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For the next few weeks, you can buy any two records from our Hot Stampers Under $75 section and get the cheaper one for half price. There's no limits on this one, so you can buy as many records as you'd like.

You can also buy any two records from our Hot Stampers Under $150 section and get the cheaper one for half price. There's a limit of 4 records per customer, per week for this one. If it has been at least seven days since you last bought 4 records from this section, you can buy four more!

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White Hot Stamper

Grant Green
The Latin Bit

  (Item #: greenlatin_2003) 

Our Price: $499.99

  • Stunning sound for this original NY label Blue Note stereo pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or very close to it
  • The overall sound here is incredibly clean, clear and present with a lovely bottom end and tons of space around all of the players
  • Exceptionally quiet for an original NY label pressing -- both sides play Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • "Pianist Johnny Acea, long an underrated jazzman, is the nucleus of this session, grounding it with witty chops, chordal comping, and rhythmic meat. The Latino rhythm section of drummer Willie Bobo and conga player Carlos "Patato" Valdes personify authentic, seasoned spice..." - All Music
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White Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
A New Perspective

  (Item #: byrd_newpe_2003) 

Our Price: $449.99

  • An STUNNING stereo pressing of one of our all-time favorite Blue Note albums with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout
  • The gospel vocals are amazingly well recorded (thanks RVG!) - with the transparency of this copy, you can easily pick out and follow each voice
  • To hear the real RVG magic, play Beast of Burden on side one - that's some real audiophile Demo Disc sound
  • 5 stars: "One of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd's career."
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White Hot Stamper

Horace Silver
Serenade to a Soul Sister

  (Item #: silveseren_2003) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A stunning sounding copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from the first note to the last
  • This copy was clearly cut with super-low distortion mastering equipment, and boy does it help the sound
  • Rudy Van Gelder did an outstanding job as usual engineering these 1968 quintet sessions, some of which include one of our favorite tenor men, Stanley Turrentine
  • 4 1/2 stars: "One of the last great Horace Silver albums for Blue Note, Serenade to a Soul Sister is also one of the pianist's most infectiously cheerful, good-humored outings... it's hard to argue with musical results as joyous and tightly performed as Serenade to a Soul Sister."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Dexter Gordon
Our Man In Paris

  (Item #: gordoourma_2003_1) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Both sides of this vintage RVG-mastered Deep Groove pressing earned Nearly Triple Plus grades (A++ to A+++) on this Dexter Gordon classic from 1963 - just shy of our Shootout Winner - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound of the saxophone is so full-bodied and Tubey Magical you won't believe it - where is that sound today?
  • The top opens up nicely and there is plenty of space in the studio, giving all the players room to breathe
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Gordon is at the very top of his game here. His playing is crisp, tight, and full of playful fury. Powell, who at this stage of his life was almost continually plagued by personal problems, never sounded better than he does in this session."
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White Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
Blackjack

  (Item #: byrd_black_1910_01) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • KILLER sound throughout for this later Blue Note pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the first - 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 album, a vintage Blue Note pressing like this one is the only way to get there
  • "This recording features altoist Sonny Red, tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, Cedar Walton, Walter Booker, and Billy Higgins. The six tunes are to one extent or another quite explorative. The music does swing and highlights include "West of the Pecos" and "Beale Street"; Byrd and Red in particular are in excellent form throughout the date."
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White Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
Fancy Free

  (Item #: byrd_fancy_2002) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Fancy Free makes its Hot Stamper debut here with STUNNING Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from top to bottom
  • The overall sound here is Tubey Magical, lively and clear, with three-dimensionality that will fill your listening room from wall to wall
  • Credit must go to Rudy Van Gelder once again for capturing the jazz energy and performance space of this superbly sympathetic ensemble
  • "1969's Fancy Free marked the beginning of Donald Byrd's move away from hard bop, staking out fusion-flavored territory... the rare Donald Byrd album that holds appeal for rare-groove fanatics and traditionalists alike."
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White Hot Stamper

