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White Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Saxophone Colossus

  (Item #: rollisaxop_1910) 

Our Price: $899.99

  • KILLER sound for this Prestige Gold Label Mono pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to it
  • This one has been a long time coming but boy was it worth the wait -- full-bodied, Tubey Magical and super dynamic with tight note-like bass, this is by far the best copy we have ever played
  • About as quiet a vintage copy as we are ever likely to find - this pressing plays Mint Minus Minus, which in our experience is practically a miracle
  • 5 Stars: "Sonny Rollins recorded many memorable sessions during 1954-1958, but Saxophone Colossus is arguably his finest all-around set... Essential music"
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White Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra
Where Are You?

  (Item #: sinatwhere_1910) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • A stunning sounding copy and the first to ever hit the site -- Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades from start to finish
  • These sides are incredibly rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical yet still quite clean, clear and open
  • "Throughout the record, Sinatra blends with Jenkins' sumptuous strings, making his voice sound rich, relaxed and regretful. It doesn't have the stark despair of In the Wee Small Hours, but its luxurious sadness makes Where Are You? a majestic experience of its own." - All Music, 5 Stars
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White Hot Stamper

Nat "King" Cole
Love Is The Thing

  (Item #: cole_lovei_1908) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • A lovely pressing of this audiophile favorite, with KILLER Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides; one of the best pop vocal recordings we know of!
  • With the biggest, clearest, richest, most present and most natural vocal reproduction, this copy took Nat's performance to another level
  • If all you know of this album is the weirdly unnatural remix DCC did (on Analogue Productions vinyl too) this pressing will be nothing less than a revelation
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Nat King Cole's collaborations with Gordon Jenkins rank among the finest from either artist or arranger. 1957's Love Is the Thing remains the epitome of the pair's undeniable compatibility, and it topped the album charts for eight weeks."
See all of our Nat "King" Cole albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
Meets The Rhythm Section

  (Item #: peppemeets_1908_10) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • Amazing Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) on the first, this is one of the best copies to hit the site this year!
  • The stereo sound is incredibly rich and full with wonderful immediacy, a lovely breathy sax sound and none of the bloated bass and murky mids of the originals
  • Widely considered Art Pepper's masterpiece and we couldn't agree more
  • 5 stars: "... this recording convinced [Pepper] that emotion was the paramount impulse of jazz performance... a diamond of recorded jazz history."
More Art Pepper


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White Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
... The Way It Was

  (Item #: peppethewa_1909_1) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • This KILLER stereo pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from first note to last
  • 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!!
  • Excellent music, including numerous tracks featuring renowned tenor Warne Marsh
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Despite his very erratic lifestyle, altoist Art Pepper never made a bad record. The first four titles team together Pepper with tenor-saxophonist Warne Marsh... for generally intriguing explorations of four standards..."
See all of our Art Pepper albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Thelonious Monk
Brilliant Corners

  (Item #: monk_brill_1907_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • KILLER nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish; exceptionally quiet vinyl too!
  • Rich, full-bodied and present yet still very clean, clear and spacious - the mastering is near perfection
  • With masterful horn playing from Sonny Rollins and Clark Terry, and a rhythm section that can actually keep up with Monk, made up of Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford and Paul Chambers, this is a groundbreaking Must Own for any music loving audiophile
  • 5 Stars: "Brilliant Corners may well be considered the alpha and omega of post-World War II American jazz. No serious jazz collection should be without it."
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Super Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
Meets The Rhythm Section

  (Item #: peppemeets_1909) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • You'll find superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this wonderful pressing
  • The Contemporary stereo sound here is completely natural in all respects - rich, warm and smooth, the sound we love
  • Widely considered Art Pepper's masterpiece and we couldn't agree more
  • 5 stars: "... this recording convinced [Pepper] that emotion was the paramount impulse of jazz performance... a diamond of recorded jazz history."
More Art Pepper


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White Hot Stamper

Charles Mingus
Tijuana Moods

  (Item #: mingutijua_1807_7_10) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This stunning sounding original copy has amazing Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - it's guaranteed to blow your mind
  • The sound here is vintage Living Stereo at its best - big, rich and Tubey Magical like you will not believe
  • These Black Label originals can rarely be found any quieter than this one - it plays Mint Minus Minus for the most part
  • 5 stars: "Mingus at the time said that this was his greatest recording, and it certainly ranks near the top."
See all of our Charles Mingus albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Jackie McLean
McLean's Scene

  (Item #: mcleamclea_1911_) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • McLean's 1959 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A++) sound on side one and an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side two - exceptionally quiet vinyl for the most part as well
  • Surprisingly rich, lively and clear, with plenty of space for this exceptional group to occupy
  • Credit must go to Rudy Van Gelder once again for capturing the swinging energy of this superbly sympathetic ensemble
  • 4 stars: "McLean never really copied Charlie Parker and was one of the first in his generation to develop his own sound."
More Jackie McLean


