A truly landmark jazz recording, 1961’s Waltz for Debby redefined the possibilities of the piano trio. Scott LaFaro’s ultra-melodic bass-work, Paul Motian’s fluid drumming, Evans’ virtuosic, impressionistic playing and the trio’s nearly telepathic interplay set a standard that has yet to be exceeded. This hi-res remastering adds new depth and warmth to an already essential audiophile live set. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998.
An HDtracks exclusive presentation:
The 192/24 remastering of Bill Evans' Waltz For Debby
*Remastered by Paul Stubblebine using the Keith Johnson-designed Pacific Microsonics converter
"These files are transferred from the original analog master tapes exclusively, not from safety copies or production dubs. The transfers are made in a facility dedicated to getting the most quality possible from these masters, and preserving all of the information in the files so that it's available to the listener. I'm an experienced mastering engineer, but I've also been an audiophile myself for decades. Because of my background in the audiophile world I am sensitive to the qualities of sound that an audiophile values, more so than many engineers in the pro recording world.
"In our decades-long study of the factors which are responsible for sound quality, my colleagues and I have found a number of key areas which must be addressed. First, it is critical to recover as much information as possible from the tapes, since detail lost at any stage can never be restored at a later stage. We use only top quality tape transports (highly tweaked Ampex ATR-100's and Studer A80's) matched with custom playback electronics from ATR Service or Tim de Paravicini. The playback electronics that came with these decks years ago just don't compare to the audiophile grade electronics we've all gotten accustomed to in our systems. The custom electronics that we use recover much more musically meaningful detail, more spatial cues, and more texture and three-dimensionality than the stock electronics.
"Decisions about any potential rebalancing or sonic restoration are made in acoustically treated rooms equipped with highest-quality audiophile playback systems. Any circuitry in the signal path, as well as cabling and AC power, are chosen for sonic performance. At the crucial step of analog to digital conversion, we have chosen the Pacific Microsonics Model Two ( designed by the legendary Kieth Johnson of Reference Recordings fame ). As important as all this is, there are two even more important parts of the puzzle: first, the experience and judgment of the mastering engineer in deciding when to adjust something and when to leave things alone. Second, our commitment to work as hard as necessary, and to avoid any shortcuts which might compromise quality.
"For instance, when both a 96K file and a 192K file are called for, it would be faster and more efficient to transfer it once, at 192K, and use a file conversion utility to convert it down for the 96K file. The file conversion programs are pretty good these days. Are they 100% as good as a direct transfer? This is a question we lose no sleep over. We take the extra care; we wind the tape back to the beginning, reset the capture system to 96K, and transfer it again. It's more work, but the result is something we can stand behind unequivocally. This commitment to do whatever it takes to get you the highest quality listening experience is at the heart of the Stubb-U-Sonic(™) principles." -Paul Stubblebine, remastering engineer
ReviewsThe sound quality is near-perfect... There has never been...a more seamless piano trio than on Waltz for Debby.