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White Hot Stamper

Deodato
Prelude

  (Item #: deodaprelu_1902_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • The two year wait is over - here's an out of this world copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last
  • You will not believe how good this record sounds - it's a funky jazz Demo Disc like no other
  • The brass and percussion are amazing on 2001 (and every other track) - thanks RVG
  • We had no idea there was space this huge in the recording until we heard this copy
  • "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)", won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance
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White Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
God Bless The Child

  (Item #: burregodbl_1812_1906) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Amazing sound from start to finish on this Shootout Winning TRIPLE TRIPLE (A+++) copy
  • One of our favorite CTI albums, and surely one of the best sounding, especially on this pressing
  • Credit goes to Rudy Van Gelder once again for the huge space that the superbly well-recorded orchestra occupies
  • AMG raves "This is Burrell at his level best as a player to be sure, but also as a composer and as a bandleader. Magnificent."
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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Miles Davis
Bitches Brew

  (Item #: davisbitch_1803_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • These vintage 360 pressings earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on all four sides - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too
  • The sound is spacious and real, a noticeable step up from most of what we played, and all four sides of this copy played as quietly as any we have ever heard
  • Miles is joined by a litany of greats including Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, et al., all of whom would go on to pursue this style of jazz for decades to come
  • 5 Stars: "Thought by many to be the most revolutionary album in jazz history, having virtually created the genre known as jazz-rock fusion..."
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Super Hot Stamper

Freddie Hubbard
First Light

  (Item #: hubbafirst_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • First Light finally makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Features an outstanding lineup including Herbie Hancock on keys, Ron Carter on bass, George Benson on guitar, Airto on percussion, and Jack DeJohnette on the drums.
  • 4 1/2 stars: "The result is a masterpiece of textured sound, gorgeously far-flung charts, sweet, tight grooves, a subtle mystic feel, and some of Hubbard's most exciting playing ever. While Red Clay [a Better Records favorite] and Straight Life are both fine albums, First Light is the one that connects on all levels -- and it did with the jazz-buying public as well. A masterpiece."
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White Hot Stamper

George Benson
White Rabbit

  (Item #: bensowhite_1902_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Stunning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - this CTI pressing of Benson's Must Own Masterpiece is almost As Good As It Gets
  • Open and transparent on both sides, with wonderfully full-bodied guitars, solid bass and huge amounts of swingin' jazz energy
  • Superb engineering by Rudy Van Gelder - White Rabbit features jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto, and more
  • "For George Benson's second CTI project, producer Creed Taylor and arranger Don Sebesky successfully place the guitarist in a Spanish-flavored setting full of flamenco flourishes, brass fanfares, moody woodwinds and such... In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins."
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Super Hot Stamper (With an Issue)

Miles Davis
Bitches Brew

  (Item #: davisbitch_1909) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • These vintage 360 pressings earned outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades for sound on all four sides - exceptionally QUIET vinyl too (with one issue)
  • The sound is spacious and real, a noticeable step up from most of what we played, and all four sides of this copy played as quietly as any we have ever heard
  • Miles is joined by a litany of greats including Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Billy Cobham, Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, et al., all of whom would go on to pursue this style of jazz for decades to come
  • 5 Stars: "Thought by many to be the most revolutionary album in jazz history, having virtually created the genre known as jazz-rock fusion..."
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Super Hot Stamper

George Benson
White Rabbit

  (Item #: bensowhite_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An outstanding copy of George Benson's 1972 release, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Both sides here are big, full-bodied, Tubey Magical and present with plenty of swingin' jazz energy
  • Superb engineering by Rudy Van Gelder - White Rabbit features jazz legends Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham, Airto, and more
  • 4 stars: "For George Benson's second CTI project, producer Creed Taylor and arranger Don Sebesky successfully place the guitarist in a Spanish-flavored setting full of flamenco flourishes, brass fanfares, moody woodwinds and such... In this prime sample of the CTI idiom, everyone wins."
See all of our George Benson albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Kenny Burrell
God Bless The Child

