QuadroSurround releases "Old Merrry Tale Jazzband - Greatest Hits" DVD-A


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Forum Curmudgeon
Staff member
Since 2002/2003
Mar 2, 2002
The latest release from Germany's "Quadro-Surround" label is the Greatest Hits of Dixieland by the Traditional Old Merry Tale Jazzband from Hamburg.

QQ Member Dietrich Rasch's press release: "Quadro-Surround, a label producing original true quadraphonic mixes (and only quadraphonic mixes) on DVD-Audio discs is proud to announce our newest production. We present a second title by the 'Old Merry Tale Jazzband' with more classic old Dixieland music, this time done in a swing and rocking style"

("Jazz we Can" was the first disc on Quadro-Surround that featured the 'Old Merry Tale Jazzband')

This title and other titles from Quadro-Surround can be ordered on their website: http://www.quadro-surround.de/english/

I just received this disc and will report back once I hear it a few times. Nice to see that Quadro-Surround continues to release these original, true quadraphonic discs.

Old Merry Tale Front.jpg
Old Merry Tale Back.jpg
Jon may have trouble with the winter weather. But I think he will - as usual - write an opinion about the music and the quadraphonic mixing. Also The Quadfather may write his opinion about our newets quadraphonic production. I am interested about the results.

I have listened to this disc a few times over the past few days.

My father was a jazz musician and as a child I heard this type of music quite frequently and I can say that this is first class dixieland jazz. The musicmanship is excellent, and the quadraphonic mix puts the different instruments in distinct places around the listening area giving each player a clear shot at the listeners ears.

The disc contains some songs that I was familiar with, and others I was not. There are instrumentals tracks as well as some with vocals - some in German and some in English.

The spirit is high on this album and you can tell the players are enjoying themselves. On the track "Ice Cream", for instance, the lead vocal is in the front and the "pub chorus" is in the rears. This song is total fun and I found myself listening to it back-to-back a few times.

Again, if you like Dixieland Jazz, then you will like this disc. If you don't, well it's not for you.

Overall, another excellent release from Dietrich and Quadro-Surround.
On a related Quadro-Surround tangent I recently ordered the 2 x Frank Valdor DVD-A's via Amazon.de (the Rio disc arrived in the mail today) I don't know when I will have a chance to hear it but it's a sweet little package by the looks of it when I opened up the carton earlier on. I will support this Quadro-Surround endeavour as and when I have the time and money to buy more titles from them :)
In the interest of full disclosure, Quatro Surround sent me my copy of this recording free of charge in exchange for this review.

I got my copy of Old Merry Tale Jazz Band's recording "Greatest Hits of Dixieland" the other day. So I gave it a spin over the weekend. Now, I'm not a big jazz fan or of Dixieland style music, so I really have no point of reference as to what is really good Dixieland music. Having said that, I do like to incorporate different styles of music in my collection, and to have some Dixieland is not a bad thing. The music is spirited and lively, The opening number, Marina, is loud and brassy as you would expect from this genre and the musicians are top notch. There are no vocals in this one, it's an instrumental. The next tune mellows down a bit, with a wood wind instrument that sounds like a clarinet as the lead. This tune is a bit lower key. The third tune, Schlafe Mein Prinzchen, also an instrumental, a slower tune sounds like something you would hear at one of those New Orleans funeral processions. This is not to say it sounds like a dirge, New Orleans funerals are not always played that way. But it is slower. With the fourth cut, the pace picks up, and vocals are added. All the singing is done by one male voice, and on this one, entitled "Am Sontag will mein SuBer mit Mir", I didn't understand a word of it. The words are clear enough, but the language is German. But it's Dixieland style. The next tune, Down By the Riverside, Is sung in English, by the same artist. He does have a German accent when he sings in English. When I googled the lyrics on this song, I was surprised to find that it has many variants in the lyrics, most of them religious. The sixth tune, Blueberry Hill, is an old standard in Jazz, recorded by both Louis Armstrong and Fats Domino, but this one is good and is what you would expect. It does, however, have some of what I figure are a translation curiosity, where the phrase "the wind in the willows" wound up as "the wind in the windows". The next tune, Creole Jazz, is another lively clarinet tune with lots of cymbal play. Banjos are heard in the back, which is the way a lot of the songs are laid out. The next one, Ice Cream, is just a fun tune, One I remember singing when I was a kid. Number 9, All of Me, is a broken heart love song, but is fast paced. The next one, Tennessee Waltz Rock, Is a Dixieland style of "The Tennessee Waltz". The old standard is usually played a bit slower, but this one is lively. Number 11, Just a Closer Walk, is a gospel tune, given the Dixieland treatment. The singer puts a bit of gravel in his voice on this one. The next one, Summer Set, is just a mellow tune, the pace is relaxed and the clarinet is played with ample use of cymbals to set the pace. It is an instrumental. The last cut is another gospel tune, is a bit livelier, and does have vocals.

The recording quality is good, Lead horns and vocals are kept up front, while string instruments are kept in the back. The recording is very discrete, and is quadraphonic, so if you want to make a safety copy on your quad reel to reel, you can do so with little difficulty. This is a good idea, because I don't trust burned recordings, and that is what this appears to be. I just haven't had good luck with ones I have had in the past. On the other hand, Quatro Surround may have better technology than what I have, and the technology may have improved in general. This, only time will tell. If you like Dixieland music, this would be a good addition to your collection. If you're not sure, then you just might want to give this a spin.
Another superb disc. I am well pleased with it.

Could this be the same trad jazz band that were busking somewhere in the vicinity of the kolonnade in Hamburg when I visited back in 1989?

The mastering is excellent. The music can be cranked as loud as you like without risk of listening fatigue. Gorgeous tonally, aggressive mix, and brilliant musicianship.

Another 10.