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Rudy Van Gelder

Rudy Van Gelder is an NEA Jazz Master

Rudy Van Gelder - recording engineer, master audiophile

Rudy Van Gelder started recording artists such as Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley in the early 50's, in the comfort of his parent’s living room. It wasn't until 1959 that he opened his studio on Englewood Cliffs and along with Alfred Lion, changed the way Jazz was being recorded. In the fifty plus years that Rudy has been working it is estimated that he has recorded, mixed and mastered over 2000 albums not only for Blue Note but Verve Records, Impulse!, CTI and many others.

Blue Note Records founder Alfred Lion and Van Gelder first met when musician Gil Melle introduced them in 1953. Lion was impressed with the sonic clarity of Van Gelder's recordings, and he made sure that Van Gelder recorded most Blue Note sessions from 1953 to 1967. The signature “Blue Note Sound” is really a culmination of Lion's devotion to hard bop jazz, Van Gelder's meticulous pursuit of accurately capturing that improvisatory music and the remarkable playing of the musicians on those sessions from Van Gelder's first studio in Hackensack, N.J. These days, Van Gelder operates from a state-of-the-art digital facility in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., where he is working with re-issue producer Michael Cuscuna on the RVG Series.

Van Gelder started recording musicians in his parents' living room in Hackensack as a hobby. Overwhelming demand from musicians and producers forced him to quit his day job as an optometrist and record music full time. Before he started making his own records, Van Gelder simply wanted to re-create the audio experience of live music, his love for jazz and hearing it played back accurately led him to audiophile equipment stores.

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