Verve/Acoustic Sounds To Release Out of the Cool  (Impulse AS-4) Cut From Original Master Tape

This essential, musically groundbreaking and sonically spectacular Gil Evans album recorded by RVG in 1960 and released February of 1961 will soon be issued as part of the Verve/Acoustic Sounds series, cut AAA using the original master tape.

This is one of many master tapes said to have been lost in the Universal fire that somehow still exists. The tape’s back story is still unknown but hopefully by the time the record is released, it will be known. The release date has yet to be announced.

jazz's picture

in one of your video features that the previous Analogue Productions 45RPM by Gray/Hoffman is not from the original master?

Leonthepro's picture

it cant have been from it. Now I only have the Black Saint Impulse 45 but I had the very distinct feeling that just judging by the sound it also does not use a master tape but a copy, much like A Love Supreme which is surely long lost also. Im amazed that they found this one at least and hope that maybe even more can be found, it would be fantastic for the Verve series.

Michael Fremer's picture
I know of no such release. Can you double check that? I know there was a bogus Gold Note 45 issue on a single disc. That is among the most awful sounding records I've ever heard.
Leonthepro's picture

the 2011 Mingus* ‎– The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady, sorry for being unclear.
I have no way of knowing, but it just didnt quite sound like original tape material, unlike say, many of the Blue Note releases, even though its also by Kevin. If Im correct in that, I hope they can find an original tape for it as well, that would be a dream come true.
Or would you know if it used an original tape?

Michael Fremer's picture
Sounds pretty poor. It was sourced from whatever at the time was deemed the best source but it was not the original tape I don't think. And if it was, something terrible happened during the mastering, plating or pressing.
Leonthepro's picture

Very informative. Thanks!

clucking's picture

I'm sorry, I'm probably unnecessarily confused, are you referring to the Analog Productions "Black Saint"?

Leonthepro's picture

I am. Same series as the Out of the Cool AP45.

Grant M's picture

For what it's worth, the Acoustic Sounds website pre-order listing for this one says ship date is May 28, 2021

AnalogJ's picture

Count me in.

I have a VG original mono. I would love an upgrade.

timware's picture

I have the AP 45rpm of this from 2009, remastered by Kevin Gray & Steve Hoffman. Any reason to think this one will be any better?

Leonthepro's picture

45. This will be a 33 Im pretty sure and unlike the AP45 will use the original tape supposedly, so that would be a pretty big reason to think it might be better.

Michael Fremer's picture
That one is "meh" and clearly mastered from whatever could be found at the time. If you think that sounds "good" you are in for a major jolt.
Montpier's picture

Assume this was master tape used for my circa 1997 Alto pressing?

Leonthepro's picture

I wondered about that too, I recall Fremer supposing the Alto sounded better than the AP45 because it used a better tape. If that was the first tape Im skeptical about though, since its an EU release, but maybe they really did ship it back in the day before the fires effectively saving it.
Maybe it was Michaels suggestion to look over there.

Michael Fremer's picture
The Alto Analogue was produced in America, cut by Bernie Grundman using the original master tape before the Universal fire and pressed at RTI! It's USA! USA!
Leonthepro's picture

My speculations got the better of me. I instinctively assumed it was cut in the EU as I recall it being a German label, please excuse me if Im wrong there too.
This is very exciting news none the less, I wonder if they havnt found more "supposedly missing" tapes to use for the upcoming Impulse 60th Anniversary.

Michael Fremer's picture
Run by the late Joachim Bose. There were other great titles. He had very good taste.
jazz's picture

the Alto before the fire (where assumingly it was destroyed, as there is no other good reason why AP shouldn’t have used it for the 45RPM) and the new upcoming AP, someone is fooled here, no?
What kind of tape justifies the term “original mastertape” after exactly this was destroyed?

Leonthepro's picture

The tape seems to not have been destroyed though.
There are many reasons why the AP45 would not have used it, for example, since the Impulse45 series was made soon after the fire its possible Chad just assumed the tape was gone and looked for second best sources instead. Or they simply didnt find it until now. Like Michael wrote, I hope we get to know more about this tapes backstory, maybe an explanation as to why it was not burned down like many others.

jazz's picture

at least someone like Chad would next time name it when a copy is used instead of a master.
So far I guess most assumed Chad equals mastertape (which it usually does I’d say).