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

The Curtis Counce Group
Vol 2: Counceltation

  (Item #: counccounc_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Insanely good sound throughout for this Contemporary Yellow Label pressing with both sides earning nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • These sides are superb -- clean, clear, full-bodied and dynamic with tons of energy
  • Counce is a wonderful bassist and here he's joined by Jack Sheldon, Harold Land, Carl Perkins and Frank Butler; I think you'll be very impressed with how good this music from the late '50s still sounds today
  • "Bassist Curtis Counce led one of the finer West Coast-based groups of the 1950s, a quintet that was greatly underrated... This excellent music falls somewhere between hard bop and cool jazz." - All Music, 4 1/2 Stars
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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
April In Paris

  (Item #: basieapril_1910) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • April in Paris makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound fon this vintage mono pressing
  • This pressing showed us the sound we were looking for - big, bold, full-bodied mono, the kind they knew how to record in 1957
  • Here is the MIDRANGE MAGIC that’s surely missing from whatever modern reissue has been made from the 60+ year old tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from those tapes)
  • 5 stars: "April in Paris is one of those rare albums that makes its mark as an almost instant classic in the jazz pantheon... The title track has come to define elegance in orchestral jazz... Recorded in 1955 and 1956, April in Paris proved Count Basie's ability to grow through modern jazz changes while keeping the traditional jazz orchestra vital and alive."
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White Hot Stamper

June Christy
Fair And Warmer!

  (Item #: chrisfaira_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An incredible sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from the first note to the last - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • If you want to hear just how good an All Tube Capitol recording, in mono, from 1957 can sound, this record is guaranteed to do the trick
  • All the top West Coast Cool School jazz vets are here: Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, and the arrangements are by the wonderfully talented Pete Rugolo
  • "... the cool-toned singer is the main star. Highlights include a definitive "I Want to Be Happy," "Imagination," "When Sunny Gets Blue," and "It's Always You." All of June Christy's Capitol dates are well worth picking up."
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Nat "King" Cole
Love Is The Thing

  (Item #: cole_lovei_1905_9) 

Our Price: $179.99

  • A lovely pressing of this audiophile favorite, with Double Plus (A++) sound and fairly quiet vinyl on both sides to rival the best pop vocal recordings we know of
  • Nat himself sounds especially immediate and real, and the strings are much less of a problem here than they are on most pressings
  • If all you know of this album is the weirdly unnatural remix DCC did (on Analogue Productions vinyl too) this pressing will be nothing less than a revelation
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Nat King Cole's collaborations with Gordon Jenkins rank among the finest from either artist or arranger. 1957's Love Is the Thing remains the epitome of the pair's undeniable compatibility, and it topped the album charts for eight weeks."
See all of our Nat "King" Cole albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra
Close To You

  (Item #: sinatclose_1906_9) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This early mono pressing of Sinatra's 1957 release boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides here are wonderful - full, musical and Tubey Magical with excellent clarity
  • Rich, sweet, and completely free of phony EQ, this record will put a living, breathing Sinatra standing right there between your speakers
  • 4 stars: "...one of Frank Sinatra's most gentle and intimate albums... has a delicate, lovely quality..."
See all of our Frank Sinatra albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Leonard Bernstein
West Side Story (Broadway Cast)

  (Item #: bernswests_broadway_1907_10) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • An outstanding copy with DEMO DISC sound on a huge stage - you get solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is a huge, spacious, natural, exciting All-Tube Golden Age recording that impressed us no end here at Better Records
  • Another engineering triumph for Fred Plaut at Columbia's legendary 30th Street Studios - the man is a genius
  • "... a score that is infused with Bernstein's classical sensibility, even as it deliberately draws in influences from jazz and Latin music... a landmark among Broadway cast albums as well as Broadway musicals."
See more of our Leonard Bernstein albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Nat King Cole
Just One of Those Things

  (Item #: cole_justo_1901_1908) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This outstanding vintage Stereo Capitol pressing earned solid Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides
  • This is the sound we love at Better Records -- these sides are full-bodied and Tubey Magical, with especially smooth, present vocals
  • "Cole gives an assured, unhurried performance. And that's the point: that Cole has tamed the rambunctious May does not mean he doesn't give wonderful interpretations to some wonderful songs: 'Don't Get Around Much Anymore,' 'Just One of Those Things,' 'The Song Is Ended (But the Melody Lingers On).' And the light-handed swing supports those efforts well." - All Music
See all of our Nat King Cole albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
... The Way It Was

  (Item #: peppethewa_1909_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • 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 disk quality
  • Excellent music, including numerous tracks featuring renowned tenor Warne Marsh
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Despite his very erratic lifestyle, altoist Art Pepper never made a bad record. The first four titles team together Pepper with tenor-saxophonist Warne Marsh... for generally intriguing explorations of four standards..."
More Art Pepper


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Super Hot Stamper

Barney Kessel
Let's Cook

  (Item #: kesseletsc_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • We were impressed with this Contemporary stereo pressing - we gave it outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades in our shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The transparency and clarity are SUPERB - there's plenty of Tubey Magic, and good bottom end weight as well
  • If you like guitar jazz, do not miss out on this album. I guarantee you will be absolutely knocked out by the sound of this pressing, not to mention the wonderful music
  • Ben Webster on sax, Hampton Hawes on the piano, Victor Feldman on vibes, Shelly Manne on drums - they're all here and havin' a good time
  • "This is an excellent session from guitarist Barney Kessel... [he] keeps up with the other all-stars, swinging hard while paying tribute to the legacy of Charlie Christian."
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Super Hot Stamper

