- This Six-Eye Stereo pressing boasts out of this world Demo Disc Sound – Time Out captures the ambience and huge space of Columbia’s studio like no other record has (with a little reverb thrown in for good measure)
- A knockout pressing of Brubeck’s astonishingly well recorded Jazz Classic, a record that belongs in every audiophile’s collection
- Early stereo LPs in clean condition like this one are getting awfully tough to find nowadays…
- “Buoyed by a hit single in Desmond’s ubiquitous Take Five, Time Out became an unexpectedly huge success, and still ranks as one of the most popular jazz albums ever. That’s a testament to Brubeck and Desmond’s abilities as composers, because Time Out is full of challenges both subtle and overt — it’s just that they’re not jarring.”
- If you’re a fan of Brubeck and company, this 1959 album belongs in your collection, along with quite a few others from the classic jazz era
- The complete list of titles from 1959 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
This time around  no other copy of Time Out could touch our good Six Eye Stereo pressings. They were simply in a league of their own.
If you’ve been with us for a long time you may remember that this was not always the case. We used to really like some 360s as I recall, as well as the original mono pressing. This time around, not so much.
This time around most everything is different. Allow us to explain.
1. Our stereo is different; we’ve made quite a number of changes to it since our last big shootout for Time Out a few years back. We are strong proponents of Making Audio Progress.
2. We’re different; we have better (I would hope) listening skills. In fact I’m sure we listen for different qualities in a recording than we might have years ago.
3. Even more importantly, we don’t have the same pile of pressings we had years ago. They’re gone, replaced by a new batch. This new batch had some killer original pressings, some good 360s, and not much to speak of on the later labels. This comes under the heading of Moderately Helpful Title Specific Advice.
With a different batch we might have found a great sounding 360 pressing; we have to believe they exist, and we certainly can’t say that our best copy here could not have been bettered in some way. That would be foolish; anything can be bettered.
The next time we run this experiment, the results could be different.
[Update from 2021: we have run the experiment a number of times in the five yeas since this commentary was written, and the best Six Eye in the shootout has not been beaten yet. Yet.]
For us, in 2014 (and probably through 2015), this is it. This is the right sound. (more…)
- This early 360 Stereo pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on side two and outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on side one – fairly quiet vinyl too
- With a breathy sax, lively and present piano, and a smooth, full sounding orchestra on some of these tracks, this is just the right sound for this music
- The legendary CBS 30th Street Studios in New York deliver another amazing Demo Disc for Dave Brubeck and his famous fellow jazzmen
- Produced by the legendary Teo Macero, this is the fourth entry in Brubeck’s time signature series of classic jazz
Production and Engineering
Teo Macero was the producer, Fred Plaut the engineer for these sessions in Columbia’s glorious-sounding 30th Street Studio. It’s yet another remarkable disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording.
- You’ll find superb sound on this very well-recorded Fantasy session from 1960
- Wonderfully Tubey Magical and natural – this may not be an original, but it sure sounds like a good All Tube recording from 1960 should
- Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus – they didn’t press them any quieter
- “One of Brubeck’s three recordings of the 1959-61 period that featured clarinetist Bill Smith in the place of altoist Paul Desmond with the Quartet, this one finds Smith contributing ten originals that use various modes and unusual scales. The music generally swings and there are some fine solos…”
- Fans of Brubeck and company should find this well recorded Fantasy title from 1960 of interest
The best copies such as this one demonstrate the big-as-life Fred Plaut Columbia Sound at its best (better than even Time Out in our opinion). These vintage recordings are full-bodied, spacious, three-dimensional, rich, sweet and warm in the best tradition of an All Tube Analog recording.
If you want to hear big drums in a big room these Brubeck recordings will show you that sound better than practically any record we know of. The Engineering tab below has much more on that subject.
The one standout track on this album for audiophiles is surely Unsquare Dance, what with its uncannily real sounding handclaps in 7/4. The copies that did the best job of reproducing that “flesh on flesh” sound of actual human hands clapping scored very well in our shootout.
