Stanley Turrentine – The Spoiler

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  • The Spoiler makes its Hot Stamper debut with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades throughout – just shy of our Shootout Winner  
  • Another triumph for Rudy Van Gelder – he refined a “live-in-the-studio” jazz sound that still sounds fresh to this day, even after 50+ years
  • Surprisingly dynamic, with great energy, this copy brought Stanley Turrntine’s music to life right in our listening room
  • 4 1/2 stars: “Turrentine is in fine form throughout the date, even finding something to say on ‘Sunny.’ ‘La Fiesta’ (no relation to the later Chick Corea tune) is the highpoint of a largely enjoyable set.”

*NOTE: On side one, a mark makes 8 light to moderate pops two-thirds of the way through track 2, When The Sun Comes Out.

These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top quality sound that’s often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers (“relative” being relative considering the prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don’t agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.

This vintage Blue Note 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 Turrentine and 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 The Spoiler 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 1967
  • 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 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’re Listening For on The Spoiler

  • 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 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, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt — Rudy Van Gelder in this case — would put them.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

The Players

Stanley Turrentine – tenor saxophone
Blue Mitchell – trumpet
Julian Priester – trombone
James Spaulding – alto saxophone, flute
Pepper Adams – baritone saxophone
McCoy Tyner – piano
Bob Cranshaw – bass, electric bass
Mickey Roker – drums
Joseph Rivera – percussion

TRACK LISTING

Side One

The Magilla
When The Sun Comes Out
La Fiesta

Side Two

Sonny
Theme From “The Oscar” (Maybe September)
You’re Gonna Hear From Me

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

… Although he is accompanied by an all-star group that includes trumpeter Blue Mitchell, altoist James Spaulding, baritonist Pepper Adams and pianist McCoy Tyner, Turrentine’s sidemen could almost have been anonymous studio players for the tenor is the dominant voice throughout. It is surprising that Pearson did not make more extensive use of the other musicians’ unique talents, particularly Tyner. However, despite some potentially indifferent material, Turrentine is in fine form throughout the date, even finding something to say on “Sunny.” “La Fiesta” (no relation to the later Chick Corea tune) is the highpoint of a largely enjoyable set.

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