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More Reviews and Commentaries for Direct to Disc Recordings
Most copies of this album are slightly thin and slightly bright.
They give the impression of being clear and clean, but some of the louder brass passages start to get strained and blary, or glary if you like.
The good copies are rich and full.
The sound is balanced from top to bottom.
The sound is smooth, which allows you to play the album all the way through at good loud levels without fatigue.
On the best pressings, the trumpets, trombones, tubas, tambourines, and drums, all have the true tonality and the vibrancy of the real thing. The reason this record was such a big hit in its day is because the recording engineers were able to capture that sound better than anybody else around [not really, but that’s what it seemed like at the time].
That’s also the reason this is a Must Own record today — the sound and the music hold up.
Just listen to that amazing brass choir on Oh Lord, I’m On My Way. It just doesn’t get any better than that. If ever there was a Demo Disc for Brass, this is one!
I used to think the Tower label copies were not as good — that the later pressings were pressed better. Now I know that it doesn’t matter what era the pressing is from: the tonal balance is the key to the best sound.
Notes from an Older Shootout
Side One has all of the texture and transients you could ever want to hear from this title. The bass is big and full-bodied and the drums have all of the energy and presence we love. Again, the CLARITY and clean sound of all the instruments is OFF THE CHARTS!
The beginning of That Certain Feeling is so warm and smooth it makes the typical hard copy sound like crap.
When we dropped the needle on You Are The Sunshine Of My Life, we knew we had a Side Two that was something special.
Immediately we heard more LIFE and ENERGY than we had heard before.
It was so spacious and transparent we felt as if we were in the studio, which is, after all, the point of listening to recording like this, isn’t it?
The bass is PUNCHY and full.
The saxophone solo on ‘Sunshine’ is so breathy and textured and you can hear the keys clacking as he does his trills.
If you have another copy listen for different sax solo performances to see if you have a different take. I believe there are two and they are easily distinguished from one another.
A Round Of Applause For Sheffield
As I’m sure you’ve read on the site, time has not been good to the sound of the typical Mobile Fidelity record. We may have been impressed back in the day, but now it’s clear their mastering approach was disastrous for most of the titles they did.
Sheffield, in this period anyway, turns out to have made some truly amazing sounding records: this one, in particular, as well as the other two Mayorga titles. The Grusin has a few problems [not really when you correct for the polarity issues], and after that their catalog is hit and miss. But the early days at Sheffield produced some wonderful, wonderful albums.
This album checks off a few of our favorite boxes: