Don’t be put off by the title; these are not some sleepy old-fashioned waltzes. This is swingin’ West Coast jazz at its best. Of course, the arrangements are done in waltz time, but that doesn’t keep them from swingin’.
And the amazingly good sound? Credit Bones Howe, a man who knows Tubey Magic like practically no one else in the world. The Association, The Mamas and the Papas, The Fifth Dimension, and even Tom Waits — all their brilliant recordings are the result of Bones Howe’s estimable talents as producer and engineer.
Original Vs. Reissue
The original Reprise pressing, whether in mono or stereo, has never sounded very good to us. The mono is quite a bit worse than the stereo – no surprise there – but both must be considered poor reflections of the master tape.
We sold one many years ago, describing it this way: “Beautiful Original with decent sound — rich, smooth and sweet.”
Which it was, but from us that’s little more than damning it with faint praise. The Discovery pressing is so much bigger, clearer and livelier it’s almost hard to imagine it and the 1962 Reprise original were both made from the same tape. Something sure went wrong the first time around — I think it’s safe to say at least that much.
Original equals Better? Not for those of us who play records rather than just collect them. Leave the originals for the Jazz Guys. The Hot Stamper reissues are for us Music Loving Audiophiles.
Including this amazing Bolero, the best copy we’ve ever heard!
Side two sounded so much better than any copy I have ever heard that I was sorely tempted to give it our coveted Four Plus grade, for the kind of sound that breaks all the rules. Cooler heads have since prevailed, but that doesn’t detract in the least from side two of this remarkable pressing, which has by far the best sound for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice I have yet to hear.
We are rarely able to find a quality recording or performance of Bolero or The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, so this pressing comes as a welcome addition to the classical offerings on the site. (more…)
Warner Brothers remastered Fandango in 2008, so we took some domestic pressings and put them up against their Heavy Vinyl LP. The results were mixed; most of our originals pressings were lackluster, many were noisy, and we just weren’t hearing anything with the sound we thought deserved to be called a Hot Stamper.
We shelved the project for another day. In the interim we kept buying domestic pressings — originals and reissues — in the hopes that something good would come our way.
Fast forward four years. It’s 2015. We drop the needle on a random pressing and finally — finally — hear a copy that rocks like we knew a ZZ Top album should. With that LP as a benchmark we got a shootout up and running and the result is the record you see here.
How did the WB remaster fare once we had some truly Hot Stamper pressings to play it against?
Not well. It’s tonally correct, with a real top and bottom, something that a substantial number of copies cannot claim to be. (more…)