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  • J. Jones wrote on October 12, 2011 report

    Wow, fantastic article, fantastic company - as a long time subscriber, I can attest that these are the finest jazz records I've ever owned. Congratulations, Mr. Rambach, keep up the superb work!!

    byrdlives

  • Paul Sagerman wrote on October 13, 2011 report

    Excellent article highlighting the many strengths of this reissue series: State of the art sound, premium packaging, historical accuracy, and an insider's appreciation for the best Blue Note titles. This is the ultimate jazz reissue series for both collectors and audiophiles.

    Paul S.

  • Muniini K. Mulera wrote on October 13, 2011 report

    This excellent review is true in every detial given. I am a subscriber to the Music Matters (MM) Blue Note (BN) series and have enjoyed them immensely.

    I have other Blue Notes (French, US, Japanese pressings) and so I am in position to compare. The MM re-issues are outstanding. Check out the Louis Smith and the Sam Rivers copies, just to name a couple, and compare them to the Japanese reissues. No contest. I can safely say the same of all those that I have subjected to comparative auditioning.

    One thing I would add is that Mr. Rumbach's is a true labour of love that comes across when one speaks with him. Furthermore, the care and detail that is put into packaging and mailing the records every month is very impressive. Laura, in charge of sales, is a very courteous lady who understands the importance of her role in the project. She is the voice of Music Matters (when you call) and she really is an asset to the company.

    Analogue Productions of Salina, Kansas is doing a similar project of releasing 45 RPM Blue Notes. It appears AP and MM may have some agreement NOT to duplicate each other's efforts. {I do not have official word of this.} So the completist will need to get the series from both. The AP series are on 2 LPs inside a single LP jacket. They are very well done too and I have not detected any obvious difference in quality, except that the MM covers are much better made and are double gatefold. The extra BW photos on the MM re-issues are a bonus.

    One concern: Both MM and AP use rather thick, pink plastic inner sleeves. On some of my records, I have noted markings that look like abrasions. These are superficial and probably do not matter. However, I wish they used high quality rice-paper sleeves such as those made by VPI and MoFi. At $50 a piece, these records deserve the very best "clothing."

    Thank you Music Matters for giving life to the outstanding work of the great masters, most of whom are no longer with us.

    Muniini

  • Muniini K. Mulera wrote on October 13, 2011 report

    I wrote: ".....I wish they used high quality rice-paper sleeves such as those made by VPI and MoFi."

    That was a typographical error. I meant: VRP (not VPI). My apologies.

    Muniini

  • Muniini K. Mulera wrote on October 13, 2011 report

    Oh dear. I also mis-spelled the name of the sales manager for Music Matters. Her name is Lori, not Laura.

    Muniini

  • Gaurav R. Vij wrote on October 14, 2011 report

    There is really a vast difference between the quality of the Analogue Productions 45rpm reissues and the Music Matters 45rpm reissues. Despite many titles being mastered by the Hoffman / Gray duo, there is a cavernous difference in production values. Ron Rambach and Joe Harley personally sign off on the mastering efforts to ensure the end product sounds "right". I know this because I asked. Further, there is absolutely no comparison in the jacket quality and cover art. The Music Matters jackets seemed to be constructed to last generations. Not like the Analogue Productions ones that many a time are actually ungluing at the seams.

    The print quality of the covers is another concern! The Analogue Productions covers seem to be a joke really. The graphics almost seem like low resolution scans enlarged to fill the cover. The Music Matters covers feel like timeless photographs. It's not a question of cost either. Both companies charge $50 per album, but it is OBVIOUS that you get much more for your money with Music Matters. The new Nat King Cole remasters sound absolutely AMAZING. The cover art is a joke, sans the 5 LP Nat King Cole Story where there was some actual effort put into the packaging.

    Having said that, I am very grateful that Analogue Productions actually issues titles of great importance. I obviously purchase the titles that matter most to me and am thankful for the opportunity to do so. However, I wish EVERYTHING was done by Music Matters because I can really cherish the love and labor they seem to put into every aspect of a release.

    My personal request to the Music Matters team would be to look into reissuing important Blues albums. That is a genre that is seriously overlooked in the big scheme and to have the Music Matters team give their blessings and treatment would be a dream come true for any music lover.

    Next, the pink plastic inner sleeves are important to use. Those nice rice paper sleeves or polylined sleeves don't hold the records well during transportation. Records tend to tear through the sleeves as they get jostled around and ultimately split / tear the covers themselves! That is much worse due to the cost of replacing these covers I would imagine. It is MUCH easier to personally re-sleeve with your own choice of sleeve once you have the records in your home. I use the MFSL sleeves and then re-use the pink plastic sleeves for other LPs that come with those horrible paper sleeves which scuff records all the time!

  • Greg Simmons wrote on October 14, 2011 report

    Thanks for all the comments folks. Glad you liked the article. It's nice to know there are some other vinyl record listeners floating around on AAJ.

    Regards, Greg

  • Richard Joslin wrote on October 14, 2011 report

    An excellent article about an excellent company. I am pleased to own a few of the MM reissues and from the moment you see the care with which they are packaged for shipment and the quality of the jackets you just know you own something very special. The sound is full, rich and candy for the ears. At the price it will take me awhile to collect all that I would like but doesn't that make each purchase even more special?

  • Muniini K. Mulera wrote on October 27, 2011 report

    Thank you Guarav. I am interested in further information re: the inner sleeves. I just opened my copy of Like Someone In Love by Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers. The surface of Side 1 has superficial scratches, which I am almost certain are due to the inner sleeve. The surface is noisy, which is NOT typical of these MM re-issues. The risk of surface damage may not be worth the protection that the pink sleeves offer during transport.

    I value your thoughts on this.

    Muniini

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