This very nice looking Verve T Label original Mono LP with the early pink cover has lovely sound. Ella’s voice is present, smooth and sweet. Since this recording only involves voice and piano, the loss of stereo information presents no problem for the listener. Ella and her accompanist are dead center and tonally correct. Many Verve Ella records are a disaster sonically – this is one of the exceptions.
With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it for all four sides, this glorious 1956 mono recording is superb from first note to last
Full-bodied, musical, and smooth, with surprisingly spacious orchestral staging – this is just the right sound for this album and especially this kind of music
“The combination of Ella and Porter is irresistible and whether up-tempo or down-tempo, Ella’s three-octave range voice soars effortlessly as she makes each song come to life. It was all helped by the cream of L.A. session men and Buddy Bregman’s arrangement that oozes sophistication way beyond his twenty-four years. It is a perfect record.” – Richard Havers
he space is HUGE and the sound so rich. Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies.
Take it from an Ella fan, you can’t go wrong with this one. The sound is rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of a classic vintage jazz vocal album. You could easily demonstrate your stereo with a record this good, but what you would really be demonstrating is music that the listener probably hasn’t heard, and that’s the best reason to demonstrate a stereo.(more…)
Ella’s first album to come out after Clap Hands finally makes its Hot Stamper debut, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
What took us by surprise was how rich and sweet this original Verve was – so many of Ella’s early albums don’t have the smooth, natural vocals of this pressing
We absolutely love the swinging R&B organ Bill Doggett brought to these big band sessions, all backing an exceptionally well recorded First Lady of Song
“Ella Fitzgerald is in the spotlight throughout, mostly singing swing-era songs along with a couple of newer pieces… [her] voice was in its prime, and the charts are excellent.”
This copy is as quiet as we can find any domestic original Verve stereo pressing. The monos of this title — which naturally are five times more common — have that hard, honky sound that so many mono cuttings made from Ella’s stereo recordings suffer from.
Clap Hands is a notable exception to that rule, and of course any of her albums recorded in mono sound best in mono, when cut right and pressed right.
1962 was a great year for Ella. She released this album early in the year and followed it up with the Grammy winning Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson. Later in the same year Verve released Ella Swings Gently with Nelson, and it’s interesting to note that all three of these classic albums were recorded late in 1961. The woman could do no wrong! We would have to wait for her first release of 1963, Ella Sings Broadway, before she put out a clunker. But who’s fault is that? The music is fine, it’s the recording that’s bad (as far as we can tell; we have yet to hear one sound good).(more…)
A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on ALL FOUR SIDES!
Forget the originals – like so many of the early songbook pressings, they suffer from painfully hard and honky mastering EQ (and gritty sounding vinyl)
We know whereof we speak when it comes to early Ella records – we’ve played plenty of them and found that most just don’t sound very good
Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout* — Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
“Duke’s spectacular catalog dazzles, and his sprightly, lush textures are transfigured under Fitzgerald’s warm-timbred voice and elegant, precise delivery… each tune as familiar as it is delightful to hear in this new context.”
This mono reissue is the only way to find the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s missing from modern records. As good as the best of those pressings may be, this record is going to be dramatically more REAL sounding.
Ella is no longer a recording — she’s a living, breathing person. We call that “the breath of life,” and this record has it in spades. Her voice is so rich, sweet, and free of artificiality you cannot help but find yourself lost in the music, because there’s no “sound” to distract you.
Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here. You could certainly demonstrate your stereo with a record this good, even one that’s not nearly this good, because this one is superb.
What amazing sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:
The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1957
Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does. (more…)
This Minty Verve LP with the old style paste-on back cover sounds great! Big sounding ’60s jazz with lively arrangements from Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Heath. Clark Terry’s trumpet and flugelhorn contributions play a major role in the festivities. This is cool, swinging ’60’s jazz at its best!
A lot of Verve records from this era are poorly mastered, but this one sounds just right to us.
A KILLER sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Live Jazz sound from start to finish
This original stereo pressing is the first copy to make it to the site in years – boy are these hard to find in this kind of clean condition with top quality sonics
Rich, tubey and musical, the sound is wonderful for these live performances of two very different groups, one featuring Getz, the other Jobim
4 1/2 Stars: “Getz/Gilberto #2 holds its own with an appealing selection of fine jazz and bossa nova cuts.”
This original Verve 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 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 a real jazz club, this is the record for you. It’s what Vintage Records are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.(more…)
Bashin’ is back after a two and a half year hiatus, and it’s back with a vengence — both sides here are Super Hot, with some of the best sound we have ever heard for the album. In the past we’ve complained about “Rudy Van Gelder’s somewhat over the top echo-drenched brass”, but on a copy such as this there is nothing to complain about!
All that reverb on the brass sounds RIGHT. If you have a top quality front end (and the system that goes with it), this recording will be amazingly spacious, three-dimensional, transparent, dynamic, and open.
With a bit more weight and whomp down low this copy would have been competitive with the best we played. Everything above two hundred cycles is here!
Copies of this album are sometimes so SOUR or dull (or both) that they go right in the trade pile. Add to that the difficulty of finding copies that are scratch-free and not too noisy and you have one tough shootout. Inner Groove Distortion caused by the non-anti-skate-equipped turntables of the day is a chronic problem with vintage jazz records, and this title is typically no exception — except in this case! The record has no IGD and plays mostly Mint Minus, as quiet an original as we have ever heard.(more…)
Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides and one of the better copies from our most recent shootout
If you dig Oliver’s Nelson’s swingin’ BIG BRASS as much as we do you are in for a treat with this stereo pressing
The best sides have the kind of analog richness, warmth, and smoothness that make listening to records so involving
Slaughter On Tenth Avenue is the monster track leading off here, and it swings the way Walk on the Wild Side does – like crazy, man!
This is some of the BEST SOUND we have ever heard for any RVG recording of Jimmy Smith with arrangements by Oliver Nelson (Claus Ogerman also took on some of the arranging duties; his work with Antonio Carlos Jobim is superb in all respects).(more…)
Yet another wonderful Getz Samba record, the third in the series. Some of our faourite music has this Samba syncopation: Sergio Mendes, first and foremost of course, but also Airto, and all the wonderful Getz albums from this period. Their enchanting Brazilian rhythms make their music fun.
Thanks go to all the engineers involved in this recording:
With two outstanding Double Plus (A++) sides, this original Bow Tie Verve Stereo pressing is going to be very hard to beat – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
Lovely All Tube sound from 1958, with a huge, rich orchestra conducted by one of our favorite arrangers, Marty Paich
Grammy Award for Best Improvised Jazz Solo – these were the days when Ella was on top of the world
“The bright, sunny optimism of Fitzgerald’s style comes through in several tracks, including ‘If I Were a Bell’ (which also includes several remarkable variations on the melody), and ‘Teardrops From My Eyes’ (which alternates between rock and jazz beats—not a big leap back then!)”
When you are lucky enough to find an album chock full of standards from the Great American Songbook, you cannot help but recognize that this era for Ella will never be equaled, by her or anyone else.
The recording is excellent, with space and midrange richness that might just take your breath away.(more…)