As a jazz fan, I've had this nagging question about the recording quality of older bop and combo performances for a long time. Why do older recordings - particularly bop and combo performances from the '40's-'60's - accentuate soloists at the expense of the drummer and bassist to such an extreme degree? Was this a stylistic choice, to place extra focus on the soloists? Or were they using sub-par recording facilities with inept recording engineers? I know the technology existed to do it right. It hit home last night when I was listening to Lee Morgan's The Sidewinder. He and Joe Henderson sounded appropriately clear and detailed, but the bassist and drummer seemed muffled, as if they were behind a partition and/or playing far, far in the background, whereas the wind soloists were right in front of me. It seems that supporting musicians are very often heavily under-recorded in this era and in this genre. For me, it really dilutes my enjoyment of these recordings. As awesome as greats are - Rollins, Stitt, Davis, Coltrane - the sound of the group needs to be intact and filled in, and the soloists need to be a little less right-in-my-face. I love a good bassist and drummer, who are so often an under-appreciated as the foundation of solo-oriented jazz. Also, this is simply not how "the real thing" would have sounded. Modern jazz records seem to have addressed this and sound much more "filled in" and realistic, which makes me wonder if it would be possible to remaster some of the greats to bulk up and clarify the rhythm/bass without ruining them (or would this be considered sacrilegious?). I would love to hear a more realistic presentation of many classic jazz albums, even if the "original" recording is altered.