Labels We Love – Blue Note

Donald Byrd – A New Perspective

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  • An STUNNING stereo pressing of one of our all-time favorite Blue Note albums with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
  • The gospel vocals are amazingly well recorded (thanks RVG!) – with the transparency of this copy, you can easily pick out and follow each voice
  • To hear the real RVG magic, play Beast of Burden on side one – that’s some real audiophile DEMO DISC sound
  • 5 stars: “One of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd’s career.”

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Stanley Turrentine – Rough ‘N Tumble

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  • With two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, we guarantee you’ve never heard this kind of life and energy on any other Stanley Turrentine album
  • It’s rare for us to find New York label stereo pressings in audiophile playing condition, but here’s one, and it simply takes the recording (and the music) to another level
  • This session boasts all the top players: Blue Mitchell, Pepper Adams, McCoy Tyner, Grant Green, Bob Cranshaw, and Mickey Roker and more
  • “…the star of the show is Turrentine, and his warmth and playing make this a necessity, especially for fans ’60s pre-funk Blue Note jazz.”

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Jimmy Smith – Open House

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  • Open House makes its Hot Stamper debut here with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish  
  • An RVG live-in-the-studio recording from 1960 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy, and this pressing delivers that quality like no other copy you’ve heard – we guarantee it
  • We wish more records had this kind of sound – natural, full-bodied, and REAL in a way that no modern Heavy Vinyl pressing seems to be
  • 4 1/2 stars: “For this superlative outing, the innovative organist is teamed with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, altoist Jackie McLean, tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec, and his regular sidemen. The musicians all seem to be inspired by each other’s presence, making this a highly recommended set for straight-ahead jazz collectors”

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Horace Silver Quintet – Silver’s Serenade

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  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this copy of The Horace Silver Quintet’s final album together
  • Only the second copy of Silver Serenade to ever hit the site, it is incredibly hard to find Silver’s records in stereo with the right stampers and good sound
  • Thanks to RVG, the sound here is wonderfully full-bodied, lively and musical with a relatively bottom end
  • 4 stars: “The band had made five previous recordings for the label, all of them successful. The program here is comprised of Silver compositions. The blowing is a meld of relaxed, soulful, and swinging hard bop, as evidenced in the title track… This is another excellent recording by the greatest Silver quintet.”

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The Horace Silver Quintet – The Cape Verdean Blues

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  • The Cape Verdean Blues makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This vintage stereo LP is well balanced, big and lively, with wonderful clarity in the mids and highs, and a spacious soundfield
  • RVG in 1966 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy, and we guarantee this pressing delivers on that sound like no other copy you’ve ever heard, especially if all you’ve heard is the kind of vague, veiled, lifeless modern reissue that seems to be everywhere these days
  • 4 stars: “… there’s a spirit of adventure that pervades the entire album, a sense of exploration that wouldn’t have been quite the same with Silver’s quintet of old…”

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Horace Silver Quintet – Serenade To A Soul Sister

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  • A stunning sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from the first note to the last
  • This copy was clearly cut with super-low distortion mastering equipment, and boy does it help the sound
  • Rudy Van Gelder did an outstanding job as usual engineering these 1968 quintet sessions, some of which include one of our favorite tenor men, Stanley Turrentine
  • 4 1/2 stars: “One of the last great Horace Silver albums for Blue Note, Serenade to a Soul Sister is also one of the pianist’s most infectiously cheerful, good-humored outings… it’s hard to argue with musical results as joyous and tightly performed as Serenade to a Soul Sister.”

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Horace Silver Quintet – The Stylings of Silver

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  • With superb Triple Plus (A+++) grades on side two and Double Plus (A++) sound on side one, this is one of the best copies of Silver’s 1957 classic we’ve ever heard
  • The last copy to hit the site went up in 2016 – clean Horace Silver records in stereo with the right stampers and good sound are hard to find!
  • Rich and solid, this is the kind of sound that makes us sit up and take notice – Thanks RVG, we love your work (when it sounds like this)
  • “All of Silver’s Blue Note quintet recordings are consistently superb and swinging…”

I chanced upon a clean copy of this album in a store last year. When I got home with it I found I loved the music and I loved the sound. I then went about buying them up as fast as I could, returning something on the order of half the copies I was sent: some for scratches, some for the wrong labels, some for being mono — you never know what you’re going to get when you order records online!

Except from us of course. Unless something goes terribly wrong you will always get a good sounding, reasonably quiet record from us.

RVG in ’57

The best copies are just bigger, fuller and more present than others. The sound is natural and REAL, with exceptional space and see-through transparency, something that practically no heavy vinyl modern pressing we’ve ever played can reproduce.

Classic Records remastered the album, Music Matters remastered it, and there are plenty of copies of both out there. If you have either one, do yourself a favor and order up this Hot Stamper. We’re pretty sure you will be amazed at how much more musical involvement you will find on it, involvement that will be lacking when you go back to the Heavy Vinyl LP.

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The 3 Sounds – Live At The Lighthouse

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This Minty Blue Note Liberty Label LP has EXCELLENT LIVE JAZZ SOUND. It’s very transparent, with plenty of deep bass. The piano sounds particularly nice — it has real WEIGHT to it. Both sides play quietly, Near Mint. I imagine you’d have quite a hard time finding a quieter, better sounding copy of this album. The music is wonderful as well — 4 stars in the AMG!

The selection of nine Three Sounds staples gives the group a chance to stretch out… they flourish. The music on Live at the Lighthouse is hotter than some of their studio recordings, pulsating with energy and good feelings, demonstrating that they had worked out any of the problems that hampered Vibrations. It’s their finest set since Black Orchid. — AMG (more…)

Jimmy Smith – Back at the Chicken Shack

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  • Back at the Chicken Shack makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on this New York label mono pressing
  • Joining Jimmy Smith is one of our favorite bluesy sax players, Stanley Turrentine – just play Kenny Burrell’s Midnight Blue to hear him at this best, and Burrell is especially good here too
  • Credit must go to Rudy Van Gelder once again for the huge space this superbly well-recorded quartet occupies
  • 5 stars: “Recorded in 1960 with Kenny Burrell on guitar, Donald Bailey on drums, and Turrentine, the group reaches the peak of funky soul jazz that all other challengers of the genre would have to live up to.”

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Donald Byrd – Stepping Into Tomorrow

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  • Donald Byrd’s 1975 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom 
  • Byrd’s trumpet sounds wonderful here, with just the right amount of bite – credit must go to Val Garay and Dave Hassinger (among others), two of our favorite engineers working at The Sound Factory
  • 4 stars: “… maybe some of those who sniffed at the straightforward nature of some of the rhythms and riffing were won over by the supreme layering of the many components (the way in which “Think Twice” lurches forward, peels back, and gathers steam is nothing short of heavenly), not to mention some deeply evocative playing from Byrd himself.”

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