Stanley Turrentine
Rough 'N Tumble

  (Item #: turrerough_1910_01) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With two Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sides, we guarantee you've never heard this kind of life and energy on any other Stanley Turrentine album
  • It's rare for us to find New York label stereo pressings in audiophile playing condition, but here's one, and it simply takes the recording (and the music) to another level
  • This session boasts all the top players: Blue Mitchell, Pepper Adams, McCoy Tyner, Grant Green, Bob Cranshaw, and Mickey Roker and more
  • "...the star of the show is Turrentine, and his warmth and playing make this a necessity, especially for fans '60s pre-funk Blue Note jazz."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Herbie Hancock
Speak Like a Child

  (Item #: hancospeak_1905_9_11) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A KILLER sounding copy with nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, close to our Shootout Winning copy
  • These sides are big and full-bodied with well-defined bass, with lively transient energy on the brass instruments, a signature sound of our man RVG's
  • Featuring Hancock's arrangements for an unusual front line of alto flute, bass trombone and flugelhorn, none of which solo (!)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The key to Speak Like a Child is in Hancock's graceful, lyrical playing and compositions, which are lovely on the surface and provocative and challenging upon closer listening."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Lee Morgan
The Gigolo

  (Item #: morgagigol_1910_02) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Lee Morgan's 1968 release comes to the site with superb Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound, right up there with our shootout winner
  • Fans of The Sidewinder and Rumproller will immediately recognize this horn sound heard here - rich, big and full-bodied, with clarity and energy to spare
  • Another triumph for Rudy Van Gelder - he refined a "live-in-the-studio" jazz sound that still sounds fresh to us audiophiles more than fifty years on
  • 4 1/2 stars: "There are no weak selections on this set and the playing by the leader, Wayne Shorter on tenor, pianist Harold Mabern, bassist Bob Cranshaw, and drummer Billy Higgins is beyond any serious criticism."
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Super Hot Stamper

Art Blakey Jazz Messengers
Free For All

  (Item #: blakefreef_1911) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Outstanding sound for this Blue Note pressing, with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This LP was bigger, richer and clearer, with less smear and distortion, and more Tubey Magic, than many of the other pressings we played
  • An RVG recording from 1964 is hard to beat for you-are-there immediacy, and this pressing delivers that quality like no other copy you've heard - we guarantee it
  • 4 stars: "Free for All is a high point in drummer Art Blakey's enormous catalog. This edition of the Jazz Messengers had been together since 1961 with a lineup that would be hard to beat: Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Wayne Shorter on tenor sax, Curtis Fuller on trombone, Cedar Walton on piano, and Reggie Workman on bass."
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Super Hot Stamper

Art Blakey
At The Jazz Corner of the World, Vol. 2

  (Item #: blakeatthe2_2003) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better sounding copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The presence is superb -- turn it up good and loud and you'll be right there at the Jazz Corner of the World with Blakey and the boys, circa 1960
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Mixing up standards and favored originals from peer group composers, the band is, in the vernacular of the era, cooking... this band was as definitive a modern jazz ensemble as there ever was, and the immaculately chosen repertoire elevates this to one of the greatest live jazz session ever, and belongs on the shelf of all serious jazz listeners."
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Super Hot Stamper

Art Blakey
Meet You At The Jazz Corner... Volume 1

  (Item #: blakemeety_vol1_1910) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • The first in this superb 2-volume live set makes its Hot Stamper debut here with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • Tubier, more present, more alive, with more of that "jumpin' out of the speakers" quality that only The Real Thing (an old record) ever has
  • Credit goes to RVG once again for the huge space that the superbly well recorded combo occupies
  • "Here all ears are tuned to the proverbial "jazz corner of the world," better known as Birdland, where the quintet serves up a healthy sampling of its concurrent catalog... a welcome addition to the library of most any jazz lover."
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Super Hot Stamper

Dexter Gordon
Doin' Allright

  (Item #: gordodoina_1902_8_12) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This superb 1961 release by Dexter Gordon finally returns to the site, now with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • These early sides are rich, full-bodied and warm, yet clear and lively
  • A dynamic and energetic recording by Rudy Van Gelder that really jumps on a copy that sounds as good as this one does
  • 4 stars: "Gordon's Blue Note recordings led to his rediscovery. The tenor is teamed with the young trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Horace Parlan, bassist George Tucker, and drummer Al Harewood for a strong set of music..."
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Super Hot Stamper

Horace Silver Quintet
The Tokyo Blues

  (Item #: silvetokyo_1906_10_02) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $149.99 (You save $50.00 / 25%)


