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White Hot Stamper

Art Pepper + Eleven
Modern Jazz Classics

  (Item #: peppemoder_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A big, bold, lively stereo copy of this exceptional Art Pepper release from 1960 - Triple Plus (A+++) on side one and Double Plus (A++) on two - reasonably quiet vinyl too
  • If you buy only one Large Group Hot Stamper jazz record from us, make it this one - the music is swingin' fun and the sound is going to be very impressive, especially if you own any modern reissue
  • Rich, warm and full-bodied, the brass is phenomenal on this pressing - here is the Tubey Magic of the originals without the problems that cause many originals to be opaque and uninvolving
  • A personal favorite - 5 stars: "This is a true classic. Essential music for all serious jazz collections."
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White Hot Stamper

Shelly Manne & His Men
At The Black Hawk, Vol. 3

  (Item #: manneatthe3_1903_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with a shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) side one backed with a solid Double Plus (A++) side two
  • Both sides here are super rich, full-bodied and dynamic with a lovely smooth sax sound and none of the smear that plagues most copies
  • "Considering how much music was documented, it is fortunate that trumpeter Joe Gordon, tenorman Richie Kamuca, pianist Victor Feldman, bassist Monty Budwig and drummer Shelly Manne were in top form for this enjoyable gig. The music is high-quality straightforward and uncomplicated bebop." - All Music, 4 Stars
See all of our Shelly Manne albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Art Pepper + Eleven
Modern Jazz Classics

  (Item #: peppemoder_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Both sides of this Art Pepper Must Own album earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for sound - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If you buy only one Large Group Hot Stamper jazz record from us, make it this one - the music is swingin' fun and the sound is going to be very impressive, especially compared to any modern reissue
  • Rich, warm and full-bodied, the brass is phenomenal on this pressing - here is the Tubey Magic of the originals without the problems that cause many originals to be opaque and uninvolving
  • A personal favorite - 5 stars: "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
Gettin' Together

  (Item #: peppegetti_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding copy of Art Pepper's 1960 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We love the amazingly natural, uncolored, un-hyped sound Roy DuNann and Howard Holzer were able to achieve at Contemporary back in the day
  • You will hear as we did playing this very copy that there's simply nothing between you and the musicians
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Pepper utilizes Davis' sidemen on this 1960 near-classic... as usual, Pepper brings something very personal and unique to his playing; he sounds like no one else."
See all of our Art Pepper albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Leroy Vinnegar Sextet
Leroy Walks!

  (Item #: vinneleroy_1905) 

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."
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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
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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.

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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 - 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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Barney Kessel - Some Like It Hot

Our Shootout Winner from 2005

  (Item #: kessesomel_2005) 



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

Original Contemporary Black Label Stereo LP from 1959 with DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND!

For those of you who appreciate the sound that Roy DuNann and, in this case, Howard Holzer, were able to achieve in the ’50s at Contemporary Records, this LP will be a Must-Own unless you already have it. Their stuff just doesn't get any better than this. Tubey magic, richness, sweetness, dead on timbres from top to bottom -- this is a textbook example of their sound at its best.

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Barney Kessel - Some Like It Hot

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: kessesomel_2018_) 



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

This is absolutely the right sound for this music. There was simply nothing that could beat the Triple Plus side, in any area of reproduction. If you like the sound of relaxed, All Tube jazz recordings, you can't do much better than Some Like It Hot. Many of the copies we played suffered from blubbery bass and transient smearing, but the clarity and bass definition here are surprisingly good.

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Hampton Hawes - The Green Leaves of Summer

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: hawesgreen_2018) 



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

This Contemporary Yellow Label LP has wonderful Contemporary All Tube sound, courtesy of the amazing engineering of Howard Holzer. The piano is right -- weighty and percussive with a full-bodied tone. The bass definition is superb. The clarity and transparency here are nothing short of breathtaking.

See all of our Hampton Hawes albums in stock


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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 from 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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Shelly Manne & His Friends - Bells Are Ringing

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: mannebells_2016) 



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

Side One

Rich and Tubey Magical in the best way, because it's still clear and spacious.

Side Two

Tight, deep bass and an extended top, with a solid piano in between, this side is hard to fault.

Better Than a Dream, the second track on this side, has one of the best sounding jazz pianos I have ever heard. My notes say "you cannot record a piano any better" and I stand behind that statement one hundred percent.

More Shelly Manne / More Andre Previn


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Shelly Manne & His Friends - Bells Are Ringing

What to Listen For

  (Item #: mannebells_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

I have a very long history with this album, dating back close to twenty years. My friend Robert Pincus first turned me on to the CD, which, happily for all concerned was mastered beautifully. We used it to test and tweak my stereo and many of those that were owned by friends.

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Shelly Manne & His Men - At The Blackhawk Vol. 2

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: manneatthe2_2008) 



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

WONDERFUL SOUND AND MUSIC! This Contemporary Yellow Label LP is West Coast Jazz at its best! The sound is SUPERB -- airy, open, and spacious with an STUNNINGLY GOOD bottom end. You won’t believe how ALIVE the bass sounds -- the depth and definition are OUT OF THIS WORLD! Each instrument here sounds just right -- weighty, percussive piano; punchy drums; and lovely leading edge transients on the brass. Contemporary got live nightclub jazz sound down to a T here.

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Shelly Manne - Sounds Unheard Of!

Analogue Productions Debunked

  (Item #: mannesound_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame Pressing and another Analogue Productions LP debunked.

Remember the '90s Acoustic Sounds Analog Revival series mastered by Stan Ricker? This was one of the titles they did, and completely ruined of course. Ricker boosted the hell out of the top end, as is his wont, so all the percussion had the phony MoFi exaggerated spit and tizzyiness that we dislike so much around here at Better Records, the phony top that many audiophiles do not seem bothered by to this day.

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