- Some records never justified the time and money required to find Hot Stamper pressings of them in order to make it worth our while to do them again. This is one such album, and the link above will take you to many more.
- The sound of this superb jazz quintet is big, lively, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness
- The legendary engineer Val Valentin put this one on tape, brilliantly – he’s the man behind some of our All Time Pablo favorites
- “Trumpeter Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison and tenor saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis always made a potent pair. They both possessed immediately identifiable sounds, were veterans of Count Basie’s Orchestra and never had any difficulty swinging.” — Allmusic
Both sides of this outstanding pressing are big, rich, tubey and clear. Few other copies in our shootout held this kind of sound.
Titles such as this one are the reason we put so much time and money into hunting down and auditioning every Pablo jazz record we can get our hands on — because some of them sound like this one. Who else was recording jazz this good in the late ’70s and well into the ’80s?
And don’t say Concord. There are maybe five great sounding records on that label. Pablo has ten or twenty times that many, and that’s a conservative estimate. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Norman Granz for starting the Pablo label and keeping the quality as high as he did.
What do the best Hot Stamper pressings of Simply Sweets give you?
- 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 for the horns and drums, not the smear and thickness so 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, way behind the speakers. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt — Val Valentin — would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
The Players and Personnel
Bass – Harvey Newmark
Drums – Jimmie Smith
Piano – Dolo Coker
Tenor Saxophone – Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis
Trumpet – Harry “Sweets” Edison
Producer – Norman Granz
VAL VALENTIN’s engineering credits run for days. Some high points are of course Ella and Louis and Getz/Gilberto.
Recently we played a copy of We Get Requests by the Oscar Peterson Trio that blew our minds. And we have been big fans of Mel Tormé Swings Shubert Alley for more than a decade.
Pull up his credits on Allmusic. No one I am familiar with other than Rudy Van Gelder recorded more great jazz, and in our opinion, Valentin’s recordings are quite a bit more natural sounding than Rudy’s, especially with regard to the piano.
Dirty Butt Blues
One For The Count
Miz Kitty’s Blues
Trumpeter Harry “Sweets” Edison and tenor saxophonist Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis always made a potent pair. They both possessed immediately identifiable sounds, were veterans of Count Basie’s Orchestra and never had any difficulty swinging.
…the playing of the principals (along with pianist Dolo Coker who also makes a couple of surprising appearances on electric keyboard) holds one’s interest throughout.