Top Artists – Cannonball Adderley

Cannonball Adderley – What I Mean

More Cannonball Adderley

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  • An outstanding copy of Adderley’s superb double album from 1979 with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on all FOUR sides – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • With outstanding presence, clarity, space and right on the money timbral accuracy, this pressing is guaranteed to be one of the best sounding jazz records you’ve heard in a long, long time
  • This is surely the best sound we have ever heard for this exceptional Golden Age ’60s recording, and that is really saying something
  • 4 stars: “This two-LP set combines two fine sessions from 1961. The great altoist is heard with his quintet in 1961 (featuring cornetist Nat Adderley, Victor Feldman on vibes and piano and guest pianist Wynton Kelly) and in a quartet date with pianist Bill Evans.”

Sides one and two of this double LP were originally issued as The Cannonball Adderley Quintet Plus, while sides three and four were originally released as Know What I Mean?

All four sides boast excellent mastering and very good sound. The cymbals have that just right “tap” followed by an open and sweet “shimmer.”

The piano and sax, the heart of the music of course, are rendered as accurately as can be expected.

As good as the OJC sounds, and it can sound very good indeed, this Milestone reissue from the decade before is even better. It has more of a “vintage analog pressing” sound, the kind you would expect to hear on a recording from 1962.

This is the best sound we have ever heard for this superb recording, and that is really saying something. (more…)

Ray Brown – And The All-Stars Band – Cannonball Adderley

Yet Another Record We’ve Discovered with (Potentially) Excellent Sound

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These two sides offer bigger brass, more transparency and more presence than any other sides we played! This may become one of your favorite big band albums to demo or test with. Or you can just enjoy the hell out of it if you prefer. So transparent and tonally correct, this is a killer sounding copy. We put this one right up there with the best of the Verve jazz titles we’ve done to date.

This is the kind of HUGE, RICH sound that Ray Hall engineered with tubes back in 1962, and it’s glorious to hear in 2017.

This album sounds like a big room full of musicians playing live, which it surely was. The Tubey Magical richness of the 1962 recording is breathtaking – no modern record can touch it.

The best copies recreate a live studio space the size of which you will not believe.

The Sound

Both sides are tonally correct, Tubey Magical and above all natural. The timbre of each and every instrument is right and it doesn’t take a pair of golden ears to hear it.

It’s also big, clear and balanced, with an especially sweet, rich, tubey sax for Cannonball’s solos — what a sound! So high-resolution too. The top extends beautifully on this copy, and that was not true for most of what we played.

If you love ’50s and ’60s jazz you cannot go wrong here. (more…)

Cannonball Adderley – African Waltz

More Cannonball Adderley

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  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side one and a side two that’s close to it, this early Black Label stereo pressing has plenty of analog magic in its grooves
  • ALIVE with musical energy, there’s also plenty of space for the players to occupy, a quality vital to this big group’s big sound
  • “The surging, compelling, thoroughly earthy sound of this orchestra, led by CANNONBALL ADDERLEY and including as impressive a roster of jazz stars as has ever been assembled, has already been responsible for a major breakthrough on the musical front… Quickly and enthusiastically accepted by a wide public, it leaped almost overnight into the bestseller category.

Vintage original covers for this album are hard to find in clean shape. Most of them will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG, and it will probably be VG+. If you are picky about your covers please let us know in advance so that we can be sure we have a nice cover for you. (more…)

Cannonball Adderley – In the Land of Hi-Fi

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  • Adderley’s fourth studio album makes its Hot Stamper debut here with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side one mated to an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side two
  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, presence and performance energy on this Hot Stamper pressing than on anything you’ve ever heard
  • Big Group energy and enthusiasm is key to the better pressings like this one – here you will find the most natural sounding ambience of any of the copies in our shootout
  • This one has most everything going for it, with bass, dynamics, clarity, top end extension and more – it’s a real Demo Disc, make no mistake about it

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Letter of the Week – “The sound just LEAPS out of the system. I’m not kidding, it literally JUMPS from the speakers, smooth, clean, big, bold and beautiful.”

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Holy Moly Fellows!

I’m playing through my most recent Better Records Short Stack ™. First up, Somethin’ Else by Cannonball and Bill, followed by Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night.

Man. The sound just LEAPS out of the system. I’m not kidding, it literally JUMPS from the speakers, smooth, clean, big, bold and beautiful. Did someone play with the volume? Did I change the gain? No man! These records just sound FANTASTIC!

Thank you gentlemen. Happy New Year!

Doug H

Doug,

Thanks for writing. There is a reason that on every listing we put this boilerplate in the body of the text:

What We’re Listening For on Record X

    • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
    • Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them
    • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
    • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
    • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
    • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
    • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

Exactly right: We want our records to have presence and energy, to be big and bold and jump out of the speakers.

This is the opposite of what everyone who stuck in the world of Heavy Vinyl is hearing. Virtually all of those records are veiled, recessed and compressed.

Who on earth wants that sound?  It’s beyond our understanding how it is that so many audiophiles cannot tell the difference between a good record and the lousy sounding crap they are making today.

Thanks for your letter. Glad you liked our Hot Stamper pressings as much as we did.

