- This KILLER Pablo LP, engineered by the brilliant Allen Sides, has killer sound from start to finish – which is to be expected from this amazing engineer, responsible for recordings like 88 Basie Street
- The overall impression one gets of this recording is BIG – big stage and full size instruments
- This is Cinerama sound, wall to wall and floor to ceiling
- The recording is so transparent you can clearly hear the contribution his reed makes to his sound
- 4 stars: “… Norman Granz’s idea to match Zoot Sims’ lyrical, swinging tenor sax with Johnny Mandel’s equally arresting compositions was a masterful one. Sims’ tart, alternately lush and furious solos were wonderfully spotlighted on such tunes as “Cinnamon and Cloves,” “Emily” and “Zoot.”
This is one of the best Zoot Sims records. He plays beautifully. This melodic, smooth material is what he excels at. His breathy saxophone style will remind you of Coleman Hawkins and Ben Webster. This recording captures that sound perfectly.
The other Must-Own Zoot Sims record is Passion Flower, also on Pablo. If you see one, grab it. Amazing audiophile quality sound.
Note the length of the tunes on this album. The first side has two 7+ minute long explorations and on side two 2 songs clock in at 6 minutes and the ballad Emily at more than 9 minutes. Cinnamon & Cloves is probably my favorite track on the album. Zoot plays samba as well as Stan Getz — he’s just not as famous for it.
This vintage Pablo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely 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 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 Quietly There 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 1984
- 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.
What We’re Listening For On Quietly There
- 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.
A Time For Love
Cinnamon And Cloves
Norman Granz’s idea to match Zoot Sims’ lyrical, swinging tenor sax with Johnny Mandel’s equally arresting compositions was a masterful one. Sims’ tart, alternately lush and furious solos were wonderfully spotlighted on such tunes as “Cinnamon and Cloves,” “Emily” and “Zoot.” The six-tune session… also contains effective piano solos from Mike Wofford. The date’s tour-de-force was its final selection, the wonderful “Low Life,” which Sims probed, illuminated and ultimately redefined via his solo.