Harry Edison & Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis – Simply Sweets Is Simply Wonderful

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  • With stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last, this copy of Simply Sweets simply blew away every other pressing in our recent shootout
  • This is one of the best sounding small group Pablo recordings we have played in quite a while – the sound of this superb jazz quintet is lively and real like you will not believe
  • The legendary engineer Val Valentin put this one on tape, brilliantly – he’s the man behind some of our All Time Pablo favorites
  • “Trumpeter Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison and tenor saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis always made a potent pair. They both possessed immediately identifiable sounds, were veterans of Count Basie’s Orchestra and never had any difficulty swinging.” — Allmusic

Both sides of this very special pressing — it looks the same as every other copy we played but it sure doesn’t sound like them — are huge, rich, tubey and clear. As soon as the group got going we knew that this copy was going to be exceptional, and the longer it played the better it got and the more we liked it. There was no other copy in our shootout that could touch it, in any area of reproduction.

Titles such as this one are the reason we put so much time and money into hunting down and auditioning every Pablo jazz record we can get our hands on — because sound of them like this one. Who else was recording jazz this good in the late ’70s and well into the ’80s?

And don’t say Concord. There are maybe five great sounding records on that label. Pablo has ten or twenty times that many, and that’s a conservative estimate. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Norman Granz for starting the Pablo label and keeping the quality as high as he did.

What do the best Hot Stamper pressings of Simply Sweets 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 — Val Valentin — would have put them.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Players and Personnel

Bass – Harvey Newmark 
Drums – Jimmie Smith 
Piano – Dolo Coker 
Tenor Saxophone – Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis 
Trumpet – Harry “Sweets” Edison
Producer – Norman Granz

Val Valentin

VAL VALENTIN‘s engineering credits run for days. Some high points are of course Ella and Louis and Getz/Gilberto.

Recently we played a copy of We Get Requests by the Oscar Peterson Trio that blew our minds. And we have been big fans of Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley for more than a decade.

Pull up his credits on Allmusic. No one I am familiar with other than Rudy Van Gelder recorded more great jazz, and in our opinion Valentin’s recordings are quite a bit more natural sounding than Rudy’s, especially with regard to the piano.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Dirty Butt Blues
Feelings
One For The Count
My Ideal

Side Two

Simply Sweets
Opus Funk
Lax
Miz Kitty’s Blues

AMG Review

Trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison and tenor saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis always made a potent pair. They both possessed immediately identifiable sounds, were veterans of Count Basie’s Orchestra and never had any difficulty swinging.

…the playing of the principals (along with pianist Dolo Coker who also makes a couple of surprising appearances on electric keyboard) holds one’s interest throughout.