Jackie McLean
A Long Drink of the Blues

  (Item #: mclealongd_1904_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Shockingly good All Tube Mono sound from 1957 courtesy of Rudy Van Gelder, and the high-rez, tonally correct and wide-bandwidth mastering brings out even the most subtle nuances of the sound of this superb sextet
  • McLean's sax is joined on the first side by Curtis Fuller on trombone and Webster Young on Trumpet
  • 4 stars: "Although not quite as intense as McLean's later Blue Note dates, the ballad renditions show just how mature and original a soloist he was even at this early stage."
See all of our Jackie McLean albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Leroy Vinnegar Sextet
Leroy Walks!

  (Item #: vinneleroy_1905_11) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding pressing of Leroy Vinnegar's debut album has solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet too
  • The Contemporary LP stereo sound here is completely natural in every respect - rich, warm and smooth
  • Roy DuNann and Howard Holzer engineered some of the best sounding records we have ever heard - here's a textbook example of what the audiophiles at Contemporary were able to achieve in the studio
  • 4 stars: "...Vinnegar generously features his talented sidemen... A fine, straight-ahead session."
See all of our Leroy Vinnegar albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Rollins Plays For Bird

  (Item #: rolliplays_1901_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound throughout making this one of the better copies from our most recent shootout
  • Both sides are super clean, clear and full-bodied with a lovely bottom end
  • It's beyond difficult to find good sound for the music of Charlie Parker, but this Sonny Rollins Hot Stamper LP gives you just that for some of Bird's music, backed with excellent performances!
See all of our Sonny Rollins albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Art Pepper
Meets The Rhythm Section

  (Item #: peppemeets_1909_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this wonderful pressing - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Widely considered Art Pepper's masterpiece and we couldn't agree more
  • 5 stars: "... this recording convinced [Pepper] that emotion was the paramount impulse of jazz performance... a diamond of recorded jazz history."
More Art Pepper


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Super Hot Stamper

Ben Webster
Soulville

  (Item #: webstsoulv_1904_8_11) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Outstanding sound throughout for this Verve Two-Fer set with Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on all four sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Unlike the Speakers Corner versions from a few years back, this is the real thing, mastered by real pros, not audiophiles
  • This reissue combines the albums Soulville and Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson
  • With rave reviews for both albums, AMG lauds Soulville is, "one of the highlights of that golden '50s run," and notes the collaboration as "one of the jazz legend's all-time great records."
See all of our Ben Webster albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald
The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 2

  (Item #: fitzgsings_the_duke_1903_6_10) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides!
  • Forget the originals - like so many of the early songbook pressings, they suffer from painfully hard and honky mastering EQ (and gritty sounding vinyl)
  • We know whereof we speak when it comes to early Ella records - we've played plenty of them and found that most just don't sound very good
  • "Duke's spectacular catalog dazzles, and his sprightly, lush textures are transfigured under Fitzgerald's warm-timbred voice and elegant, precise delivery... each tune as familiar as it is delightful to hear in this new context."
See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Julie London
Make Love To Me

  (Item #: londomakel_1811_4_10) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This outstanding original Liberty Turquoise mono pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades, or close to them, on both sides
  • Thanks to superb engineering and vintage All Tube mastering, this 1957 LP is wonderfully rich and sweet, with a breathy, intimate Julie London performing live in your listening room
  • It's also pressed on unusually quiet vinyl - Mint Minus Minus, with no issues to speak of - they don't come quieter
  • 4 stars: "Julie London's concise and melodic versions of standards were quite popular during the latter half of the 1950s. Her subtle sensuality and lightly swinging style made for a potent combination."
See all of our Julie London albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Nat King Cole
This Is Nat "King" Cole

  (Item #: cole_thisi_1909) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • This vintage '50s Capitol pressing boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • These sides are insanely good -- BIG, rich and Tubey Magical, yet clear and not the least bit thick or opaque
  • Turn down the lights, gently drop the needle at the start of side one and you will soon find a living breathing Nat King Cole standing between your speakers
  • "Cole as usual gives warm, confident readings of all this material, and fans welcomed the packaging of some songs previously available only on singles..."
More Nat King Cole


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Way Out West

  (Item #: rolliwayou_1901_5_11) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An excellent copy, earning Double Plus (A++) grades, or close to them, on both sides
  • This stereo pressing has superb 1957 Contemporary sound - big, open and natural throughout
  • The Contemporary 1957 sax sound is so smooth and tubey it will have you drooling
  • One of our favorite Rollins records, this copy will show you why we love the recordings of Roy DuNann
  • 5 Stars: "The timeless Way out West established Sonny Rollins as jazz's top tenor saxophonist"
See all of our Sonny Rollins albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Andre Previn & His Pals
Pal Joey

  (Item #: previpaljo_1902_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - this copy is truly a knockout Piano Trio record
  • Our best Hot Stamper copies will show you just how good Fifties All Tube Analog can sound
  • Yet another Demo Disc for Contemporary, the brilliant work of the engineering team of Dunann and Holzer
  • One of Andre Previn's better jazz performances on record - his pals Manne and Mitchell are no slouches either
More Andre Previn / More Shelly Manne


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Super Hot Stamper

June Christy
Fair And Warmer!

