Previously posted as UK Riverside copy September 29th 2011. Now, nine months later, “upgraded” to US pressing, though still only mono.
Track Selection 1 (as original post but the US pressing) Interplay (Evans)
Track Selection 2 (new): When You Wish Apon a Star (Washington Harline)
Freddie Hubbard (tp) Bill Evans (p) Jim Hall (g) Percy Heath (b) Philly Joe Jones (d)NYC, July 16, 1962
Bill Evans, outside his usual trio format, with the excellent Jim Hall and Freddie Hubbard together as the Bill Evans Quintet. Evans and Hall went on to record the exquisite “Undercurrent” together, with more of that telepathic communication reminiscent of Evans and LaFaro.
Vinyl: Riverside RM445 US mono press
There was a post on the US Jazz Collector site at which the quality of pressing in different countries came into question. There seemed a tone from the American posters that the US originals were unquestionably best, or at least that is how I read it. You have to go head-to-head to make those kind of statements, so when the chance to pick up a US Riverside of Interplay came up it seemed an interesting test.
Though the MP3 samples here on PC speakers are not very discriminatory, you can test for your self the self-titled Interplay here as the US press, above , and the UK press of Interplay here below
Having done so you are now in a position of authority to write opinion about one scientific test of the same recording mastered and pressed in the UK versus its original US press. In real life of course you don’t usually have a comparison, so its a pretty pointless excercise. Still, it keeps me amused. The confounding problem, which we have found before, is the US pressing is quite a bit louder than the UK pressing, given I never touch the gain level on the USB turntable.
The most important difference of course is the US cover, heavy on symbolism of collaborative creative effort, while the UK Riverside merely poached the iconic picture of Bill which graces another album, Portrait in Jazz:
Deep grooved US Riverside label, hand-etched matrix number typical of US Riverside pressings
Circle containing letter “M” after the catalogue number – engineer or pressing plant possibly.
Serrated edge! (click to view 1600px full screen)
I have seen a serrated edge a couple of times before, but can’t for the life of me remember which records and I am not going to pull all 800 out the rack to find out. It seems a strange way to finish a record, but I guess its a “signature” of one particular pressing plant.
Recordcollectorspeak : an occasional educational series.
Today we learn a new word, the verb, to upgrade. This parses as
I upgrade, you upgrade, we upgrade, they upgrade, but, I have upgraded.
Future indicative voice: “I would like to upgrade my copy of Bill Evans Interplay, but I can’t find an friggin’ original American pressing in the UK”
Present passive voice: “Whoooee I just upgraded my copy of Bill Evans to an American Riverside, but I still can’t find a friggin’ stereo copy in the UK”
Upgrade is a useful word to add to your stock of record collecting terms, though you will not need to use it very often. Friggin’ on the other hand, may be sprinkled liberally in every sentence.
“This is a mid 60’s Riverside USA pressing. I have owned this since I bought it new in the 60’s and have looked after it and stored it carefully. I have been grading my records as best I can according to the “Record Collector Magazine” grading guide Condition: Record: VERY GOOD CONDITION + Cover: VERY GOOD CONDITION”
LJC Verdict: He may think he “looked after it”, but, with the passage of time, one forgets. It has a few pops and fairly superficial scratches typical of those left by lightweight hobby hifi arms of the Sixties. He bought it from new so there is only himself to blame. Condition graded as only “VG +” which gives him some wriggle-room.The big problem with Bill Evans – such great music, played over and over again – you will hardly ever find “Bill Evans” and “near mint” in the same sentence.
It is in a lot better condition than my own records dating from the Sixties, most of which would struggle to reach VG minus. You didn’t “look after” records in those days: you were young and free, only neurotics “cared” for records. You cleaned them with a snotty hanky, you scratched them because your portable Dansette record player jogged easily because it was portable, the friends you lent them to did the same or worse, so you balanced a threepenny-bit coin on the record player cartridge to stop the needle sticking. Record care, Sixties-style.
Right is a picture of the stereo I have not got and have yet to see. Stereo original Riverside just don’t seem to exist this side of the pond. Of over forty Riversides I have, only one is stereo. But I do have a picture of the stereo.
UPDATE: Record photos updated July 15, 2016