- Benny Goodman Swings Again makes its Hot Stamper debut with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound throughout – exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
- This Columbia Six Eye stereo pressing was hard to fault – big, open, clear, with space and three-dimensionality that modern pressings can only dream of
- On a live recording such as this, the transparency of this All Analog recording has the power to transport you to the front row of Ciro’s in West Hollywood – what a thrill!
- “With a particularly strong lineup that includes vibraphonist Red Norvo, tenorman Flip Phillips and trumpeter Jack Sheldon, this out-of-print LP features Benny Goodman at his best (even if the swing era had supposedly ended 15 years earlier).”
This vintage Columbia 6 Eye 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 at Ciro’s with the band, 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 …Swings Again from 1960 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 1960
- 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 club
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.
A Big Jazz Group 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.
What We’re Listening For on …Swings Again
- 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 guitar, horns 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 would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Alto Saxophone – Jerry Dodgion
Bass – Red Wooten
Clarinet – Benny Goodman
Drums – John Markham
Guitar – Jim Wyble
Piano – Russ Freeman
Tenor Saxophone – Flip Phillips
Trombone – Murray McEachern
Trumpet – Jack Sheldon
Vibraphone – Red Norvo
Vocals – Maria Marshall
Air Mail Special
Gotta Be This Or That
Where Or When
I Want To Be Happy
After You’ve Gone
Waiting For The Robert E. Lee
Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home
Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)
This live session from Benny Goodman’s 1960 tentet, despite some throwaway vocals by Maria Mashall, finds The King of Swing catching fire a few times, particularly on an extended version of “After You’ve Gone.” With a particularly strong lineup that includes vibraphonist Red Norvo, tenorman Flip Phillipsand trumpeter Jack Sheldon, this out-of-print LP features Benny Goodman at his best (even if the swing era had supposedly ended 15 years earlier).