But let’s also remember that Michael wrote in the following past review, that the master would be lost:

„ Well guess what? There IS NO ORIGINAL TAPE! It was incinerated in the spring 2008 Universal Studios fire along with thousands of other master tapes. Universal at first denied anything of importance was lost, but like this "original tape" reissue, that was bullshit!“

„Yet the review compares it (more) favorably to the original and to a recent 45rpm double 180g reissue released by Analogue Productions from a second generation tape, which now is the best available source...“

By the way: I heard exactly the differences Michael mentioned between the original, the Alto and the AP 45 RPM. As the AP indeed sounds more dynamic (but less detailed and with less transients), I didn’t have that clear preference for the Alto, but I have, too. A new reissue offering both would be great...but how should it if the master is gone?

Leonthepro's picture

Michael was just mistaken? There is no doubt that a lot was lost in the fire, but no one ever claimed to know what exactly. There are more storage places than that warehouse as well I think, so for now we just cant say. But it sure looks like an authentic original tape, so lets wait and let people judge not only by looks and claims, but sound also.

As for the 45, I dont see how its more dynamic if its a second generation. Dynamics are lost over tape generations, but compression is often confused with dynamics actually so I can see why its mislabeled. Or maybe Bernie added compression to the Alto, who knows.

By the way, do you know if he ever reviewed the black saint and the sinner lady AP 45?

jazz's picture

I found this one:

Regarding better dynamics from a copy than the master, this also made me wonder. It just can be inferior mastering equipment of the earlier combined with the higher potential of the 45 RPM I guess.

Leonthepro's picture

typically these old albums arnt dynamic enough to need 45RPM though, thats mostly for classical. And I dont think the mastering equipment plays a big role in that either. Its nothing strange, I see it all the time, people saying Blue Note originals are more dynamic than the Music Matters for example. Id love to hear both anyway, but hopefully I wont need to get them if the Verve 33 satisfies.

jazz's picture

that originals rarely if ever sound more dynamic than the good reissues (usually far worse in this regard) and that 45 RPM is rarely needed for dynamics reasons except classical. But 45RPM partly, has advantages for plying back some shrill sounds as of Out of the Cool or helps tracking in critical situations of strong left/right (as e.g. with Nina/Little Girl Blue AP).

The reason why even uncompressed originals

Leonthepro's picture

yet many like to describe them as more "dynamic" even though its the opposite, its an easy mistake surprisingly enough.
45 is superior no doubt, mainly for tracking reasons as you say. Especially for lower end tonearms, carts and styli that cant track as well. Since I got my MicroLine Ive had little issue with tracking any 33 however. Conicals and Elipticals, never again.

Michael Fremer's picture
I was basing my comments on "best available sources" too! That photo is the original tape used to cut this reissue. It was somehow found. I don't have the full story. Chad issued "Buddy Holly" from the original master tape as well though the New York Times story about the fire said it was among the tapes burned.
jazz's picture

about the burnt Ahmad Jamal masters wasn’t true either.

Not sure what’s the last AP “But not for me” was sourced from, but so far rumors say, all Argo tapes of Jamal were destroyed.

ankysoho's picture

The 70s/80s masterings of the Ahmad Jamal Argo titles are excellent, in my opinion. Mostly done at Trutone Mastering it seems.

However the vinyl quality is super inconsistent and noisy. Repressing from those plates if available would be great in my opinion. Those titles are woefully under appreciated and in danger of being forgotten.

Leonthepro's picture

As their media spokesperson implied, this tape was found long ago and also used for the 45RPM reissue made in 2009, which we suspected to not be from the original tape because of its sound.
As AP writes for A Love Supreme:
"The original master tape is available but it's not in the best shape." They used the UK copy tape for the Verve 33 but suppose the original exists, even though countless attempts have been made to look for it before. Is it possible they are mistaken here, thinking the US Bell tape copy is the original one?
Is it also possible a similar thing could be happening here, where Impulse made a copy tape of Out of the Cool in the 70s, in fear of oxidization lets say, and just did not replace the tape box?
This is all very confusing, to first suppose the Gil Evans tape was found (recently?), but then write it was never lost and used for the 45 as well.
I would really love a full story, you too Im sure.

jazz's picture

You say Love supreme AP 45 and AP 33 (the new one) both are from the UK copy? or just the 33? What about the old Speakers Corner 33 from 2001 by KG?

Leonthepro's picture

We never got clear confirmation on what the AP45 uses, but I think its the UK tape, theres only that and the US Bell (Unless we trust AP) which is also a copy anyway.
The Speakers Corner is the same story, we cant know, but I have it and the sourcing sounds very equal to the Verve 33, as in again either the UK or US Bell copy tapes.
Only the first pressing and some represses use the original tape, the issues with those is Van Gelders mastering which many have complaints about.

jazz's picture

I’m looking for a way to get in contact with you personally without one of us posting his mail address in public.
I also do a lot of comparisons and mostly have multiple of the releases, mostly back to the beginning of good reissues. Interesting things to share.

