Henry Mancini / Hatari! – Our Shootout Winner from 2009

This Super Hot Stamper pressing is one of the BEST COPIES we’ve ever played! Both sides earned very high A Double Plus honors, beating practically all the other copies we played it against. The sound is relaxed, natural, and musical, with an incredibly sweet top end. 

The overall sound is airy, open, spacious, and SUPER transparent. The brass on this copy also sounds just right: breathy with a nice bite, avoiding most of the blare-y quality we heard on so many other pressings. (There is a touch of smear on even the best copies; this one is no different.)

The sound is Super 3-D. You’re not going to believe all the ambience surrounding this room full of musicians, especially on the drums! We LOVE that sound.

Baby Elephant Walk is of course the track everyone knows, and just wait until you hear how breathy the calliope is here. When the piccolos come in watch out! There is more high frequency information on this album from the woodwinds alone than from all the instruments on 99 out of 100 other records. (A tough tracking test if ever there was one!)

High Fidelity

What do we love about these Living Stereo Hot Stamper pressings? The timbre of every instrument is Hi-Fi in the best sense of the word. The instruments here are reproduced with remarkable fidelity. Now that’s what I call Hi-Fi, not the kind of Audiophile Phony BS Sound that passes for Hi-Fidelity these days. There’s no boosted top, there’s no bloated bottom, there’s no sucked-out midrange. There’s no added digital reverb (Patricia Barber, Diana Krall, et al.). The microphones are not fifty feet away from the musicians (Water Lily) nor are they inches away (Three Blind Mice).

This is Hi-Fidelity for those who recognize The Real Thing when they hear it. I’m pretty sure our customers do, and any of you out there who pick this one up should get a real kick out of it!

Hard to Find?

Not really; they made loads of these back in the day. But so many just don’t sound good. As we so often say about famous TAS List records like this, playing the average copy would make you think that Harry must have been smoking something when he nominated Hatari to be a Super Disc.

And we have to defend him when a copy like this comes along that really IS a Super Disc. (Well, sort of. It’s a great sounding record. Super Disc I’m not so sure about.)

And the vinyl on this copy is fairly quiet on both sides too. You will have a hard time finding a quieter one, or one with better sound.


Side One

Theme from “Hatari!”
Baby Elephant Walk
Just for Tonight
Your Father’s Feathers
Night Side
Big Band Bwana

Side Two

The Sounds of Hatari
The Soft Touch
Crocodile, Go Home!

AMG  Review

This is at first a fun blend of jazz and Afro-exotica, jungle drums mixed with a classic bop combo. Elsewhere, however, the soundtrack opts for some pleasant, but very Western jazz, only stopping for the African instrument-sampler “The Sounds of Hatari,” which features some nice treated piano.