More to Listen For
For starters listen for a fat snare and rich piano on the first track of side one. When you hear that, assuming you do, you should know you are in for a treat. Our best copies captured those two sounds brilliantly.
On the second track the clarity of the brushed snare is key to how resolving and transparent any copy is. The rich, smooth sound of Desmond’s sax balanced against the clarity of the brushes will help you make sure that the overall sound is tonally correct from top to bottom.
On side two the first track has the Wall to Wall Big Drums in a Big Room sound that positively blows our minds.
Note that in some places it sounds like the piano is overdriving its mic. We heard that sound on practically every copy we played, so we’re pretty sure it’s on the tape that way.
The monos we played didn’t do much for us. They tended to be thin and hard sounding, and of course much of the space of the studio disappears completely. One side of one copy did well enough I suppose but my advice would be to avoid them if you’re looking for good sound.
Previously we had written:
This Columbia Six-Eye pressing is THE BEST SOUNDING MONO COPY OF THIS ALBUM WE’VE EVER HEARD! The better Mono pressings of this album give you extra immediacy, more solidity to the drums, and energy like you wouldn’t believe. That makes the drum solo on side two sound OUT OF THIS WORLD. Most copies are congested and veiled, but not this one! The sound is spacious and transparent with wonderful presence. You will not believe how lively it is!
Both sides are rich and full-bodied with lots of sweetness and extension up top. The energy and transparency are wonderful. The bass is a bit tubby, but that’s what you get on these vintage Six Eye pressings. It’s worth it when there’s as much tubey magic as you get on this pressing.
A classic case of Live and Learn.
- You’ll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides of this pressing of Time In, the last album recorded in Brubeck’s “Time” series
- This 360 Stereo pressing boasts the clean, clear, solid, lively piano sound we love about Brubeck’s records from this era
- The best vintage pressings of Brubeck’s Columbia albums from the ’50 through the ’60s are exceptionally natural, with unerringly correct sound from top to bottom
- 4 stars: “The last of pianist and composer Dave Brubeck’s “Time” recordings, and one of his most musically adventurous. Though it is seldom celebrated as such, this is one of Brubeck’s finest moments on Columbia.”
This vintage Columbia 360 stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing any sign of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the audience at the live show, this is the record for you. It’s what Live Jazz Recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)
Michael Fremer spends two hours and ten minutes on his site going through a list of 100 All Analog In Print Reissued Records You Should Own
On this list is the 45 RPM Bernie Grundman cutting of Time Out. Fremer apparently likes it a whole lot more than we do. We think it is just plain awful. The MoFi Kind of Blue is on this same list, another pressing that is astonishingly bad, or at least very, very wrong. If you’re the kind of person who might want to give Michael Fremer the benefit of the doubt when it comes to All Analog records he thinks sound good, ones he thinks you should own, try either one of them. If you think they sound just fine, you sure don’t need me to tell you that I find them completely and utterly unlistenable.
- You’ll find KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish on this original 6 Eye Stereo Pressing
- These sides are incredibly tubey – rich, full-bodied and warm – yet clear, lively and dynamic
- This copy demonstrates the big-as-life Fred Plaut Columbia Sound at its best – better even than Time Out(!)
- 4 1/2 stars: “The selections, which range in time signatures from 5/4 to 9/8, are handled with apparent ease (or at least not too much difficulty) by pianist Brubeck, altoist Paul Desmond, bassist Eugene Wright, and drummer Joe Morello on this near-classic.”
Time Further Out is consistently more varied and, dare we say, more musically interesting than Time Out.
If you want to hear big drums in a big room these Brubeck recordings will show you that sound better than practically any record we know of. These vintage recordings are full-bodied, spacious, three-dimensional, rich, sweet and warm in the best tradition of an All Tube Analog recording. (more…)