Top Artists – The Modern Jazz Quartet

The Original Jazz Classics Series Got Off to a Bad Start with Concorde

Here Are Some Potentially Good Sounding OJC Pressings

These Are Not Very Good Sounding OJC Pressings

OJC-002! Fantasy’s second release in the series, but not a very good one.

The copy (or copies; who can remember?) we’ve auditioned in the past did not impress us sonically, so don’t expect to see Hot Stampers of this title on OJC coming to the Better Records website any time soon.

The music might be wonderful — we unreservedly follow the maxim de gustibus non est disputandum — but the sound of this pressing is not likely to be of audiophile quality.

There may be great sounding pressings of the album – how could we possibly know there aren’t without playing every version ever pressed — but we’re pretty sure the OJC pictured here will always fall short of the mark.

If you know of a great sounding pressing of the album, feel free to let us in on what pressing you have and we might just pick one up and give it a listen.

We’ve auditioned countless pressings like this one in the 33 years we’ve been in business — buying, cleaning and playing them by the thousands. This is how we find the best sounding vinyl pressings ever made.  Not the ones that should sound the best. The ones that actually do sound the best.

If you’re an audiophile looking for top quality sound on vintage vinyl, we’d be happy to send you the Hot Stamper pressing guaranteed to beat anything and everything you’ve heard, especially if you have any pressing marketed to you as an audiophile.

And if we can’t beat whatever LP you own or have heard, you get your money back.  It’s as simple as that.

Credits

Bass – Percy Heath
Drums – Connie Kay
Engineer – Van Gelder
Piano – John Lewis
Supervised By – Bob Weinstock
Vibraphone – Milt Jackson

Notes

Recorded in 1955.


What’s Number One? This Milt Jackson record.

I may have played it many years ago — I’ve played OJC’s by the hundreds at this stage of the game — but I don’t remember anything about it.

Horace Silver on piano? Recorded by Rudy Van Gelder?

Hey, maybe it’s a good one and the OJC series did get off to a good start.

If I find one and it sounds good, I will admit my error and put this very listing in our We Was Wrong section.


FURTHER READING

We play mediocre-to-bad sounding pressings so that you don’t have to, a public service from your record loving friends at Better Records.

You can find this one in our Hall of Shame, along with more than 350 others that — in our opinion — qualify as some of the worst sounding records ever made. (On some records in the Hall of Shame the sound is passable but the music is bad.  These are also records you can safely avoid.)

Note that most of the entries are audiophile remasterings of one kind or another. The reason for this is simple: we’ve gone through the too-often unpleasant experience of comparing them head to head with our best Hot Stamper pressings.

When you can hear them that way, up against an exceptionally good record, their flaws become that much more obvious and, frankly, that much more inexcusable.

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Modern Jazz Quartet – Django

More Modern Jazz Quartet

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  • We guarantee there is dramatically more richness, fullness, vocal presence, and performance energy on this copy than others you’ve heard, and that’s especially true if you made the mistake of buying whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently on the market
  • 4 stars: “The MJQ maneuver with unquestionable grace, alternately supporting and soloing, each taking the reigns as the others construct their contributions around the respective soloist… it is hard to exceed the variety of styles and performances gathered on Django.”

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Modern Jazz Quartet – European Concert, Volume 1

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  • The Modern Jazz Quartet’s superb live 1960 release returns on the rare Blue and Green Atlantic label
  • With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
  • Exceptionally spacious and three-dimensional, as well as relaxed and full-bodied – this early stereo pressing was a noticeable step up over every other copy but one
  • Recorded live in Sweden, this is the first of two volumes and widely considered among the group’s greatest performances
  • 5 stars: “Long considered one of, if not the classic album from the Modern Jazz Quartet, European Concert defines them simultaneously as a recording entity as well as a working band. MJQ presented jazz in the context of a formally structured environment, much like a chamber group in the classical context.”

A nearly impossible record to find on the original label in audiophile playing condition, especially in stereo. (more…)