1963-best

Cannonball Adderley – A Forgotten Jazz Classic

More Cannonball Adderley

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

  • An exceptionally rare and amazing sounding early stereo pressing (that’s the mono you see pictured btw) – it boasts Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last 
  • These originals are by far the best way to go, in stereo of course, putting Cannonball’s breathy, melodic sax right between your speakers, with the rest of the band – including Sergio Mendes on keys – spread out around him
  • Truly an undiscovered gem in the Adderley catalog – the audiophiles here at Better Records were digging both the music and especially the superb sound
  • Another top quality recording from the superbly talented Ray Fowler, the house engineer for Riverside and the man behind many of the best Thelonious Monk and Cannonball Adderley recordings done for that great jazz label
  • A Jazz Classic from 1963 that should appeal to any fan of Bossa Nova music
  • The complete list of titles from 1963 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

I think I first heard this album on the original pressing about ten years ago. Of course I liked it immediately; samba jazz and pop are two of my favorite styles of music, from Getz Au Go Go to Astrud Gilbert, on to Antonio Carlos Jobim and ending with the bottled-sunshine Pure Pop of Sergio Mendes and Brazil ’66.

For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1962 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy will do the trick. (more…)

The Beatles – With The Beatles

More With The Beatles

More of The Beatles

  • A KILLER copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from the first note to the last – exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Superb space and immediacy, rich and (relatively) smooth and oh-so-Tubey Magical lead and harmony vocals – this is the right sound for With The Beatles and it sure doesn’t take a pair of golden ears to hear it
  • So many great songs: “All My Loving,” “Please Mr. Postman,” “Til There Was You,” “You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me” “Devil In Her Heart”… fourteen in all
  • 5 stars: “It was clear that, even at this early stage, the Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing, turning into expert craftsmen and musical innovators.”
  • Far from the best album the band ever released, it’s still full of great songs and must be seen as a Classic from 1963 that should appeal to any fan of the early Beatles
  • The complete list of titles from 1963 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

This is a tough album to get to sound right, as long-time readers of our site surely know, but here are the sides that prove this album can sound very good indeed. Looking for the best sound? Try “Till There Was You” on side one and “You Really Got A Hold On Me” on the flipside.

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Couperin / Mozart / Corelli / Britten – Music For Strings / Janigro

More of the music of François Couperin (1668-1733)

More Classical and Orchestral Recordings in Living Stereo

  • This original Shaded Dog pressing boasts INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • It’s also fairly quiet at Mint Minus Minus, a grade that most of our classical records, even the mintiest ones, cannot match
  • The Tubey Magical richness is off the charts on this copy – if you want to know what kind of sound wins shootouts around these parts, this pressing will show you
  • The rich, textured sheen of the strings that Living Stereo made possible in the ’50s and early ’60s is clearly evident throughout these pieces, something that the Heavy Vinyl crowd will never experience, because that sound simply does not exist on modern records
  • Marks in the vinyl are the nature of the beast with these early pressings – there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you

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Charles Mingus – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

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  • Charles Mingus’s avant-garde jazz masterpiece makes it back to the site with superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides – remarkably quiet vinyl too
  • This copy is overflowing with the kind of rich, spacious, Tubey Magical sound that can only be found on vintage vinyl
  • One of the most acclaimed jazz records of the 20th century – a dizzying blend of jazz and classical, and also elements of African music and Spanish themes
  • 5 stars: “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is one of the greatest achievements in orchestration by any composer in jazz history. Charles Mingus consciously designed the six-part ballet as his magnum opus, and — implied in his famous inclusion of liner notes by his psychologist — it’s as much an examination of his own tortured psyche as it is a conceptual piece about love and struggle.”

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Henry Mancini – Charade

More of the music of Henry Mancini (1924-1994)

  • An original RCA Victor stereo LP boasting excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • This copy is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience — talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny
  • If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1963 All Tube Analog sound can be, this outstanding copy may be just the record for you

This RCA Victor stereo LP gives you a healthy dose of the Tubey Magic we love here at Better Records. As is usually the case with Mancini’s records, some tracks sound far better than others.

“Charade” is a particularly good sounding song on side two, with superb reproduction of both female and male voices, rich and sweet in the best tradition of RCA from the Golden Age.

More good stuff on side two? Drop the needle on “Latin Snowfall” to hear exactly what I’m talking about.

As an added bonus, the last track, “Charade (Carousel),” has absolutely no IGD on the glockenspiel or Calliope. Few copies will not be groove damaged on that track — we speak from experience here.

