With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
These guys are playing live in the studio and you can really feel their presence on every track — assuming you have a copy that sounds like this one
An amazing 1958 All Tube Live-in-the-Studio Jazz recording by the legendary Roy DuNann
“Tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper’s only Contemporary album is a near-classic and one of his finest recordings … This set is an underrated gem.”
This is a superb sounding Contemporary recording from 1958. Cooper is joined by top West Coast musicians like trombonist Frank Rosolino, vibraphonist Victor Feldman, pianist Lou Levy, bassist Max Bennett, and drummer Mel Lewis. On some parts of the Jazz Theme the group grows to be ten pieces. Normally this might present a problem for a recording engineer, but Roy DuNann is up to the task! If you want to hear the sound of brass recorded properly, Roy is your man.
Both sides are Tubey Magical, rich, open, spacious and tonally correct. These guys are playing live in the studio and you can really feel their presence on every track — assuming you have a copy that sounds like this one.
What do the better Hot Stampers pressings like this one give you?
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 for the horns and drums, not the smear and thickness so common to most LPs.
Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering — which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren’t “back there” somewhere, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt — Roy DuNann — would have put them.
Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Based on what I’m hearing my feeling is that most of the natural, full-bodied, smooth, sweet sound of the album is on the master tape, and that all that was needed to get that vintage sound correctly on to disc was simply to thread up that tape on a reasonably good machine and hit play.(more…)
This shootout taught us that track one is not as well recorded as the rest of side one. On copy after copy, and there were well over a dozen, it was the other big track on side one, South Side of the Sky, that had consistently better sound. You really hear it in the choruses, where the voices are so full-bodied, powerful, rich and energetic on that fourth track, and less of all of these qualities on the first.
You really hear it in the choruses, where the voices are so full-bodied, powerful, rich and energetic on that fourth track, and less of all of these qualities on the first. We play both songs, but we play them in reverse order, knowing that the mind-boggling sound is really going to be on South Side, not so much Roundabout.
This record should give any record you own a run for its money. It’s as BIG and as BOLD a statement about raising the bar for rock recordings as any I know. Without a doubt one of the Best Rock Recordings of all time.
One of the better Speakers Corner Deccas. We haven’t played a copy of this record in years, but back in the day we liked it, so let’s call it a “B” with the caveat that the older the review, the more likely we are to have changed our minds. Not sure if we would still agree with what we wrote back in the ’90s when this record came out, but here it is anyway.
“Superb sound with a great performance to match. A TOP TOP TITLE in every way. This performance has never been equaled and probably never will be (on any format I can stand to listen to!)”
These are just some of the recordings by Linda Ronstadt that we’ve auditioned over the years and found wanting. Without going into specifics we’ll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.
A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.
On the better copies the multi-tracked chorus and background vocals are as breathy, rich, sweet and Tubey Magical as any pop recording we know of. An extended top end opens up the space for the huge, dense production to occupy. There is Midrange Magic To Die For exceeding anything to be found on Thriller.
Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
The first single from the album was designed to go to Number One and it certainly met all expectations in that regard.
On the properly mastered and pressed copies the vocals and percussion will be a bit brighter than those on most of the tracks that follow. The percussion is often somewhat brittle on even the best copies; it’s surely on the tape that way.
It should be big, clear and lively right out of the gate.(more…)
Back in 2005 we compared the MFSL pressing of Help to a British Parlophone LP and were — mistakenly, as you may have already surmised — impressed by the MoFi.
Mobile Fidelity did a GREAT JOB with Help!. Help! is a famously dull sounding record. I don’t know of a single original pressing that has the top end mastered properly. Mobile Fidelity restored the highs that are missing from most copies.
The source of the error in our commentary above is in this sentence, see if you can spot it:
I don’t know of a single original pressing that has the top end mastered properly.
Did you figure it out? If you’ve spent much time on our site of course you did. (more…)
ROY WALLACE is one of our favorite recording engineers. Click on the link to find our in-stock Roy Wallace engineered or produced albums, along with plenty of our famous commentaries.
Roy Wallace was the engineer for many of our favorite sessions in Geneva’s glorious sounding Victoria Hall.
The gorgeous hall the Suisse Romande recorded in was possibly the best recording venue of its day, possibly of all time; more amazing sounding recordings were made there than any other hall we know of. There is a richness to the sound that exceeds all others, yet clarity and transparency are not sacrificed in the least. It’s as wide, deep and three-dimensional as any, which is of course all to the good, but what makes the sound of these recordings so special is the weight and power of the brass and the timbral accuracy of the instruments in every section.
These are the kinds of records that will make you want to take all your heavy vinyl classical pressings and put them in storage.
Quality record production is a lost art, and it’s been lost for a very long time.
It’s the side you play through to the end. When the sound is right you want to hear more. Since the opening track of this record is one of the keys to knowing whether it’s mastered and pressed properly, once you get past the sibilance hurdle on track one, the next step is to find out how the challenges presented by the rest of the tracks are handled on any given LP. Some advice follows.
Actually, what you really want to know is how good each song can sound — what it sounds like when it’s right. Once the quality of the mastering has been established, the fun part is to play the rest of the album, to hear it really come alive! (more…)