Leonthepro's picture

You can always privately message me if you have a Discogs account for example:

Michael Fremer's picture
Tapes get lost and then are found, especially when you consider that fire. It's possible the master was thought lost but was later found. I'd be very surprised to find that the double 45 was cut from the actual master tape because it sure doesn't sound like it was....
jazz's picture

better in every regard than the old Alto, which it’s not, so if the new AP is from the rediscovered master, it’s very welcome. To be honest, I’m never really sure what’s sold to us by the producers as „original master used“, but as long as it sounds gorgeous and better than the original and anyway better than digital releases, that’s enough.

Leonthepro's picture

"@ Acousticsoundsks I thought Chad just said in the video that they recently found the tape?

In his review of the 45 Fremer writes:
"recent 45rpm double 180g reissue released by Analogue Productions from a second generation tape"

So you may want to double check that, is the 2009 45 by Kevin sourced from the Original Tape? If so how is that possible?"

"@ Leon saying it was found was a matter of speaking. The rumor of the tape being lost is untrue."

It seems whoever is managing youtube is supposing they used it for the 2009 45 as well and that it was never lost.
How they could have "found" something that was not lost is beyond me.

arcman67's picture

The way labels have changed hands, etc thru the years, it's amazing more tapes are not lost. If I recall, when SONY/RCA was digitizing assembling the Complete Elvis Presley Masters, many of the original tapes were not where they were supposed to be. In fact, many had been in storage overseas, etc. for years. Much of the early CD Elvis catalog were made off copies, some many generations from originals.

Michael Fremer's picture
The Alto was cut by Bernie Grundman using the original master's a record to treasure!
Arvo Palm-Leis's picture
rich d's picture

The original mono (which sounds so good that I won't be taking your place in line for this reissue) features a diagram indicating the position of each musician, along with the types and positioning of microphones. It's like they're reminding you of what you're missing if you don't get the stereo version...

Michael Fremer's picture
Has that same you know who's playing what where. It's very (out of the) cool.
Bernd's picture

I have a 1982 Japanese MCA stereo version of 'Out of the Cool'. My ears tell me that not all instruments are placed in the mix where they should be according to the diagram. For instance, the guitar is on the left channel, whereas the diagram places it in the middle. Percussion ought to be in the back on the left-hand side. Instead, it is placed upfront on the right-hand side.
I am wondering whether this is the case for every version of the album? If not, is this similar to reversed channels?

Smokeyjoec's picture

Hi Michael, there is also a Ray Charles release - Genius + Soul = Jazz being released at the same time time. It’s on Amazon pre-order. What’s funny is there no information on these two releases anywhere but Amazon. Can you get the 2021 scheduled release from Chad and publish on your site?



Michael Fremer's picture
Smokeyjoec's picture

Sorry , analog productions...

Smokeyjoec's picture

Is there a 2021 schedule coming... from the liner notes.. there was suppose to be two bill evan albums to this series.. is this still the case?

rl1856's picture

I note this reissue will come from Verve / AP.....and not part of the Verve UMV reissue program that gave us Getz Gilberto, A Love Supreme and others. What is the status of the Verve in house program ?

I would also enjoy learning about the history of this apparent original master tape. Wonder if others ended up in the same place so to speak- and avoided the 2008 fire ?

Michael Fremer's picture
This "Out of the Cool" IS part of the same Verve/Acoustic Sounds reissue project. The whole series has been mismanaged IN MY OPINION in terms of a "group identification". There is no Verve "in house "project. Verve (the umbrella includes Verve, Impulse, Emarcy, Pacific Jazz and other labels) collaborated with ACOUSTIC SOUNDS to produce this series. ANALOGUE PRODUCTIONS is Chad Kassem's "in house" label. It can get confusing. In fact, I originally reviewed the "Getz/Gilberto" as Verve/Analogue Productions and got a quick rebuke from a UMe publicist (which he should have issued because it's important to no confuse these reissues).
Dual's picture

Although it is a digital release, I really am impressed by my promo copy of the 1986 MCA reissue. Very quiet 140g surfaces, a very listenable remastering by Greg Fulginitti at Artisan. I have ordered the release we are speaking of, and I'm sure it will edge out this one, but I think credit is due for a seriously good job.

Montpier's picture

While we're on the topic of 'Out of the Cool', one of the stranger albums ever was it's follow-up 'Into the Hot' released under Gil Evans name but with almost no involvement on Gil's part: a set of 3 tracks with a studio band under the direction of John Carisi alongside another 3 tracks of amazing, but very avant garde for the time, early recordings of the great Cecil Taylor with a fairly large ensemble.

