: Blue Note BST 84038 stereo/Toshiba Japanese reissue)