- An insanely good sounding copy with a Triple Plus (A+++) side one and an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two!
- Both sides here are incredibly big and full yet still very clean and clear with excellent bass and none of the edginess that plagues the average copy
- Fairly quiet throughout (w/ caveats, see below) — Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- “Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time.”
I first heard this album on the wonderful Classic Records pressing from the ’90s. I remember really enjoying the music and liking the sound of Bernie Grundman’s remaster very much. We reviewed and recommended the album (along with Under the Stars) in our old paper catalogs.
I have no idea what I would think of their version these days — well, to be honest I do have some idea of what I would think of it — but their version is at least good enough to make the case that Russell Garcia’s orchestral arrangements and Louis Armstrong’s sublime skills interpreting The Great American Songbook are a match made in heaven.
You may have seen Russell Garcia’s name on one of the landmark recordings of the ’50s: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s recording of Porgy and Bess for Verve in the previous year, 1959. Watch for copies coming to the site one of these days. We’ve discovered some exceptional original and reissue pressings (as well as some that really do a disservice to the music and the engineers who recorded it. What else is new in the world of records?).
Now all that remains is for us to track down enough clean copies with which to do the shootout. At the rate were going it may be a year or two, but having heard how good the music and sound can be on the best copies, we are on it!
1960 – What a Year
This ’60s LP (1960 to be exact) has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern pressings cannot BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back.
Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.).
The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real person singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.
Nobody Knows The Trouble I’ve Seen
We’ll Be Together Again
I’ve Got The World On A String
Do Nothing ’til You Hear From Me
I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
When Your Lover Has Gone
You’re The Top
You Turned The Tables On Me
Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
Little Girl Blue
… prime samplings from the autumn of Armstrong’s recording career. Even in the pressure cooker of a marathon session, even when confronted with standards not often associated with him, Armstrong finds the essence of each tune, bending and projecting them with his patented joie de vivre and gravel-voiced warmth every time.
In particular, “When Your Lover Is Gone” is sublime, with its signature riff of blasé, sighing horns and responding, rising string tremolos… a seductive nighttime ambience that’ll draw you in every time.