- An outstanding copy of this classic audiophile favorite, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – fairly quiet vinyl too
- You’d be hard-pressed to find a copy that’s this well balanced, yet big and lively, with such wonderful clarity in the mids and highs
- Sublime, practically magical jazz trio sound (and music!) that belongs in every audiophile’s collection – on vintage vinyl that’s as quiet as we can find
- 5 stars: “Here is Vince Guaraldi’s breakthrough album — musically, commercially, in every which way… The whole album evokes the ambience of San Francisco’s jazz life in the 1960s as few others do.”
Great energy for this jazz classic. This quality cannot be emphasized enough, it’s critically important to the music.
The best copies really get the bottom right. They bring out the contribution of the bass player better, the bass being essential to the rhythm of the music. On these pressings, the bass is so tight and note-like, you can see right into the soundstage and practically watch Monte Budwig play.
This is precisely where the 45 RPM pressing goes off the rails. The bloated, much-too-heavy and poorly-defined bass of the Heavy Vinyl remaster makes a mess of the Brazilian and African rhythms inherent in the music. If you own that $50 waste of money, believe me, you will not be tapping your foot to Cast Your Fate to the Wind or Manha de Carnival.
If you happen to have a friend with that title in his collection, ask to take a peek at it. I’ll bet it’s pristine. Bad records don’t get played much. Some audiophiles have complained that we spend too much time bashing Heavy Vinyl, but if ever a record deserved it, it’s that one. It’s a failure as a remastering and an insult to the analog buying audiophile public at large. Searching the web, I am glad to see that no one seems to have anything nice to say about it, as of this writing. No one should, but that has not deterred the reviewers and forum posters in the past.
The piano is solid, mostly clear and not hard. Not many copies present the piano this way — correctly in other words. The amazing snare of Colin Bailey in the right channel is LIVELY and fun like you’ve never heard before.
There is no sacrifice in fullness, richness or Tubey Magic in the presentation, and that is the right sound for this music.
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 1962
- 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.
No Breakup on the Piano
I would be willing to bet that 90% or more of all the early pressings still in playable condition have some breakup on the piano. The old arms and carts of the day simply could not track the groove the way modern arms and carts can, and ended up damaging the record.
We are happy to report that this copy has no breakup on the piano at all.
What We Listen For on Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus
- 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.
Samba de Orpheus
Manha de Carnaval
O Nosso Amor
Cast Your Fate to the Wind
Since I Fell for You
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
Here is Vince Guaraldi’s breakthrough album — musically, commercially, in every which way. After numerous records as a leader or sideman, for the first time a recognizable Guaraldi piano style emerges, with whimsical phrasing all his own, a madly swinging right hand and occasional boogie-influenced left hand, and a distinctive, throat-catching, melodic improvisational gift…
The whole album evokes the ambience of San Francisco’s jazz life in the 1960s as few others do — and such is this record’s appeal that even non-jazz and non-Latin music people have been grooving to this music ever since it came out.
1963 Grammy Winner for Best Jazz Composition
Vince Guaraldi for “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” performed by the Vince Guaraldi Trio