  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound and exceptionally QUIET VINYL on this wonderful Blue Note stereo pressing
  • Exceptionally spacious and three-dimensional, as well as relaxed and full-bodied - this pressing was a noticeable step up over many of the copies we played
  • 4 stars: "Silver's Tokyo-influenced compositions fit right in with the subtle cross-cultural but very American hard bop he'd been doing all along... [his] compositions have a light, airy feel, with plenty of space, and no one used that space better at these sessions than Cook, whose tenor sax lines are simply wonderful, adding a sturdy, reliable brightness."
See all of our Horace Silver albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Jackie McLean
Let Freedom Ring

  (Item #: mclealetfr_2001) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this was one of the better sounding copies we played in our shootout
  • Superb All Tube Stereo sound by Rudy Van Gelder, and the high-rez, tonally correct mastering brings out even the most subtle nuances of the sound of this adventurous quartet
  • Allmusic 5 out of 5 stars / Penguin Guide to Jazz 4 out of 4 stars / The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide 5 out of 5 stars - you can't do much better than that!
  • "Jackie McLean had always been a highly emotional soloist, so it makes sense that he was one of the first hard bop veterans to find a new voice in the burning intensity of jazz's emerging avant-garde... Let Freedom Ring was the landmark masterpiece where he put everything together and ushered in the era of the modernists at Blue Note."
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White Hot Stamper

Booker Ervin
The In Between

  (Item #: ervininbet_2002) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Booker Ervin makes his long-awaited site debut with this 1968 release, boasting a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound here is wonderful - big, lively, textured, open and clear with Tubey Magical richness that brings out the best in this jazzy hard bop sound
  • Credit must go to Rudy Van Gelder once again for the huge space this superbly well-recorded quintet occupies
  • 4 stars: "Every song on The In Between is an Ervin original designed to challenge the musicians... it's edgy, volatile hard bop that comes from the mind as much as the soul... The result is a satisfying, cerebral set of adventurous hard bop that finds Booker Ervin at a creative peak."
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White Hot Stamper

Lou Donaldson
Sophisticated Lou

  (Item #: donalsophi_2002) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Lou Donaldson's 1973 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • Punchy and present, open and transparent - only the best Blue Note pressings let Donaldson's soulful energy come through the way it did here
  • "Supported by a lush string section, Donaldson plays sensitive, pretty versions of such familiar items as 'Stella By Starlight,' 'What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life,' 'Autumn in New York' and 'Time After Time,' plus a new reading of his 'Blues Walk' and a cover of Stevie Wonder's 'You Are the Sunshine of My Life.' ... a nice change of pace after several albums of funky soul-jazz."
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Super Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
Stepping Into Tomorrow

  (Item #: byrd_stepp_2003_) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Donad Byrd's 1975 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from top to bottom
  • Byrd's trumpet sounds wonderful here, with just the right amount of bite - credit must go to Val Garay and Dave Hassinger (among others), two of our favorite engineers working at The Sound Factory
  • 4 stars: "... maybe some of those who sniffed at the straightforward nature of some of the rhythms and riffing were won over by the supreme layering of the many components (the way in which "Think Twice" lurches forward, peels back, and gathers steam is nothing short of heavenly), not to mention some deeply evocative playing from Byrd himself."
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Super Hot Stamper

Lee Morgan
The Sidewinder

  (Item #: morgasidew_1908_01) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • This wonderful copy of this Blue Note classic earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides and plays about as quietly as a vintage Blue Note ever does
  • Unusually rich, full-bodied, lively and present sound which brings out the best in this music
  • It's nearly impossible to find clean vintage pressings of Blue Notes these days, let alone copies that sound as good as this one does
  • 5 stars: "Carried by its almost impossibly infectious eponymous opening track, The Sidewinder helped foreshadow the sounds of boogaloo and soul-jazz with its healthy R&B influence and Latin tinge... The group works together seamlessly to create an album that crackles with energy while maintaining a stylish flow."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Cannonball Adderley
Somethin' Else

