The 1955 mono sound by Tom Dowd on this White Hot 2-pack is DEMO DISC quality. The horns are breathy and clear, yet full and rich as can be. There may be a good reason that this pressing sounds as good as it does: it was remastered by one of the greatest mastering engineers of all time, George Piros.
Tom Dowd is the original recording engineer, and this one album should be all the proof you need that when it comes to jazz in mono, the guy is hard to beat. Rock in stereo, there the record is quite a bit more spotty (see, or better yet, listen to Cream, The Young Rascals, Delaney and Bonnie and too many others to list).
Side One – Record One
A+++, good energy, clear saxes and cymbals, a big bottom end — everything is here and everything sounds right. This is some of the best mono jazz sound we have heard in a very long time.
The “bad” side here is thin and not that tubey, which is clearly the wrong sound for this music.
Side Two – Record Two
A+++, lively, never hard nor shrill, tubey and rich, big — hard to fault1
The “bad” side here is terrible: dark, small and recessed. Play it and see how dramatic the difference is.