Jazz aficionados know the town Englewood Cliffs.
To non jazz-lovers and most New Yorkers, it's just a town in New Jersey, on the Palisades overlooking the Hudson a bit north of the George Washington Bridge.
To jazz folks in the know, especially those who bought jazz albums in the 1960s and 70s, many of those albums included this tag in the liner notes -- Recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, N.J.
Rudy Van Gelder, who died this week at 91, made the sleepy suburban town as important a place in jazz history as legendary venues like The Blue Note, Birdland, The Village Vanguard and The Village Gate in New York and The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach south of L.A. He engineered albums in his home-made studio, which doubled as his home, for top jazz labels including Blue Note, Prestige, Verve, Impulse and CTI. His name and sound imprint is on classic jazz discs like John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme," Miles' "Walkin," Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" and Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage." He engineered most of the albums on CTI including the Wes Montgomery classics of the mid - late 60s.
He developed his interest in sound technology as a teenager, when he was active in ham radio.
Van Gelder was immortalized in a jazz tune by Duke Pearson from his 1965 album "Sweet Honey Bee." The tune, "Ready Rudy?" was written as a tribute to legendary sound engineer.
One of hundreds of jazz LPs recorded by Rudy Van Gelder