Genre – Jazz – Piano & Vibes

Dave Brubeck – Time In from 1966

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  • You’ll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides of this pressing of Time In, the last album recorded in Brubeck’s “Time” series
  • This 360 Stereo pressing boasts the clean, clear, solid, lively piano sound we love about Brubeck’s records from this era
  • The best vintage pressings of Brubeck’s Columbia albums from the ’50 through the ’60s are exceptionally natural, with unerringly correct sound from top to bottom
  • 4 stars: “The last of pianist and composer Dave Brubeck’s “Time” recordings, and one of his most musically adventurous. Though it is seldom celebrated as such, this is one of Brubeck’s finest moments on Columbia.”

This vintage Columbia 360 stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign 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 audience at the live show, this is the record for you. It’s what Live Jazz Recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Milt Jackson with Oscar Peterson – Ain’t But a Few of Us Left

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A Top Pablo Recording

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  • An outstanding Pablo pressing, boasting Double Plus (A++) sound throughout and playing about as quietly as these LPs ever do
  • Both sides here are rich and full-bodied with tons of energy and a nice extended top end – this is the sound of ANALOG, and Pablo knew how to get it on tape and from there on to vinyl
  • “The music is unsurprising but still quite enjoyable and virtuosic as Bags and Co. perform blues, standards and ballads with their usual swing and bop-based creativity. Highlights include the title cut, “Stuffy,” “What Am I Here For” and a vibes-piano duo version of “A Time for Love.”” – 4 Stars

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The Tommy Flanagan Trio – On Moodsville

More Piano Jazz

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  • Rich, natural, transparent, spacious and musical throughout – you won’t believe how good this Mellow Jazz Classic from 1960 sounds
  • “Rudy van Gelder captured the exquisite sound in his usual manner by setting up a couple of high-fidelity microphones and letting the players and room speak for themselves. If I close my eyes, I’m in the Village Vanguard listening to him live.”
  • “With bassist Tommy Potter and drummer Roy Haynes giving the pianist fine support, the trio plays such songs as “You Go to My Head,” “Come Sunday” and “Born to Be Blue” quietly and with taste.”

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The Ramsey Lewis Trio – More Music From The Soil

  • More Music From The Soil makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from first note to last on this early Argo stereo LP
  • This pressing stood head and shoulders above the pack, with the kind of big, present, full-bodied sound this top piano trio demands (which is precisely where the Modern Heavy Vinyl reissue fails so spectacularly, most notably in the areas of size and presence)
  • Hard to imagine we could find another copy with sound this good and vinyl this quiet – not many Ramsey Lewis records from this era did survived with audiophile quality playing surfaces the way this one did
  • “This is a typically enjoyable and accessible early Ramsey Lewis Trio recording. The pianist, bassist Eldee Young, and drummer Red Holt swing their way through…”

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Bill Evans / Symbiosis – One of the Few MPS Pressings with (Potentially) Top Sound

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More Jazz Piano Recordings

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  • An outstanding copy of Evans’ wonderful 1974 album accompanied by symphony orchestra with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout
  • We dropped the needle on a copy years ago and heard wonderful audiophile sound right from the get-go
  • Bigger, richer, more Tubey Magical, with more extension on both ends of the spectrum and more depth, width and height than most other copies we played
  • We are not big fans of the MPS label — most of their stuff, especially the Oscar Peterson records they made, is not very good — but we sure liked this one
  • “… a special and unique entry in Evans’ huge catalog… Not your “typical” Bill Evans album–but that’s what makes SYMBIOSIS such a fine, gently challenging listen.”

On the best copies the strings have wonderful texture and sheen. If your system isn’t up to it (or you have a copy with a problem in this area), the strings might sound a little shrill and possibly grainy as well, but I’m here to tell you that the sound on the best copies is just fine with respect to string tone and timbre. You will need to look elsewhere for the problem. (more…)

Ray Charles – Soul Meeting

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More Milt Jackson

  • This killer pressing of Ray Charles and Milt Jackson’s 1958 collaboration boasts Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl for this title too
  • Full-bodied, warm and natural with plenty of space around all of the players, this is the sound of vintage analog – accept no substitutes
  • Kenny Burrell lends his innovative guitar stylings to this soulful jazz collaboration
  • 4 1/2 stars: “With Oscar Pettiford, Connie Kay, and Kenny Burrell in the various lineups, this is bluesy jazz in a laid-back manner; it surprised many hardcore R&B fans when these albums were originally issued.”

This wonderful pressing has superb sound throughout! It’s EXTREMELY rare to find a stereo copy of this title in anything but beat condition. (more…)

Bill Evans – The Paris Concert, Edition Two

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  • A superb original pressing with excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish and fairly quiet vinyl
  • These sides are doing most everything right – as befits a live concert, there’s an overall unprocessed quality to the sound and superb space around all three players
  • 4 1/2 stars: “[T]his could be considered Bill Evans’ final recording and serves as evidence that, rather than declining, he was showing a renewed vitality and enthusiasm in his last year.”

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Duke Ellington – Piano In The Background on Six Eye Columbia Vinyl

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More Vintage Columbia Pressings

  • This original Six Eye boasts superb Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one – this is As Good As It Gets, folks, and that’s very good indeed
  • Full-bodied and warm, exactly the way you want your vintage analog to sound
  • The piano is surprisingly real here, solid and dynamic
  • Classic Records remastered this title in the 2000s, as has Speakers Corner, but if you think either one of those pressings can hold a candle to the real thing from 1960, let us send you this record and disabuse you of that notion
  • 4 stars: “One of Ellington’s rarer studio sessions… Ellington’s solo abilities were always a bit underrated due to his brilliance in other areas, but this set shows just how modern he remained through the years as a player.”

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Andre Previn & His Pals – West Side Story on MoFi Reviewed

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Sonic Grade: B-

Another MoFi LP reviewed and this one’s pretty good!

I played this record a while back — it’s one of the Mobile Fidelity’s I remember liking from the old days — and sure enough it still sounds good. It does not have the phony boosted bottom and top that most MoFis do. Since it’s such a well recorded album, the sound is very impressive. Also the music is great. This is one of Previn’s best piano trio records. And Shelly Manne drums up a storm here. 


Some Relevant Commentaries

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Gary Burton – Lofty Fake Anagram (Now With Title Explanation)

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More Jazz Fusion

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  • Lofty Fake Anagram returns in “Living Stereo” with excellent Double Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • The RCA Stereo sound (not Living Stereo, but not that far from those halcyon days) is huge, spacious, lively, transparent and punchy – this is jazz fusion that is more jazz than fusion
  • 4 1/2 stars: “. . . it is the interplay between Burton and the rockish Coryell in this early fusion group (predating Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew by two years) that makes this session most notable.”

The Title According to The Man Himself

Typical of the weirdo ’60’s, there isn’t any anagram in the title. It came from a longer statement conjured up by Paul Haines, a writer acquaintance at the time. He had created a computer program to see if he could come up with a sentence that could not be turned into an anagram.

The result—”Your rappaplat bugle calls”—was what Paul referred to as his “lofty fakeanagram.” According to Paul, the computer couldn’t turn that odd sentence into another series of words. For some reason, “lofty fake anagram” had a ring to it that I was looking for in a title—something tat was both ambiguous and provocative.

That is also the last time I titled a record or a song with something that required an explanation. People kept asking what it meant, and I got tired of having to offer my pretty obtuse explanation. (more…)