- This original CTI pressing was doing practically everything right, with both sides earning KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them – fairly quiet vinyl too
- Rudy Van Gelder really knocked this one out of the park – the sound here is solid, punchy and present, just the way we like it
- You will have a very hard time finding a better sounding funky Soul Jazz album than this copy of Cherry
- “Stanley Turrentine’s husky tenor is a perfect match for Milt Jackson’s soulful vibes, and when Bob James’ masterful work on the Fender Rhodes is thrown into the mix we get a heady blend of soul-jazz, hard bop and the burgeoning funk-jazz sound all wrapped into one cohesive and very enjoyable record.” – The Jazz Record.com
- This early CTI pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides
- Full-bodied, warm and natural with plenty of space around all of the players, this is the sound of vintage analog – accept no substitutes
- The sound is everything that’s good about Rudy Van Gelder‘s recordings – it’s present, spacious, full-bodied, Tubey Magical, dynamic and, most importantly, alive in that way that modern pressings never are
- 5 stars: “Recorded between trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s better-known classics Red Clay and First Light, Straight Life is actually arguably Hubbard’s greatest recording.”
Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG
Straight Life is a great album for anyone who wants to hear some well recorded, seriously adventurous jazz. We freely admit that side one is fairly ‘out there,’ but side two balances it out with much more accessible, melodic material. A wonderfully sensitive and emotional version of “Here’s That Rainy Day” closes out the side with George Benson proving to be an especially sympathetic accompanist on guitar.
- An excellent copy of this 2 LP set with roughly Double Plus (A++) sound on all FOUR sides
- Sides two, three, and four are clean, clear, lively and present with tons of space around all of the players, and side one is not far behind in all those areas
- You can hear right into the soundfield, and you can be sure that there’s a whole lot more going on in there than you can bring out, but that’s what makes audio fun
- Improving your playback can reveal more and more of what’s always been in the grooves of your records
- This is not an easy album to find in clean condition, let alone a copy that sounds like this and plays reasonably well throughout
- If jazz-fusion is your bag, the Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side three of this copy will take you on a trip like few other records could
- 5 stars: “Thought by many to be the most revolutionary album in jazz history, having virtually created the genre known as jazz-rock fusion (for better or worse) and being the jazz album to most influence rock and funk musicians, Bitches Brew is, by its very nature, mercurial.”
The incredible musicianship and Teo Macero’s innovative production each help take these jazz-fusion soundscapes to places most folks had never imagined before. And a copy like this one takes the entire production to a whole new level. I can’t begin to tell you how many crappy copies have hit our table over the years, but after finding this one I’m really glad we never gave up on this album.
I remember buying this record when I was in college and I had a hell of a time trying to make any sense of it. I also bought the first two Weather Report albums and had a hell of a time with those. But then when Sweetnighter came out, which was angular but still accessible, this kind of music started to make sense to me. This is music for those who want to be challenged. It’s as true today as it was 53 years ago when this record came out.
Our favorite track on this album, “Miles Runs The Voodoo Down,” is found on the Double Plus (A++) side four, which means the sound for it is OUTSTANDING.
- Superb sound throughout this wonderful Elektra pressing
- Both sides here are rich, full-bodied and musical – this is the sound of Analog that we fell in love with all those years ago (57 and counting in my case)
- We’ve called this album a Demo Disc for Bass and any Hot Stamper copy will show you why
- 4 1/2 stars: “Winelight is one of his finest albums, and not primarily because of the Bill Withers hit “Just the Two of Us.” It is the five instrumentals that find Washington (on soprano, alto, and tenor) really stretching out…”
- Black Byrd finally arrives on the site with solid Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
- This vintage Blue Note pressing is Tubey Magical, lively and clear, with three-dimensionality that will fill your listening room from wall to wall
- 5 stars: “Never before had a jazz musician embraced the celebratory sound and style of contemporary funk as fully as Byrd did here — not even Davis, whose dark, chaotic jungle-funk stood in sharp contrast to the bright, breezy, danceable music on Black Byrd. Byrd gives free rein to producer/arranger/composer Larry Mizell, who crafts a series of tightly focused, melodic pieces often indebted to the lengthier orchestrations of Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield.”
We played a bunch of these recently and only a few had the kind of sound we were looking for. This one was one of the best we heard — big, bold and lively with excellent presence. The bottom end is meaty and punchy, the highs are sweet and extended, and the mids sound tonally right on the money. Most copies didn’t jump out of the speakers the way this one does. You’ll have a hard time finding such rich, smooth sound for this wonderful jazz album.
