November 29th, 2013
Happy Holidays! It’s that time of year again, so let’s get festive and consider an early holiday CD. This year, we take a look at the 1985 Christmas compilation, A Canadian Brass Christmas. The Canadian Brass formed in 1970 and have since become one of the most famous brass quintets. The lineup has changed several times over the years, but the Canadian Brass have consistently offered virtuosity in their recordings and have mixed in comedy in their live performances. It is worth noting that their recording of Fanfare “Albason” on the 1983 album High, Bright, Light and Clear — The Glory of Baroque Brass was used for many years as the theme for the CBS show Sunday Morning.
A Canadian Brass Christmas is a 17-track compilation of holiday classics. The brass lineup on the album is as follows: Ronald Romm, trumpet; Frederic Mills, trumpet; Eugene Watts, trombone; Martin Hackleman, french horn; Charles Dallenbach, tuba. Also performing on keyboards are Thomas Szczesniak and Luther Henderson. A Canadian Brass Christmas was released by CBS Records in 1985 on LP, cassette, and CD. The CD was released under CBS catalog number MK 39740. An early pressing was made in the U.S. by Digital Audio Disc Corporation (DADC). CBS Records opened DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana as the first CD pressing plant in the U.S. in late 1984. While DADC ramped up production in 1985, CBS farmed out production of some titles to the Denon and JVC pressing plants in Japan starting in ’85 and lasting for a few years to meet the increasing demand for CDs in the U.S. Here, we consider a rare Japanese JVC pressing of A Canadian Brass Christmas.
The Japanese pressing of A Canadian Brass Christmas is found with the same inserts that were issued with U.S pressings. The disc has an “etched” ring around the mirror band characteristic of Japanese JVC pressings. It also states “MADE IN JAPAN” along the perimeter. The matrix code is “MK-39740-A1E11”. Thus, the catalog number is contained within the matrix code. The Japanese pressing is also labeled “DIDC 20167” at 3 o’clock. This number is the unique pressing identifier used by CBS for the U.S. CD issue. The early U.S. DADC pressing shows the DIDC number on the label side and in the matrix code.
Shown below is the cover and back insert for A Canadian Brass Christmas, as well as the Japanese JVC pressing. This pressing is rare, but any copy of this album is worth buying for the excellent performance.
I wish you all a fun and safe holiday season!
The cover for the A Canadian Brass Christmas (CBS, catalog number MK 39740). This is the standard cover issued with the LP, cassette, and CD.
The back insert for A Canadian Brass Christmas (CBS, catalog number MK 39740). As is typical for U.S. CBS CDs, a barcode appears in the lower left corner.
The Japanese JVC pressing of A Canadian Brass Christmas (CBS, catalog number MK 39740). “MADE IN JAPAN” is printed along the perimeter at 6 o’clock, and the matrix code is “MK-39740-A1E11”. “DIDC 20167” at 3 o’clock is a unique pressing identifier assigned by CBS for the U.S. CD issue. Early U.S. DADC pressings also bear this DIDC number.