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Super Hot Stamper

Art Pepper + Eleven
Modern Jazz Classics

  (Item #: peppemoder_1708_1) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A Big, Bold and Lively copy, with each side rating a Double Plus (A++) or BETTER for this exceptionally well recorded album
  • The sound is rich, warm and full-bodied, both clear and open -- the brass sounds phenomenal on this pressing
  • Here is the Tubey Magic of the originals without the problems that make the average original so much less involving
  • A longtime audiophile favorite - 5 stars on Allmusic: "This is a true classic. Essential music for all serious jazz collections."
See all of our Art Pepper albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
Meets The Rhythm Section

  (Item #: peppemeets_1708) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides, one of the better copies to hit the site in years!
  • The stereo sound is full-bodied, with wonderful immediacy to Pepper's breathy sax and none of the bloated bass and murky mids of the originals
  • This Yellow Label pressing plays about as quiet as we can find them, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • Many consider this Five Star album to be the best record Art Pepper ever made "... a diamond of recorded jazz history."
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White Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
Landscape

  (Item #: peppelands_1708) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • only the second copy of Landscape, Art Pepper's live album from 1979, to hit the site in a very long time, and this one is killer
  • With a Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a Double Plus (A++) side one this was as good as any copy we played in our shootout
  • George Cables, Art's longtime collaborator on piano, is nothing less than amazing on this record: this is the best I’ve ever heard him play
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Altoist Art Pepper was in inspired form during this Tokyo concert ... Pepper's intensity and go-for-broke style are exhilarating throughout."
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Super Hot Stamper

Helen Humes
Songs I Like To Sing!

  (Item #: humessongs_1608x) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • Great copy of a great album, with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Rich, dynamic and spacious sound makes this copy especially wonderful - a triumph for engineer Howard Holzer
  • This is one of our favorite Big Band Vocal albums ever, one that belongs in any serious record collection
  • 5 stars on Allmusic: "One of the high points of Helen Humes' career, this Contemporary set features superior songs, superb backup, and very suitable and swinging arrangements by Marty Paich."
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Art Pepper + Eleven - Modern Jazz Classics

Black Label Original with Very Good Sound (!)

  (Item #: peppemoder_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

SURPRISINGLY GOOD SOUND AND QUIET VINYL ON THIS BLACK LABEL ORIGINAL! Clean early copies like these don’t grow on trees, and ones that actually sound good are even more difficult to find. The sound is full-bodied and energetic with more tubey magic than the average later copies.

As tends to be the case with these Black Label copies, the bass could stand to be tighter. The later copies offer an extra degree of resolution, but we know some people prefer these early copies for their richness and sweetness (which, as we've written about extensively, comes at price).

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Art Pepper + Eleven - Modern Jazz Classics

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: peppemoder_yellow_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Oh Yeah! This Contemporary Yellow Label LP DESTROYED the competition in our big shootout this week, rating ABOVE A++ on BOTH SIDES. We didn’t hear better sound for either side on any other copy we played. Drop the needle on any track and prepare yourself to be BLOWN AWAY! The sound is full-bodied and energetic with tight bass, breathy brass, and lots of ambience.

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Art Pepper + Eleven - Modern Jazz Classics

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: peppemoder_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

On a great copy such as this one, you can really pick out each of the musicians and follow them throughout the course of each song. When you're able to appreciate everyone's contributions, you can really get a better sense of how much work went into making this album. It's nothing short of epic!

This is one DYNAMIC jazz record -- drop the needle on any track and prepare yourself to be very impressed. The sound is full-bodied and energetic with tight bass, breathy brass, and lots of ambience.

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Art Pepper + Eleven

The Originals Are Better, Right?

  (Item #: peppemoder_original) 



Nope. It’s just another Record Myth.

We used to get the original Contemporary pressings in all the time, but so few are mastered right practically none ever make it to the site. Some are pure muck; others have bass that's so bloated it's hard to tell if it's electric or acoustic. And where's the presence? We dropped the needle on a few Black Label copies of this title and were entirely underwhelmed.

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Art Pepper - ... The Way It Was

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: peppethewa_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Contemporary Yellow Label 2-pack has WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC and QUIET VINYL ON BOTH SIDES! It’s airy, open, and spacious with superb clarity and an extended top end. The beautiful reading of Autumn Leaves on side two is DEMO DISC QUALITY! Both of the copies in this White Hot 2-pack have one side rated A+++ and one side that just didn't meet our standards, so we combined them to give you excellent sound for the entire album.

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Art Pepper - ...The Way It Was

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: peppeitwas_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Contemporary Yellow Label LP has WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC ON BOTH SIDES! It’s airy, open, and spacious with superb clarity and an extended top end. The beautiful reading of Autumn Leaves on side two is DEMO DISC QUALITY!

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Art Pepper - At The Village Vanguard Vol. 4

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: peppeatthe_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Minty Contemporary Demo LP has WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC! The highlight of this pressing is the well-defined DEEP bass -- all the intricacies really come to life. The sound is rich and sweet! And holy crap, that piano sounds really nice. On More for Les, Pepper switches from sax to clarinet and the result is a wonderful, bluesy track that is completely original. The clarinet sounds like it is in the room with you.

