Top Artists – Clark Terry

Coleman Hawkins and Clark Terry – Back In Bean’s Bag – Reviewed in 2006

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

Columbia 360 Label. A Jazz Primer if there ever was one! If you don’t get jazz this album will get it for you. There is simply not a false step or false note to be found anywhere on this recording.

This record has a magical midrange, like so many Columbias. It’s a little rolled off on the extreme highs. If you have any way of boosting your top end, you can make this record really sing. As it is now, it’s still quite good, just a bit more mellow than I know it should be.

 

 

Chico Hamilton – The Further Adventures of El Chico

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The Further Adventures of El Chico

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  • Insanely good Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish and the first copy to ever hit the site! 
  • These sides, recorded brilliantly by one of our favorite engineers, Bob Simpson, are big, full-bodied and present, with plenty of Tubey Magic and set on a a huge, three-dimensional soundstage
  • The record features the amazing Gabor Szabo along with other top players like Clark Terry and Ron Carter
  • Great pop jazz with excellent sound; if you’re a fan of Gabor Szabo, this music will be right up your alley

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Gary Burton – Who Is Gary Burton?

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Who Is Gary Burton?

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  • Burton’s sophomore release finally arrives on the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last   
  • This is vintage 1963 Living Stereo sound at its best – big, rich, relaxed, tonally correct and full of Tubey Magic – thanks Ray Hall!
  • In this stellar septet, Burton includes veteran musicians Clark Terry, Phil Woods, and Joe Morello, as well as Tommy Flanagan
  • 4 stars: “The playlist is anything but predictable… Although Burton is obviously a very confident soloist, he feels no need to hog the spotlight (a common mistake by young jazz musicians in later decades), as he is happy to step back and let the veterans take center stage.”

Most of the vinyl plays a bit better than the grades above. Few Living Stereo originals are going to be as quiet as this one (more…)

Clark Terry – The Happy Horns of Clark Terry

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  • Clark Terry’s three horn lineup album finally arrives on the site with stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from beginning to end AND exceptionally quiet vinyl 
  • Big and lively, rich and full, no other copy in our shootout impressed us the way this killer pressing did
  • Credit goes to Rudy Van Gelder once again for the huge space this superbly well-recorded ensemble occupies
  • 4 stars: “This all-star LP has plenty of memorable moments… The lively music is quite enjoyable.”

We dropped the needle on a copy of the album a few months back and immediately we knew it would be a record worthy of a shootout – the sound was big and lively in the best tradition of Rudy Van Gelder’s recordings from the mid-’60s. His sound is the right sound for this style of music, that’s for damn sure. (more…)

Ray Brown / Milt Jackson

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

This Minty Verve LP with the old style paste-on back cover sounds great! Big sounding ’60s jazz with lively arrangements from Oliver Nelson and Jimmy Heath. Clark Terry’s trumpet and flugelhorn contributions play a major role in the festivities. This is cool, swinging ’60’s jazz at its best! 

A lot of Verve records from this era are poorly mastered, but this one sounds just right to us.

A 4 1/2 Star Album in the All Music Guide!

Back In Bean’s Bag on Classic Records Vinyl

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Sonic Grade: B

Another Classic Records LP reviewed.

We’re not the least bit embarrassed to admit we used to like their version very much, and happily recommended it in our catalog back in the day.

Like many Classic Records, the master tapes are so good that even with their mediocre mastering — and pressing: RTI’s vinyl accounts for at least some of the lost sound quality, so airless and tired — the record still sounds great, at least until you get hold of the real thing and hear what you are missing.

What do you get with Hot Stampers compared to the Classic Heavy Vinyl reissue? Dramatically more warmth, sweetness, delicacy, transparency, space, energy, size, naturalness (no boost on the top end or the bottom, a common failing of anything by Classic); in other words, the kind of difference you almost ALWAYS get comparing the best vintage pressings with their modern remastered counterparts, in our experience anyway.

The Classic is a nice record, a Hot Stamper is a MAGICAL one.

Back In Bean’s Bag – A Classic from 1962

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Coleman Hawkins and Clark Terry

A Classic from 1962

  • The best copy we have ever heard – Triple Plus (A+++) on side two and nearly as good on side one (A++ to A+++)
  • This is the kind of classic All Tube, Live in the Studio Columbia Sound from 1962 that makes a mockery of most jazz recordings
  • What a swingin’ group – there is simply not a false step or false note to be found anywhere on either side of this wonderful recording
  • Hawkins teamed up with the personable trumpeter Clark Terry for this upbeat set of of solid swing. Terry in particular is in exuberant form on “Feedin’ the Bean” and a delightful version of “Don’t Worry About Me,” but Hawkins’s playing (particularly on the trumpeter’s ballad “Michelle”) is also in fine form.”

This Minty Original “360 Sound” Columbia Stereo LP from 1962 has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND! No other copy we played was in a class with this bad boy — it does it ALL. For those of you who appreciate the sound that Columbia’s engineers were able to achieve in the ’50s and ’60s, this LP is a Must-Own

Columbia’s best recordings — those that were recorded at the 30th Street Studios and those that were not, such as this one — just doesn’t get any better than this. Tubey magic, richness, sweetness, dead-on timbres from top to bottom — this is a textbook example of early ’60s Columbia sound at its best. It’s audiophile heaven.

This original pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it doesn’t look like it is coming back any time soon. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the control room hearing the master tape being played back, or, better yet, the direct feed from the mics in the studio, this is the record for you. It’s what Golden Age Jazz Recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)