Sonic Grade: B+ (at least)
This is one of the better sounding Heavy Vinyl pressings we have played recently. What makes it different from so many others that fail to live up to the remastering hype that surrounds them (and irritates the hell out of those of use who know what a good record is actually supposed to sound like)?
- It’s tonally correct from top to bottom. At most five or ten per cent of the audiophile repressings we’ve played in the last ten years can make that claim.
- The bass is not boosted or poorly defined. This eliminates at a minimum 95+% of all the Mobile Fidelity pressings we have ever played. Nobody seems to notice how bad the bass is on their records. A real puzzler, that fact.
- It’s not exceptionally veiled or recessed. I could count on the fingers of one hand the number of Heavy Vinyl pressings that are not much too veiled and recessed to compete with their vintage vinyl brethren.
It is slightly veiled, and lacks some of the life, the space and obviously some of the presence of the real thing, the real thing in this case being an early stereo pressing on the Blue and Green Atlantic label.
Still, for your money you are getting one helluva good record. One of the top two or three Rhino records to date.
(Bernie did a great job on this Coltrane album, but whatever you do, don’t waste your money on his recut of Lush Life. It is just plain awful, a Hall of Shame pressing that’s so bad it defies understanding. Something sure went wrong somewhere, I can tell you that. Stay tuned for my review.)
• Lacquers cut by Bernie Grundman
• LPs cut from the original analog masters
• Packages replicated to the finest detail manufactured with more care than ever
OUR PREVIOUS COMMENTARY
This is yet another superb Tom Dowd recording of Coltrane in his prime, with support from the brilliant McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones.
Advice on Which Pressings to Buy
Forget the later Red and Green Atlantic pressings. Every one we’ve ever played was flat, dry, and thin. They sound like the cheap reissues that Atlantic churned out in the ’70s. Don’t get me wrong; there are some good sounding records on the Red and Green label, but you really have to know what you are doing — or be really lucky — to find them.
We’ve played them by the score, and found relatively few winners among a slough of losers. If you want to take your chances on some, knock yourself out, more power to you, but expect to come up with nothing to show for your time and money almost every time. That’s been our experience anyway.
And be very thankful if you happen to run into one of these early Atlantic stereo pressings. Few Classic Coltrane albums survived the jazz lovers of the day and their awful turntables.