Exclusive! "AJA" UHQR Preview
the Steely Dan "crown jewel" gets a platinum setting
Even Steely Dan deniers admit that Aja is a masterwork of composition and studio production. It's the "crown jewel" in the rich catalog and the one that Analogue Productions had to get 110% correct. Bernie Grundman cut the original pressing and he cut this UHQR reissue too. He knew his way around the recording.
A full review will appear when the finished LP arrives but based on this test pressing, Bernie and Chad knocked this one out of the park and into the adjacent stadium. I don't care if you prefer the AA or the AB or the Cisco or a Japanese pressing, or whatever, this one is the best you will ever hear—it's almost worth the money just for the timbral and textural presentation of Wayne Shorter's sax solo. it was an all new experience.
In the "I heard things I never before heard" department, this UHQR edition is crowded with them. Familiar items sound more present and accounted for with no spotlighting. The timbral balance is ideal, the dynamics fully present and the stage picture better than it's ever been presented.
Any concerns you might have about this being sourced from a copy tape because the original is no longer present and accounted for (and it wasn't lost in the Universal fire), will vanish within a few minutes of "Black Cow".
That's all for now. A strong "buy"! Full review coming when the finished product is available.