- An outstanding original pressing of a Great American Gramophone Company Direct to Disc recording, with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
- Great energy, but the sound is relaxed and Tubey sweet at the same time, never squawky, with plenty of extension on both ends – that’s analog for ya!
- This is no sleepy over-the-hill Sheffield Direct to Disc (referring to the later Harry James titles, not the excellent first one) – these guys are the real deal and they play their hearts out on this live-in-the-studio recording
- Marks in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
One of the all time GREAT Direct to Disc recordings. For sound and music, this one is hard to beat. And the vinyl is as quiet as any you will find.
We went a bit overboard years ago when we wrote, “I don’t think you can find a better sounding big band record on the planet.” Well, we’ve heard plenty of amazing big band albums in the course of our Hot Stamper shootouts for the last five or ten years, albums by the likes of Basie, Zoot Sims, Ellington, Shorty Rogers, Ted Heath and others.
Not to mention the fact that the shockingly good Sauter-Finegan track “Song of the Volga Boatman” from the LP Memories Of Goodman and Miller is played regularly around these parts for cartridge setup and tuning, as well as general tweaking.
But that should take nothing away from this superb recording, made at the famously good-sounding Capitol Records Studio A, with none other than Wally Heider doing the mix and Ken Perry manning the lathe.
We also noted that, “It absolutely murders all the Sheffield big band records, which sound like they were made by old tired men sorely in need of their naps. Way past their prime anyway”, which is mostly true.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra heard here was an actively touring band. They know this material inside and out, they clearly love it, and they’re used to playing the hell out of it practically every night.
If you like the tunes that Glenn Miller made famous — “String of Pearls,” “In The Mood,” “Tuxedo Junction” — you will have a very hard time finding them performed with more gusto, or recorded with anything approaching this kind of fidelity.
What The Best Sides Of The Direct Disc Sound of… 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 1977
- 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.
What We’re Listening For On The Direct Disc Sound of…
- 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.
Here We Go Again
String of Pearls
Rhapsody In Blue
I got Rhythm
In The Mood