  (Item #: chrisfaira_1907_1) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER from the first note to the last - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • If you want to hear just how good an All Tube Capitol recording, in mono, from 1957 can sound, this record is guaranteed to do the trick
  • All the top West Coast Cool School jazz vets are here: Shelly Manne, Bud Shank, Bob Cooper, and the arrangements are by the wonderfully talented Pete Rugolo
  • "... the cool-toned singer is the main star. Highlights include a definitive "I Want to Be Happy," "Imagination," "When Sunny Gets Blue," and "It's Always You." All of June Christy's Capitol dates are well worth picking up."
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Milt Jackson
Plenty, Plenty Soul

  (Item #: jacksplent_1812_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • An outstanding vintage stereo pressing with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget whatever dead-as-a-doornail Heavy Vinyl record they're making these days - if you want to hear the Tubey Magic, size and energy of this wonderful session from 1957, this is the way to go
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The first side of Plenty, Plenty Soul, which features a nine-piece group, is highlighted by the contributions of the exuberant altoist Cannonball Adderley, while the flip side has a sextet that is not hurt by the solos of tenor-saxophonist Lucky Thompson. With pianist Horace Silver helping out on both sessions, these all-star dates still sound fresh and enthusiastic decades later."
See all of our Milt Jackson albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

John Coltrane
John Coltrane

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_1972_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This Prestige 2 disc set from 1972 has very good Hot Stamper sound on three sides and even better Double Plus (A++) sound on the 4th
  • Combining Traneing In and Soultrane, this album gives you some of the best of Coltrane's late '50s music, complete in every way
  • Four Stars for Soultrane: "Not indicative of the quality of this set is the observation that, because of the astounding Coltrane solo works that both precede and follow Soultrane -- most notably Lush Life and Blue Train -- the album has perhaps not been given the exclusive attention it so deserves."
See all of our John Coltrane albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

June Christy
Gone For The Day

  (Item #: chrisgonef_1805_1906) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two, this Capitol Turquoise label original will be very hard to beat
  • This 1957 mono has all the TUBEY MAGIC these vintage Capitol pressings are famous for - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • It's balanced and natural, with the kind of rich, full-bodied sound that no one seems to know how to record anymore
  • Allmusic reviewers give it Four Stars and we would give it at least that many - we love the unique sound of June Christy's breathy, sweet voice
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

June Christy
Gone For The Day

  (Item #: chrisgonef_1804_1807) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • This very good sounding original Turquoise Capitol pressing boasts Hot Stampers on both sides
  • Musically, this album is right up there with the best female vocal records we have ever played
  • The best of these original monos from 1957 have all the TUBEY MAGIC these vintage Capitol pressings are famous for
  • Allmusic reviewers give it Four Stars and we would give it at least that many
See all of our June Christy albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Paul Quinichette
On The Sunny Side

  (Item #: quinionthe_1708_1905-) 

Our Price: $69.99

  • Both sides of this long out of print OJC title boast lively, big and clear Double Plus (A++) sound quality
  • With three saxophones and a trombone, this is a fresh combination that really brings out the best in all the players during this Prestige jam session, a format for which they are justly famous
  • I raved about this album when it was in print many years ago - it's solidly swinging jazz that belongs in your collection
  • Allmusic 4 Stars: "Waldron's three originals (highlighted by "Cool-Lypso") allow plenty of room for swinging, and Quinichette (who also performs "On the Sunny Side of the Street") sounds comfortable interacting with the younger musicians. An enjoyable and underrated release."
See all of our Paul Quinichette albums in stock


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1957

A Great Year for Music, Especially Jazz Music

  (Item #: 1957) 



When you look closely at all the great records that were released that year -- some of which can even be purchased as Hot Stampers on this very site -- you may come to agree with us that 1957 was a wonderful year for music.

Click HERE to see the records currently on the site that were recorded or released in 1957 (which at the time of this writing is only a handful I'm afraid).

And HERE to see the records from 1957 that we've reviewed, a substantially larger group as you can imagine.


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Analogue Productions

Heavy Vinyl Jazz Debunked

  (Item #: rollialter_debunk) 



Longstanding customers know that we have been relentlessly critical of most audiophile LPs for years, especially in the case of these Analogue Productions releases from back in the early ’90s. A well-known reviewer loved them, I hated them, and he and I haven’t seen eye to eye on much since.

Newflash!

Just dug up part of my old commentary discussing the faults with the orginal series that Doug Sax cut for Acoustic Sounds. Check it out!

More Sonny Rollins


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Andre Previn & His Pals - Pal Joey

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: previpaljo_2016) 



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

The piano sounds uncannily lifelike right from the start, a beautiful instrument in a natural space, tonally correct from top to bottom. I can't think of many records off the top of my head that get a better piano sound than this one.

ROY DUNANN and HOWARD HOLZER in 1957 are hard to beat.

