Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

RVG Blue Note Editions: Pro or Conned?

With overall CD sales floundering, a major jazz reissue program is a brave undertaking indeed. But that bastion of mid-century jazz classics, Blue Note, has done just that with its seemingly controversial Rudy Van Gelder (RVG) Editions.

Now numbering 67 CDs, the series got its start when Japanese Blue Note approached Van Gelder-one of the most celebrated recording engineers in jazz and the man in the booth for many of Blue Note’s most noted releases-to remaster some titles for Japanese release. “Rudy originally said no,” says series producer Michael Cuscuna, whose own Mosaic reissues have set the standard for modern compilations. “At first he didn’t want to stir up that work he had finished so long ago. But then he said, ‘Hey, this might be fun,’ and after 60 or so under our belts, we have more or less gotten the hang of it. It’s a work in progress, and Rudy and I go back and forth on details, fine tuning the sound as we go.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published