- Both sides of this vintage Black Print 360 pressing earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for their superb sound – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- Everything that’s good about All Tube Vocal Recordings from the ’50s and ’60s is precisely what’s good about the sound of this record
- “The moods vary from a wild Caravan, introduced with a drum solo by Chico Hamilton joined by flute and bass and seemingly held together by Tony’s voice alone, to Don Costa’s almost cinematic big orchestra styling of Spring in Manhattan as well as the lightly melancholy moods of When Joanna Loved Me and Don’t Wait Too Long. Throughout the album, Tony’s effortlessly soaring voice gives meaning to every number.”
Albums such as this live and die by the quality of their vocal reproduction. On this record Mr. Tony Bennett himself will appear to be standing right in your listening room, along with the other other musicians from theses sessions.
Transparency and Tubey Magic are critical to the sound of the orchestra and you will find both in abundance on these sides.
Each of the huge studios the music was recorded in are captured faithfully here. The height, width and depth of the staging are extraordinary. We are not big soundstage guys here at Better Records, but we can’t deny the appeal of the three-dimensional space to be found on a recording as good as this.
Your listening room will seem to expand in all directions in order to accommodate the large number of musicians arrayed behind Tony. It’s an illusion of course, but a remarkably convincing one nonetheless.
What outstanding 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 1964
- 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, of course, the only way to hear all of the above.
A Big Group of Musicians Needs This Kind of Space
One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small — they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies — my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” — create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings are just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that — a copy like this one — it’s an entirely different listening experience.
The Little Boy
When Joanna Loved Me
A Taste Of Honey
Soon It’s Gonna Rain
The Kid’s A Dreamer (The Kid From Fool’s Paradise)
So Long, Big Time!
Don’t Wait Too Long
Spring In Manhattan
I’ll Be Around
Rave Amazon Review
Tony’s career went through many ups and downs as longtime fans know, and this album is from the prime up period that began with I Left My Heart In San Francisco in 1962. Of course, most people get that album, but they should consider this one, too. It’s got many of the top musicians and arrangers who were associated with Tony at this time…
The moods vary from a wild Caravan, introduced with a drum solo by Chico Hamilton joined by flute and bass and seemingly held together by Tony’s voice alone, to Don Costa’s almost cinematic big orchestra styling of Spring in Manhattan as well as the lightly melancholy moods of When Joanna Loved Me and Don’t Wait Too Long. Throughout the album, Tony’s effortlessly soaring voice gives meaning to every number.
The highlight here is A Taste of Honey. The play was brought over from London by David Merrick in 1960, and jazz pianist-composer Bobby Scott wrote some mood music for it, played by a small combo three times during the play. Tony was really taken by the haunting theme and requested lyrics so he could sing it and Rick Marlow supplied them. The marvelous arrangement with its guitar opening and brass accents was provided by Dick Hyman, who often worked with Bobby Scott and had a real feeling for his style… Any fan who wants to go beyond the usual “Greatest Hits” would be well advised to get this terrific album of Tony in his prime.