TP

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Miles Davis Kind of Blue – Sizing Up Two Very Different Sounding Pressings from the ’70s

More on Kind of Blue

One of our good customers has started a blog which he calls

A GUIDE FOR THE BUDDING ANALOG AUDIOPHILE

Below is a link to a comparison Robert Brook carried out with a few pressings of Miles Davis’ Masterpiece, Kind of Blue.

KIND OF BLUE: Discovering the RIGHT SOUND for Miles Davis’ MASTERPIECE

Letter of the Week – Digital Masters used in new vinyls strangle the sound at birth…

 

Hey Tom, 

I found out from buying into these and older Mobile Fidelity’s… New pressed vinyls… The sound left me cold… Didn’t have the warmth or integrity of the intended sound we all grew up on… And how the engineers and producers wanted us to hear them…

Digital Masters used in new vinyls IMO strangle the sound at birth… They give a lifeless sound that is rather like a CD, flat in its presentation without natural warmth, timbre.. Wooden instruments don’t sound wooden, brass doesn’t sound like brass… piano, the hardest instrument to reproduce other than the full tonal range of the human voice, that doesn’t sound the same in digital…

The FANCY term applied as a Sales Gimmick…the Magic of REMASTERED…means Jack Shit in reality, when worked in the digital domain… from digital masters! Give me analog every time!

Have you noticed how the Music Industry has now begun to go Back to full Analog chain/recording again? The trend is beginning to happen with a number of new recordings specified by the artists or producers… They recognize the power of a better sound captured in the analog process…

For me, original 50s, 60s and 70s music is preferred on first or often better ED2 pressings and wax which was quieter by the mid 70s early 80s..

The MORE I buy and listen to the HOT STAMPERS !the more I value the work and dedication you guts provide! There is no ‘bullshit’ at work here! The concept you have is CLEARLY AND DEMONSTRABLY PROVEN to anyone with a pair of ears willing to listen!

Even better… you don’t even NEED a Top End $10-20,000 record deck/cartridge to FULLY appreciate it… a quality Hi-Fi set up will STILL give you that same difference!

Even with a Hot Stamper in a condition with a little surface noise, clicks etc… the Magical sound overpowers any minor age related faults of the disc to render a beguiling listening experience!

PRICELESS hearing favourite albums in a NEW and hugely better way with the Sound itself being the ONLY CONSIDERATION Compared to a Bog Standard pressing…

Often as you have seen in recent times, I have upgraded Fave albums with TOP 3 Star Best Hot STAMPERS you have when available… replacing cheaper ones I bought 7-8 years ago! (more…)

Cannonball Adderley – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!

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  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) Shootout Winning side one and a superb Double Plus (A++) side two, this pressing one of Adderley’s most enjoyable albums will be very hard to beat
  • The sound here is bigger and livelier than practically any other we played – above all it’s balanced, avoiding the tonality issues we heard on so many other pressings
  • Joe Zawinul (Weather Report) wrote the title song, which became a big hit for Adderley (and later The Buckinghams), and he plays on the album
  • 5 Stars: “Adderley’s irrepressible exuberance was a major part of his popularity, and no document captures that quality as well — or with such tremendous musical rewards — as Mercy, Mercy, Mercy.”

Don’t worry about surface noise on this copy. With the audience making so much noise, you’ll never get a chance to hear it. If you do it will be barely audible under the music and crowd sounds.

I dropped the needle on a copy of this record a year or so ago and heard amazing you-are-there live jazz club sound, and, more importantly, a hot session from one of our favorite saxophone players of all time, the man who contributed mightily to the likes of Kind of Blue, Somethin’ Else, Know What I Mean? and many more. For an Alto player Cannonball is just about as good as it gets.

Fast forward one year and we now have in our possession enough copies to do a proper shootout – originals and reissues on a variety of labels.

These were of course two of the best sides we played. They’re big, rich and natural. The music does manage to sound like a live club, even though it’s live in the studio, playing to an audience. (The AMG review has more on that.)

For mainstream jazz it’s hard to think of any album on our site that would be more enjoyable. (more…)

Kenny Dorham / Cannonball Adderley – Blue Spring

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  • Dorham and Adderley’s 1959 collaboration finally arrives on the site with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two with an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one 
  • This superb recording is huge and lively with startling dynamics and in-the-room-presence like nothing you’ve heard
  • The trumpet and saxophone are so full-bodied and Tubey Magical you won’t believe it – where is that sound today?
  • 4 stars: “The set features plenty of Dorham’s varied and sophisticated horn work and four of his top-drawer originals. The theme is spring… Essential listening for Dorham fans.”

*CONDITION NOTES:

  • On side two, A mark makes 10 moderately light to light ticks three-quarter inches into track 3, Passion Spring.

To find a clean, 1959 Riverside pressing on the early Blue Label with vinyl any quieter and no groove damage whatsoever strikes us as practically impossible. This is the first pressing in audiophile playing quality we have ever seen, and we may never see its like again.

Jack Higgins was the engineer for these sessions. He recorded Chet Baker’s brilliant Chet album the same year, as well as another favorite of ours here at Better Records, Wynton Kelly’s wonderful (and very good sounding on ’80s OJC) Kelly Blue. (more…)

Miles Davis – Jazz Track

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  • 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…)