George Shearing Quintet – Latin Rendezvous

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Latin Rendezvous

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  • Latin Rendezvous makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Clean, clear and dynamic, this copy has huge amounts of bass and tremendous space around the keyboards and percussion
  • A wonderful Latin jazz collection, with the unbeatable combination of the quintet’s “celebrated piano-vibes, liltingly embellished by Latin percussion and occasional flute”
  • “In this collection, you’ll find Latin at its most alluring, as a musical language interpreted by Shearing.”

If you’re a fan of the kind of music Cal Tjader was making in the ’60s, this album should be right up your alley. Plenty of Latin Percussion, with vibes and flutes to add color to the proceedings, all anchored by Shearing on the piano. It’s lounge music but it’s fun lounge music — and it sounds like a very well recorded album from Capitol in 1963 should sound: big and rich. 

This original Capitol 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 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 this outstanding Latin-y Jazz Piano album from 1963 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 1963
  • 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.

What We’re Listening For on Latin Rendezvous

  • 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 keyboards, 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.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

I Left My Heart In San Francisco 
Just Goofin’ 
Your Is My Heart Alone 
Barandanga 
Quiet Nights (Corcovado) 
Mambo Serenade

Side Two

With Feeling 
I Wished On The Moon 
Tie Me Donkey 
All Through The Night 
Mambo At The Blackhawk 
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