More Andre Previn


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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.

More Art Pepper


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Barney Kessel - Let's Cook

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: kesseletsc_2012) 



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

We were simply blown away by this Yellow Label pressing, which earned an A+++ for side one and an A++ for side two in a recent shootout. The transparency and clarity are SUPERB, and the amount of tubey magic is unbelievable! Folks, if you like guitar jazz, do not miss out on this album. I guarantee you will be absolutely knocked out by the sound of this pressing, not to mention the fantastic music!

More Barney Kessel


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Barney Kessel - Music to Listen to Barney Kessel By

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: kessemusic_2008) 



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

This Minty Original Black Label Contemporary Stereo LP from 1957 has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND! No other copy we played was in a class with this bad boy -- it does it ALL. For those of you who appreciate the sound that Roy DuNann (and Howard Holzer on other sessions) were able to achieve in the '50s at Contemporary Records, this LP is a Must-Own (unless you already have it, which is doubtful considering how hard it is to find a copy in clean condition).

More Barney Kessel


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Barney Kessel - Music to Listen to Barney Kessel By

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: kessemusic_2017) 



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

This Triple Triple (A+++) mono pressing blew everything else out of the water - nothing could touch it! How can you beat a Roy DuNann recording of five reeds, piano, guitar and a rhythm section that includes Shelly Manne and Red Mitchell? The timbre of the instruments is so spot-on it makes all the hard work and money you've put into your stereo more than pay off.

The Demo Disc sound on this copy is really something to hear - all tube, live-to-two-track direct from the Contemporary studio.

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Beethoven / The Five Beethoven Concertos / Rubinstein

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: beethfiveb_6702_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This original Shaded Dog Five Disc Box Set (LSC 6902) contains all five of Beethoven's Piano Concertos, with sound that's predictably all over the map, from White Hot to Not-So-Hot and every grade in between. Yes folks, we actually listened to every one of these sides in a shootout with other RCA, London and Mercury pressings of the same music.

The best sound in the set was clearly the Third Piano Concerto, which had sides that were Super Hot and White Hot.

More of the music of Ludwig van Beethoven


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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.

More Chet Baker / More Art Pepper


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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.

More Chet Baker / More Art Pepper


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Coleman Hawkins / Ben Webster - Encounters

Classic Records Reviewed

  (Item #: hawkiencou_classic_records) 



Sonic Grade: B

Probably a fairly good Classic Records jazz album. Years ago we wrote:

"A top top jazz title! This is one of our favorite Classic Records LPs from the old days when we were selling Heavy Vinyl. We haven't played this record in a long time but we liked it very much when it was in print in the '90s."

We can't be sure that we would still feel the same way. My guess is that this is still a fairly good record if you can get one for the 30 bucks we used to charge.

More Coleman Hawkins


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Debussy / Images Pour Orchestre / Argenta

Reviewed in 2012

  (Item #: debusimage_15020_2012) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Presenting Super Hot Stamper sound on side two of this Stereo Treasury LP, which is where this superbly performed, wonderul sounding Iberia can be found. Although lacking in orchestral weight, from about 200 cycles up this copy is perfection. In its own way -- especially on systems with not a lot of firepower down low -- this side two qualifies as a Demo Disc.

See more of our spectacular orchestral recordings in stock


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Debussy / Images Pour Orchestre / Argenta

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: debusimage_6013_2013) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! Side two (with Iberia) is simply amazing. It''s more natural than the famous Reiner performance. Argenta brings out the folky quality of this music.

Side one is nothing special. The real magic is on side two.

More of the music of Claude Debussy


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Dvorak & Glazounov - Violin Concertos - Milstein

Cisco Reviewed

  (Item #: dvoravioli_cisco) 



Sonic Grade: B or so

Some of the sweetest violin tone on heavy vinyl you will ever hear. For Heavy Vinyl this one gets a very high recommendation. The domestic originals we've played have been uniformly awful so pick up this Cisco pressing wherever you can find it if the price is right, assuming you can stand the lack of ambience and resolution that Heavy Vinyl consistently suffers from. To be honest, we have not played this record in many years and would probably like it much less now than we did at the time of its release.

More of the music of Antonin Dvorak


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Dvorak & Glazounov / Violin Concertos - Milstein

Hopelessly Outclassed by the Stereo LP

  (Item #: dvoravioli_milstein_mono) 



Stick with stereo on this album. The Mono pressings -- at least the ones we've played -- aren't worth anybody's time (scratch that: any audiophile's time).

Here are some other records that we don't think sound very good in MONO.

Here are some we think can sound amazing in MONO.

More of the music of Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904)


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Ella Fitzgerald - Like Someone In Love

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: fitzglikes_2017) 



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

The space is HUGE and the sound so rich. The vocals have dramatically less hardness and the orchestra -- especially on side two -- is not brash for once.

Prodigious amounts of Tubey Magic as well, which is key to the best sounding copies. The sound needs weight, warmth and tubes or you might as well be playing a CD.

More Ella Fitzgerald


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Frank Sinatra - A Swingin’ Affair!