Some of these later pressings are just plain weak, but every now and then you find one like this that clearly benefits from the use of modern cutting equipment. The bass is tighter, the drums have more snap, and the soundfield has real depth. There’s excellent energy and good presence throughout.
- This superb Prestige Two-Fer boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two and outstanding double plus (A++) sound on the other three
- Compiled from four Jacquet albums released in 1968 and 1969, including favorites like “Bottoms Up,”The Blues; That’s Me”, and “The King”
- Jacquet’s one of the creators of the big, soulful tenor sax sound – I know of no one who does it better
- “… a fine sampler to Jacquet’s music… it features Illinois in a variety of settings (ranging from a quartet to a mini-big band)…”
The album combines material from four different Illinois Jacquet albums (Bottoms Up, The King, The Soul Explosion, and The Blues; That’s Me!). The sound is AMAZING and Jacquet plays with wonderful emotion and skill throughout.
Check out the man’s bassoon playing on ‘Round Midnight, the last track on side four — now there’s a sound you don’t hear too often on a jazz record!
As a bonus, they selected only about half the material from each of these classic albums, turning over to each of them about one side of these two discs. Which simply means that the quality and variety are consistently high on all four of these sides. No unreleased material or alternate takes; in other words, no filler. (more…)
- This wonderful Prestige jazz classic boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- One of the best sounding Ammons records we know of – it’s huge, rich and Tubey Magical, with a solid bottom end and bluesy jazz energy like no other
- Clean and clear and open are nice qualities to have, but rich and full are harder to come by on this record – this pressing has it all
- “Some ballad performances in his oeuvre are a testament to an exceptional sense of intonation and melodic symmetry, powerful lyrical expressiveness, and mastery both of the blues and the bebop vernacular that can now be described as, in its own way, ‘classical.'”
For us audiophiles, both the sound and the music here are wonderful. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good a 1958 All Tube Analog recording by Rudy Van Gelder on Prestige can sound, this killer copy will do the trick.
- Killer Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one and Double Plus (A++) on side two – who knew this was such a well recorded album?
- So much like live music — uncompressed, present, full of energy, with the instruments clearly located and surrounded by the natural space of the studio
- An RVG recording (and mastering) from 1975 that is a KNOCKOUT on a copy like this
- “Its shimmering, soulful grooves refute the argument that smooth jazz is little more than mere ambience, combining expert playing and intricate songwriting to create music that is both compelling and comforting.” Allmusic 4 Stars
- If you’re a Grover Washington fan, or perhaps a fan of mid-’70s Soul Jazz, this title from 1975, is surely a Must Own.
- The complete list of titles from 1975 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here
Can you believe that Feels So Good topped both the soul and jazz albums charts and peaked at number ten on the pop album charts in the 1975?! Quite an achievement for our man Grover here. He had earlier made an album with Bob James handling the arrangements for the very large group of musicians on hand, as well as playing playing keyboards, and that album has been a personal favorite of mine for more than forty years, All the King’s Men. (more…)
- Rudy Van Gelder really knocked this one out of the park – the recording is as dynamic as they come, with horns that blast with real power and some serious snap to the drums
- You will have a very hard time finding a better sounding funky Soul Jazz album than this copy of Another Story
- 4 Stars on All Music; Turrentine on this date is joined by Thad Jones, Cedar Walton, Buster Williams, and Mickey Roker, serious jazz players one and all
This vintage Blue note pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs 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 studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)
- Mister Magic makes its Hot Stamper debut on the new site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from start to finish – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
- We guarantee the sound is dramatically bigger, richer, fuller, and livelier than any pressing you have ever heard
- We’re big fans of Rudy Van Gelder’s work in the early- to mid-70s, and it’s records like this (and All the King’s Horses) that make our case
- 5 stars: “This is one of Grover Washington, Jr.’s best-loved recordings and considered a classic of R&B-ish jazz. . . Highly recommended.”
Most pressings are murky, overly smooth, and lack energy. Often they also suffer from serious congestion and veiling. Our job is to find you the copy that has none of those problems, and that is precisely what we have done with this Shootout Winner. You get tons of space and energy, along with balanced tonality and great presence.
Washington is backed by excellent players including Bob James, Phil Upchurch, Harvey Mason, Ralph MacDonald, Eric Gale and many more.