  (Item #: addersomet_1912) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • You'll find outstanding sound on both sides of this 1958 recording, with each rating a solid Double Plus (A++) or something close to it - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A triumph for Rudy Van Gelder, a Top Blue Note title, and as much a showcase for Miles Davis as it is for Cannonball
  • The best copies of this album set a standard that practically no other jazz record we know of can meet
  • 5 stars: "Both horn players are at their peak of lyrical invention, crafting gorgeous, flowing blues lines."
  • "...signs of Milesian influence are the calm, conversational delivery of the title track and the newfound lyricism in Adderley’s playing that followed from his nightly experience at the trumpeter’s side."
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Super Hot Stamper

Art Blakey
At The Jazz Corner of the World, Vol. 1

  (Item #: blakeatthe1_1910_03) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of this classic live album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • We guarantee you will find dramatically more richness, fullness and presence here, and that's especially true compared to whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing is currently being foisted on an unsuspecting record buying public
  • Turn it up loud and it'll be as if you were right there at the Jazz Corner of the World with Blakey and the boys
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Mixing up standards and favored originals from peer group composers, the band is, in the vernacular of the era, cooking... this band was as definitive a modern jazz ensemble as there ever was, and the immaculately chosen repertoire elevates this to one of the greatest live jazz session ever, and belongs on the shelf of all serious jazz listeners."
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Super Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
Royal Flush

  (Item #: byrd_royal_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb sounding copy of Royal Flush, with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or very close to them
  • Remarkable Tubey Magical richness, as well as the kind of immediacy and transparency that few copies have - all qualities essential to reproducing both the trumpet and the baritone sax with exceptional fidelity
  • Byrd's trumpet sounds wonderful here, with just the right amount of bite
  • "Donald Byrd was at his peak as a straight-ahead hard bop band leader in the early '60s, turning a series of remarkably solid, enjoyable sessions for Blue Note. Royal Flush is no exception to the rule."
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Super Hot Stamper

Donald Byrd
The Cat Walk

  (Item #: byrd_catwa_1905_8_01) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This pressing of Donald Byrd's brilliant 1962 release boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • Credit must go to Rudy Van Gelder once again for capturing the jazz energy of this superbly sympathetic ensemble
  • These sides are lively and fun, with the kind of sound RVG managed pretty consistently to get on tape
  • 4 stars: "Donald Byrd and baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams worked together on several recordings between 1958 and 1961, and The Cat Walk (released on LP in 1962) is among the best. Byrd's playing throughout is typically sleek and lyrical, and Adams' sturdy, husky baritone sound is the perfect counterbalance, making The Cat Walk an essential Byrd purchase."
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Super Hot Stamper

Herbie Hancock
My Point of View

  (Item #: hancomypoi_1912) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A wonderful sounding copy of Hancock's sophomore release from 1963 - this one earned Double Plus (A++) grades for sound or close to them on both sides
  • Grant Green on guitar and killer horn men (Hank Mobley on tenor, Grachan Moncur III on trombone, and Donald Byrd on trumpet) make this a special date indeed
  • As quiet a copy as you will ever find - this one plays Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • "Hot on the heels of his debut album Takin’ Off Hancock piled on the punishment with another must-have recording, My Point of View. He assembled an astonishing septet for the sessions [which] gave him three brass voices to play with, the contrasting luminous flow of Grant Green, with free-swinging Anthony Williams and Chuck Israels at the anchor."
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Super Hot Stamper

Horace Silver
Song For My Father

  (Item #: silvesongf_1909_03ex) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides of this Blue Note Jazz classic
  • The piano is clear and clean here, with much more weight and solidity than one would expect from an RVG recording
  • This copy was obviously cut with super-low distortion mastering equipment, and boy does it help the sound
  • 5 Stars: "Horace Silver's signature LP and the peak of a discography already studded with classics. Silver was always a master at balancing jumping rhythms with complex harmonies for a unique blend of earthiness and sophistication, and Song for My Father has perhaps the most sophisticated air of all his albums..."
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Hot Stamper