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Art Pepper - Friday Night At The Village Vanguard

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: peppefrida_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Original Contemporary LP has EXCELLENT MUSIC AND SOUND! The real highligh of this volume is the version of Caravan -- just listen to Art playing both alto AND tenor! There’s also a great version of Pepper’s bossa-influenced track Labyrinth. The sound is rich and full-bodied. Listen to the cymbal crashes to hear how extended the top end is. The piano has real weight to it, but the sax sounds a little bit compressed and the bass could be a bit tighter.

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Art Pepper - Gettin’ Together

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: peppegetti_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

TWO GREAT SIDES on VERY QUIET vinyl, including an As Good As It Gets A+++ side two! This album, and this copy in particular, deliver some serious Art Pepper Contemporary Magic. We're big fans of Pepper and this label, and we love the sound Roy DuNann was able to get out of these guys. On the best pressings, such as this one, there's just nothing between you and the music! You will have a very hard time finding a much better sounding jazz record than side two of this copy -- anywhere.

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Art Pepper - Intensity

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: peppeinten_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Intensity is right -- this is some SERIOUSLY GOOD SOUNDING alto saxophone led quartet jazz. AMG was right to give this one 4 1/2 stars -- the musicianship is top notch and Pepper’s playing is INSPIRED throughout.

The real surprise was how well recorded this album from 1963 is. I can't recall a more DYNAMIC Contemporary. Pepper's sax gets seriously LOUD in some passages. This is very much a good thing. Not only is he totally committed to the music, but the engineers are getting that energy onto the record so that we at home can feel the moment to moment raw power of his expression.

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Art Pepper - Landscape

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: peppelands_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Recorded in Japan in 1979, this is a really interesting album. There are a lot of stinkers in the Art Pepper catalog from this era. (Acoustic Sounds released a few of them on 180 gram as a matter of fact. What a waste of good vinyl.)

But this album is actually quite good. Art plays in an energetic staccato style, which is counterbalanced by the long flowing lines of George Cables at the piano. Cables is actually pretty amazing on this record: this is the best I’ve ever heard him play. He’s not very good as a leader, at least on the records I’ve heard, but he and Art get along very well together.

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Art Pepper - Living Legend

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: peppelivin_2010) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

SUPERB SOUND AND MUSIC! Art Pepper’s saxophone sound is Right On The Money, breathy and airy with clearly audible leading edge transients. The lineup on this LP is stellar, with Hampton Hawes on piano and keys, Shelly Manne on drums, and the great Charlie Haden on bass guitar.

We've mentioned plenty of times what big fans we are of Contemporary Label Jazz LP's and this record is another sonic triumph for engineer Roy DuNann. The sound is warm and lively, with superb clarity and virtually no distortion. The top end is wonderfully extended, allowing you to really appreciate some fantastic cymbal work by Shelly Manne.

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Art Pepper - Meets The Rhythm Section

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: peppemeets_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This LP has AMAZING SOUND on both sides with each rating A+++ or something very close to it. This one has all the tubey magic of the best black label originals, without their bad vinyl and bloated bass. I get black label original Contemporary pressings in all the time, but few of them are mastered right and most never make it to the site. Some are pure muck. Some have bloated bass that is hard to believe. Don’t buy into that record collecting slash audiophile canard that Original Equals Better. It's BS.

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Art Pepper - One September Afternoon

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: peppeonese_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

AN EXCELLENT A++ SIDE TWO for this album -- this is an excellent recording from 1980, one of the best of the later Art Pepper period during which Art was signed with Galaxy and was devoting his remaining years to playing and recording as much as possible. The album is engineered by Baker Bigsby, as is Art Pepper Today (1978), my personal favorite Art Pepper album and amazing sounding if you can find the right pressing (we're working on it!).

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Art Pepper - Saturday Night At The Village Vanguard

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: peppesatur_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This very nice looking Contemporary LP has pretty good sound and excellent music. We played all four volumes of Art Pepper’s Village Vanguard series recently, and this copy was our favorite of the bunch. It features an intense live version of Pepper’s tune The Trip, from the wonderful album of the same title, as well as extended versions of the tunes You Go To My Head and Cherokee.

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Art Pepper - Smack Up

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: peppesmack_2009) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

WOW -- the first Smack Up Hot Stamper to hit the site in over two years! We love this album and wish we could find more great copies, but it sure ain't easy. Here's a Contemporary Yellow Label pressing that's very good on side one and INCREDIBLE on side two. The first track on side one doesn't sound quite as good as the rest of the material, but by the second track this thing is SMOKIN'.

