This is an original Hi-Fi Records Mono LP from 1959. Jimmy is joined on stage by Gerry Mulligan and Ben Webster, with support from Mel Lewis, Leroy Vinnegar and Jimmy Rowles. Now that is some group of top jazz talent.
The sound is decent, but the music is the real thing, as you can imagine from the list of players. There’s also some slight groove distortion which is almost unavoidable on vintage pressings such as this.
Witherspoon’s wonderful 1967 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
Spacious and transparent, this copy has the three-dimensional soundstaging and natural vocal reproduction that makes these kinds of records such a joy to play (and in the process a record this good makes a mockery of the veiled, lifeless, ambience-free sound of the modern Heavy Vinyl reissue)
4 stars: “The Blues Is Now is arguably the finest of these [late ’60s Verve] recordings, and Witherspoon’s voice is in top form and hugely expressive. A late-night blues classic, this is Witherspoon at his most relaxed and assured and is a joy to listen to.”