Hank Mobley Blue Note BLP 1568 MONO or STEREO?

Toshiba EMI manufactured Hank Mobley Blue Note BLP 1568 MONO reissue in the late 80's. Thereafter, they manufactured the same title in STEREO in 1990. They boasted saying (at that time) it is the 1st STEREO reissue in the whole world!

I happened to obtain both MONO and STEREO and, both sound great, personally, I like them both. But...you maybe wondering...is that STEREO version of Toshiba -FAKE STEREO-? right? The original Blue Note issued only MONO. The session was recorded in 1957.

I also doubted...But as far as I listen to it, it doesn't sound like fake stereo at all. It sounds really good. And I made a further research. You know, I never read the insert of STEREO reissue of BLP 1568, but there, a Jazz Critic, Mr. Makoto Goto writes something like this...

This is one of the most sought out titles among Hank Mobley titles due to the scarcity and well balanced compositions of the tracks. Also, this is the debut album for Sonny Clark on Blue Note. In addition, I was urged to write something since this is the 1st and last STEREO reissue of this title, you know.
Well, with a classic Mighty Moe & Joe, the trumpet and saxophone solo parts are different form the MONO version. With Falling In Love With Love and Bags Groove, no difference between STEREO and MONO. But with Double Exposure, at the ending part, (originally AABA) there is A only in STEREO and STEREO version is 20 seconds shorter. In general, remastered STEREO version sounds better than MONO.

He uses word in Japanese, something like "REMASTERED" STEREO. It is a myth that in 1957, RVG really recorded both MONO and STEREO and never issued STEREO?

What do you think?

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  • Wow, great finding. I found cool, that you can give us the Japanese liner notes translation. Thanks for that, also it makes your point very clear.

  • good point Tom, LJC is a really good source. Also at that time, 2 track recording was in its infancy for commercial release. There were only two or 3 record companies doing releases in 1957 in stereo. RCA, Mercury, and Everest. Almost all were classical titles released on stereo 2 track tape only. The LP release on these titles was released as MONO only since the Stereo LP did not make its debut until 1959.

    • OK, did some more searching over lunch. Found this image of the original Blue Note Master tape box. On the bottom is says “NOTE: Also on Stereo”. So its quite possible that somewhere along the line, Toshiba EMI did get a hold of a stereo copy of the master tape…..

      I would post the photo but not sure how I can do that.

    • John, thanks again for your great observation! Really,,,that is the time of transition from MONO to STEREO. I wish I were there at that time, discussing this kind of issue together, haha.

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