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My baby came to me this morning and said I'm kinda confused. She said "If me and B.B. King was both drownin', which one would you choose?" And I said "Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby, I ain't never heard you play no blues" - Steve Goodman, The I Ain't Never Heard You Play No Blues

Author Topic: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton  (Read 4597 times)

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Offline rjtwangs

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Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« on: February 01, 2008, 09:02:57 PM »
Andrew Rose of Pristine Classics is now working on Charley Patton, try this version of 'Pony Blues..from June 14, 1929..  http://www.pristinestorage.com/samples/Patton2.mp3   what do you think???


RJ

Offline Slack

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 09:11:09 PM »
I think it's pretty amazing, been awhile since I've listened, but I recall that is one whupped recording.

Offline waxwing

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2008, 12:10:14 AM »
So far I've been impressed with Andrew Rose's work, but this one, which I know is a "work in progress", is terrible, and really points out the fact that it is really too bad that he is not working from good 78s but is limited to working with various transfers that have also been processed somewhat. Listening to the version that is on the CD which came with the second Blues Images Calendar there is just no comparison. In spite of a healthy dose of hiss, both the vocal and, especially, the guitar just have way more depth, particularly the bass notes that have that great woody ladder braced sound. Clearly the Tefteller transfer is from a far superior 78.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 09:36:08 AM »
I don't know that I have the second Blues Images calendar/CD (will have to check) but both the Yazoo Best of Charlie Patton and the JSP (which some claim is just re-EQ'd Revenant) are better than this. Way more presence and tone. This one sounds like the bottom end was brought down to attempt to achieve more separation between voice and guitar (and foot taps) but certainly no revelation, and it accentuates the swooshes of the rough condition 78.

I wish Pristine Classical had a description of their process on their webpage. I would like to understand it better. Even the description of the correction to John Hurt's Frankie on their page -- while it is detailed in many ways including nifty graphical explanations, it is not completely clear to me and seems to end halfway through the explanation. I don't expect anyone to give up trade secrets or anything, but some basic information on sources, process, what is being done to the recordings etc would be great. I know he has explained that he tries to use modern recorded references and apply them to the EQ of a record, but  I think I need a Pristine Classical for Dummies book or something.

Off to check the John Hurt stuff...
« Last Edit: February 02, 2008, 09:37:51 AM by andrew »

Offline frankie

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 10:36:33 AM »
some basic information on sources, process, what is being done to the recordings etc would be great.

I've been following the discussion on the Blindman's Forum off and on - at least in the case of his Blind Lemon transfers, the source used was the latest Yazoo digital transfer.  The more I listen to these "cleaned up" recordings, the more grating they become, unfortunately.  Like looking at a jpeg where the contrast is set too high - lots of meaningless digitized detail, but the beauty is all gone.  I don't think they could ever become a recording that I would turn to time and time again.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 11:13:28 AM »
Hmm, I was just posting similar feelings over in the MJH thread. Good description. I said "digital" and "lacking warmth" but I think we're both getting at the same thing.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2008, 12:48:20 PM »
I disagree, mostly. What I like about these are the realism. To me they sound closer to being in the same room listening to the performance. The hiss is clearly softened-up crackle and other 78 media artifacts, I think that's the key to their process.

If you love the sound of 78s I can understand why you would not like these. I don't mind losing the authentic 78 sound since generally I want to get closer to what the guy actually sounded like in the room. Or in other words I couldn't care less about the what the original 78 sounded like, I want to know what the performer sounded like. Sometimes the two are very different.

Offline Montgomery

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2008, 10:29:18 AM »
I think these sound like absolute garbage.  Literally the worst pre-war "remasters" I've ever heard.  Worse even than Sony's Cedar No-Noise crap, which at least didn't have as much digital noise.  I can't believe so many people are so crazy for this stuff. 
(By the way, not only is he not using 78s, he's using mp3s downloaded from emusic as his source.  Furthermore, he claims that the Document, Revenant, JSP and Yazoo releases all use the same exact digital copy of "Pony Blues," which is how he justifies not transferring from 78s.  He actually believes that the decades-old Document and the new Yazoo both use a "digital" copy of Pony Blues that has been sold to them by some unknown person.  Rose is either a con man or an idiot).
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 10:57:16 AM by Montgomery »

Offline outfidel

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2008, 02:08:34 PM »
Rose is either a con man or an idiot

??? ??? ???

Based on Rose's analysis of pitch variations in MJH's "Frankie", I'd say he wasn't an idiot.

And based on my ears' listening to the Pristine & Yazoo versions of MJH's 1928 recordings, I'd say he wasn't a con man, either.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 02:10:28 PM by outfidel »
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Offline Rivers

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2008, 04:39:35 PM »
And by extension those of us who like the sound are idiots too?

I, and I think other here, believe this is a work in progress. Clearly it's a different result from other processes, and from the point of view of actually hearing a realistic voice and guitar, it looks like a good start.

