OJAS and Blue Note Announce "Master Tape Saturdays" Event at London's Lisson Gallery

Playing Rudy Van Gelder’s original reel-to-reel tapes of recordings from Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane and others.

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Devon Turnbull has been staying busy this summer, bringing the OJAS Listening Room Dream No. 1 to London’s Lisson Gallery and creating the speaker setup for the recently-opened Supreme Seoul store. Now, Turnbull and OJAS have partnered with Blue Note for a duo of “Master Tape Saturdays” events at Lisson Gallery in London, playing original recordings of classic jazz records through Listening Room Dream No. 1‘s bespoke sound system.

The nature of these recordings is what makes the event particularly special. They’re original reel-to-reel tapes made by legendary audio engineer Rudy Van Gelder, who recorded jazz’s biggest stars from his parents’ house in Hackensack, New Jersey for over 50 years. Five such tapes have been transported to London for the event: Out to Lunch by Eric Dolphy, The Sidewinder by Lee Morgan, Speak No Evil by Wayne Shorter, Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock and Blue Train by John Coltrane (the only album Coltrane recorded for Blue Note as a session leader).

“A few months ago, [Blue Note president] Don Was offered to send me the master tapes of any two albums from the Blue Note catalog. I told Don that I was unbelievably honored, but that stewarding their archival masters is a bit stressful, and I would rather have high-quality copies of five albums than the originals of two,” Turnbull told Hypebeast. “He said ‘No problem! Give me a longer list.’ I dove into the catalog and decided to just go ahead and ask for some of the most iconic Van Gelder recordings. A few days ago, I received a box from a climate-controlled storage facility in England, where they keep some of their masters. It’s my surprise I got five originals not five copies. So now I have to be extra extra extra extra extra careful with these treasures!”

“Master Tape Saturdays” is set for August 19 and August 26. Each day will follow the same timing schedule, which can be seen in OJAS’ Instagram post below. The event is free, but as space is limited, guests are asked to attend just a single session if other individuals are waiting.

For more from the worlds of OJAS and jazz, check out an interview with Devon Turnbull from Hypebeast #30 and see a profile of London jazz quintet Ezra Collective ahead of their joyous six-show run at NYC’s Blue Note Jazz Club.

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