THE DISC & RECORDINGS:
It's hard to believe, but in the 30-plus years of the CD era the original album version of "Judy at Carnegie Hall" has never been available in digital format. From its first incarnation on CD in 1987 until now, every CD release has strayed from that original two record vinyl album.
That's not necessarily a negative thing. From the 1989 CD release through the 2000 and 2001 CD releases, the "complete" (or in the case of the 1989 CD, expanded) concert has been readily available. Complete in that these releases include the chatter and bits of spoken business that, due to time restraints, were left out of the original vinyl release.
It must be noted that the vinyl version is what the legacy of "Judy at Carnegie Hall" was based on for over 25 years, won the five Grammy's, the accolades and the enduring legend. However, since 1987, an entire generation of fans has grown up knowing only the experience of the complete CD versions, and not the original album. This 2012 JSP Records release brings the recording full circle by premiering the original mono album on CD. Fans who only know the complete CD releases are in for a treat. The original album is still a singular aural experience like none other.
Sadly, Capitol Records ignored the 50th anniversary of the concert and album in 2011. Fans hoped an anniversary edition boxed set would be released that included both the previously released complete version and the original vinyl version. Lucky for us, JSP Records has stepped in to provide fans with the original vinyl version, newly remastered.
For the record, the album made its CD debut in 1987 when Capitol released
an abridged version. The outrage
from fans was such that the label released a 2-CD set in 1989 (#C2-90013),
complete with most of that previously unreleased dialog. In March 2000, the complete concert (including all of Judy's
stories and chatter to the audience) was released by DCC
Compact Classics. This 24 karat 2-CD set presented the concert
as recorded through the microphone that night, with no auditorium reverb
added. All the songs were presented in the order of the concert.
Capitol released their own complete, restored and remastered
version on a special 2-CD release on February 27, 2001, to
commemorate the 40th anniversary of the concert. The difference
between this and the DCC Compact version is that this Capitol
version has the added "hall" sound, whereas the
DCC version presents the sound as recorded in Judy's microphone.
This results in a sound that places Judy's voice front and
center, with the rest of the hall in the background. It's
a matter of taste as to which one a fan prefers.
To this day, "Judy At Carnegie Hall" is considered
one of the greatest live performances ever caught on record.
If it's possible
for the electricity of a performance to come through on a record,
this is it!
Brogan & Eric Hemphill.
Recorded live on April 23, 1961 at Carnegie Hall in New York
Orchestra under the direction of Mort Lindsey
Mort Lindsey, piano; John Bello, trumpet; William Lavorgna, drums; Howard Hirsch, percussion
Produced by: John Stedman
Associate Producer: Lawrence Schulman
Sleeve Notes by: Scott Brogan
Remastering by: Peter Rynston, Tall Order Studios
Design by: Andrew Aitken
Ticket stub from the collection of Eric Hemphill
Original program from the collection of Jerry Waters
Many thanks to: Alain Falasse
In memory of Scott Schechter and Andy England