Jive At Five arrives on the site with killer Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
This hard to find Prestige Swingville LP is big, spacious, swinging with energy and absolutely jumping out of the speakers
4 stars: “…[this music] is very much in the Count Basie vein. That fact is not too surprising when one considers that the quintet includes three members of Basie’s men: trumpeter Joe Newman, tenor saxophonist Frank Wess and bassist Eddie Jones. Joined by the complementary pianist Tommy Flanagan and drummer Oliver Jackson, Newman and his friends swing their way through four vintage standards and a couple of the leader’s original blues…”
Jive at Five is one of my all-time favorite jazz trumpet albums. This Shootout Winning Prestige reissue might very well turn you into a big fan as well.
I highly recommended this album back in the day. Hearing it now as a much older man, having played thousands of jazz records in the ensuing decades, and thankfully being able to hear it on much better equipment than I had back then, I realize both the music and sound (can’t forget that!) have stood the test of time very well indeed.
This is what a good jazz trumpet album should sound like, miles from the squawky, muted microphone-distorted horn sound so many audiophiles seem to revere. I’m guessing you know who I’m referring to. Miles Davis was surely a genius and a brilliant innovator, but his horn sound from the sixties on was never as relaxed, smooth and natural as it is on this wonderful Joe Newman Quintet album from 1960.
Joe was one of Basie’s long-time band members, a fiery soloist with an unerring sense of swing. This album ably demonstrates those qualities. The guy is passionate but he never gets lost in his own solos; he keeps the melodies and the swing front and center.(more…)
This Original Miles Davis record has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND! Columbia jazz records from this period are some of the best sounding jazz records ever made, and this is a perfect example of what is right with their recordings. The sound is rich, full, sweet, tonally right on the money, and lively as can be.
This is an interesting album because half of it is recorded in Hollywood and half of it in New York, with the songs in each location interpersed on the sides. Victor Feldman handles the piano duties in California; Herbie Hancock in New York. I actually prefer Victor Feldman’s playing on this record. We don’t get to hear his piano work often — he’s really quite good. (Cal Tjader started out on the drums but it’s tough to find records with him drumming.)
Anyway, one of the thoughts that occurred to me when I was playing this record is this: Why is there no audiophile reissue on any label that sounds like this? There’s something about the sound of these old records, these original pressings, that’s impossible to recapture with modern equipment. It may not be impossible, but until somebody manages to do it, it might as well be.
When you drop the needle at the beginning of side one and hear Miles’ muted trumpet come jumping out of your speakers, I guarantee you will be amazed or your money back!
This pressing boasts insanely good Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, a huge step up from most copies
There’s plenty of 1965 Columbia 360 Label Tubey Magic in Stereo – the analog sound is real, tonally correct, and above all, natural
Miles fronts his second classic quintet here – saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Tony Williams
“They created a unique sound that came to define the very sound of modern jazz … ESP remains one of their very best albums.” — 4 1/2 stars
This Columbia 360 Label pressing is one of the better copies of E.S.P. we’ve heard.
It’s richer and fuller, with more ambience, and the trumpet and piano are just amazing sounding. You’re going to have a fairly tough time finding a copy that is anywhere near as impressive as this one. Trust me — we know whereof we speak. We’re always trying and all too often coming up short. Not here though! (more…)
Insanely good Classic Jazz sound for this wonderful Miles Davis collection, with both sides rating Triple Plus (A+++)
The nine minute plus Green Dolphin Street that opens side two has some of the coolest jazz you will ever hear, on any record, at any price
If you want to know what the best copies of Kind of Blue sound like, this pressing will tell you, because it has that sound
We’re talking Bill Evans, John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley in their prime, 1958, with top 1958 sound to match
Want to know how good our Hot Stamper Kind of Blue pressings sound? Listen to this very record. If you play the tracks that were recorded in 1958, the year before Kind of Blue, you will hear practically the same lineup of musicians.(more…)
Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – you will have a very hard time finding a better Porgy and Bess
This 30th Street recording shows just how good Columbia’s legendary engineers were back then
If you’re looking for a stunningly natural, lifelike large group jazz recording, you can’t do much better than this album
5 stars: “The musical and social impact of Miles Davis, his collaborative efforts with Gil Evans, and in particular their reinvention of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess are indeed profound… It was Evans’ intimate knowledge of the composition that allowed him to so definitively capture the essence… No collection of American jazz can be deemed complete without this recording…”
The music is a classic example of the partnership between Davis and arranger Gil Evans, and a must-own for serious jazz fans. Those of you who have marveled at the sound of our Hot Stamper copies of Sketches Of Spain are sure to get a lot out of this one.(more…)
When you get a Hot Stamper like this one the sound is truly MAGICAL. (AMG has that dead right in their review.) Tons of ambience, Tubey Magic all over the place; let’s face it, this is one of those famous Columbia recordings that shows just how good the Columbia engineers were back then. The sound is lively but never strained. Davis’s horn has breath and bite just like the real thing. What more can you ask for?
We Was Wrong in the Past About HP and Six Eye Labels
In previous commentary we had written:
Harry Pearson added this record to his TAS List of Super Discs a few years back, not exactly a tough call it seems to us. Who can’t hear that this is an amazing sounding recording?
Of course you can be quite sure that he would have been listening exclusively to the earliest pressings on the Six Eye label. Which simply means that he probably never heard a copy with the clarity, transparency and freedom from distortion that these later label pressings offer.
The Six Eyes are full of Tubey Magic, don’t get me wrong; Davis’s trumpet can be and usually is wonderful sounding. It’s everything else that tends to suffer, especially the strings, which are shrill and smeary on most copies, Six Eyes, 360s and Red Labels included.
Over the course of the last few years we’ve come to appreciate just how good the right Six Eye stereo pressing can sound.
In fact, the two copies earning the highest grades were both original stereo pressings. Other pressings did well, but none did as well as the originals. This has never been our experience with Kind of Blue by the way. The later pressings have always done the best job of communicating the music on that album. (more…)
With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side two and a Double Plus (A++) side one, this copy took top honors in our recent shootout
These good sides are so much bigger and more open, with more bass and energy – the saxes and trumpets are immediate and lively
Mr. Earl Hines himself showed up, a man who knows this music like nobody’s business – Leroy Vinnegar and Shelly Manne round out the quartet
“Great musicians produce great results, and most of the LP’s tracks were done in one or two takes. The result is ‘a spontaneous, swinging record of what happened’ when Carter met Hines ‘for the first time. . . .'”
We finally built up enough copies of this great album to do a shootout, our first since 2012, which ought to tell you something about the used record market these days. This copy had most of the Tubey Magic of the originals we played, with all of the amazing clarity and freedom from distortion the later pressings are capable of reproducing — the best of both worlds.
Our Yellow Label Contemporary pressing in stereo of Benny Carter’s swingin’ jazz quartet is the very definition of a top jazz recording from the late ’50s mastered through a modern, very high quality cutting chain. There’s good extension on the top end, with TONS of what you might not expect: Tubey Magic and Richness. If that’s what you’re looking for, this copy has got it!(more…)
These are just some of the recordings by Chet Baker that we’ve auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we’ll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.
A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.+