With a Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning side two and a better than Double Plus (A++ to A+++) side one, this copy of Benny Goodman’s 1951 release is practically as good as it gets
Rich, smooth, tonally correct, spacious (for mono), this collection of older recordings was compiled and transferred with consummate skill, ensuring that the highest fidelity was maintained – this pressing sounds right
Lively performances from Goodman and his bandmates in their prime
“Within this collection, there is a continuing variation in instrumentation that changes the mood and approach with refreshing results… yet there is a truly marvelous similarity of thought and execution and a pleasingly lofty standard throughout.”
We’ve dropped the needle on a number of Goodman vintage mono records over the years but I don’t recall ever hearing one sound like this. Turn it up to hear Benny and his crew playing the hell out of this group of tunes.
On side two listen for the wonderful electric guitar tone, I think on the first track if my notes are correct. Great sound for this era. By the second track on side two the sound is clear and rich.(more…)
This outstanding copy of The Best of Muddy Waters boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom
Huge, Tubey Magical and lively, with solid weight down low and lots of space around all the instruments
Comprised of twelve killer tracks, all originally released as singles, including Rollin’ Stone, Long Distance Call, Hoochie Coochie, and many more
5 Stars: “The material this artist cut for Chess during this period is nothing short of a blues revelation. There has never been anything quite like it, before or after, and when one has heard Muddy Waters from this period, one has simply heard the best blues has to offer.”
Don’t be put off by the Best Of designation in the title. ALL these songs were recorded as individual tracks to be released on individual discs. Muddy Waters would go into the studio and cut a few “sides,” the best of which would be approved for distribution. There was no concept in those days of an “album.” Albums were basically just collections of songs, and that means lots of filler. What’s great about this pressing is that it gives you all the classics with none of the filler.(more…)
A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
A Knockout recording of female vocal with guitar: Triple Plus (A+++) on the first side, seriously good Double Plus (A++) on the second. Julie is in the room with you – intimate, breathy and Tubey Magical like practically nothing you’ve ever heard. For late night listening this is surely one of the best Sultry Female Vocal recordings ever made – you won’t believe how real the sound is.
After hearing this amazing copy in our shootout we felt that it might be a bit too noisy to list, but another scrub cleaned it up nicely and now it’s about typical for an exceptionally clean copy of the album. No marks play — the noise one hears is mostly just the vinyl of the day.
I bought this very record in 1998. It took me close to twenty years to be able to clean it and play it right!(more…)
With superb Double Plus (A++) sound, this killer 6 Eye mono LP is full of the analog warmth and sweetness missing from the Classic reissue and probably anything else pressed in the last twenty five years – relatively quiet vinyl too
Featuring most of his best Columbia material, here is the Tubey Magical Midrange missing from the Classic reissue – theirs was not a bad record per se, but without the presence, breathiness and intimacy of the younger Sinatra’s vocals reproduced faithfully, boredom will likely set in before the first side comes to an end
4 stars: “…the focus is on the ballads, and the dozen represented here constitute a bumper crop of classics, all resplendent in the singer’s richest, most overpowering intonation and most delicately nuanced work.”
In our experience, these Mono early Columbia pressings (either on the 6 Eye label or earlier solid red) are the only ones with any hope of having the Midrange Magic that is fundamental to the sound of Frank’s early Columbia LPs, a midrange that is clearly missing from the Classic Records heavy vinyl pressing. The Classic is clean and clear and tonally correct — like a CD. Without the warmth and sweetness of analog and, in this case, tube mastering, the sound just isn’t “the real Frank.”(more…)
This is an Original Fantasy LP pressed on EXCEPTIONALLY QUIET blue vinyl! Finding non-trashed copies of old Fantasy colored vinyl pressings is practically IMPOSSIBLE. And this is the STEREO LP, even more rare. It plays Mint Minus and maybe a tad worse, which, for Fantasy colored vinyl, is as good as it gets in our experience. The sound is good, not great. This is no demo disc by any means, but it is the real Tjader ’50s sound, and it works pretty well for this music. (more…)
April in Paris makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound fon this vintage mono pressing
This pressing showed us the sound we were looking for – big, bold, full-bodied mono, the kind they knew how to record in 1957
Here is the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s surely missing from whatever modern reissue has been made from the 60+ year old tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from those tapes)
5 stars: “April in Paris is one of those rare albums that makes its mark as an almost instant classic in the jazz pantheon… The title track has come to define elegance in orchestral jazz… Recorded in 1955 and 1956, April in Paris proved Count Basie’s ability to grow through modern jazz changes while keeping the traditional jazz orchestra vital and alive.”
Davis’ superb 1959 release arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
Davis partners here with jazz greats, including John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley and others
“… it should become clear why ‘Jazz Track’ is a vital Miles album as well as a testimony to the importance of the movies to jazz–as a medium for improvised soundtracks and, more importantly, as a source of theme music potentially as rich as the music of Broadway…”
“It’s doubtful that “On Green Dolphin Street” and “Stella by Starlight” would have caught on without Bill [Evans’] artistry (which is not to take anything away from Red [Garland], whose ballads simply lacked the intricate, delicately shaded beauty of Bill’s pensive voicings on the slow ballads).”
We had a number of original pressings on hand, some costing a pretty penny, but this is the only one that did not have serious scratches or inner groove damage. The vinyl is not quiet, but the tics stay mainly underneath the music. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.
The nine minute plus long Green Dolphin Street that opens side two is nothing short of amazing, some of the coolest jazz you will ever hear, on any record, at any price. With Stella by Starlight and Fran Dance on the same side, that gives you about 20 minutes of great sounding jazz by Miles’ classic Kind of Blue lineup.(more…)
A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
This is a Six Eye Mono Original Columbia pressing. These originals have the midrange magic that is missing from the Classic Records heavy vinyl pressing.
In our experience these Six Eye Mono Original Columbia pressings are the only ones with any hope of having the Midrange Magic that is fundamental to the sound of Frank’s early Columbia LPs — and is clearly missing from the Classic Records heavy vinyl pressing. The Classic is clean and clear and tonally correct like a CD. Without the warmth and sweetness of analog and, in this case, tube mastering, the sound just isn’t “the real Frank”.(more…)
This is a wonderful Weavers album, recorded in Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve, 1955 — when and if you can find one that’s properly mastered and not too scratched up. This is not easy, as most copies of the album — now fifty plus years old — have not survived in very good condition. This copy is the exception to that rule, with reasonably quiet surfaces (Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as they come) and EXCELLENT SOUND.
What do we listen for on this album? Pretty much the same things we listen for on most albums (with the exception of Whomp Factor I suppose; acoustic guitars, banjos and voices don’t produce much whomp in real life).
You clearly need transparency to make all the vocal and instrumental parts clear. There is not a trace of phony Hi-Fi sound anywhere to be found on the album, so bringing out as much information as possible from the record has to be an important goal. (On phony records a bit of smear or opacity can actually be a good thing.)
Those of you with very highly resolving speaker systems — electrostatics, screens and the like — will find this record much easier to reproduce than others. (Including us: Our big dynamic speakers do many things well but no speaker can do everything right. We have had to sacrifice some transparency for other qualities necessary to play the wide range of recordings we must evaluate.)(more…)