This is a WONDERFUL SOUNDING, VERY LIVELY big band record, putatively under the direction of Ted Heath. I suspect he had nothing to do with this album though. What it sounds like is top studio musicians playing fun, clever arrangements of the pop songs that were current at the time. It reminds me of what Lincoln Mayorga and his buddies were doing direct-to-disc over at Sheffield. (The sound is as almost as good too.)
An album like this lives or dies by the quality of its musical ideas, since we know these songs so well. To me the album works because these musicians are having a ball with this pop fluff. I’m a big fan of what Lincoln Mayorca was doing on those first three Sheffield records, and if you are too you should get a kick out of this album.
This Super Hot Stamper has DEMO QUALITY SOUND. Just listen to Heath’s arrangement of My Funny Valentine on side one, or Big Ben, the second track on side two, for audiophile Big Band sound. Many consider Ted Heath’s early London recordings to be some of the best big band ever recorded. The American big bands rarely got the kind of sound that the Decca engineers were able to achieve on records like this. For one thing they didn’t have Kingsway Hall, Kenneth Wilkinson or the Decca “Tree.”
Unlike some of the American big band leaders who were well past their prime by the advent of the LP era, Heath is able to play with all the energy and verve required for this music. He really does swing in high stereo. (more…)
We went wild recently over a marvelous copy of the Ted Heath record you see pictured. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound was positively uncanny. This was vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve upon it.
This is our kind of sound. It’s also important to keep in mind that our stereo seemed to love the record. (Stereos do that.) Let’s talk about why that might be the case. (more…)
One of the best sounding records we have ever played, the Gold Standard for Tubey Magical Big Band. Both sides are huge, rich, weighty and dynamic like few records you have ever heard. Three elements create the magic here: Kingsway Hall, Kenneth Wilkinson and the Decca “Tree” microphone setup.(more…)