Review from musicdirect.com
Lou Donaldson with the Three Sounds LD+3 on XRCD
Mastered to XRCD from Rudy Van Gelder’s Original Two-Track Analog Master Tapes!
One of the Best-Sounding Digital Releases You Will Ever Hear: Warm, Dynamic
1959 Bebop Set Pairs Alto Great Donaldson With Virtuosic Jazz Trio
The Three Sounds were a very popular group in the late 1950s and early 60s, and for good reason. Pianist Gene Harris, bassist Andy Simpkins, and drummer Bill Dowdy always knew how to lay down an irresistible groove. The trio infused every song they played with a heavy dose of the blues and could outswing any combo while never being stingy. The same could be said for alto great Lou Donaldson.
Influenced by Charlie Parker but a bluesier player, Donaldson held his own on 1950s sessions with Clifford Brown, Thelonious Monk, and Jimmy Smith while gaining a strong following with his series of Blue Note recordings.
LD + 3 is a very special recording from 1959, featuring Donaldson and the Three Sounds inspiring and pushing each other to the utmost degree. Starting with a passionate version of “Three Little Words,” they dig into such bop classics as “Just Friends” and “Confirmation,” playing with plenty of heat. The mixture of bebop fury with warm soul makes this a true Blue Note milestone.
In handling one of jazz’s all-time best-sounding recordings, Rudy Van Gelder’s original Blue Note two-track analog tapes were meticulously mastered to XRCD by engineer Alan Yoshida and producer Joe Harley. This XRCD comes with deluxe hardbound book-style packaging with original liner notes and high resolution B&W session photos. The package alone is worth the investment. This edition of LD+3 represents the highest-quality analog to digital transfers from tape to CD available, and is among the finest digital releases you will ever hear.
“…thanks to the XRCD process and the care that was taken transferring these albums directly from the original analog masters, these CDs have to be approaching the limit of what the compact disc is capable of resolving. Instrument timbre is stunningly real, and the amount of air and decay present on these recordings will make the uninitiated swear that there is a record playing on a turntable somewhere. I’ve never heard this music sound this good in any digital format.”
-Jeff Dorgay, TONE Audio, Issue 26
“At $30 a pop, these XRCDs are expensive, although not as pricey as the same $50 vinyl sets! And while they may not equal the breathtaking sonics of the vinyl discs, they come very close. So close, in fact, that during one of my listening sessions I was prepared to get up and flip the LP to Side 2 – except I wasn’t listening to an LP but to an Alan Yoshida-mastered XRCD!”
– Wayne Garcia, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2010
“JVC has examined the each step in XRCD CD mastering and manufacturing processes and designed specific equipment to improve those processes. Every combination of equipment, connections, AC power regulation, clocking, mastering format, and compact disc construction was evaluated technically and by listening tests.”
– Robert Harley, The Absolute Sound, June/July 2010
01 – Three Little Words
02 – Smooth Groove
03 – Just Friends
04 – Blue Moon
05 – Jump Up
06 – Don’t Take Your Love from Me
07 – Confirmation
Lou Donaldson – alto sax
Gene Harris – piano
Andrew Simpkins – bass
Bill Dowdy – drums
Originally released in 1959 on Blue Note Records as BST-84012
Quality: eac, flac, cue, log, artwork