The Electric Recording Co. recreates rare jazz titles from the 1950s, using the technology of the era to make the finest vinyl LPs money can buy.
Since launching in 2012, The Electric Recording Co. has specialized in creating limited edition, vinyl reissues of highly collectable classical LPs cut from original masters using vintage, valve-driven equipment. ERC has gone to extreme lengths to replicate the production process of the 1950s and 60s - an era regarded by many as the high-water mark of faithful analogue recording and production. The strictly limited vinyl LPs have sold internationally to collectors of rare vinyl in China, Taiwan, Japan, US, Europe and the Middle East. ERC’s LPs have been praised by national and international newspapers and audiophile journals as “physically and sonically stunning”.
Since signing a deal with the Concord Music Group to recreate albums from the legendary Prestige jazz label using the original masters, ERC has been busy applying this exhaustive process of recreation to some of the finest jazz recordings ever made. First titles to be made available are seminal albums by Hank Mobley, Tommy Flanagan, Elmo Hope and Jackie McLean, all produced by the revered Rudy Van Gelder. Reprising the approach perfected with the classical recordings, the Electric Recording Co. has replicated the analogue production process of the 1950s using restored equipment from the era - including a rebuilt and restored 1960 Lyrec lathe cutter and a Lyrec SV8 tape machine.
ERC’s painstaking approach, which has included trialling numerous pressing plants around Europe and the USA to achieve the right vinyl weight and quality, extends to the look and feel of the sleeves. To ensure the cover artwork is as crisp and as fresh as the original LPs, packaging material and paper stocks have been meticulously researched. ERC employ artisan printers Hand & Eye in London’s East End to not only entirely re-typeset the sleeve text, but also to create new plates for the artwork. The covers are printed using a 1960 Heidelberg letterpress printer and folded by hand.
This is first time the Prestige masters have ever left the US, such is the con dence in ERC’s approach. Echoing what industry experts have been saying about the quality of ERC’s classical reissues, Concord Music Group’s Sig Sigworth said: “The concept, the care and the quality were the things that first made me interested in The Electric Recording Company. But once I met Pete and saw the beautifully restored equipment I was sold.”
As ERC label owner Pete Hutchison says: “We have spent years researching the process, rebuilding the machines and ensuring that every step of the way is faithful to how these recordings were produced in the 1950s. What has become abundantly clear in recreating these records - from the mastering to the cutting to the folding of the sleeves - is that you just can’t cut corners. If you do, it shows. It was incredibly exciting to hear the original masters for the first time. We found the tapes sonically very pleasing and engaging in their naked state, which meant we could continue with our policy to interfere as little as possible. As a result, the warmth and excitement of Van Gelder’s recordings - always recorded as live - are more apparent than ever.”
Hank Mobley grew up in New Jersey, USA and started playing the saxophone at the age of 16. Renowned for his subtle and melodic style, he played on some of the earliest hard bop sessions with other innovators of the genre, including Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Doug Watkins and Kenny Dorham. Mobley enjoyed a profilic career, releasing over 20 albums on Blue Note Records alone. While health problems forced him to retire in the mid 1970s, Mobley is now widely recognized as one of the great composers and performers of the hard bop era. Mobley’s Message was originally released on the Prestige label in 1957. It features Donald Byrd on trumpet, Barry Harris on piano, and Doug Watkins on bass and Art Taylor on drums. Guesting on one track only is Jackie McLean on alto saxophone.
ERC021 Tommy Flanagan
Tommy Flanagan Overseas
Tommy Flanagan was born in 1930 in Detroit, USA. While his rst instrument was the clarinet, by the age of 10 he had turned his attentions to the piano. After his grounding in classical music he turned his attention to jazz and was highly in uenced by the innovators of modern jazz piano such as Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Fats Waller. He developed an innovative and sophisticated style of playing and went on to perform on some of the most historically important jazz recordings including Sonny Rollins’ ‘Saxophone Colossus’ and John Coltrane’s ‘Giant Steps’. The Tommy Flanagan Trio Overseas album was recorded in Sweden while on a European tour in 1957 and is Flanagan’s début album as leader. Together with Elvin Jones on drums and Wilbur Little on bass, this inspirational session showcases Flanagan at his very best.