Blue Train - John Coltrane (US Import DVD audio)

Blue Train

I originally purchased a 2004 Rudy Van Geller CD re-master of this album about six years ago purely on a whim as I was keen to explore Coltrane’s music and as it was on offer at £4.99 at the local HMV, it seemed a good value. “Blue Train” is one of Coltrane’s finest albums and was originally released eight years before the “A Love Supreme”.

Given that this album was recorded in 1957, the sound quality is excellent and I assume it was originally recorded on a ‘tube’ tape machine. Whilst the CD re-master sounded OK, I have always felt it was a little sterile if I am being critical. Fortunately the two digital soundtracks on this double sided DVD will more than satisfy any audiophile as both have been mastered to a very high standard. Although I can listen to 192khz digital audio via my computer’s Xonar D2, my preferred digital listening is PC digital output (bit perfect) to a Quad 99CDPII which will accept up to 24/96 via SPDIF.

The 24/96 PCM soundtrack included on the DVD video side sounded absolutely fantastic and it took only about thirty seconds of listening to the opening track, “Blue Train” to realise that there was so much more ‘air’ and detail to the recording as well as sounding more natural and slightly softer than the CD which at times can ‘shrill’ a bit even when played back on a good system complete with a passive pre-amp. Everything about this copy of Blue Train just seemed right and very pleasing to the ears and drew me into the music in a way that the CD could never do.

The more 24/96 recordings I listen to, the more critical I am of compact discs where I am able to compare the album directly. It also annoys me that there are numerous posts on the internet from people who say there is hardly any difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96, because nothing could be further from the truth. The two are chalk and cheese.

This disc is an absolute gem, and if you only have listened to the CD copy so far, it will blow you away, that is if you can track down a copy.

***** (5 stars)

Format: Double Sided DVD (Dual Format)
Audio: DVD Audio 2 channel 24 bit PCM @192 khz / DVD Video 2 channel 24 bit PCM @96 khz
Country: USA
Label/Date: Classic/1999 (Original album first released in 1957 by Blue Note: 53428)
Track Listing:

  1. Blue Train

  2. Moment’s Notice

  3. Locomotion

  4. I’m Old Fashioned

  5. Lazy Bird

This entry was posted on Thursday July 8th, 2010 at 6:00 PM and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Comments are now closed.

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