Classic Records remastered this album back in the day, and I can see why: the average pressing on Roulette is borderline unlistenable. Of course we didn’t know that when we started this shootout. We had found a nice sounding copy and subsequently went on the hunt for more. Little did we know how wide the variation in sound quality we would find on the original Orange Label pressings. There was simply no denying that many of the copies we played were just too thin, shrill and pinched in the midrange to be of any interest to our audiophile customers.
As mediocre as Bernie’s Classic cutting may be, it’s still better than the average Roulette original one might throw on the turntable.
And you can forget the monos completely; they were by far the worst sounding of them all.
KILLER sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
We have a devil of a time finding good sounding Joe Williams records – discovering that this title was so well recorded was a very pleasant surprise, and this copy takes the record about as far as we think it can go, hence the very high sonic grades
“Joe Williams was the last great big-band singer, a smooth baritone who graced the rejuvenated Count Basie Orchestra during the 1950s and captivated audiences well into the ’90s.” – All Music, Biography
The Lonely Hours debuts with killer Hot Stamper sound – this copy took top honors with Triple Plus sonics on both sides
No other copy could touch this early Roulette pressing for size, space, clarity, dynamics and, most especially, vocal richness
With Benny Carter brilliantly handling the arrangements, we feel that this is a badly underrated album of Ms Vaughan’s from 1964, a glorious year for music
“Vaughan sounds excellent on “I’ll Never Be the Same,” “These Foolish Things,” and “If I Had You,” lightly caressing the notes.”
Wonderfully warm, big and clear, not to mention exceptionally dynamic, this copy shows the listener just how good the master tape must be.
Not only could no other copy touch it; as far as I can tell it’s the only copy with two sides good enough to put on the site!
Classic Records remastered this album back in the day, and I can see why: the average pressing on Roulette is borderline unlistenable. Of course we didn’t know that when we started this shootout. We had found a nice sounding copy and subsequently went on the hunt for more. Little did we know how wide the variation in sound quality we would find on the original Orange Label pressings. There was simply no denying that many of the copies we played were just too thin, shrill and pinched in the midrange to be of any interest to our Hot Stamper customers.(more…)
Edison’s superb 1958 release makes its Hot Stamper debut here, boasting Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides
The sound on this Roulette original is big, rich and LIVELY, with boatloads of Tubey Magic and three-dimensional space
It’s hard to imagine finding a copy with a better first side than this one, and side two is right up there with it
True, we did not have a big stack of copies for our shootout, but we recognize a killer pressing when we hear one
“Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison added something special to any date in which he took part, but these 1958 sessions he led for Roulette are especially enjoyable…. Edison’s trumpet swings effortlessly through a batch of standards and originals.”
Vaughan’s wonderful 1962 album on the original Roulette stereo pressing makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it – fairly quiet vinyl too
Both sides are exceptionally low-distortion, solid and dynamic, with the natural, relaxed, analog warmth and richness missing from the Classic Records pressing (and most likely missing from whatever current reissue is on the market)
“This LP finds Sarah Vaughan backed by big-band and string arrangements from Quincy Jones that could easily have been used for a Frank Sinatra date. Vaughan’s voice is typically wondrous… In the repertoire are such tunes as “The Best Is Yet to Come,” “The Second Time Around” and “Baubles, Bangles and Beads.”
These are just some of the recordings by Count Basie that we’ve auditioned recently and found wanting. Without going into specifics we’ll just say these albums suffer from poor performances, poor sound, or both, and therefore do not deserve a place in your collection, and may even belong in our Hall of Shame.
A Free Service provided to the Audiophile Public, courtesy of Better Records.