- A KILLER original stereo pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- This is an AMAZINGLY well-recorded album – big, rich, and positively exploding with the fun jazz energy Adderley is known for
- And don’t forget Oliver Nelson’s swinging arrangements for this group, surely a match made in Heaven
- Why isn’t this LP better known? It’s one of the best jazz albums we’ve “discovered” recently, with the Big Sound we Big Speaker guys flip for
- “Both Adderleys feature through a series of monumental sounding charts by Oliver Nelson on some very enterprising material.”
This vintage Capitol 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 amazing 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 1965
- 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.
What We’re Listening For on Domination
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 the full complement of harmonic information.
In addition, when the top end is lacking, the upper midrange and high frequencies get jammed together — the highs can’t extend up and away from the upper mids. This causes a number of much-too-common problems that we hear in the upper midrange of many of the records we play: congestion, hardness, harshness, and squawk. (Painstaking Vertical Tracking Angle adjustment is absolutely critical if you want your records to play with the least amount of these problems, a subject we discuss in the Commentary section of the site at length.)
Tube smear is common to most pressings from the ’50s and ’60s. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have little or none, yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.
Full-bodied sound is especially critical to the horns; any blare, leanness or squawk ruins at least some of the fun, certainly at the louder levels the record should be playing at.
The frequency extremes (on the best copies) are not boosted in any way. When you play this record quietly, the bottom and top will disappear (due to the way the ear handles quieter sounds as described by the Fletcher-Munson curve).
Most records (like most audiophile stereos) are designed to sound correct at moderate levels. Not this album. It wants you to turn it up. Then, and only then, will everything sound completely right musically and tonally from top to bottom.
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.
What do we love about these vintage pressings? The timbre of every instrument is Hi-Fi in the best sense of the word. The unique sound of every instrument is reproduced with remarkable fidelity. That’s what we at Better Records mean by “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.
This is Hi-Fidelity for those who recognize The Real Thing when they hear it. I’m pretty sure our customers do, and whoever picks this record up is guaranteed to get a real kick out of it.
Introduction To A Samba
Shake A Lady
I Worship You
Following suit with several other great jazz soloists, Cannonball Adderley teamed with Oliver Nelson and a star-studded 18-piece big band plus percussionists for this program of big-band-coerced modern post-bop. Brother Nat Adderley joins Cannonball, in many instances playing tandem lines, while the alto saxophonist plays solos on many of these selections, all originals written by a variety of authors. If you remember Cannonball Adderley’s first album in collaboration with Quincy Jones, you can easily correlate the similarities between the two recordings.
Bop is the central character, as heard during the title track in its truly collaborative sound and the exceptional track “Gon Gong,” based in a two-note vehicle that supports the alto saxophonist and the horn section. Both Adderley brothers play together quite a bit on head melodies, with the exotic, self-explanatory “Introduction to a Samba” and the boppish “Interlude” as the best examples. Getting more into the Latin bit, “Shake a Lady” simmers slowly in a hip and sexy Afro-Cuban cha-cha, while “Cyclops,” despite the unwieldy title, is a typical soul-jazz number that Nelson regularly doled out, with counterpointed brass and woodwinds battling it out. While not an essential or pivotal recording in Cannonball Adderley’s career, Domination is one of his few big-band joint efforts, an intriguing studio-produced sidebar in his otherwise stellar discography.