Albert Marx was the producer of the original sessions back in 1957. Fast-forward to the ’80s and Marx is now the owner of his very own jazz label, Discovery Records. Who would know the sound of the original tapes better than he? Working with Dave Ellsworth at KM, Marx has here produced one of the best jazz reissues we’ve heard in years.
We finally got hold of an original, and sure enough, it had some of the qualities we might have guessed it would have.
It was big and rich, as expected, but it was also crude and gritty, like a lot of old jazz and pop vocal records from the ’50s are.
The reissue not only got rid of those problems, but because it was cut properly on much better mastering equipment, it was also more open and resolving of studio space and detail.
If you want to know what a properly remastered record sounds like, this pressing will show you. It should also make clear that the second-rate pressings being made today are a disgrace, pure and simple, a drum we have been beating on for at least the last fifteen years.
If only these modern engineers could put together the quality mastering chain that Albert Marx had available, as well as Dave Ellsworth and his team, not to mention the knowledge of how to use it, and the critical listening skills required to get it right and to recognize when it was right.
Practically all of the qualities missing from modern records are found right here on this budget Discovery pressing. If more reissues sounded like this, we seriously might have to rethink our business model.
But modern reissues don’t sound like this. They practically never do. Which makes the service we offer more necessary than ever.
And if you can’t afford our records, we tell you how to find your own Hot Stampers.
Old and New
As we never tire of saying, Old and New can sometimes work extremely well together. What’s “New” is another remarkable Demo Disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording Technology, with the added benefit of mastering on the more modern cutting equipment of the early ’80s. We are of course referring to the good modern mastering of 40 years ago, not the bad modern mastering of today.
This album was surely mastered from the real two-track analog tapes, not some digital copies of whatever master they could lay their hands on. And the difference, of course, is not just audible. It’s night and day.
Cool West Coast Jazz
If you like the sound of relaxed, tube-recording-chain jazz — and what red-blooded audiophile doesn’t — you can’t do much better than Marty Paich and the group of pro’s pros he rounded up for these sessions. The warmth and immediacy of the sound here are guaranteed to blow practically any Large Jazz Group recording you own right out of the water.
Both sides of this very special pressing are huge, rich, tubey and clear. As soon as the band got going we knew that this was absolutely the right sound for this music.
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.