Freddie Hubbard
Ready For Freddie

  (Item #: hubbaready_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two Hot Stamper sides and fairly quiet vinyl, this copy of Hubbard's classic 1962 release did well in our shootout
  • Forget whatever crappy Heavy Vinyl record they're making - these vintage Blue Note pressings are the only way to fly on Ready For Freddie
  • 5 stars: "Trumpeter Freddie Hubbard really came into his own during this Blue Note session. He is matched with quite an all-star group (tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Art Davis, and drummer Elvin Jones), introduces two of his finest compositions ("Birdlike" and "Crisis"), and is quite lyrical on his ballad feature, "Weaver of Dreams." Hubbard's sidemen all play up to par and this memorable session is highly recommended; it's one of the trumpeter's most rewarding Blue Note albums."
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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Stanley Turrentine
The Spoiler

  (Item #: turrespoil_1909_02ex) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • The Spoiler makes its Hot Stamper debut with Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades throughout - just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Another triumph for Rudy Van Gelder - he refined a "live-in-the-studio" jazz sound that still sounds fresh to this day, even after 50+ years
  • Surprisingly dynamic, with great energy, this copy brought Stanley Turrntine's music to life right in our listening room
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Turrentine is in fine form throughout the date, even finding something to say on 'Sunny.' 'La Fiesta' (no relation to the later Chick Corea tune) is the highpoint of a largely enjoyable set."
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Super Hot Stamper

Herbie Hancock
Speak Like a Child

  (Item #: hancospeak_1910) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This outstanding copy of Hancock's 1968 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish
  • These sides are big and full-bodied with well-defined bass, with lively transient energy on the brass instruments, a signature sound of our man RVG's
  • Featuring Hancock's arrangements for an unusual front line of alto flute, bass trombone and flugelhorn, none of which solo (!)
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The key to Speak Like a Child is in Hancock's graceful, lyrical playing and compositions, which are lovely on the surface and provocative and challenging upon closer listening."
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White Hot Stamper

Horace Silver Quintet
The Tokyo Blues

  (Item #: silvetokyo_1903_6_9_02ex) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish, making this the best copy to hit the site in years
  • This pressing is clearly fuller, bigger, more lively and more Tubey Magical than any other copy we played
  • 4 stars: "Silver's Tokyo-influenced compositions fit right in with the subtle cross-cultural but very American hard bop he'd been doing all along... [his] compositions have a light, airy feel, with plenty of space, and no one used that space better at these sessions than Cook, whose tenor sax lines are simply wonderful, adding a sturdy, reliable brightness."
See all of our Horace Silver albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Jimmy Smith
Bucket!

  (Item #: smithbucke_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • You'll find crazy good sound on this vintage Blue Note stereo LP, with both sides earning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades, just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • This copy is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience
  • A trio date, with just organ, guitar and drums, the grouping that Smith pioneered - nobody does it better
  • This album is a little more mellow than others I have heard. It's very relaxed and enjoyable. Highly recommended
See all of our Jimmy Smith albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

The Three Sounds
Coldwater Flat

  (Item #: threecoldw_1903_1906) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • Superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides and only the second copy to ever hit the site
  • A shockingly well recorded album, with Oliver Nelson's arrangements exploding from the speakers with all the brilliant energy and color we've come to expect from the man
  • "For this date, the group decided to emphasize its pop side, recording the record with the lush Oliver Nelson Orchestra and choosing to cover such pop hits as "The Look of Love" and "Last Train to Clarksville"... the glossy production has its appealing moments..."
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Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: addersomet_2013) 



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

A+++ SOUND, giving you a KILLER copy of one of the most beloved Blue Note albums ever! The music here is stunning -- as I'm sure most of you know, this is as much a showcase for Miles Davis as it is for Cannonball himself -- but the good news for audiophiles is that it's also one of the BEST SOUNDING BLUE NOTE ALBUMS we know of! When you hear it on a copy like this, it's just about As Good As It Gets.

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Cannonball Adderley - Somethin’ Else

Rudy Van Gelder Outdoes Himself

  (Item #: addersomet_setting_the_record) 



After doing this shootout, the current consensus here at Better Records is that this album deserves to hold three -- count 'em, three -- somewhat related titles:

One, The Best Sounding Blue Note record we have ever played.

Two, The Best Sounding Jazz Record we have ever played.

Three, Rudy Van Gelder's Best Engineering (based on the copies we played).

