Recording/Engineering Practices

I have a recording of a duet of Ron Carter and Houston Person titled 'Dialogues' on Blue Note HCD7072. I do not know who engineered the recording.

From a physical 'sound stage' one might think you couldn't ask for more. Wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Amazing, involving. Warm. Nice music too!

However it only too a couple of seconds to realize in real life you had two instruments on stage side by side with equal prominence. On this recording you had Carters bass centered and life like, but Person's sax encompassed the entire stage with some emphasis on/in both corners.

I suspect this effect was as much as the result of two tracks laid down separately and then mixed with the tracks of the bass in phase and the sax out of phase.

Anyone have any thoughts or knowledge of recording practices that would clear this up for me?
This was recorded at Rudy Van Gelder studio in 2000. This would have been a typical studio recording with one mike per instrument. In the stereo mix each instrument can be placed anywhere left to right in the sound field. Also each instrument would get its own reverb and this is used to again create the overall sound field. There is no playing with phase going on. Rudy Gelder was one of the best engineers out there
It's a Rudy van Gelder recording. Can't say anything about how it was recorded.
Your suspicion is almost certainly correct, IMO, though they wouldn't intentionally play with phase, as Alan says. There are almost always going to be strange sounding things going on with modern digital recording and all of it's techniques such as reverb, etc. Very long gone are the days when someone actually tried to make a realistic sounding recording.
I mispoke in my OP. The label was Highnote not Blue Note. I can see why someone would think that it was Rudy Van Gelder though. Sorry 'bout that. :-(

Well I really got curious and I reversed the wires on one speaker so they would be out of phase with the other speaker. Guess what! Now I have a centered sax with the bass violin on the outside.

I can't figure out how they could have done that without putting one track or the other out of phase. Don't have a clue why either. Accidental? Perhaps, but don't they listen to the recording over a stereo system?

I haven't seen anyone do this since I was in a less than reputable stereo 'salon' in San Francisco (out of business) where they did it to impress novices with the 'expanded' soundstage that out of phase speakers can create. Great width, but no focused center image. :-)

I hauled out some other Houston's recordings from around 2000 on Highnote. More players, 4 or 5. What was evident was that someone was treating the tracks differently. In one Person's Sax was focused and in the center. There were light drums on center left and a piano which was spread across the soundstage (including center). No purists these guys. It is still very nice music. I like Person's mellow tone at night. :-)
Agree with Learsfool - Very few jazz recordings even attempt to sound realistic. Could be that they feel the "bigger than life" approach is best. Everything they do is strange. They put one reverb on the bass drum, another on the snare - another on the sax? Right there, you have 3 instruments playing in 3 different rooms. That's why many of the older recordings sounded more real - the engineer had one big plate reverb in the basement and added it to each instrument in various quantities. But - no sense complaining about it because now we have i-phones. The world is so much better for them. People are smarter, wealthier... The future is so bright!