A Tale of Two CTI's (Part 2) - JazzWax

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October 01, 2010


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Gary L. Gray

Damn! I just bought the Sony remastering of Red Clay last week on CD. :-(

On the other hand, I don't know that I can wrap my head around paying $43 for the CTI remastering. I look forward to hearing your review of the Sony remastering.


Marc's description of the "Montreaux II" album was somewhat puzzling as this impressed me as one of Bill's more manic recordings due mainly to the frequent rushing of the tempos. His attack also gets fairly "percussive" at times, at least compared to some of his more gentle, introverted recordings. Of course any Bill Evans album is worth owning and this one has much to recommend it.

Doug Zielke

I found the business story of CTI far more interesting than the bland anti-jazz they turned out.

Keith Hedger


Why would (is) the signal coming out of the headphone port on your mac digital? I plug headphones into mine and I know they don't have DACs in them.....I don't understand how your setup works. As far as I know the signal coming out of a Mac's headphone port is an analog audio signal....enlighten me, please...



Keith, Tech jargon is so confusing. The headphone output on the front is usually called a "jack," while the audio I/O on the back is a "port." On mine it's an "optical" port, but Marc's is probably "coaxial." As with RCA jacks, TRS jacks, mini jacks, etc., the manufacturers either can't make up their minds which type is better or, as I suspect, they use consumer profiling to determine which type of connection will be least compatible with your other equipment so that you have to buy additional adapters. (Similarly with I/O levels, impedances, etc.)

Keith Hedger

Marc said he's using a Mac -- I've got four of 'em, two laptops and two iMacs (the new ones). The only audio out on a Mac that I know of (and is on mine) is the 'headphone' jack. If one wants to do high-end audio, then one usually gets a Firewire-based external audio interface which may or may not (depending on the price and sophistication of the product) have digital interfaces out (SPDIF, etc.) My guess is that maybe Marc's using one of these interfaces, but I'd really like to know.....I'm always curious about these things.....


Keith Hedger

...and now I have to correct myself -- I saw iTunes and my mind made the jump to 'Mac'. I just reviewed the article and see that I'm mistaken -- Marc never says he uses a Mac, just that he uses iTunes....so he's probably got a Windows box with a sound card that has a coaxial digital out. Mea Culpa.



Keith, I have an older Mac G5 tower. In addition to the headphone output on the front, there are both line level analog audio out, and digital audio in and out on the back.

Keith Hedger

Thanks David,

Did some research (based on your comment) and lo and behold -- the headphone and mic ports on my iMacs double as digital audio too...and I didn't even know that! =:-) Thanks!


Greg Lee

DEODATO II, now there's a guilty pleasure. I had it in my milk crates alongside MACHINE HEAD and THE WHO LIVE AT LEEDS, but I'd never let on to my high school friends that I also dug "Super Strut"....the answer to three-chord rock? Three-chord jazz! I used to bang that riff all day long on my own piano (alas, not a Rhodes). And that hyper guitar solo by John Tropea: fuzz-crossed w/McLaughlin homage, hey, the guy is unabashed. Eumir is okay in my book.

Tim T.

I know this is an older post and discussion, but I can't really find anywhere else where these CTI-RVG releases are/were discussed. I own 6 of the releases,
Jim Hall Concierto,
Surgar by Stanley Turrentine,
Red Clay by Freddie Hubbard
Prelude by Deodato
Fingers by Airto
Stone Flower by Antonio Carlos Jobim
I found really good deals on most of them.

However I wanted to point out some concerns about these releases. Are they really worth it? Well Yes and No.
First. Some of these releases lack the extra and bonus tracks of the US and EU releases. Concierto especially is missing 5 tracks, 2 of which are not just alternates but new previously unreleased tracks. Considering the price differences between the JP and US/EU releases, that's a factor to consider. Sugar, Red Clay and Stone Flower are also missing music.
The second factor is the sound quality. I'm not going to disagree with the JazzWax's comments, but I will say I expected more. This hype about SHM-CDs and then being mastered by RVG may be more hype than substance. They sound great, but none of them sound phenomenal. Red Clay and Stone Flower do not need to be upgraded from their 2002 release for sure. And I question Concierto and Prelude. RVG isn't exactly in good standings with all audiophiles is worth mentioning.
My main concern I have is that most of these seem to lack bass and low end. I don't have originals to compare them to, but they all sound like they could have benefited from more bass, especially Fingers. With all that percussion it lacks a lot warmth. I figured they are supposed to be mixed with a neutral sound, but something just feels wrong.
And lastly It would have been nice if the releases came with bi-lingual liner notes...I know they are Japanese releases but they contain American musician. I would really like to read them.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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