Top Artists – Antonio Carlos Jobim

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim – Our Shootout Winner from 2008


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This Reprise original tri-color label stereo LP has EXCELLENT SOUND on both sides. This, in my opinion, is the best sounding Sinatra record on Reprise. It’s so rich, sweet, and tubey magical you would think it was prime Capitol period Sinatra but it’s not — it just sounds that way. 

The sound is amazingly rich, warm, and sweet — that’s old tube mastering for you. Of course, that also means that it’s a bit smeary and the bass is pretty tubby. Still, what you’re involved with a record like this for is Sinatra’s voice and Jobim’s guitar and both sound WONDERFUL. Side one is a bit more open and transparent than side two, so it earned an extra half-plus.

If you like romantic music, you will be hard pressed to find a better album than this one. The song Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars perfectly encapsulates the mood of this album. My favorite track here is Dindi. Sinatra is the king of lost loves, and the song Dindi offers him another opportunity for regret. Nobody does it better than Frank. It’s a cliche to say he wears his heart on his sleeve, but the man made a career out of it. If the cliche fits…

The Rhino 180 gram LP mastered by Kevin Gray is a nice record, but this is the real thing. There is a richness, a sweetness and a naturalness here that you virtually never find on modern remasterings.

The Recordings of Antonio Carlos Jobim – These Are Some that Didn’t Make the Grade


These are just some of the recordings by Antonio Carlos Jobim 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.

Astrud Gilberto – The Astrud Gilberto Album

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The Astrud Gilberto Album


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

This Minty looking Verve LP has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND. It’s airy, open and spacious with a big wide soundfield and excellent clarity. The sound is smooth and sweet with wonderfully textured strings and a killer top end. Sonically this copy is Right On The Money (ROTM) and I can’t imagine it sounding a whole lot better than it does here. (more…)

Antonio Carlos Jobim – Tide – Our Shootout Winner from 2008

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame

GREAT SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! We’ve been trying our hardest to find a Jobim record with Hot sound, because we love the music so much. It’s taken some time, but we’ve finally found a few magnificent copies of Tide — and this one’s the champ!    

Viva Brazil!

Jobim is the master of samba music, and this is one of his best albums! Normally I don’t like flute jazz. The L.A. Four bores me to tears. Herbie Mann has one good album, Live at the Villiage Vanguard (with two string bass players, the only record of its kind that I know of), but the flute works great for Brazilian music, because the music itself is so light and airy, it just fits. You don’t see us recommending too many CDs around here, but the 3-disc Man From Ipanema set is WONDERFUL. (For those looking for Brazilian music with more of a rock influence, we definitely recommend starting with Sergio Mendes’ early A&M albums. If you want to go a bit further, search for some Gilberto Gil or Caetano Veloso.)

One Tough Ticket

It’s beyond difficult to find great sounding copies of Jobim’s albums, but we keep on picking up his records because we love to play them so much. Many of the pressings we bring back are weak sonically, too noisy, or both. Recently, we threw a copy of Tide on the table just for fun, and were thrilled when we heard some promising sound. We hit the shelves and the stores determined to pull together enough copies with the right stampers to make this shootout happen.  (more…)

Antonio Carlos Jobim – Wave – Our Shootout Winner from 2011

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame

This A&M / CTI Brown Label LP is the first Hot Stamper copy to hit the site in many years! It’s noticeably more TRANSPARENT than most copies. You really HEAR INTO THE MUSIC on this LP in a way that just doesn’t happen on the typical pressing. Side one is tonally correct and natural with good size and big bass — we gave it an A++. 

I love the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. This is one of his best albums. It belongs in any serious Latin Jazz record collection. We’ve had some luck with Tide and The Composer Of Desifinado plays, but for the most part it’s pretty darn difficult to find copies of his albums that sound good. (more…)

Frank Sinatra – Francis A. Sinatra & Antonio C. Jobim

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Francis A. Sinatra & Antonio C. Jobim


  • This outstanding original stereo pressing of Sinatra and Jobim’s sublime collaboration earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on both sides and plays about as quietly as any copy ever does  
  • The Tubey Magical space, ambience and richness of the sound here is the only way we know of to bring the Chairman of the Board and his Brazilian buddy into your listening room
  • This is a magical album from start to finish, one of a handful of a Must Own Sinatra releases, and my personal favorite of all his recordings
  • 4 1/2 stars: “After a few plays, the album begins to slowly work its way underneath a listener’s skin, and it emerges as one of his most rewarding albums of the ’60s.”

This is, in our opinion, one of the two best sounding Sinatra album on Reprise (the other being September of My Years from 1965). The recording is so rich, sweet, and Tubey Magical you would think it was prime Capitol period Sinatra — but it’s not, obviously, it just sounds that way. (more…)

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim on Bad Rhino Heavy Vinyl

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Sonic Grade: C-

The originals are better and not that hard to find. (The sound on the best original pressings is superb.)

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

Stan Getz Jazz Samba Encore

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

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:




RAY HALL (more…)

Jobim and Ramone – Our Shootout Winner from 2008


A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Credit engineer PHIL RAMONE for correctly capturing the sound of every instrument here: the guitars, piano, flutes, strings, drums, percussion instruments — everything has the natural timbre of the real thing. I used to think this recording erred on the bright side, but not the Hot Stamper copies. They are tonally Right On The Money.

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When the balance lacks lower midrange the sound gets lean, which causes the strings to seem brighter than they really are, a not uncommon problem with some of the pressings we heard.

We had quite a batch of these to play, including imports, originals, reissues (all stereo), and one lone mono, which was so ridiculously bad sounding we tossed it right out of the competition and into the trade pile.

For those of you playing along at home, we are not going to be much help to you here in finding your own Hot Stampers. Every version had strengths and weaknesses and all are represented in the three listings we are putting up today. (more…)

Gilberto & Jobim – Gilberto & Jobim

Some sections on our site are hard to find. Here’s one with lots of cool records in it:

Forgotten Vocal Classics


Gilberto & Jobim – Gilberto & Jobim

A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame .

This Super Hot Stamper side two was one of the best sounding sides we heard in our recent shootout. The original Rainbow Label Capitols can be very good (if you can find a clean one) but oftentimes the mastering has the crude quality we all know so well from our old Beatles and Beach Boys records from the mid-’60s.

Side two is so clear, transparent and distortion-free that there’s no doubt in our minds that the bad sound of most pressings is not the fault of the master tape, but rather the very same bad mastering chain that ruined so many Capitol albums in those days. (more…)