Recording of May 1982: The Sheffield Drum Record

666shefdrum.jpgThe Sheffield Drum Record
Improvisations by Jim Keltner and Ron Tutt (drums)
Sheffield LAB-14 (LP) (1981). Reissued as FIM DXD 001 (CD) (2010). Bill Schnee, Doug Sax, prods.; Lincoln Mayorga, exec. prod.; Steve Haselton, Bill Schnee, engs. TT: 13:49.

There was a time when drum records were as common as records of steam locomotives and thunderstorms. It has been so long since anyone has tackled any of them that a lot of technology has gone over the dam, but they are precisely the kind of program material which illuminate the state of the audio art like nothing else. Thus, Sheffield's Drum Record emerges as a landmark—a technological tour de force that should discourage anyone else from issuing a similar disc until the state of the art advances by a few more years.

This, in short is a doozey! A real workout for any system, and my prime candidate as of now as the best leasebreaker since Emory Cook's old Speed the Parting Guest recording. And while I am usually hesitant to make such recommendations, I am recommending that this be played LOUDLY. If your system can take it. (If it can't, I assume no responsibility for catastrophic failures.)—J. Gordon Holt

dalethorn's picture

I have one hirez track from this album - don't know where it came from. I see there are some used copies of the CD around $20 - probably worth the price, although I haven't heard the rest of the album. On a good system the drum strikes are realistic.

jjvornov's picture

Tidal has this and a couple of other Sheffield Lab recordings streaming. It's an interesting listen for a while. I could see using it as tool to compare systems since its a very complex set of acoustic sounds. I've always used Uakti which has a little more musical value.