  (Item #: burregodbl_1901_1905) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With a Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grade on side one and a solid Double Plus (A++) grade on side two, this one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • One of our favorite CTI albums, and surely one of the best sounding, especially on this pressing
  • Credit goes to RVG once again for the huge space that the superbly well recorded orchestra occupies
  • AMG raves: "This is Burrell at his level best as a player to be sure, but also as a composer and as a bandleader. Magnificent."
See all of our Kenny Burrell albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Paul Desmond
Bridge Over Troubled Water

  (Item #: desmobridg_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Stunning sound throughout with both sides of this very well recorded Desmond album from 1970 earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • This pressing was noticeably richer, smoother and more natural than the competition - it's also a big step up over many of the other CTI pressings of the man's albums we've played
  • Desmond's sax is wonderfully present and breathy, and a copy with top grades like these is surely the best way to hear Don Sebesky's wonderful strings with all their satiny sheen intact
  • "Desmond finds something beautiful, wistful, and/or sly to say in each of these ten tunes, backed by Herbie Hancock's Rhodes electric piano and a set of ravishing, occasionally overstated (as in "America") orchestrations by Don Sebesky."
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Super Hot Stamper

Freddie Hubbard
Sky Dive

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_1909) 

Our Price: $89.99

  • With seriously good Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, this copy will be very hard to beat - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is the kind of spacious, low-distortion, dynamic, energetic sound Van Gelder was getting in the early '70s and we LOVE him for it
  • Hubbard got hold of a seriously talented group of funky jazz players to support him here, with Don Sebesky doing his usual inventive arrangements
  • 4 Stars: "Freddie Hubbard's fourth CTI recording certainly has a diverse repertoire. The charts for the brass and woodwinds are colorful; there is a fine supporting cast that includes guitarist George Benson, Keith Jarrett on keyboards, and flutist Hubert Laws; and Hubbard takes several outstanding trumpet solos."
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Super Hot Stamper

Deodato
Prelude

  (Item #: deodaprelu_1712_1903) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This killer pressing earned solid Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The brass and percussion are amazing on 2001 (and every other track), thanks to RVG, a many who knows how to do these kinds of big jazz productions better than practically anyone alive in 1973
  • We had no idea there was space this huge in the recording until we heard the best copies
  • "Though overshadowed by "2001," the other tracks also hold up well today, being mostly medium-tempo, sometimes lushly orchestrated, conga-accented affairs that provide velvety showcases for Deodato's lyrical electric piano solos... it still makes enjoyable listening." [Our rating: 4 stars]
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Super Hot Stamper

Paul Desmond
Bridge Over Troubled Water

  (Item #: desmobridg_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades of BETTER
  • This pressing was noticeably richer, smoother and more natural than the competition - it's also a big step up over many of the other CTI pressings of the man's albums we've played
  • Desmond's sax is wonderfully present and breathy, and a copy with top grades like these is surely the best way to hear Don Sebesky's wonderful strings with all their satiny sheen intact
  • "Desmond finds something beautiful, wistful, and/or sly to say in each of these ten tunes, backed by Herbie Hancock's Rhodes electric piano and a set of ravishing, occasionally overstated (as in "America") orchestrations by Don Sebesky."
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White Hot Stamper

Paul Desmond
Bridge Over Troubled Water

  (Item #: desmobridg_1904_6_9ex) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • Stunning sound throughout with both sides of this very well recorded Desmond album from 1970 earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
  • This pressing was noticeably richer, smoother and more natural than the competition - it's also a big step up over many of the other CTI pressings of the man's albums we've played
  • Desmond's sax is wonderfully present and breathy, and a copy with top grades like these is surely the best way to hear Don Sebesky's wonderful strings with all their satiny sheen intact
  • "Desmond finds something beautiful, wistful, and/or sly to say in each of these ten tunes, backed by Herbie Hancock's Rhodes electric piano and a set of ravishing, occasionally overstated (as in "America") orchestrations by Don Sebesky."
More Paul Desmond