Reviewed in 2015

  (Item #: sinataswin) 



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

This is a very nice looking original Capitol Grey/Black Label LP. As for sonics, the record starts off a little problematically but things really start cookin’ by track two and the sound becomes sweet and warm. By the way this Capitol Label was only used from 1956 until 1957. This record plays Mint Minus Minus about as quiet as any early Capitol pressing you're likely to ever hear.

The record was number one in the UK for 7 straight weeks!


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Frank Sinatra - All The Way

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: sinatallth_2016) 



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

This vintage '60s Capitol pressing was our clear winner, with Triple Plus sound on both sides. It has the all the Tubey Magic one could ask for, allowing Sinatra's rich baritone to work its magic on every phrase. As you can well imagine, finding clean, scratch-free '60s Sinatra records like this one, in stereo no less, is no walk in the park.

This group of singles and B-sides was recorded from 1957 to 1960 - it contain some of Sinatra's better known songs arranged by Nelson Riddle.

More Frank Sinatra


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Frank Sinatra - Close To You

Sounds Great in Mono

  (Item #: sinatclose_2010) 



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

This nice looking Capitol Rainbow Label pressing has SUPERB SINATRA SOUND! His voice is PERFECTION. Rich, sweet, and completely free of phony EQ (Mobile Fidelity take note!), this record will put a living, breathing Sinatra between your speakers. Normally I'm not a big fan of these slower, ballady Sinatra records, but he's so good here, it's difficult to find fault with music and sound like this.

More Frank Sinatra


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Gerry Mulligan & Stan Getz - Gerry Mulligan Meets Stan Getz

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: mulligerry_2011) 



This is a very nice looking Verve Trumpeter Label Mono LP from 1957. Side one is wonderful and has the better sound here. It has more extension up top; the baritone sax is especially well reproduced.

Both sides of course have somewhat tubby bass, the type that characterizes all tube recordings from the ’50s and ’60s. Side two is a bit more veiled. The midrange is as musical as it is on side one but has less top end and therefore comes across as kind of dull. Musical and involving, but not as lively as it could be.

Supposedly the stereo pressings of this album are full of added echo, which is the reason Steve Hoffman chose to release the mono version of the album on gold CD for DCC back in the day. It’s one of our favorite DCC CDs; Steve did his usual top quality mastering of it.

More Gerry Mulligan


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John Coltrane - Blue Train

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: coltrbluet_2011) 



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

This Blue Note pressing has THE BEST SIDE TWO we've ever heard or expect to hear! It does EVERYTHING right, giving you the kind of Blue Train sound that most jazz fans have dreamed of forever but certainly have never heard before. The sound is absolutely KILLER, sounding dramatically more like live music than any copy we've played. It's full-bodied and rich with tons of energy, YOU ARE THERE immediacy and wonderful clarity. There's also a ton of tubey magic and an unbelievably strong bottom end, making this the kind of record that's going to BLOW YOU AWAY. I bet you never believed Blue Train could sound like this -- heck, we sure didn't!

More John Coltrane


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John Coltrane - Lush Life

DCC and OJC Reviewed

  (Item #: coltrlushl_dcc) 



Sonic Grade: B or so (DCC)
Sonic Grade: C or so (OJC)

The DCC heavy vinyl pressing is a nice record; I remember liking it back in the day. I'm guessing it's a bit better than the '80s OJC, which is, like most OJC pressings, typically thin and hard. Neither one of them can hold a candle to the pressings we offer on the site. If for some reason we could not find copies of the album that substantially beat the sound of either of these two remastered LPs, we simply would not have anything to offer, since neither of these versions could be considered Hot Stampers. Nice records, sure, but Hot Stampers? Not a chance.

More John Coltrane


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John Coltrane - Lush Life

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrlushl_2016) 



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

We've been searching for years trying to find just what kind of Lush Life pressing -- what era, what label, what stampers, mono or stereo, import or domestic -- had the potential for good sound.

No, scratch that. We should have said excellent sound. Exceptional sound. We've played plenty of copies that sounded pretty good, even very good, but exceptional? A pressing of that caliber had eluded us -- until 2016.

More John Coltrane


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Johnny Mathis - Warm

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: mathiwarm_2014) 



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

Side one is killer sounding, with the All Tube Analog sound that Columbia was famous for. The vinyl is fairly quiet as well for a '50s Columbia 6 Eye pressing. I don't know how many unscratched, lightly-played Mathis records you've ever seen, but in our experience they are few and far between -- hence the fact that this is the first one to make it to the site.

More Johnny Mathis


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Julie London - About The Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: londoabout_2018) 



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

Julie's lilting vocals are clear, breathy, Tubey Magical, and sweet, like practically nothing you've ever heard. This copy is about as quiet as we can find these 1957 Turquoise original mono pressings, Mint Minus Minus* throughout.

More Julie London


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Julie London - Julie

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: londojulie_2016) 



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

Stunning Julie London sound! We are constantly picking up Julie London records, whatever we can find, in the hopes that we'll stumble upon one that sounds like this. Usually we aren't so lucky, but man is this one something! If you love jazzy female vocal records, you're going to flip out over this pressing.

