Art Blakey ‎– Orgy In Rhythm - Volume One

Label:
Blue Note ‎– BST 1554
Format:
Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress, Stereo
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist Hide Credits

A1 Buhaina Chant
Vocals – Sabu*
A2 Ya Ya
B1 Toffi
Vocals – Art Blakey
B2 Split Skins

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

With golden "STEREO" sticker on cover, top left. Deep groove labels.

Recorded live at Manhattan Towers on March 7, 1957
Label: Blue Note Records Inc · New York USA
Sleeve: 43 West 61st St., New York 23

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side A): BN·ST·1554·A· . RVG STEREO
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout Side B): BN·ST·1554·B RVG STEREO

Other Versions (5 of 27) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
1554, BLP 1554 Art Blakey Orgy In Rhythm (Volume One)(LP, Mono) Blue Note, Blue Note 1554, BLP 1554 US 1957 Sell This Version
TOCJ-9193, ST 1554 Art Blakey Orgy In Rhythm - Volume One(CD, Album, Ltd, RE, RM, Pap) Blue Note, Blue Note TOCJ-9193, ST 1554 Japan 2000 Sell This Version
BST 81.554, BST 81 554 Art Blakey Orgy In Rhythm - Volume One(LP, Album) Blue Note, Blue Note BST 81.554, BST 81 554 France 1970 Sell This Version
BST 81554 Art Blakey Orgy In Rhythm - Volume One(LP, RE) Blue Note BST 81554 US 1966 Sell This Version
1554, BLP 1554 Art Blakey Orgy In Rhythm (Volume One)(LP, Mono, RP) Blue Note, Blue Note 1554, BLP 1554 US 1966 Sell This Version

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djsgribbs

djsgribbs

August 10, 2020

Initially released as a mono record in 1957, the session for Orgy In Rhythm was actually the first two-track recording in Blue Note history. Recorded in the ballroom of a hotel called Manhattan Towers in New York City, it features a complete percussion ensemble per Blakey’s vision. Most people don't realize the mono version in 1957 is actually a fold down of the two-track stereo recording, which is great in it's own right seeing as the initial two-tracks were not intended for stereo but for a complete recording to enhance a mono mix. But there's a case here why the stereo remaster of this session is superior.

RVG went through an experimentation phase when it came to positioning instruments from 57-59. For the most part up until summer of 59 the instruments were always in a place that best suited Mono playback (Hackensack studio only had a mono monitor for recording). Seeing as the Orgy In Rhythm session was not recorded here and the majority of instruments being percussion and vocals, the setup was very different.... designed to capture sound in space, making it a fairly unique recording and not as prone to extreme pans. In 1959 Blue Note started down the path of reissuing their back catalog formatted in stereo. RVG remastered 7 BN titles in 1959 and 10 in 1960. The 7 in 59 seem to be RVG “picks” while the 10 in 60 probably mostly dictated by the label due to popularity and sales. It shows too in the remastering that RVG had particular interest in the titles selected… while the quality of the ‘60 remasters are not nearly as strong. It’s impossible to know why RVG picked his initial 7 the way he did, but I’d like to think he knew that there was something in the two-tracks that deemed the recording worthy of his time (or they were just personal favorites). A mixture of RVG experimenting and testing the new technology and the results for the ones recorded away from Hackensack are rewarding.

This record remastered in stereo sound fresh and well balanced. It avoids hard panning, feels spacious and presents a beautiful soundstage. You feel like you’re in the concert hall, at times as if you’re in the middle of the performance. I strongly prefer this one to the mono release, but see it as a unique recording where all the right pieces match up. By no means would I suggest scooping up the full set of original BN stereo remasters. But, this is one of the few worth revisiting under some new context. The stereo vs. mono discussion for BN records between 57-62 can be fairly complicated and should be discussed on a case by case basis. Ultimately it sometimes comes down to personal preference. But, I do think that this is one instance in particular where the brilliance of the record in stereo should be recognized. Worth tracking down.