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Hot Stamper

Freddie Hubbard
Sky Dive

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_1906_2) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper sound on both sides of this wonderful Freddie Hubbard album - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This is the kind of spacious, low-distortion, dynamic, energetic sound Van Gelder was getting in the early '70s and we LOVE him for it
  • Hubbard got together a seriously talented group of funky jazz players to support him here, with Don Sebesky doing his usual inventive arrangements
  • 4 Stars: "Freddie Hubbard's fourth CTI recording certainly has a diverse repertoire. The charts for the brass and woodwinds are colorful; there is a fine supporting cast that includes guitarist George Benson, Keith Jarrett on keyboards, and flutist Hubert Laws; and Hubbard takes several outstanding trumpet solos."
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Airto - Fingers

High Frequency Extension Is Key to the Best Pressings

  (Item #: airtofinge_wtlf) 



Another in our series of Home Audio Exercises with advice on What to Listen For (WTLF) as you critically evaluate your copy of Fingers.

The best copies have the highs that are missing from so many of the CTI originals. When you play them against most copies there is an extension to the top end that you won't hear elsewhere. Since this album is heavy on percussion, that difference is critical. The HARMONICS of the percussion are critically important to the music. When they go missing it's as if the music seems to slow down, a strange effect but a fairly common one with rhythmically dense arrangements such as these.

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Airto - Fingers

Listening in Depth

  (Item #: airtofinge_depth) 



Presenting another entry in our extensive Listening in Depth series.

At times this record really sounds like what it is: a bunch of guys in a big room beating the hell out of their drums and singing at the the top of their lungs. You gotta give RVG credit for capturing so much of that energy on tape and transferring that energy onto a slab of vinyl.

Of course this assumes that the record in question actually does have the energy of the best copies. It's also hard to know who or what is to blame when it doesn't, since even the good stampers sound mediocre most of the time. Bad vinyl, worn out stampers, poor pressing cycle, it could be practically anything.

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Airto - Fingers

Truly a Desert Island Disc

  (Item #: airtofinge_obsess) 



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

Fingers is one of our all time favorite records, a Desert Island disc to be sure. I've been playing this album for more than thirty years and it just keeps getting better and better. Truthfully it's the only Airto record I like. I can't stand Dafos, and most of the other Airto titles leave me cold. I think a lot of the credit for the brilliance of this album has to go to the Fattoruso brothers, who play keyboards, drums, and take part in the large vocal groupings that sing along with Airto.

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Airto - Free

Reviewed in 2006

  (Item #: airtofree_2006) 



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

This is a Minty looking CTI LP with VERY GOOD SOUND.

We're on a winning streak with RVG these days (September 2006), three in a row, in fact: Chet Baker (She Was Too Good To Me), Freddie Hubbard (Red Clay), and now this wonderful Airto record. The best music is found on side two, especially the last two tracks.

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Astrud Gilberto - Gilberto With Turrentine

Reviewed in 2009

  (Item #: gilbegilbe_2009) 



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

This is a CTI LP with No Bar Code on the fold-open cover. The music and sound on side two are OFF THE CHARTS! If you’re a fan of Sergio Mendes or Jobim you’re likely to really enjoy this music.

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Deodato - Prelude

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: deodaprelu_2017) 



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

Listen to the trumpet on the second track on side one -- it's so immediate, it's practically JUMPING out of the soundfield, just bursting with energy. Rudy can really pull off these big productions on occasion, and this session was clearly one of them. If you have the kind of stereo that's right for this music (the bigger the better) you could easily find yourself using this record as a demonstration disc. It's very unlikely your audiophile friends have ever heard anything like it.

