Duke Ellington – Take the A Train (2017)
DSD128 (.dsf) 1 bit/5,6 MHz | Time – 29:05 minutes | 3,11 GB
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/88,2 kHz | Time – 29:05 minutes | 555 MB
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | Genre: Jazz | © 2xHD
Take the “A” Train is the vibrant signature composition of Duke Ellington, the most important composer in the history of jazz, also a rare bandleader who held his large group together for almost 50 years. It is quite impossible for one album to capture the full flavour and rich diversity of Duke Ellington’s music and orchestra. The eight tracks here offer a remarkably well-balanced sample of the prolific repertoire – the immortal compositions, the arresting arrangements, the outstanding soloists and, not least, the distinctive solo work of the piano player, Edward Kennedy Ellington, the Duke who became King of Orchestral Jazz.
There can hardly be a more evocative sound in the jazz pantheon than Duke Ellington’s four-bar piano introduction to Take the A Train , his signature tune from 1941 and, appropriately, the opening track on this album. Nothing establishes with greater certainty the fact that we are in Ellington country, the colourful, magical, enchanted realm of magenta hazes, sepia panoramas, black and tan fantasies, indigo moods, and mellow tones – the world of the musical black, brown and beige. There are those who hold that the vintage years of the Ellington Orchestra were from the late twenties to the early forties – and this may well be the case as far as musical innovations and influ ence are concerned. But the orchestral sides here offer abundant evidence that improved recording techniques and a more contemporarily oriented rhythm section do nothing to detract from the inspirational quality of the Duke’s music.
01 – Take the “A” Train
02 – Satin Doll
03 – Things Ain’t What They Used to Be
04 – Blow By Blow
05 – VIP Boogie (Jam with Sam)
06 – The Good Years of Jazz
08 – New World A-Comin’
Tracks “1-6” Recorded in New York City on January 9, 1962.
Tracks “7-8” Recorded in France on February 25, 1966.
Duke Ellington – piano
Harold Baker, Bill Berry, Ed Mullens, Cat Anderson – trumpets
Ray Nance – trumpet, violin
Leon Cox, Lawrence Brown, Chuck Connors – trombone
Jimmy Hamilton – clarinet, tenor saxophone
Russell Procope – clarinet, alto saxophone
Johnny Hodges – alto saxophone
Paul Gonsalves – tenor saxophone
Harry Carney – baritone sax, bass clarinet
Aaron Bell – double bass
Sam Woodyard – drums
Duke Ellington – piano
2xHD was created by producer/studio owner André Perry and audiophile sound engineer René Laflamme.
About 2xHD Fusion process:
In the constant evolution of its proprietary mastering process, 2xHD has progressed to a new phase called 2xHD FUSION, integrating the finest analog, with state-of-the-art digital technology.
The mastering chain consists of a selection of high-end vacuum tube equipment. For the recordings on this album, the original ¼” 15 ips CCIR master tapes were played on a Nagra-T tape recorder, modified with high-end tube playback electronics, wired from the playback head directly to a Telefunken EF806 tube, using OCC silver cable. The Nagra T, with its four direct drive motors, two pinch rollers and a tape tension head, has one of the best transports ever made. A custom-built carbon fiber head block and a head damping electronic system permit 2xHD FUSION to obtain a better resolution and 3D imaging.
The resulting signal is then transformed into high resolution formats by recording it in DSD 11.2 kHz using a Merging Technologies’ Horus A to D converter. All analog and digital cables that are used are state of the art. The 2xHD FUSION mastering system is powered by a super capacitor power supply, using a new technology that lowers the digital noise found in the lowest level of the spectrum. A vacuum tube NAGRA HDdac (DSD) is used as a reference digital playback converter in order to A and B with the original analog master tape, permitting the fusion of the warmth of analog with the refinement of digital.