For us audiophiles, both the sound and the music found here are enchanting. If you’re looking to demonstrate just how good 1963 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy may be just the record for you.

This copy is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.

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Sonny Rollins – Our Man In Jazz

More Sonny Rollins

More Living Stereo Recordings

  • An original Black Label Living Stereo copy, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from the first note
  • A superb 1963 Living Stereo recording with tons of Tubey Magic, one of Sonny’s best
  • We’ve played quite a number of Our Man in “X” RCA titles, and I don’t think we have ever heard a bad one
  • It’s the exceptionally rare copy that sounds as good as this one does – let’s find it a good home!
  • Recorded live in 1962 at the Village Gate in Greenwich Village, NY and featuring Bob Cranshaw, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins

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Duke Ellington – Duke Ellington Meets Coleman Hawkins

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  • You’ll find outstanding Double Plus (A+++) sound on both sides of this Impulse stereo pressing
  • Once again Rudy Van Gelder delivers the sound that audiophiles and jazz fans alike thrill to
  • Impulse took it upon themselves to reissue this title on Heavy Vinyl many years ago — (I admit I used to sell them, mea culpa) — and it was as mediocre as you might expect, with little of the magic of The Real Thing found on the vintage pressings we offer in Hot Stamper form
  • 5 stars: “This set documents a historic occasion. Although Coleman Hawkins had been an admirer of Duke Ellington’s music for at least 35 years at this point and Ellington had suggested they record together at least 20 years prior to their actual meeting in 1962, this was their first (and only) meeting on record. High points include an exuberant “The Jeep Is Jumpin’,” an interesting remake of “Mood Indigo,” and a few new Ellington pieces. This delightful music is recommended…”
  • A Jazz Classic from 1963 that should appeal to any fan of the work of Ellington or Hawkins
  • The complete list of titles from 1963 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

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Mel Torme – Songs of New York

More Mel Torme

Mel Torme Albums We’ve Reviewed

  • This surprisingly good sounding pressing of Mel Tormé’s 1963 album boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Like many of the best Mel Tormé recordings from the ’50s and early-’60s, the sound here is rich, warm and smooth, with Vintage Analog Tubey Magic to die for
  • Turn it up and The Velvet Fog will be standing right between your speakers, putting his heart and soul into these American standards
  • We freely admit that the originals are potentially better sounding — the only ones we ever find on the early label are much too noisy to enjoy
  • However, the best of them make great reference copies, so we keep them around and compare them to these reasonably quiet and very good sounding reissues
  • “This thematic recording, with songs all relating to New York City, has vocalist Mel Tormé singing in fine fashion… done with the heartfelt passion of a man who has lived in the Big Apple and has many tales to tell.”
  • A Male Vocal Classic from 1963 that should appeal to any fan of Mel Torme in his prime
  • The complete list of titles from 1963 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.

Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These Atlantic pressings are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambience, dead-on correct tonality — everything that we listen for in a great record is here.

This vintage stereo pressing has the kind of Midrange Magic that modern records barely begin to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it ain’t 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 studio with Mel, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage Analog recordings are known for — this sound. (more…)

Johnny Hartman / I Just Dropped By To Say Hello – A Forgotten Vocal Classic

More Pop and Jazz Vocals

Reviews and Commentaries for More Male Vocal Albums

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Folks, the later Stereo Impulse pressing of this classic Hartman album we dropped the needle on recently was so Tubey Magical, RICH yet CLEAR, and above all shockingly natural, it would be hard to imagine a Male Vocal record produced in the last thirty years that could hold a candle to it (outside of the Coltrane-Hartman record from the year before of course).

The Bennett-Evans record we love so much here at Better Records would qualify as a contender, but that album was recorded in 1975. And it doesn’t have half the Tubey Magic this Hartman album from 1963 does.

RVG Knocks Another One Out of the Park

Our hats are off to Rudy Van Gelder once again! Here’s an album that justifies his reputation. If only more of them did…

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Ray Charles – Ingredients In A Recipe For Soul

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  • An outstanding pressing of Charles’ 1963 release, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • These sides are doing it all right — richer, fuller, better bass, more Tubey Magic, and the list goes on
  • Ray Charles was a genius and the music on this record is just more proof of the undeniability of that fact
  • 4 stars: “The high points are very high — ‘Busted,’ his hit reworking of a composition by country songwriter Harlan Howard, is jazzy and tough, and one of his best early-’60s singles…”

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