Best known for its catalog of reissued 180-gram classical LPs, Cisco Music has chosen folk, jazz and pop titles for re-release wisely, including these Blue Note sessions from two of that label's headlining performers. One Flight Up has only three cuts -- two modal-tinged hard-bop explorations and a slow ballad -- all recorded in Paris and featuring the strong rhythmic backbone drummer Art Taylor, a session leader himself, brings to this graceful music. Takin' Off is 22-year-old Herbie Hancock's debut as a leader and features Gordon on tenor sax, Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Butch Warren on bass, and Billy Higgins on drums. While neither of these recordings is a first-rank Blue Note title, both are certainly worthy of Cisco's careful remastering and repressing. Originals in great shape fetch much more than these reissues.
And it is against the originals that these LPs, indeed all Blue Note reissues, will be judged. An original pressing of One Flight Up, for instance, was prone to tinniness in the treble and thereby better suited to playback on the lower-fidelity equipment of its era. The sound of the Cisco LPs is far more even-handed, able to take full advantage of today's best audio equipment by conveying an enveloping physical presence and spacious musical picture. The RVG remastered CDs sound more like the original pressings, while the Cisco LPs beat them both in ways that are obvious on a very good audio system.
One thing you will hear from most Blue Note originals that's missing here is surface noise of all kinds. While these Cisco LPs aren't as preternaturally silent as the Music Matters Blue Note reissues, for instance, they are still very quiet. Like the Music Matters records, both One Flight Up and Takin' Off were pressed in very limited numbers, so you'll want to get 'em now or regret it later.
I'm pulling for these LPs to be brisk sellers, so Cisco Music will put a few classical reissues on the back burner in favor of other jazz titles, especially ones such as these, which are in no label's reissue queue and command ridiculous prices used. I can provide a detailed list!
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