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Freddie Hubbard - First Light

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: hubbafirst_2011) 



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

This Super Hot Stamper original CTI pressing has a truly SUPERB side two that just put to shame most of what we played. Smeary blurred trumpet blasts? Not here. Nope, the transient bite and energy of the trumpet is as REAL as it gets.

Hubbard was a master of funky jazz, and this pressing was one of the few in our shootout with the kind of high quality mastering that can do justice to his uniquely energetic, lightning fast jazz style.

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Freddie Hubbard - Sky Dive

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_2011) 



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

With a sonic grade of A+++ this White Hot Stamper original CTI pressing has a side two that won Top Honors in our recent shootout. It's CLEARLY the best sounding side we have ever offered of this funky jazz classic, but it has serious condition issues, including a mark that plays at the end of track one all the way into track two. If you can live with that mark you will hear some amazing sound and music on side two. And if you buy this copy and realize you can't, feel free to send it back for a full refund.

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Freddie Hubbard - Sky Dive

What to Listen For

  (Item #: hubbaskydi_wtlf) 



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.

Smear is by far the most common problem with the copies we played. When the transient bite of the trumpet is correctly reproduced, maintaining its full-bodied tone and harmonic structures, you know you have a very special copy of Sky Dive (or First Light or Red Clay, etc., etc.). When the sound is blurry, thick, veiled, dull or slow, you have what might be considered something more like the average copy.

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Freddie Hubbard - The Baddest Hubbard

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: hubbabadde_2008) 



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

This is the baddest copy of Baddest Hubbard we heard in our shootout. And by baddest, I mean THE BEST! It’s got tons of energy, a meaty bottom end, and amazing songs to boot. Red Clay, an AMAZING cut, sounds OUT OF THIS WORLD! The overall sound is HUGE and SPACIOUS. Hubbard was a master of funky jazz, and this pressing has the mastering that does his unique style justice.

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George Benson - White Rabbit

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: bensowhite_2015) 



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

We recently conducted another extensive shootout for White Rabbit and it was a BLAST. It always is. Benson and his funky jazz all-stars buds (Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Airto to name a few) tear through some great material here, and on both sides of this copy the sound as KILLER.

If you want to hear the best George Benson record we know of, this is the one. The Grammy-winning Breezin' from 1976 is a perfectly good album but it's quite a bit more commercial than the earlier White Rabbit here from 1972, his first album to make the top ten on the jazz charts.

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Grover Washington Jr. - Inner City Blues

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: washiinner_2012) 



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

TWO A+++ SIDES ON QUIET VINYL, making this the best copy of Inner City Blues we've found! This copy trounced the other ones we played, giving us the kind of open, transparent sound that brings out the best in this music. The overall sound is very clean and clear with lots of weight down low and extension up top. I don't think you could find a better sounding copy no matter what you did.

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Kenny Burrell - God Bless The Child

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: burregodbl_2015) 



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

This is one of our favorite orchestra-backed jazz records here at Better Records. A few others off the top of my head would be Wes Montgomery's California Dreaming (1966, and also Sebesky-arranged), Grover Washington's All the King's Horses (1973) and Deodato's Prelude (also 1973, with brilliant arrangements by the man himself).

On a killer copy like this the sound is out of this world. Rich and full, open and transparent, this one defeated all comers in our shootout, taking the Top Prize for sound and earning all Three Pluses.

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Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

Our Shootout Winner from 2009

  (Item #: davisbitch_2009) 



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

STUNNING MASTER TAPE A+++ SOUND ON SIDES ONE AND FOUR. We had no idea this music could sound anywhere near this good; every Hot Stamper shootout we had tried before this week was a complete bust. It’s not an easy album to find in clean condition, let alone a copy that sounds like this and plays quietly throughout! If jazz-fusion is your bag, sides one and four of this copy will take you on a trip like few other records could. You can hear right in to the soundfield, and you can be sure that there’s a whole lot going on in there.

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