The Hi-Lo’s – And All That Jazz

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  • Stunning sound throughout with both of these Six Eye Columbia stereo sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades and playing fairly quietly
  • On the right system, this is a All Tube Chain Demo Disc that demonstrates the superiority of both the analog medium and the vintage pressing (not to mention the concept of Hot Stampers) – I cannot recommend a record on the site more highly than this very disc
  • On a copy this good, The Hi-Lo’s will appear as living, breathing (albeit disembodied) persons right in your very own listening room. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades
  • “The Hi-Los weren’t really a jazz unit, but more of a pop band that knew how to incorporate jazz’s harmonic sensibilities. This was among their better albums, complete with catchy title.”

 

An audiophile friend of mine played me this record on his big system in a huge dedicated sound room, and the effect was so glorious I can still remember the feeling it gave me it to this day. Let’s be hones: The Hi-Lo’s are a white-bread vocal group from the ’50s that made a lot of forgettable easy listening albums.

But for one album, and one album only, they hooked up with Marty Paich and his Dek-Tette, which included players like Herb Gellar, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Jack Sheldon — top West Cost jazz players all — and recorded this album of standards with jazz accompaniment.

What makes this album exceptional is the recording itself. The voices are uncannily real. When the jazz musicians take their solos the sound of their instruments is as real as if you were in the studio with them. You will have a very hard time finding better sound anywhere, especially considering how beautifully spread out the players are on such a wide and deep soundstage.

Folks, if you’re looking for a Vocal Group album to beat them all, here it is. This album is overflowing with sonic qualities we look for as both audiophiles and music lovers: Tubey Magic, energy, immediacy, richness, breathy vocals — all the stuff that you will never hear on anything but the best vintage analog vinyl pressings. And you can take that to the bank.

What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1958
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Marty Paich Is an Arranging Genius

The high point here is Then I’ll Be Tired Of You. The sound is so perfectly suited to the song — everything is exactly where you want it to be, and Marty Paich’s arrangement is constantly surprising.

The first track on side one is very reminiscent of Art Pepper Plus Eleven, another Marty Paich arranging job that ranks with the best large jazz ensemble works ever recorded.

What We Listen For on And All The Jazz

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful originals.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Fascinating Rhythm
Small Fry
Something’s Coming [From West Side Story]
Love Locked Out
The Lady in Red
Agogically

Side Two

Some Minor Changes
Then I’ll Be Tired of You
Mayforth
Moon-Faced, Starry-Eyed
Summer Sketch
Of Thee I Sing