More 78s--yee-ha! These were relatively easy to restore, since only the last title (More Candy) had a significant number of pops to splice out. Not that it was a piece of candy--er, cup of tea. The second and third sides contain some seriously worn spots, and I didn't think I'd be able to quiet them down very much. To my surprise, I was able to kill most of the noise without any cost to the sound quality. Far out.
This first song is considered a piece of fluff by many, and a masterpiece by some. I fit into the "some" category. In fact, I think it's the best popular song ever composed. So there. And this may be the best 1920s dance performance of them all--what a combination. You know me--I'm not loose with my praise, so there you have it. I mean, here you have it. The Benson Orchestra of Chicago, 1924, under the direction of Don Bestor, performing Irving Caesar and Vincent Youman's timeless Tea for Two:
Tea for Two (Caesar-Youmans)--The Benson Orch. of Chicago, directed by Don Bestor, 1924. From Victor label.
And here are two first-rate 1922 sides by Clyde Doerr and His Orchestra. Doerr was a member of Art Hickman's orchestra, from which he split in 1921. These both sound an awful lot like Hickman's band--or, even more than that, a cross between Hickman and Paul Whiteman. (My cat, Rosie, says she could care less. Thanks, Rosie.)
Ferde Grofe and Peter De Rose, again, with a wonderful "Oriental" number, Suez. The best of its type, Leethinks. And dig the slide whistle:
Suez (Grofe-De Rose)--Clyde Doerr and His Orchestra, 1922. From Victor label.
Here's the fabulous flip:
I Wish I Knew (You Really Loved Me)--Clyde Doerr and His Orchestra, 1922. From Victor label. (Wow! Four tries to get the thing linked at Box.net!)
This next side is making its second appearance--I think I really nailed the EQ this time. The challenges consisted of: lots of percussion (which didn't record well before the days of mikes), lots of surface noise, and not much instrumental balance. It honestly sounds as if the musicians were scattered about the studio. Weird, because we picture the reverse, don't we? I.e., players jammed in front of the recording horn. Maybe Earl Fuller's musicians were hornphobic.
Anyway, before I got myself a 31-band equalizer, I was powerless to do much about the muddy lower freq.'s on Columbia acoustical sides, but now I can save the good stuff and get rid of the sonic garbage. Trial and error followed by trail and error. Followed by a period of letting my ears rest so that they can listen back to the file critically. There's literally such a thing as ear fatigue, you know....
I consider this jazz, by the way. Feel free to disagree, but remember that early jazz was much heavier on ad-libbing than the sort of formal improvising we've been trained to associate with "true" jazz:
More Candy (Kaufman)--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra, 1917. From Columbia 78.
Listening back to the earlier (April) file, I can hear that I achieved a warmer, fuller sound, though the difference isn't as dramatic as I expected it to be.
All that work, just for a subtle difference. I must be nuts.
Of course, I'm perfectly sane. (Hee, hee!) I am, I tell you. (Ho, ho!!)