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Dexter Gordon - One Flight Up

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: gordoonefl_2009) 



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

This Blue Note LP is without a doubt ONE OF THE BEST SOUNDING JAZZ RECORDS WE’VE EVER HEARD! We were auditioning a bunch of jazz records today (4/25/07), and when the needle hit the grooves on this one we were ABSOLUTELY BLOWN AWAY!

I can't think of one jazz record we've ever played here at Better Records with this kind of WHOMP! Everything here is so rich and full -- nothing like a typical Blue Note album.

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Dexter Gordon - Our Man in Paris

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: gordoourma_2010) 



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

AMAZING SOUND ON SIDE ONE, great sound on side two and quiet vinyl throughout. Most importantly, the music here is EXCELLENT. We shot out all the copies in the house, and nothing could hold a candle to this Blue Label pressing on side one.

The sound is lively and energetic with lots of DEEP, well-defined bass. This side one has the kind of bottom-end WHOMP that you don’t hear on too many Blue Note LPs. The overall sound is rich and full-bodied with lots of air in the brass. The sound really JUMPS out of the speakers!

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Eric Dolphy - Out To Lunch

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: dolphoutto_2013) 



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

A SUPERB JAZZ DEMO DISC on unusually QUIET vinyl! Blue Note fans, take notice -- this is a VERY special pressing!

Folks, Out To Lunch is one of the ultimate Blue Note titles for both music and stereo sound, and I don't think you could find another pressing of the album that sounds this good and plays this quietly no matter how many you played, realistically speaking of course. If you've been watching our better Blue Note offerings, you probably know that this is the first Hot copy to ever make it to the site. And what a way to start off -- both sides earned A+++ grades.

See all of our Eric Dolphy albums in stock


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Freddie Hubbard - Goin’ Up

Reviewed in 2011

  (Item #: hubbagoinu_2011) 



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

This very nice looking Blue Note LP has good sound and some straight ahead Blue Note jazz, the kind that Blue Note jazz fans love. The second track on side one, ’The Changing Scene’, is a wonderful ballad reminiscent of ’Round Midnight. It's the best material on the album in my opinion.

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Freddie Hubbard - Hub-Tones

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: hubbahubto_2007) 



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

This Blue Note reissue LP has SUPERB SOUND AND QUIET VINYL! Freddie’s trumpet sounds Right On The Money -- breathy and full-bodied with clearly audible leading edge transients. The overall sound is tonally correct with extended highs and super low distortion. It's open and spacious and wonderfully dynamic. I don't think there's anything you could do to this music to make it sound much better than this!

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Freddie Hubbard - Ready For Freddie

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: hubbaready_2006) 



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

This is a QUIET Blue Note ’70s pressing with wonderful music and pretty good sound. The trumpet here sounds excellent with lots of breath and just the right amount of bite. The track Crisis on side two should particularly appeal to audiophiles -- just check out that well-recorded bass and all the cool little drum breaks.

We hardly ever see clean copies of this album, so we don't imagine we'll ever have the resources to do a proper shootout. I don't imagine that you'll find a much better sounding copy of this album that plays this quietly.

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Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage

Keeping the Players Together

  (Item #: hancomaide_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises.

Freddie Hubbard on this album is nothing short of astonishing. I remember playing around with the stereo one day, listening for different effects as I made minor changes to the tracking weight, the VTA, adjustments to the Hallographs and the like, and at one point I noticed that the ensemble seemed to be really coherently connected, each of the players balanced with all the others.

It was a striking effect and it made me realize that musical values can often be overlooked while chasing after audiophile effects of one kind or another. Hearing the ensemble come together made me appreciate this album even more.

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Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: hancomaide_2008) 



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

We just finished a big Maiden Voyage shootout, and while we didn’t come up with too many winners, we did manage to find this one KILLER copy. Side two has A+++ MASTER TAPE SOUND -- it can't be beat! You won't believe how clean, clear, open, and transparent it is. Most importantly, the energy factor is OFF THE CHARTS, and the dynamics are INCREDIBLE. Too many copies we played left us cold and bored; this one kept us engaged throughout. It's got the silkiest highs and the breathiest brass we've ever heard for this album. Most copies we played this against couldn't even come close to the richness, sweetness, and warmth we heard here.

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Herbie Hancock - My Point of View

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: hancomypoi_2017) 



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

TWO KILLER SIDES, dramatically better sounding than the other copies we played it against. Both sides here are incredible -- rich and warm with a huge bottom end and lots of space around the instruments. About as quiet as they come, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout.