More Julie London


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Julie London - Make Love To Me

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: londomakel_2018) 



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

This outstanding original Liberty Turquoise mono pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) grades, or close to them, on both sides. Thanks to superb engineering and vintage All Tube mastering, this 1957 LP is wonderfully rich and sweet, with a breathy, intimate Julie London performing live in your listening room. It's also pressed on unusually quiet vinyl - Mint Minus Minus, with no issues to speak of - they don't come quieter.

More Julie London


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Lee Morgan - The Cooker

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: morgacooke_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame from 1957(!)

Both sides are open, spacious and transparent, with a lovely and quite extended top end. Just listen to the trumpet solo on ’A Night In Tunisia’; you can really hear the leading edge transients. The baritone sax played by the estimable Pepper Adams also sounds particularly nice throughout the record.

More Lee Morgan


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Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story (Broadway Cast)

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bernswests_broadway_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

SUPERB sound can be found on these two Columbia stereo pressings of the Broadway Cast recording. This is a huge, spacious, natural, exciting All-Tube Golden Age recording that impressed us no end here at Better Records.

We heard an amazing sounding copy many years ago, and the only reason we haven't done the shootout since then is that we just couldn't find enough clean copies with which to do it. To be clear, we're not talking quiet vinyl, we're talking about not beat-to-death, not all-scractched-up vinyl. People loved this music and they played the hell out of it.

More of the music of (or music conducted or performed by) Leonard Bernstein


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Marty Paich Big Band - What's New

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: paichwhats_2017) 



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

This is a wonderful example of the kind of record that makes record collecting FUN.

Albert Marx was the producer of the original sessions back in 1957. Fast forward to the '80s and Marx is now the owner of his very own jazz label, Discovery Records. Who would know the sound of the original tapes better than he? Working with Dave Ellsworth at KM, Marx has here produced one of the better jazz reissues we've heard in years.

More Marty Paich


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Miles Davis - Basic Miles

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: davisbasic_2018) 



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

We award this copy's side two our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a recording to a level never experienced by us before, a level we had no idea even existed.

More Miles Davis


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Nat "King" Cole - Love Is The Thing

The Breatkthrough We Were Waiting For

  (Item #: cole_lovei_2016) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on what you should be listening for when critically evaluating your copy (or ours) of the album.

Love Is The Thing has long been one of the best sounding Nat "King" Cole recordings we had auditioned over the years. With a large variety of copies to play, including some interesting "finds" among them, we now know it actually is The Best. We have never heard the man sound better than he does on the hottest copies of this very album.

More Nat "King" Cole


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Nat King Cole - Just One Of Those Things

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: cole_justo_2008) 



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

ONE OF THE MOST TUBEY MAGICAL MALE VOCAL RECORDS WE’VE EVER HAD THE PLEASURE OF PLAYING! We shot this out against similar copies, earlier pressings, and a 180g reissue, and nothing was quite in a league with this. Turn up the volume, turn down the lights, and let Nat serenade you from right between your speakers -- he'll be IN THE ROOM with you!

More Nat "King" Cole


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Nat King Cole - Just One Of Those Things

S&P (DCC) Reviewed

  (Item #: cole_justo_reviewed) 



Sonic Grade: C+

S+P's 180g reissue has some nice qualities, but it isn't especially natural, nor is it Tubey Magical the way the real Capitol pressings are. Ambience and instrumental textures are sorely lacking, although to be honest, considering how bad most Capitol pressings are, it's still a step up from the average copy sitting in your local store's used record bins.

More Nat "King" Cole


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Nat King Cole - This Is Nat "King" Cole

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: cole_thisi_2017) 



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

The presence and immediacy here of Nat King Cole's vocals are '50s Capitol Recording Magic at its best. Set the volume right and Nat is right between your speakers, putting on the performance of a lifetime. The selection of material and the contributions of all involved (Nelson Riddle among them) are hard to fault.

More Nat "King" Cole


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Nat King Cole - Welcome To The Club

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: cole_welco_2005) 



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

Capitol Records Original Multi-Color Label LP in excellent condition. The reason this Nat King Cole record is so good is simple -- he’s joined here by top jazz players from the big bands of the day. They make these sessions swing.

More Nat "King" Cole


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Paul Quinichette - On The Sunny Side

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: quinionthe_2016) 



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

With three saxophones and a trombone, this is a fresh combination that really brings out the best in all the players during this Prestige jam session, a format for which they are justly famous . I raved about this album when it was in print many years ago - it's solidly swinging jazz that belong in your collection.

1957 - It Was a Very Good Year


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Prokofiev / Peter & The Wolf / Rossi

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: prokopeter_van_fame) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This performance of Peter and the Wolf from 1957 is our single favorite recording of the work. This copy is a DEMO DISC of the highest order, suitable for permanently destroying the rationale for every audiophile record ever made, simply on the grounds that none of them sound remotely like this.

The immediacy and unerringly realistic presentation of the solo instruments -- bassoon, oboe, flute, etc. (each of which serves to represent a character in the story) -- are so lifelike that I defy anyone to name a recording to challenge our assertion that this is positively As Good As It Gets.

