How They Heard It: Blue Note Records and the Transition from Mono to Stereo

Several years ago, when I first became a collector of vintage jazz records, I was confused. Original mono copies of albums from Blue Note’s classic catalog were significantly more expensive than their stereo counterparts, yet virtually all the talk online was of the original “stereo” master tapes for these sessions. Why then were the mono copies so much more valuable than the stereo copies if the albums were recorded to two-track tape?

I set out to find the answer, and soon discovered that there was a good amount of misunderstanding amongst audiophiles and record collectors regarding the methods of Blue Note’s exclusive recording and mastering engineer, Rudy Van Gelder. Realizing how historically and culturally important these recordings are, I decided to make a more formal study of the issue, and the results were published on the London Jazz Collector website in July of this year.

Shortly after publishing, I decided that the article could be made much more efficient, and last month London Jazz Collector published the revised version of the article. The new version is more concise and hopefully easier to understand. Click on the link below to check it out!