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F. Shaк, V. Volchenko

Individual features of the sound engineer style in contemporary jazz sound engineering (on the example of J. Anderson’s works)

The author analyzes the improvisational music recordings by the jazz sound engineer Jim Anderson. The basic aspect of the article is the concept of an individual sound engineering style, first identified in the works of an art critic N. Rakhmanova. The author considers stylistically diverse recordings of jazz musicians T. Blanchard, J. Zorn and P. Barber, highlighting the author’s attributes in mixing, sound and instrumental balance. Each of the jazz soloists included in the article is considered not only from the point of view of sound engineering of his recordings, but also from the point of view of the place he occupies in the space of modern jazz culture and improvisational performing art. Endowed with creative ideas, J. Anderson’s recordings might represent a benchmark of jazz music sound mixing. They represent a result of work of a specialist with a deep understanding of musical culture and performers’ intentions. On the example of individual recordings, the author demonstrates J. Anderson’s openness not only to modern methods of panning, but also to less popular techniques of the past decades, which are rarely used in modern jazz recordings. Particular attention is paid to the selectivity with which the sound engineer chooses his projects. His professional interests are focused primarily on acoustic jazz, stylistically related to bebop, post-bop and unconventional jazz. Mentioned above allows us to characterize J. Anderson as a true professional who demonstrates deep competencies and an outstanding understanding of the artistic foundations of the music with which he works. At the same time J. Anderson’s style of sound engineering can be characterized by the clarity of sound, perfect instrumental balance and the ability to solve any kind of a problem associated with precise fixation of the performing material.

Key words

jazz music, improvising performing art, jazz sound engineering, sound recording, sound mixing, mastering, panning, sound balance, bebop, post-bop.

For citation

Shaк F., Volchenko V. Individual features of the sound engineer style in contemporary jazz sound engineering (on the example of J. Anderson’s works) // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 3. Pp. 32–41.