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Super Hot Stamper

Ornette Coleman
The Art of the Improvisers

  (Item #: colemartof_2003) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two, this copy will be very hard to beat - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Engineered by the team of Tom Dowd (whose work you surely know well) and Phil Iehle - the pair recorded some of Coltrane’s most iconic albums for Atlantic: Giant Steps (1960) and Coltrane Jazz (also in 1961)
  • 5 stars in Downbeat - Allmusic notes: "It's an understatement to say that Ornette Coleman's stint with Atlantic altered the jazz world forever, and Ornette on Tenor was the last of his six LPs (not counting outtakes compilations) for the label, wrapping up one of the most controversial and free-thinking series of recordings in jazz history... far ahead of its time."
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Super Hot Stamper

The Mamas & The Papas
The Mamas & The Papas

  (Item #: mamasmamas_2004) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides of this early stereo pressing
  • Clear, rich, present vocals, tons of Tubey Magic, and a solid bottom end; this quintessential 60's pop album really comes to life here
  • 4 stars: "Sometimes art and events, personal or otherwise, converge on a point transcending the significance of either... For the Mamas & the Papas, it happened twice, with their first album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, and, on a more complex level, with this album."
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White Hot Stamper

Tom Waits
Foreign Affairs

  (Item #: waitsforei_2003_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With Triple Plus (A+++) Shootout Winning sound or close to it on both sides, this copy had some of the best sound we have ever heard for the album
  • This early pressing was hard to fault - it will put Tom Waits right between your speakers, with a batch of great session players behind and to the side, all playing live in the studio
  • "The album contains more ballads than most of his records do, but they were the most effective vehicles for the kind of storytelling he was trying to get to. Produced and engineered by Bones Howe, Foreign Affairs was recorded live in studio by a quintet that included West Coast jazzmen Jack Sheldon on trumpet, saxophonist Frank Vicari, bassist Jim Hughart, and drummer Shelly Manne."
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Super Hot Stamper

Tom Waits
Foreign Affairs

  (Item #: waitsforei_1908) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • This outstanding copy of Waits' fourth studio album boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • This vintage pressing is well balanced, yet big and lively, with such wonderful clarity in the mids and highs as well as deep punchy bass and a big open and spacious soundfield
  • "Foreign Affairs is one of the most unjustifiably overlooked titles in Waits' catalog. It holds its appeal -- and sounds less dated -- than many of his more popular entries."
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Super Hot Stamper

Tom Waits
Nighthawks At The Diner

  (Item #: waitsnight_1903_1906) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • A superb copy of Waits' first live album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all FOUR sides
  • One of our very favorite Waits albums for music and sound, and this copy will show you why
  • The clarity, transparency and immediacy put you right there as Waits and crew lay it down live in the studio
  • A one-of-a-kind album (and incredible recording) with elements of poetry, spoken word and jazz -- great fun if you're into it
  • "... one of Waits' most thoroughly enjoyable albums... if this plays more like a "show" than a "concert," it's a show you'd gladly pay to hear more than once... it's hard to imagine anyone not being charmed by it."
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Tom Waits - Heartattack and Vine

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: waitsheart_attack_2010) 



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

One of the better copies of Heartattack and Vine we've ever heard! We enjoy listening to the music of Tom Waits here because the music and sound can be excellent. His albums are certainly a nice change of pace from the stuff that's usually on our table. We had quite a few copies of this one and none of the other ones were in a league with this bad boy. The sound is very rich and full with incredble immediacy to the vocals. You just couldn't get the vocals to sound any better than they do on this copy.

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Tom Waits - Nighthawks At The Diner

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: waitsnight_2016) 



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

A stunning Top Copy of this Tom Waits classic! A superb recording, with much credit due to Waits' constant collaborator Bones Howe who produced and engineered. It's a live-in-the-studio romp through Los Angeles with Waits playing the role of tour guide, and the results are wonderful.

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Tom Waits - Small Change

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: waitssmall_2017) 



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

This is a wonderful album, considered by many to be Waits's masterpiece. He's backed with a real jazz combo here, including Lew Tabackin on sax and the great Shelley Manne on drums. Bones Howe does a great job gettin the kind of beatnik-jazz sound out of these songs that they need. On a copy like this, the presence and clarity are absolutely stunning!

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Bob Florence - Here And Now

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: florehere_2005) 



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

This lively big band LP has excellent sound!

At 32, Florence already largely had his writing style together. He utilized top L.A. studio players for this set including such soloists as altoist Bud Shank, the tenors of Bill Perkins and Bob Hardaway, and trombonist Herbie Harper, but it is the tricky charts on the four originals and four standards (including "The Song Is You" and "Straight No Chaser") that make this an LP worth searching for." - AMG

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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.

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Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: colemshape_2005) 



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

This minty avant-garde jazz record has AMAZING SOUND! The recording is by the famous engineer Bones Howe, the man behind some of the greatest pop and jazz recordings of all time. He gets some of that Rudy Van Gelder bite that we love, but with less distortion and more dynamic contrasts. Whether you'll like the music or not is another question -- this is free form jazz; not everybody's into it, that's for sure.

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Shorty Rogers Big Band - Jazz Waltz

Leave the Originals for the Jazz Collectors

  (Item #: rogerjazzw_2014) 



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

The original Reprise pressing, whether in mono or stereo, has never sounded very good to us. The mono is quite a bit worse than the stereo - no surprise there - but both must be considered poor reflections of the master tape.

We sold one many years ago, describing it this way: "Beautiful Original with decent sound -- rich, smooth and sweet."

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The Association - Goodbye, Columbus

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: assocgoodb_2009) 



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

This green label original pressing TROUNCED our other copies. Recorded by Bones Howe, the midrange is pure tubey magic! If you have the kind of system that brings out that quality in a recording, you will get a lot out of this one. It’s so good, it made me appreciate some of the instrumentals on the album which I had previously dismissed as filler. When you hear them sound this good, you can actually enjoy them!

You get rich, sweet, open, textured, natural, tonally correct sound here on side, A++ all the way! Side two is almost as good at A+, with some smear causing us to drop the grade.

And it’s quiet!



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The Association - Greatest Hits

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: assocgreat_2008) 



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

The sound on this record is as good as this album gets. Don’t think you’re too cool to enjoy this ’60s pop rock. These songs are still a blast and very enjoyable. The sound on this record is as good as this album gets. Don't think you're too cool to enjoy this '60s pop rock. These songs are still a blast and very enjoyable.

I did a shootout with this copy and a later pressing just now, after having just listed a Gold Label Original LP of Insight Out, which allowed me to compare the sound of three different generations of Warner Brothers records.

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The Association - Insight Out

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: associnsig_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

The real stars of Windy (and the album itself) are Hal Blaine and Joe Osborne, the famous session drummer/ bass player team from The Wrecking Crew who create the driving force behind these songs. Osborne's web site puts Windy front and center as the first track demonstrating what a top rhythm section can do for a pop song. This whole album can be enjoyed simply for the great drum and bass work, not to mention the sound that both instruments are given by the Master of Tubey Magical Pop Recording, Mr. BONES HOWE.

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The Association - Insight Out

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: associnsig_2010) 



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

The sound of the Sixties will fill your room like never before -- wall to wall, floor to ceiling, with layers upon layers of depth. You would be very hard pressed to find a pop rock recording from 1967 that sounds as good as a Hot Stamper Insight Out. (Sgt. Pepper comes to mind, but what else?) Can you imagine the Mamas and the Papas or The Jefferson Airplane with this kind of rich, sweet, open, textured, natural, tonally correct recording quality?

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