Marty Paich Big Band – What’s New

  • INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it can be found on this wonderful reissue
  • Discovery may not have produced or released a lot of top sounding titles, but this record by itself puts them well ahead of Classic Records, Mobile Fidelity and the dozens of other remastering houses who have turned out close to zero records of this sonic quality
  • If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1957 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy should be just the record for you – the music and sound are enchanting.
  • This copy is super-spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience – the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny
  • With engineering from the legendary Bones Howe at Radio Recorders, this record’s audiophile credentials are fully in order
  • If you’re a fan of brilliant West Coast Jazz charts, this All Tube Recording from 1957 belongs in your collection.
  • The complete list of titles from 1957 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

This is a wonderful example of the kind of record that makes record collecting FUN.

If you large group swinging West Coast Jazz is your thing – think Art Pepper Plus Eleven – you will really get a kick out of this one.

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.

The Original

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 to him, Dave Ellsworth and his team, not to mention the knowledge of how to use it right, 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 might have to seriously 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.

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 65 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-mastered 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.

What the Best Sides Of What’s New 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 1957
  • 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.

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.

Amazing Tubey Magic

For we audiophiles, both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1957 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy should be just the record for you.

This copy is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.

This is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There is of course a CD of the album, but those of us in possession of a working turntable could care less.

What We’re Listening For On What’s New

  • 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.

Top West Coast Players Letting Loose

  • Baritone Saxophone – Marty Berman
  • Bass – Joe Mondragon
  • Drums – Mel Lewis
  • Engineer – Bones Howe, Wally Kamin
  • French Horn – Vince De Rosa
  • Mastered By – Dave Ellsworth
  • Piano – Marty Paich
  • Producer – Albert L. Marx
  • Saxophone – Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper, Herb Geller
  • Trombone – Herbie Harper
  • Trumpet – Buddy Childers, Jack Sheldon, Pete Candoli
  • Valve Trombone, Clarinet – Bob Enevoldsen

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.

This is a wonderful example of the kind of record that makes record collecting FUN.

If you large group swinging West Coast Jazz is your thing – think Art Pepper Plus Eleven – you will really get a kick out of this one.

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.

The Original

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 to him, Dave Ellsworth and his team, not to mention the knowledge of how to use it right, 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 might have to seriously 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.

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 65 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-mastered 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.

What the Best Sides Of What’s New 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 1957
  • 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.

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.

Amazing Tubey Magic

For we audiophiles, both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1957 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy should be just the record for you.

This copy is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.

This is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There is of course a CD of the album, but those of us in possession of a working turntable could care less.

What We’re Listening For On What’s New

  • 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.

Top West Coast Players Letting Loose

  • Baritone Saxophone – Marty Berman
  • Bass – Joe Mondragon
  • Drums – Mel Lewis
  • Engineer – Bones Howe, Wally Kamin
  • French Horn – Vince De Rosa
  • Mastered By – Dave Ellsworth
  • Piano – Marty Paich
  • Producer – Albert L. Marx
  • Saxophone – Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper, Herb Geller
  • Trombone – Herbie Harper
  • Trumpet – Buddy Childers, Jack Sheldon, Pete Candoli
  • Valve Trombone, Clarinet – Bob Enevoldsen

Vinyl Condition

Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)

Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.

If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.

Side One

  • From Now On
  • Walkin On Home
  • Black Rose
  • Tommy’s Toon

Side Two

  • New Soft Shoe
  • What’s New
  • Easy Listenin
  • Martyni Time
  • Nice And Easy

 

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