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Art Pepper - The Trip

Our Shootout Winner from 2007

  (Item #: peppetrip_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Autographed copy of The Trip has WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC! The title ain’t lying -- this album is a TRIP! We dropped the needle on this Contemporary Yellow Label pressing and immediately stopped listening critically and began just enjoying the music and the sonics. That’s the sign of a truly exceptional album. The sound on this album is so alive and so real, you’ll feel like there’s a West Coast Jazz quartet in your living room.

The key word here is NATURAL. No phony boosted top, just smooth sweet sound everywhere you listen.

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Art Pepper - Today

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: peppetoday_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Side two is huge, rich and energetic like no other. Side one was nearly as good, with especially rich, Tubey Magical sound. Musically this is the best of Pepper's later period, and exceptionally well recorded by Baker Bigsby. Today has been a personal favorite of mine for close to 30 years.

Side two of this copy is White Hot, which is where the extended ballad Patricia is, in our opinion the single most beautiful song Art Pepper ever recorded. It's ten solid minutes of emotion, at the end of which you may be as exhausted as he no doubt was. The big finish for the song is unbelievable on this copy.

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Art Pepper - Today

Phil DeLancie Digital or George Horn Analog?

  (Item #: peppetoday_ojc) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts on issues concerning (usually old) records.

We've wanted to do Art Pepper Today for more than a decade, but the original Galaxy pressings were just too thick and dark to earn anything approaching a top sonic grade. Thirty years ago on a very different system I had one and liked it a lot, but there was no way I could get past the opaque sound I was now hearing on the more than half-dozen originals piled in front of me.

So, almost in desperation we tried an OJC reissue from the '90s. You know, the ones that all the audiophiles on the web will tell you to steer clear of because it had been mastered by Phil DeLancie and might be sourced from digital tapes.

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Chet Baker & Art Pepper - Playboys

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bakerplayb_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Side one is White Hot, side two nearly so, and both contain swingin' West Coast Jazz from 1956. These 1983 reissues on Boplicity are dynamic and lively, perfectly suited to the energy of the music. The 1956 All Tube mono recording here has this Hot/Cool jazz sounding the way it should.

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Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Phil Urso - Picture Of Heath

A Killer Copy from 2005

  (Item #: bakerpictu_2005) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This is an exceptionally nice original Pacific Jazz Black Label Mono LP with SUPERB SOUND. Pure Pleasure just did a 180g reissue of this album, but the real thing is THE REAL THING! This copy has the PRESENCE, the DYNAMICS and the LIFE of real jazz. I can't think of a more fun west coast jazz session that sounds as good outside of the best Contemporary records. This one gets a top recommendation.

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Chet Baker, Art Pepper, Phil Urso - Picture Of Heath

Pure Pleasure Debunked

  (Item #: bakerpictu_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

Putatively remastered from the original analogue master tapes by that notorious hack Ron McMaster at Capitol Studios, this pressing is dramatically flatter and less musical than any original pressing (or Japanese pressing!) that we have ever played. The CD may very well be better.

Check out our Heavy Vinyl Scorecard to read all about the latest winners and losers.

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Helen Humes - Songs I Like to Sing

Our Black Label Shootout Winner

  (Item #: humessongs_blk_2007) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

This Contemporary Black Label Original LP has AMAZING SOUND ON BOTH SIDES! It has that classic tube-mastered sound -- warmer, smoother, and sweeter than the later pressings with more breath of life.

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Helen Humes - Songs I Like to Sing

Our Yellow Label Shootout Winner (2008)

  (Item #: humessongs_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Side one has OFF THE CHARTS, A+++ Master Tape Sound. It's amazingly tubey magical, yet incredibly clean and clear -- something you can't get from the tube-mastered originals. Helen's voice is PERFECTION -- breathy, full, and sweet. The orchestra sounds JUST RIGHT -- just listen to the nice bite of the brass. The overall sound is super full-bodied and rich and very transparent.

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Jack Sheldon - Jack Sheldon And His All-Star Band

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: sheldjacks_2017) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

If you like the sound of relaxed, tube-mastered jazz -- and what red blooded audiophile doesn't -- you can't do much better than Jack Sheldon And His All-Star Band. The warmth and immediacy of the sound here are guaranteed to blow practically any Big Band record you own right out of the water.

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Jesse Belvin - Mr. Easy

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: belvimreas_2016) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.

Zero distortion. zero smear, huge amounts of space and breathy rich vocals - what's not to like? Marty Paich and Art Pepper lend a hand, and with Al Schmitt behind the board the sound is 1960 Living Stereo Tubey Magic at its finest.

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Pepper, Klemmer, Griffin, et al. - Ballads By Four

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: peppeballa_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame.

Super Hot Stamper sound on BOTH sides of this wonderful Galaxy original pressing. There are four extended ballads, two on each side, and each of them is played with real passion and skill by this group of veteran horn men and their respective rhythm sections. The recording itself is one of the best I've heard on Galaxy, the other top Galaxy title being Art Pepper Today. Joe Henderson is the leader not mentioned in our listing title, so with his addition we have four of the best saxophone ballad players, backed by a top rhythm section, all performing material that has stood the test of time. This is the kind of record the world needs more of!

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