This album is findable on the OJC pressing from the ’80s, but we found the sound of the OJC pressings we played seriously wanting. They were thinner and brighter than even the worst of the ’70s LPs we had auditioned. They did not make the cut for our shootout. That is not our sound. It’s not the sound Roy DuNann was famous for, so why should we like it either?
Some OJC pressings are great — including even some of the new ones — some are awful, and the only way to judge them fairly is to judge them individually, which requires actually playing a large enough sample.
Since virtually no record collectors or audiophiles like doing that, they make faulty judgments – OJC’s are cheap reissues sourced from digital tapes, run for the hills! – based on their biases and inadequate sample sizes.
You can find those who subscribe to this approach on every audiophile forum there is. The methods they have adopted do not produce good results, but as long as they stick to them they will never have to worry about discovering that inconvenient truth. (more…)
A STUNNING copy of the group’s 1956 release with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides – fairly quiet vinyl too
The clarity and transparency on this vintage pressing are wonderful, but more importantly it’s the unerringly correct tonality that’s most impressive when you play these real Contemporary pressings against the competition
Yet another amazing All Tube Contemporary recording from Roy DuNann and Lester Koenig at the beginning of the stereo era
4 1/2 stars: “During 1956-1957, bassist Curtis Counce led an excellent Los Angeles-based hard bop quintet… All of Counce’s recordings are well-worth getting by collectors [and especially audiophiles] interested in 1950s straight-ahead jazz [with top quality sound].”
Jack Sheldon is absolutely amazing and completely original on trumpet here. Check out his stellar work on the first track, Landslide. Not only that, but the sound of his instrument is wonderful — you’ll never hear a trumpet sound so rich and full on a Rudy Van Gelder recording, that’s for sure!
Both sides are over twenty minutes, giving you a lot of well-played West Coast Jazz for your money.(more…)
You’ll find excellent sound on this original Limelight LP – both sides play exceptionally quietly too
This copy sounds like a big room full of musicians (25 in all!) playing live, which is exactly what it was
The Tubey Magical richness of this 1960 recording (released in 1961) is breathtaking – no modern record can touch it
Allmusic gives it 4 stars and we think it’s maybe even a bit better than that
Two tracks are contrapuntal arrangements of two swing era pieces, whereby “Take the “A” Train” (left channel) is paired with a simultaneous “Exactly Like You” (right channel), and likewise “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear From Me” with “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart”.
This copy has the original bound-in booklet with pictures and background on the recording, which was “directed” by none other than Leonard Feather. The original cover is not in great shape, so we are including a reissue cover from the ’70s as well.
The best copies recreate a live studio space the size of which you will not believe (assuming your room can do a good job of recreating their room). The sound is tonally correct, Tubey Magical and above all natural. The timbre of each and every instrument is right and it doesn’t take a pair of golden ears to hear it -so high-resolution too.
If you love ’50s and ’60s jazz you cannot go wrong here. Mingus was a genius and the original music on this record is just one more album’s worth of proof of the undeniability of that fact.(more…)
This Concord Jazz LP has excellent sound. There is a half-speed mastered audiophile version of this record cut by Stan Ricker himself.
Now hold on: half-speed mastering by its very nature causes a dramatic loss of bass definition, not to mention the fact that much of the deep bass usually goes completely missing. This is a record built around the sound of Ray Brown’s double bass. Do you really want the lowest octave of bass to disappear and the bass above it to turn to mud on a record that features a bass player as its leader? It’s crazy, right?
I’ve never heard the half-speed and don’t plan to track one down in order to audition, but I guarantee you that this “full-speed” mastered version will blow the doors off any version mastered by Stan Ricker.
There is plenty of commentary on the website about his incompetent mastering and I recommend you take a moment to read some of it before you buy any half-speed mastered record. (We of course do not offer such records, with the exception of John Klemmer’s Touch, which is a half-speed mastered record that actually does sound good, superb in fact.)
Insanely good sound throughout for this Contemporary Yellow Label pressing with both sides earning nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, just shy of our Shootout Winner
These sides are superb — clean, clear, full-bodied and dynamic with tons of energy
Counce is a wonderful bassist and here he’s joined by Jack Sheldon, Harold Land, Carl Perkins and Frank Butler; I think you’ll be very impressed with how good this music from the late ’50s still sounds today
“Bassist Curtis Counce led one of the finer West Coast-based groups of the 1950s, a quintet that was greatly underrated… This excellent music falls somewhere between hard bop and cool jazz.” – All Music, 4 1/2 Stars
A superb sounding copy on the real Contemporary label, boasting outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl throughout
This vintage pressing has the studio space, presence, driving energy, and midrange magic that’s almost always missing from whatever 180g reissue (at 33 or 45, don’t fall for that BS) has been made from the 59 year old tapes
“Although the Curtis Counce Quintet was not a commercial success, their four Contemporary albums were all timeless in their own way, undated examples of high-quality hard bop from the late ’50s. Excellent music that still sounds fresh four decades later.”
If you hear something that sounds like Frank Zappa’s music circa Waka Jawaka don’t be surprised, we heard it too. Mingus and Zappa were both eccentric geniuses so it only makes sense that they arrived at some of the same musical ideas as they evolved as composers.
Side one is big, rich, Tubey Magical and natural. The saxophone that solos is front and center and lively. Above all the music works on this side.
Side two is especially rich and tubey. It will sound thick and dark unless you get the volume up to the level it wants to be for the mix to work (which simply means that the album was balanced at louder levels to sound correct at louder levels). A little more top end extension would be nice but the music sounds right on the copy the way it is.(more…)
Leroy Vinnegar’s debut album finally arrives on the site with a KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a truly oustanding Double Plus (A++) side one
The Contemporary LP stereo sound here is completely natural in every respect, yet still rich, warm and smooth
Roy DuNann and Howard Holzer engineered some of the best sounding records we have ever heard – here’s a textbook example of what the audiophiles at Contemporary were able to achieve in the studio
4 stars: “…Vinnegar generously features his talented sidemen… A fine, straight-ahead session.”
For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are wonderful. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good an 1958 All Tube Analog Contemporary recording can sound, this killer copy will do the trick.(more…)
This rare and wonderful album from 1988 on the original MCA label offers outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
In-the-room vocal presence (Jennifer Warnes is stunning on Leonard Cohen’s Ballad Of The Runaway Horse) and tight, note-like bass are key to the best pressings
Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout – Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus – they don’t come quieter in our experience
4 1/2 stars: “Some amazing duets and a great lineup that includes Aaron Neville (v), Stephane Grappelli (violin), Dan Hicks (v, g), and so on. The jazz community missed this one.” [But the audiophile community loved it.)
This stunning sounding original copy has amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides – it’s guaranteed to blow your mind
The sound here is vintage Living Stereo at its best – big, rich and Tubey Magical like you will not believe
These Black Label originals can rarely be found any quieter than this one – it plays Mint Minus Minus for the most part
5 stars: “Mingus at the time said that this was his greatest recording, and it certainly ranks near the top.”
NOTE: There are a few very light, barely audible marks on side one that play intermittently. There are four light pops at the start of track one and three light pops at the end of the track. There are also seven very soft pops near the middle of track 2.
This is the way it must have sounded in 1957, when legendary RCA engineers BOB SIMPSON and RAY HALL were sitting behind the board in the New York studios where it was recorded.(more…)