Lee Morgan — Candy

Happy New Year everyone, thanks a lot for checking out the blog.   Since the launch in August I’ve posted 64 titles/needledrops and have received many nice messages from readers.  This has been fun to do and I’m glad folks are enjoying it.  Please come back, link it to your friends, and comment in the posts if you’d like…..

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Starting off the new year is a favorite Blue Note session–Lee Morgan’s Candy (Blue Note BLP 1590), recorded in November 1957.  It’s an excellent quartet date with Sonny Clark (p), Doug Watkins (bs), and Art Taylor (dr) rounding out the combo.  I particularly enjoy the hard swinging title track with Morgan’s slinky trumpet and Art Taylor’s killer drum breaks.

Today we have a bit of a “shootout”.  Below I have included two examples of the same track.  Let me start by saying that my hi-fi and method of transfer is modest.  It sounds great to me, but I know that it is not comparable to the higher end systems out there.  This is just for comparison.

My copy of this has been the 1987 Blue Note CD version, but I recently picked up the Music Matters 45rpm (2LP) reissue.  I have always thought that the CD sounded pretty exceptional, so I was interested to compare it to the high quality MM version.  I have a small collection of the MM Blue Note reissues and have been quite happy with them.  The signal path is listed below.  The LP version is in full and the CD version fades out after one chorus of Sonny Clark’s solo.

For me the MM wins.  The CD has some nice “air” to it and sounds very good, but I prefer the warmth, detail, and low end of the MM.  As good as the drums sound on the CD, it sounds like you’re right next to them on the MM.  The warmth is nice on Lee’s trumpet too–just a little more “body” to it.  Keeping in mind that the CD is very inexpensive in comparison, I’d consider it an excellent value.  Feel free to comment on the different versions….

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Technics SL 1200-MK2 with Shure M97x and Jico stylus

Magnavox CDB 492 CD player

Marantz 1030 integrated amp

Apogee Duet

Apple Logic

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Lee Morgan — Candy (Music Matters 45rpm reissue mono)

Lee Morgan — Candy (1987 Blue Note CD stereo)

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6 Responses to Lee Morgan — Candy

  1. Tony says:

    Well, I’m no expert and I’m listening through my computers speaker, the MM version sounds slightly fully and “closer.”

    • vinyltim says:

      Agreed. I think that the old CD versions sounds quite good though. I’ve started picking them up when I see them in shops.

  2. Tony says:

    True. That saves me money to pay my mortgage. The bank would rather have money than an original pressing. That’s probably why they are in trouble.

    • vinyltim says:

      Sure, Liberty and new audiophile pressings are a good way to split the difference between an inexpensive CD and pricey original pressings.

  3. crispi says:

    Hi Tim. There are in fact two different tapes for this one, a mono and a stereo tape. At this point (1957) Van Gelder still recorded this way, but starting with 1958 he cut the costs and only recorded in stereo, making the mono vinyl by combining the left and right channels, compressing and adding EQ.
    I gues when making the MM reissue, they had the choice and decided the use the mono tape as it sounded better and had less wear to it, having never been used again since the early 60’s probably.
    Thanks for posting this.

    • vinyltim says:

      Sure, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’ve read similar information before, but was unsure when it all changed over. Interestingly it seems that fans, and certainly record collectors, prefer the mono versions long after RVG was cutting stereo.

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