- This superb collaboration from 1962 makes its Hot Stamper debut with stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
- With a breathy sax, lively and present piano, clarity, space and timbral accuracy, this is guaranteed to be one of the best sounding jazz records you’ve heard
- A wonderful Bossa Nova classic that shows you just how lovely this music can sound when properly mastered and pressed
- This is vintage Sixties Pacific Jazz Stereo at its best – big, rich and Tubey Magical like you will not believe
This Original Pacific Jazz Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the group, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the best sides of Bossa Nova Jazz Samba from 1962 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 1962
- 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 space of the studio
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 above.
Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren’t veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we’ve heard them all.
Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.
Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.
What We’re Listening For on Bossa Nova Jazz Samba
- 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 piano, saxophone and drums, not the smear and thickness 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 — Richard Bock in the case — would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Bud Shank – alto saxophone
Clare Fischer – piano
Ralph Pena – bass
Larry Bunker, Frank Guerrero, Milt Holland, Bob Neel – percussion
Samba Da Borboleta
Clifford Everett “Bud” Shank, Jr. was an American alto saxophonist and flautist. He rose to prominence in the early 1950s playing lead alto and flute in Stan Kenton’s Innovations in Modern Music Orchestra and throughout the decade worked in various small jazz combos. He spent the 1960s as a first-call studio musician in Hollywood. In the 1970s and 1980s, he performed regularly with the L. A. Four.
Shank ultimately abandoned the flute to focus exclusively on playing jazz on the alto saxophone. He also recorded on tenor and baritone sax. He is also well known for the alto flute solo on the song “California Dreamin'” recorded by The Mamas & the Papas in 1965.
Clare Fischer was an American keyboardist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. After graduating from Michigan State University (from which, five decades later, he would receive an honorary doctorate), he became the pianist and arranger for the vocal group the Hi-Lo’s in the late 1950s.
Fischer went on to work with Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie, and became known for his Latin and bossa nova recordings in the 1960s. He composed the Latin jazz standard “Morning”, and the jazz standard “Pensativa”. Consistently cited by jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock as a major influence (“I wouldn’t be me without Clare Fischer”), he was nominated for eleven Grammy Awards during his lifetime, winning for his landmark album, 2+2 (1981), the first of Fischer’s records to incorporate the vocal ensemble writing developed during his Hi-Lo’s days into his already sizable Latin jazz discography; it was also the first recorded installment in Fischer’s three-decade-long collaboration with his son Brent. Fischer was also a posthumous Grammy winner for ¡Ritmo! (2012) and for Music for Strings, Percussion and the Rest (2013).
Beginning in the early 1970s, Fischer embarked on a parallel (and far more lucrative) career, eventually becoming a much sought-after arranger, providing orchestral “sweeteners” for pop and R&B artists such as Rufus (with Chaka Khan), Prince (a regular client from 1984 onwards, and by far Fischer’s most frequent in pop music), Robert Palmer, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and many others.