DSD SuperAudio CD
About a year ago Tomas Örnberg (he was a very close friend to Benny and also his manager in Sweden) reminded me of a recording with the legendary swing saxophonist Benny Waters that we made back in 1976. Tomas also remembered that Benny was in very good spirits that evening at the internationally famous Swedish jazz club in Stockholm, Stampen, more known abroad as "The Pawnshop." The recording was actually never intended to be released on record. It was only made as a documentation of this event, and eventually, for a radio broadcast at a later stage.
When we finally sat down and listened to the old master-tapes, we were quite astonished - what we heard was actually over 90 minutes of a really good and inspired live swing jazz performance of the highest quality by one of the few of the old jazz greats. Unfortunately Benny passed away in August last year at the age of 96, just as Tomas and I were going to mail him a copy of the recording for his approval and comments. (He was 74 when we did the recording) Furthermore, we were also very happy about the sound quality that we heard: very smooth and balanced but at the same time it conveys the real spirit, feeling and energy of a live performance and of course the cosy atmosphere of "The Pawnshop" that we know so well. (We have made a lot of recordings at this place, especially during the mid 70s.)
Also worth mentioning is Björn Milder on piano who is specially featured in this recording - and yes, Björn, who unfortunately passed away in 1985, was Joakim Milder's father. He was considered by many visiting musicians to be "world class" - and they should know!
So now there was only the nice problem of choosing the best songs and squeeze it down to 76 minutes, the maximum time for a CD. However, there was one more little problem: it was recorded on Ampex "Grand Master," which is not very good for archiving and storage, especially for this long period. We had to transfer the tape song by song, because of the "dirt" (binding material etc.) that comes off the tape and sticks to the tape heads and transport. We were quite concerned when we were fully aware of this, but as you can hear on the CD, the process went very well!
Finally, I ought to touch on the way this recording is labelled. I guess most of you are very familiar with the successful Proprius recording: "Jazz At The Pawnshop." This recording with Benny Waters was made in April 1976, while the Proprius recording was made 7 months later in December the same year ...... just so you do not think that we try to copy what they have done!!
Opus 3 Records