Totemic jazz label Blue Note Records has shared a video about its Tone Poet Audiophile Vinyl Reissue Series. The near-ten-minute clip features the “Tone Poet” himself, Joe Harley, along with Blue Note president Don Was and Harley’s remastering engineer Kevin Gray of Cohearent Audio.
In the video, you can see Harley explaining the background to the all-analog, 180 gram audiophile vinyl reissue series, launched this year as part of Blue Note’s 80th anniversary celebrations. The film then shows him and Was admiring original master tapes, with the label president describing the artistic expression that helped create the label legend as being “direct from the heart to the tape.” Gray then demonstrates the remastering process in the Tone Poet series.
Harley says that he and Was had known each other for a while and, while working together, the exceutive and producer had asked him if he would be interested in helping Blue Note with a reissue series. Harley said that it would, and that he would like to use Gray and his pressing plant of choice, RTI in Camarillo, California.
Harley and Was agreed that the series would be made to the utmost technical specifications, from audio quality to remastering and original artwork reproduction. “Everything I asked for, I mean every single thing, [Was] said yes to,” he notes. “There’s been no compromise anywhere along the line, so what could be better than that?
“Don, to me, is an amazing steward of the label, because when he wants to do something, there’s no compromise, and that’s what we’re doing in this Tone Poet series, that’s how we’re approaching it: no compromise. ”
The Tone Poet series spotlights landmarks from the celebrated Blue Note catalogue as well as underrated classics, modern-era standouts and albums from other Blue Note labels such as Pacific Jazz and United Artists Records. After an extensive selection of 2019 remasters, the 2020 schedule starts on 24 January with Hank Mobley Poppin’ (1957) and Stanley Turrentine Comin’ Your Way (1961).