- An incredible sounding copy – this early stereo pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
- We were knocked out by the Tubey Magical midrange of this killer original, with all the saxophone’s breath and bite you would expect to hear on an All Tube affair from 1958
- This is precisely what is sure to be missing from whatever reissue has been made from the tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
- “Jump for Joy is Adderley’s reinterpretation of a Duke Ellington stage musical from 1941… Hearing Adderley’s often thrilling, always well-constructed alto sax improvisations over tunes like “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” is reason enough for the album to exist…”
With Bill Evans on piano no less!
This vintage Mercury pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely 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 Jump For Joy 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 1958
- 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 the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
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 Listen For on Jump For Joy
- 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, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also 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 instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful originals.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
Two Left Feet
Just Squeeze Me
I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good
Jump For Joy
If Life Were All Peaches And Cream
Brownskin Gal In Calico Town
The Tune Of The Hickory Stick
Jump for Joy is Adderley’s reinterpretation, circa 1958, of a Duke Ellington stage musical from 1941. A minor artifact in the Duke’s long career, Jump for Joy is nonetheless a marvel, a response to Porgy and Bess that Ellington thought was a more accurate portrayal of African-American life. Adderley and arranger Bill Russo update the tunes into the then-current post-bop jazz vernacular but otherwise leave them alone for the simple reason that they don’t need any embellishment. Hearing Adderley’s often thrilling, always well-constructed alto sax improvisations over tunes like the standard “I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good” is reason enough for the album to exist, and although Russo’s orchestral flourishes occasionally threaten to overwhelm the soloist (especially on the closing “The Tune of the Hickory Stick”), they’re always at the very least charming examples of ’50s jazz-pop arrangements.