CIMP is dedicated to documenting a broad range of creative improvised music in audiophile sound.
Bob Rusch, CIMP's producer, has been involved with Jazz since the early 1950's. He brings a lifetime of experience to CIMP. Among his many projects, Bob has been publishing Cadence Magazine monthly since 1976. He is a respected producer, critic, author, and businessman who knows the Jazz scene from every angle. Bob organizes and produces every CIMP session. Almost every one of the recordings has been made in CIMP's Spirit Room studio at the Cadence Building, a room that is gaining quite a reputation for its ambiance and audio properties.
All engineering and recording is done by Marc Rusch, whose audiophile reputation
extends worldwide. Marc works meticulously to capture each musician's true
The artists involved have all raved about CIMP's sound: Mark Whitecage echoed
his peers when he wrote, "...I've been recorded by some of the best engineers
in the business -- David Baker, Rudy Van Gelder, Jon Rosenberg, but Marc Rusch
is the first one to give me back exactly what I put in."
CIMP records are produced to provide music that rewards repeated and in-depth listenings. These records are not intended to be background music. Treat CIMP recordings as your private concerts. Give them your undivided attention and they will continually reward you.
CIMP records are digitally recorded live to two tracks. Digital recording allows for a vanishingly low noise floor and tremendous dynamic range. There is no compression, homogenization, eq-ing, post-recording splicing, mixing, or electronic fiddling with CIMP performances. Compressing the dynamic range is what limits the "air" and life of many recordings. Our recordings capture the full dynamic range one would experience in a live concert; many of them have a dynamic swing of over 85dB.
We set our levels so that the maximum signal will not overload the recorder. This means that the average level will be much lower than you are used to. If you set your levels during the loudest passages to be reasonably loud, the rest will fall into place. You may find passages where the signal is almost inaudible. Resist the temptation to turn the volume up; this is the way it sounded when it was recorded and was the dynamic intention of the musicians. In this regard these recordings are demanding. The quieter your system and the lower the noise floor of the listening area the more impressive they will be.
This method is demanding not only for listeners, but for the performers as well,. Musicians must be able to play together in real time. They must understand the dynamics of their instrument and how it relates to the others around them. There is no fix-it-in-the-mix safety; either it works or it doesn't. What you hear is exactly what was played. Real musicians in a real space, interacting musically in real time, recorded for your enjoyment. Though they'll sound great on any system these recordings have not been produced to cater to the limitations of radio airplay and rack systems, but to reward those who have taken the time and energy to assemble a quality playback system.
The label also has its own bold and recognizable look. Each CD has, as its cover, an original work of art by Kara Rusch. Kara, who works mainly with paints and cut paper, has been actively involved with art since the 1970's and has developed a distinct and personal style, both unique and recognizable. CIMP covers are interesting and striking in their own right, and create a distinct visual identity for the label. The covers have already gained considerable attention and recognition within the industry and from the media.
"CIMP has almost instantly become the leading North American label of its kind. With clean, unprocessed live to two-track engineering and a uniform approach to cover art and booklet design, CIMP has developed an identity that will serve them well for the long haul. CIMP's catalog is already brimming with the type of personnel connections between releases common to great labels" - Bill Shoemaker, JazzTimes
- "I had no idea CIMP planned to release 25 releases in its first year. And I had even less an idea how strong the releases would be. Upstart record labels in jazz are by no means rare, but a label venturing forth with releases featuring veterans like Mark Whitecage, Bobby Zankel, Billy Bang, and numerous others springs out at the ears." - Andy Bartlett, CODA
- ". . . up until now, nobody has structured an entire catalog around new/avant-garde jazz with the emphasis on sonic excellence. CIMP aims to change all that. With minimalist, purist microphone techniques and honest, no-frills engineering, CIMP offers an alternative to the often casually recorded avant-garde discography. The overall flavor is of a homegrown product crafted with great care. The results are impressive. Musically, these discs are full of gems." - Carl E. Baugher, The Tracking Angle
- "Most impressive, perhaps, is the sound quality. They all have wonderful sound." "Their best discs sound as clean and fresh and live as anything out there." - Fred Kaplan, Fi
- " . . . supreme recording puts that of the major labels to shame." " hi-fi stunners brilliantly clean, focused on the sound sources with startling zeal." "If jazz has been rocking in its cradle of compression and EQ-ed homogeneity too long, CIMP's turn to recorded truth is just the bucket of iced water the somnolent form requires." - Ben Watson, Hi Fi News & Record Review
- "Taking the credo of the legendary imprint ESP Disk ('The artists alone decide what you will hear') one step further, CIMP packages bear a clear mission statement: 'What you hear is exactly what was played.' The label means it. The sessions are recorded live to digital two-track, with zero processing effects and no editing authentic performances with a vast dynamic range." - Sam Prestianni, Jazziz
- "The sound is astonishing, because it isn't astonishing; the technology just isn't there. The album is not only like being in a room with the trio, but a perfect room." - Donald Clarke, editor, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music