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Horace Silver - Horace-Scope

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: silvehorac_2015) 



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

The really good RVG pressings (often on the later labels) sound shockingly close to live music -- uncompressed, present, full of energy, with the instruments clearly located on a wide and often deep soundstage, surrounded by the natural space and cool air of his New Jersey studio. As our stereo has improved, and we've found better pressings and learned how to clean them better, his "you-are-there" live jazz sound has come to impress us more and more.

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Horace Silver - Song For My Father

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: silvesongf_2008) 



A distinguished member of the Better Records Jazz Hall of Fame from 1965.

This White Hot Stamper reissue pressing has the BEST SOUND WE HAVE EVER HEARD for this album -- on either side! This copy has the kind of sound and quiet vinyl we have been trying to find for years, and now it is here!

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Horace Silver Quintet - Doin’ The Thing

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: silvedoint_2019) 



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

This Minty Blue Note LP has EXCELLENT LIVE JAZZ SOUND! It’s rich, full, and tonally correct from top to bottom. Just listen to the cymbals on the track Doin’ The Thing -- you’ll hear how wonderfully extended the top end is.

"This live set (recorded at the Village Gate) finds pianist/composer Horace Silver and his most acclaimed quintet (the one with trumpeter Blue Mitchell, tenor saxophonist Junior Cook, bassist Gene Taylor and drummer Roy Brooks) stretching out on four selections, including his new song Filthy McNasty... [An] enjoyable and always funky hard bop session."

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Horace Silver Quintet - Serenade To A Soul Sister

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: silveseren_2006) 



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

This very nice looking Blue Note LP has WONDERFUL SOUND! It has an extended top end which is not commonly found on most Blue Note pressings. Both the drums and piano sound correct. You can really hear the leading edge transients on the sax.

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Horace Silver Quintet - The Tokyo Blues

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: silvetokyo_2009) 



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

This QUIET Blue Note ’70s issue LP has a PHENOMENAL SIDE ONE and a GREAT SIDE TWO! It's one of the better sounding Blue Notes we've heard over the last few months.

I've played quite a few of these over the years and I've NEVER heard a side one this good. (We did hear a slightly better side two earlier this year.) The sound is super full-bodied and shockingly transparent with real depth to the soundfield. The brass has a nice bite and the piano sound is superb -- you can very clearly hear the sound of the little hammers hitting the strings inside! Piano jazz almost never sounds this good.

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Joe Henderson - Page One

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: hendepageo_2009) 



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

EXCELLENT SOUND ON SIDE ONE of this Highly Recommended Blue Note classic! This ’70s pressing has sound that’s sure to beat the pants off most other copies out there. Just listen to the sound of the percussion; on the earlier pressings it tends to be smeary, but that’s certainly not the case here! The overall sound is open and transparent with incredible presence. Turn up the volume and you’ll have a smokin’ jazz quintet tearing it up right there in your living room! I don’t think Henderson made a better album than this one, and I doubt it’ll be easy tol find another copy that sounds this good!


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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!

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Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue

Our Shootout Winner from 2019

  (Item #: burremidni_2019) 



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

Both sides have that Midnight Blue magic -- superb transparency, plenty of deep bass, silky highs, and TONS of energy. The sound of the congas on this copy is wonderful -- so punchy with clearly audible transients and so much ambience, it sounded to us like Ray Barretto was right there in the room with us, over by the left speaker.

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Kenny Dorham - Una Mas

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: dorhaunama_2016) 



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

A fun and lively Blue Note, presented here with two especially hot sides and quiet vinyl!

After hearing a copy that blew us away a few years back, we went on the hunt for enough pressings to get this shootout off the ground. It wasn't easy -- run across many clean Kenny Dorham LPs recently? -- but we finally pulled it off and this copy really impressed the hell out of us compared to the others we had on hand to play.

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Lee Morgan - Search For The New Land

Reviewed in 2008

  (Item #: morgasearc_2008) 



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

This QUIET, hard-to-find Blue Note Blue Label LP has EXCELLENT SOUND AND MUSIC! It’s transparent, open and spacious with deep, tight bass. The piano has nice weight to it and the trumpet has the right amount of bite. We never have enough of these around to do a full shootout, but based on my experience with this album I’m going to rate side one between solid A and A+ and side two A+. There may be a better copy out there somewhere, but good luck tracking it down.

