NELSON RIDDLE is one of the All Time Greats.
Riddle worked on 9 albums for Sinatra at Capitol, then followed him over to Reprise and did 15 more!
Linda Ronstadt – What’s New
Not having played this record in more than a decade, it’s interesting to hear this Mobile Fidelity pressing with much better equipment than was previous available to me. The first thing I noticed was the amazing transparency of the recording, no doubt the reason audiophiles have always liked it.
Next on the list, and a bit of a surprise, is the correct tonality — this record is tonally right on the money, something Mobile Fidelity rarely achieves. This MoFi was mastered by Jack Hunt, not Stan Ricker, which may explain why the top end is more correct than usual.
Third and last is George Massenburg’s approach to this recording, which, to be charitable, is not to my liking. Let’s just say he prefers a certain artificiality to his sound that does little for me.
Of course, not all audiophiles will agree with me about this. Some audiophiles actually like this kind of sound. They like the sound of Graceland. They like the sound of The Well. They like the sound of Patricia Barber’s albums. They like a lot of recordings I don’t like. When I speak highly of a recording or pressing, my prejudices and preferences are spelled out for all to see. There should be little doubt that the sound of this album is not to my taste but for those of you who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will probably like.
Take it from an Ella fan, you can’t go wrong with this one, assuming you can put up with some light crackle underneath the music. The record itself looks exceptionally clean and well-cared for, but it clearly does not play as quietly as we would have hoped.
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! The space is HUGE and the sound so rich.
Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD. (more…)