See more of Prokofiev's music


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Prokofiev / Scythian Suite / Dorati

Reviewed in 2016

  (Item #: prokolovefo_90006) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

Huge hall space, wonderfully textured strings - it's easy to forget just how REAL a recording like this from 1957 can sound. With almost none of the Mercury nasality on the strings or the brass, we were knocked out by the sound and, of course, the legendary performance. My notes for side one read: Big hall! Transparent! Zero smear! Dynamic! Huge Bass! Realistic!

It that sounds like the kind of record you would like to play for yourself, here it is.

More of the music of Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)


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Red Garland Trio - Groovy

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: garlagroov_2017) 



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

This Triple Triple (A+++) pressing recorded by Rudy Van Gelder in '56/'57 in mono is RICH and REAL like you will not believe. This very record has the best sound and the best music we have ever heard on any Red Garland album.

More Red Garland


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Red Mitchell Quartet - Red Mitchell Quartet

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: mitchredmi_2010) 



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

TWO SUPERB SIDES on quiet vinyl. This stunning copy of this Better Records fave has some of the best upright bass sound we've heard; it's welll-defined with texture and weight. It's also unbelievable dynamic and lively. The clarity and transparency are mindblowing here. We went crazy over the huge soundfield on this copy -- wall to wall, floor to ceiling, and then some.

More Red Mitchell


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Shelly Manne & His Men - More Swinging Sounds

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: mannemores_2011) 



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

This Contemporary Yellow Label MONO LP is West Coast Jazz at its best!

One quality of this side one that really took us by surprise was how DYNAMIC it is. The second track gets loud in a way that only one or two out of a hundred records does. (This is about the number of records we play in a week and I would have to say that no other record this week was more dynamic, hence the rough estimate above.)

More Shelly Manne


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Sonny Rollins - Sound of Sonny

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: rollisound_2007) 



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

Riverside White and Blue original 2 Mic Label Mono LP. Side one sounds like a typical old Riverside jazz record, but side two sounds EXCELLENT! I don’t know when I’ve heard an early Sonny Rollins record sound better. His horn is really full-bodied and dynamic and has amazing IMMEDIACY on some tracks. It makes side one sound sick in comparison.

More Sonny Rollins


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Sonny Rollins - Vol. 2

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: rollivol2_2011) 



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

Even though this session was supposedly recorded in one day on April 14, 1957 we heard an anomaly that took us somewhat by surprise. The first and third track on side two sound amazing, better than anything on side one. However, the second track, You Stepped Out Of A Dream, has sound that is clearly a step down from anything else on the album. It's smaller and more congested. Why that is we have no idea, but we felt it was worth pointing out.

Sonny's horn on side two is especially big and rich, with huge amounts of Tubey Magic as befits an all-tube 1957 Blue Note recording. This is clearly the right sound for this music.

More Sonny Rollins


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Sonny Rollins - Way Out West

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: rolliwayou_2014) 



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

The Contemporary 1957 sax sound is so smooth and tubey it will have you drooling. All Music Guide gives it 5 Stars and so do we. Such a classic album. If you don't own a top quality Sonny Rollins album this would be a great place to start.

More Sonny Rollins


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Sonny Stitt - Plays Arrangements From the Pen Of Quincy Jones

Reviewed in 2004

  (Item #: stittsonny_2004) 



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

Outstanding mainstream jazz at its best! Stitt is absolutely phenomenal on this album. His solo work on My Funny Valentine alone is worth the price of the album! The real jazz guys know that his lines are completely fresh and unique. This record is all the proof you need to know what a giant of jazz Sonny Stitt was. He's also joined by great players such as Hank Jones, Freddy Green, Oscar Pettiford and Philly Joe Jones.

There is a larger group that joins him on some numbers, but the real star of this album is Stitt when he is soloing. Very good sound as well.


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Stravinsky - Petrushka - Ansermet

Speakers Corner (Reviewed in the '90s)

  (Item #: stravpetru_speakers_corner) 



Sonic Grade: B

One of the better Speakers Corner Deccas. We haven't played a copy of this record in years, but back in the day we liked it, so let's call it a "B" with the caveat that the older the review, the more likely we are to have changed our minds. Not sure if we would still agree with what we wrote back in the '90s when this record came out, but here it is anyway.

"One of the best of the Deccas. Superb sound. Ansermet''s performance here is definitive."

More of the music of Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)


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The Weavers - The Weavers At Carnegie Hall

  (Item #: weavecarne_0210) 



This is a wonderful Weavers album, recorded in Carnegie Hall on Christmas Eve, 1955 -- when and if you can find one that's properly mastered and not too scratched up. This is not easy, as most copies of the album -- now fifty plus years old -- have not survived in very good condition. This copy is the exception to that rule, with reasonably quiet surfaces (Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, about as quiet as they come) and EXCELLENT SOUND.

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Walton & Bloch / Cello Concerto and Schelomo / Piatigorsky

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: waltocello_2109_2011) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Orchestral Music Hall of Fame.

This Super Hot Stamper RCA original White Dog pressing has a SUPERB side two. Piatigorsky's cello sounds rich and resonant with virtually no trace of smear. All the subtleties of the bowing can be clearly heard, just as they would be in concert (assuming you sprang for the good seats). The recording venue is spacious and open. Above all the sound is relaxed and NATURAL.

If only side one sounded this good...


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