An extremely odd pairing to say the least. Almost as schizophrenic as the infamous Audio Fidelity stereo demo LP where pop songs are played straight by a studio band in one channel, and a jazz group arranged by Benny Golson including Eric Dolphy and Wayne Shorter in the other.

Apparently Evans was contractually obligated to provide a second album to fulfill his contract with Impulse, who had already prepared the 'Hot' cover art(!!) presumably using alternate photo and graphic designs from the 'Cool' cover.

But in the interim Gil had committed to follow producer Creed Taylor to Verve (where he would go on to produce 'The Individualism of Gil Evans' and Kenny Burrell's 'Guitar Forms'). So Evans essentially brought in Carisi and Taylor to record under his "aegis" to get out of the contract as expediently as possible.

PeterPani's picture

They put on the reel-box. So they used folded down stereo for the Mono issue in 1961, it seems.
If AP throws an Ultra Tape on the market I will buy, too.

Leonthepro's picture

most Impulse, Contemporary and in general 60s Jazz labels just folded their Stereos, they never did mixes for a Mono release.
One exception I can think of is Atlantic.

Intermediate Listener's picture

Have it on 2019 Verve Vital Vinyl release, 33, stereo. Sounds great to me. Am I wrong?

Michael, do you know the source and mastering?

Leonthepro's picture

is as far as I know similar to those other labels abusing copyright law in the EU. Its certainly not analog, neither Optimal nor GZ have the capability to cut from tape I dont think.
Im sure its fine on its own, but its all a matter of what you compare thing to. Im sure the Verve reissue will be superior.

Intermediate Listener's picture

Universal Music is involved with these, so not copyright abuse.

And the Vital Vinyl logo says Original Tapes, so at least implies analog.

Michael, help please.

markp's picture

I have the 33RPM Alto version of Out of the Cool. When Analogue Productions released their 45 RPM version of Out of the Cool, I eagerly purchased it. Compared side by side, the Alto version was more transparent, and not just a little. I love many albums from Analogue productions, they do a great job.

Eskisi's picture

I always listen to whatever is reviewed here. In the last 30 years, everyday there is less “radio” to introduce us to music we are unfamiliar with so websites fill the gap. Clearly this site has a narrow focus due to the medium of vinyl but that perhaps makes it more curated.

What I have concluded is that music here is generally of very good caliber. I listen to it on whatever happens to be immediately available, streaming services, downloads, etc. So I cannot always comment on the reproduction quality.

One thing that bothers me is that almost all music here is “unfashionable.” I do not mean this as “not trendy” but just in the sense that it is not something you can listen to at night with your significant other, or with friends socially or at dinner.

For instance this album. All you can do is sit in solitude and listen. Otherwise it is a bunch of annoying horns, to the beat of a depressingly old-fashioned drum kit. Someone always says, “Can we listen to something else?”

PeterPani's picture

It is not easy to hit a common liking for music - as long as party people are still sober. Late in the night, when people are relaxed they will even listen to Schoenberg.
There are not many Abba-like groups around. And modern pop-music... people will also complain, because there is no common music-sense anymore (was easier in times, when radio stations played real hits and everybody was listen to very few outlets).
Try to talk about contemporary commercial music at work - it is impossible, because everybody listens to completely different (internet) channels and nobody knows the same song to talk about.

Eskisi's picture

Also there are no “albums” that people “get into” — no-one says “Chainsmokers — or MGMT — blow my mind” like my college classmates used to say about Talking Heads and The Wall.

There has actually been Pink Floyd like bands in the last few decades. The Muse for one. They had comparable theatrics and as devoted a following. But it is getting old now too. Amazing how the richer musicians get, the less inspiration they have!

Going back to social listening, despite varied preferences, there are bands that people immediately warm up to when you play. Gotham Project for one. Or Tim Warfield for jazz.

jazz's picture

isn’t 45 RPM. So many needless pressings on 45 with no critical instruments, left/right panning or dynamics and this one with its strong, high horn sounds is 33 RPM. No clue what they think of when deciding this. Seems the 33/45 decision is just made for a whole series instead of letting the cutting engineer decide.

Leonthepro's picture

how it is. If the Alto was good then Im sure this can be too. A lot of times the 45RPM format is used just for legal reasons, as its a different matter to license for that speed. I dont think its up to the engineer a lot of the time actually unless they are being directly consulting with the rights owners.

usernaim250's picture

Look back and you will see that the AP/Impulse series was advertised in 2007 but was much delayed. As well, Steve Hoffman wrote about attending mastering sessions with Kevin Gray in 2007, though the thread was deleted. It's possible that some titles had not been mastered by the time of the fire, but definitely many were.