Genre – Jazz – Flute

Los Admiradores / Bongos Flutes Guitars – Robert Fine Knocked This One Out of the Park

More Hot Stamper Pressings of Easy Listening Albums

More Recordings by Robert Fine

First things first: one of the main bongo players is none other than Ray Barretto himself. You jazz guys out there will know exactly who that is, a man whose reputation for brilliant rhythmic contributions to some of the greatest classic jazz albums of the ’60s is beyond dispute. One listen to Midnight Blue will do the trick. The man had a gift. And he is here joined by two other top players.

And of course the guitarist has to be the incomparable Tony Mottola, the man behind one of our favorite jazz guitar records of all time: Warm, Wild and Wonderful.

Soundfield, Timbre and Dynamics

The spaciousness of the studio is reproduced with uncanny fidelity, with both huge depth and width, but there is another dimension that this record is operating in that Bang, Baa-room and Harp, just to take one example, does not — the instruments are capable of jumping out of your speakers, seemingly right into your listening room.

The effect is astonishing. I have never heard these instruments sound more real than they do here. The timbre is perfection. The dynamics are startling.

Add to those clearly unattenuated dynamics, high and low frequencies that are also not attenuated, and microphones capable of deadly accuracy, and you have yourself a recording of virtually unparalleled fidelity. We’ve played these kinds of records by the score but I have rarely heard one that can do what this one is doing. (more…)

Herbie Mann – Latin Mann

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This White Hot Stamper 2-pack has Demo Disc Live Latin Jazz sound and crazy fun music. Both sides are so clear, rich, natural and present you’ll have a very hard time finding fault with the sound. And the music is great too – this is a Big Band with a swarm of Latin percussionists added to kick up the heat.

This Columbia recording from 1965 has the sound we love here at Better Records, or at least two of the sides of two of these copies do. When you play the other sides you may be in for quite a shock, especially the bad side two included in this two pack. (more…)

Herbie Mann / Live At The Village Gate – on Audio Fidelity Heavy Vinyl

Sonic Grade: D-

Hall of Shame pressing. It’s yet another Disastrous Heavy Vinyl release with godawful sound.

What a murky mess.

Hard to imagine you couldn’t find a common domestic pressing that wouldn’t sound better.. 

“Mann’s hit version of “Comin’ Home Baby” from this live set became his first big hit. Composer Ben Tucker plays second bass on that cut, and Mann’s other sidemen include vibraphonist Hagood Hardy, bassist Ahmed Abdul-Malik, drummer Rudy Collins, and Chief Bey and Ray Mantilla on percussion. In addition to “Comin’ Home Baby,” Mann and his men perform memorable versions of “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”; the latter is 20 minutes long. Recommended.” – AMG 4 1/2 Star Rave Review 


Herbie Mann – Live At The Village Gate

  • A killer Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with a solid Double Plus (A++) side two for what is probably the most well known album Herbie Mann ever mad
  • One of the better flute jazz albums we’ve heard, both in terms of sonics and music
  • 4 1/2 stars on Allmusic: “In addition to “Comin’ Home Baby,” Mann and his men perform memorable versions of “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So”; the latter is 20 minutes long. Recommended.”

We’ve been trying to track down top pressings of this one for ages, but they are tough to come by and often noisy.

Both sides really shine with a meaty bottom end, lots of energy, an extended top and wonderful transparency. The soundstage is big and open with lots of depth, giving room to all the various players and their instruments.

Would you believe a song from this album was sampled and turned into a big hit in the ’90s? The great version of Gershwin’s Summertime on side one provided the backbone for the band Sublime’s 1997 single Doin’ Time. Maybe not of much interest to most of us baby boomer audiophiles, but the younger guys around here all had a good laugh when they recognized the break. Maybe your kids will too? (more…)