- A stunning Columbia Red Label pressing with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one mated to an excellent Double Plus (A++) side two – fairly quiet vinyl too
- Dramatically richer, fuller and more Tubey Magical than all of the other copies we played, with breathy vocals and rosiny, fairly smooth strings
- There may be amazingly good sounding original pressings, as amazingly good as this one, but we’ve never run into one and we have our doubts about the existence of such a magical LP – where could they all be hiding?
- “I’m a Fool to Want You” on this very copy may just send chills racing up and down your spine
- 4 1/2 stars: “Lady Day herself said that this session was her personal favorite.”
- Reviews and commentaries for some of the amazing music recorded in the 30th Street Studios
- If you’re a fan of Lady Day, this Columbia recording from 1958 surely belongs in your collection.
- The complete list of titles from 1958 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
On the better copies both the sound and music are absolutely breathtaking. They reproduce clearly what, to our minds, are the three most important elements in the recording — strings, rhythm, and vocal — and, more importantly, the are reproduced properly balanced with one another.
The monos, as you might expect, balance the three elements well enough, but the problem with mono is that the vocals and instruments are jammed together in the center of the soundfield, layered atop one another. Real clarity, the kind that live music has in abundance, is difficult if not impossible under the circumstances. Only the stereo pressings provide the space that each of the elements need in order to be heard.
Naturally, the vocals have to be the main focus on a Billie Holiday record. They should be rich and tubey, yet clear, breathy and transparent. To qualify as a Hot Stamper, the pressings we offer must be highly resolving. You will hear everything, surrounded by the natural space of the legendary Columbia 30th Street Studio in which the recording was made.