No, it doesn't sound like a 78  :-\. That's the whole point. Reacting emotively negatively suggests being in love with the sound of 78s, or otherwise invested in that medium somehow. I notice in one of your other posts Montgomery that you collect 78s. I rest my case.

Personally I don't possess any 78s, or transcription devices. I want to hear the music as it was played, not the wax, the wonky lathe, shellac and the whole rest of the primitive mechanical / audio chain. That has nothing to do with music, though many people have a sentimental attachment to it, fine but dig the difference.

Clearly the guy needs to work with better sources, I do agree. I look forward to watching this technique develop and hopefully kick serious butt.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 05:28:09 PM by Rivers »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2008, 07:14:25 PM »
I disagree, Rivers. I'm not necessarily attached to the sound of 78s, especially given I don't own any either. I just think working from an original source like a 78, as opposed to someone's tape dub, or a CD remaster of a tape dub, or a downloaded mp3 conversion of a CD remaster of a tape dub of a 78, is a generally a better way to get closer to what you're talking about.

I've had mixed reactions to Rose's work, depending on the records. The Patton and Lemon experiments are not up to the standards of other work. I can't believe anyone would listen to them and think they were better, either for that "in the room" experience or otherwise. The John Hurt material definitely seems better to me on first impression, and the equivalent recordings on Yazoo or Document are old versions. I haven't really compared the Robert Johnson material. Rich Nevins' work with Yazoo and with Tefteller on the BluesImages cds is some of the best work I've heard, not because it gives me a "78 sound", which I don't actually know about, but because I can hear stuff better, because they search for the best condition 78s and it is a warm-sounding transfer. Old Hat and their engineers achieve similar results.

I'd like to see Rose's techniques in the hands of Nevins or the Old Hat folks. Maybe then we'd get more universally praised results.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 07:16:45 PM by andrew »

Offline Rivers

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2008, 07:22:14 PM »
No Andrew, I don't think we disagree. The fact that he's working from inferior sources actually gives me more hope for the process. Note that I made the point he does need to get better sources. Hell, I'll pay his plane fare to get him over here and do it.

I've never bought into the 'you should listen to a real 78 played on a Victrola' argument. If it were that good you could just dangle a Neumann U87 in front of the horn. The gear, antiques, cultural aspects, even the smell etc are all really cool but frankly I'm not interested in all that. As a musician, in love with the music, and definitely not the recording / transcription process, this is one case where the medium is not the message, IMO

I think the legacy of 78 collectors scouring the South for old records is incredibly valuable, but the paradigm has now shifted away from the collector to concentrate on the musical aspect. There is room for both, it's not 'either'/'or', and I happen to like what this guy is doing, think it shows great promise. Snarky comments from 78 collectors et al on the internet should be seen for what they are, kind of irrelevant if the product reveals new insight into the music. Nobody is going to confiscate your 78s people, chill out.

Actually I'm more impressed with the vocals on these remasters.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 07:31:47 PM by Rivers »

Offline Eldergreene

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2008, 01:16:09 AM »
Ditto what Rivers said - I strongly believe that anyone seeking to improve the clarity of these old recordings is to be encouraged - & I'm grateful that Mr Rose is bringing his expertise to bear on it (not exactly lucrative for him, as he tells us the Tampa Red has only sold 15 copies!); perhaps we could put our distrust to one side, & give the guy some positive support - after all, he's freely admitted it's a learning-curve for him, & that's why he looks for feedback from forums - help him, & we might all gain..

Offline waxwing

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2008, 07:35:08 AM »
Well, he pretty much rejected my advice out of hand, without ever bothering to listen to the Tefteller transfer from what is clearly a different 78 and likely a very clean transfer. There is a reason why Tefteller puts the songs on his Blues Image CDs and often it is not because the 78 has just been found, like Clarksdale Moan, but because he has a very superior 78, particularly true with Pony Blues (and particularly some of the Blake and Carr/Blackwell, too). It's well known that JPS "borrows" other folks remasterings, so I just don't buy his "everyone is using the same transfer, or all the 78s are the same, so why bother" theory.

I do wish him well or I wouldn't have bothered to post solicited, yet uncritical, advice on a website I don't usually frequent, but I haven't yet been moved to purchase any of his CDs.

All for now.
John C.
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
George Bernard Shaw

http://www.youtube.com/user/WaxwingJohn
https://www.facebook.com/WaxwingJohn

Willie Brown's Liquor at CD Baby

downthedirtroad

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Re: Andrew Rose working on Charley Patton
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2008, 10:14:49 AM »
Sorry to delve off-topic, and it's been a long while since I listened to my Blues Images 2005 CD, but is the transfer of Pony Blues on that CD different than the transfer on Yazoo's "The Best of Charlie Patton"?

I should dig that one out.  I assumed that it was the same transfer - The 2007 CD (which coincidentially, I just received in the mail  :D) has a transfer of Blind Lemon Jefferson's "One Dime Blues" that is exactly the same as the transfer on Yazoo's "The Best of Blind Lemon Jefferson".

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