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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.

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Lee Morgan - The Rumproller

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: morgarumpr_2017) 



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

No copy we played against it nor any copy we can remember ever hearing sounded any better to us. Both musically and sonically, this is Blue Note at its best!

There's LIFE and PRESENCE the likes of which you almost never hear on ANY jazz record. The sound is rich and full, from the extended top end all the way down to the deepest bass.

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Lee Morgan - The Sidewinder

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: morgasidew_2011) 



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

This SHOCKINGLY QUIET Blue Note NYC Label Stereo pressing is the one of the VERY BEST SOUNDING COPIES OF THE SIDEWINDER WE’VE EVER HEARD! When we dropped the needle on this one, we immediately stopped listening critically and just began enjoying the album. That’s the sign of an exceptional copy -- the sound gets out of the way and the music becomes the point.

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McCoy Tyner - Expansions

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tynerexpan_2013) 



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

Both sonically and musically, this is THE BEST McCoy Tyner album that we can recall ever playing! Expansions has long been a favorite around here -- it's got a great lineup (including Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter) and the most interesting set of songs that we've heard on a Tyner album.

Drop the needle on the last song, I Thought I'd Let You Know, for the best sound on the album. It's rich and sweet with a BIG bottom end and a wonderful sounding cello. McCoy's playing a lot like Bill Evans at his best on this song.

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McCoy Tyner - Extensions

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: tynerexten_2016) 



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

With Alice Coltrane on harp, this is one trippy album! For those with adventurous tastes you are sure to have an interesting musical experience with this one.

We quite enjoy the sound of a great many Blue Note pressings from the '70s, although to be fair there are plenty of dogs out there too. The reason this LP and others from the era have such transparency and such an extended top end compared with some of RVG's older recordings is due, at least to some degree, to the better cutting equipment he had available to him in the '70s.

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Ornette Coleman - Love Call

Reviewed in 2013

  (Item #: colemlovec_2013) 



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

EXCELLENT A++ SOUND and QUIET VINYL for both sides of this great Ornette Coleman Blue Note album. Ornette's music clearly isn't for everyone, but you've got to hand it to the guy when it comes to getting good sound on his records. We've heard a number of Ornette records that had excellent sound, the trick is finding the ones that sound good and aren't so crazy musically that there's still appeal to the average audiophile. This one's a bit out there for sure, but we enjoyed it -- the excellent sound throughout helped the music make sense.

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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.

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Stanley Turrentine - Another Story

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: turreanoth_2013) 



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

A very dynamic recording by Rudy Van Gelder that really jumps on a copy like this. Needless to say, you will have a very hard time finding a better sounding funky Soul Jazz record.

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Stanley Turrentine - Jubilee Shouts

Reviewed in 2005

  (Item #: turrejubil_2005) 



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

Two Minty looking Blue Note LPs of two previously unreleased sessions featuring the great tenor saxophonist with Tommy Turrentine, Kenny Burrell, Horace Parlan, Sonny Clark and others.

If you want to hear Turrentine at his best, skip right to track two, the beautiful ballad Then I'll Be Tired Of You, featuring his brother Tommy on trumpet. The music is powerful and the sound is excellent.

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The 3 Sounds - Moods

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: threemoods_2008) 



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

This Blue Note LP has GREAT SOUND. The top end is Right On The Money and the drums sound wonderful -- punchy with lots of ambience. The piano is full-bodied and weighty allowing you to really appreciate the percussive qualities of the instrument. The bass is deep but not quite as tight as the very best sounding copies.

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The Ornette Coleman Trio - At The Golden Circle Vol. 1

Reviewed in 2007

  (Item #: colemgolde_2007) 



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

This is a Blue Note LP with EXCELLENT sound! We didn’t have enough clean copies to do a shootout, but you can be sure that each side rates at least an A+ for sound.

Side one has tons of energy, gorgeous highs and a nice deep bottom end. Side two is rich and full-bodied with wonderfully textured brass. This is a superb copy with sound that does this complex music justice.

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