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White Hot Stamper

Yes
Close To The Edge

  (Item #: yes__close_1908) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • An amazing copy of this Prog Blockbuster, with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the first side and solid Double Plus (A++) sound on the second - super quiet vinyl too, as quiet as any copy we have ever listed
  • An incredibly complex recording, with huge organs, light-speed changes and an abundance of multi-tracked parts
  • A recording that will push even the highest quality, most heavily tweaked stereo to its limits - if you can play this record good and loud, you can play anything
  • 5 stars: "Close to the Edge represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years. In 1972, Close to the Edge was a flawless masterpiece."
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White Hot Stamper

Yes
The Yes Album

  (Item #: yes__yesal_1907) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A Big As Life copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides - I've Seen All Good People is mindblowing on this side one
  • You haven't begun to hear the power and size of Yes's brilliant third album until you've played one of our Shootout Winning early domestic pressings
  • A Top 100 Album and the band's best sounding record if you ask us (although Fragile can sound absolutely amazing too, just not as smooth and rich)
  • "Organist Tony Kaye, guitarist Steve Howe and bass player Chris Squire play as though of one mind, complementing each other's work as a knowledgeable band should."
More Yes Album / More Yes


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra and Count Basie
Sinatra At The Sands

  (Item #: sinatatthe_1901_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • This outstanding set boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on all four sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Truly one of the greatest live albums of all time, recorded late at night in the big room at the Sands Hotel in Vegas
  • This is Basie and Sinatra in their natural habitat and in their prime, putting on the show of a lifetime
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Basie and the orchestra are swinging and dynamic, inspiring a textured, dramatic, and thoroughly enjoyable performance from Sinatra ... the definitive portrait of Frank Sinatra in the '60s."
See all of our Frank Sinatra albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Alfie (Original Music From The Score)

  (Item #: rollialfie_1902_1906) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • A superb copy of Sonny Rollins' Alfie, boasting outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • Even though I've been playing this album for more than 25 years, for some reason this is one of the few truly killer copies to ever hit the site
  • A triumph for Rudy Van Gelder, a Top Impulse title, and as much a showcase for Oliver Nelson (+11) as it is for Sonny Rollins
  • 4 1/2 Stars: " Rollins attempts to capture the textures of life through his incisive and energetic playing, his coherent improvisations, and variations on musical themes."
See all of our Sonny Rollins albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Plays Hefti

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • The first copy to hit the site in years and boy does our Shootout Winner here have STUNNING sound - it earned Triple Plus (A+++) grades from start to finish - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • If all you've ever heard is the Roulette original (or the wacky MoFi, or whatever current Heavy Vinyl pressing is being made, this LP is guaranteed to be a REVELATION
  • Basie Plays Hefti catches Basie's band at the peak of their powers in 1958, and in this All Tube Recording you get every bit of the magic they made in the studio
  • "The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements. Hefti had been one of the main architects of the new Basie sound of the '50s... "Cute" (heard here in its initial recording) became a standard."
More Count Basie


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White Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie
Ella and Basie!

  (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_1901_1908) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With a shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two and a solid Double Plus (A++) side one, this early Verve stereo pressing is a knockout
  • Ella is especially rich, Tubey Magical and breathy - this is the way she should sound, and that makes this copy a true Demo Disc
  • To get the vocals AND the brass to sound right on the same copy is the trick, and these two sides pulled it off
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "...this 1963 LP was the first time (other than a couple songs) that Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie recorded together. The match-up was so logical that it would be repeated many times over the next 20 years."
More Ella Fitzgerald / More Count Basie


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White Hot Stamper

Shorty Rogers
The Swingin' Nutcracker

  (Item #: rogerswing_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Insanely good Living Stereo sound throughout with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades and playing reasonably quietly
  • Al Schmitt handled the engineering duties, brilliantly, with Shorty and dozens of his West Coast Pals contributing to the dates, the likes of Conte Candoli, Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Harold Land, Richie Kamuca and more
  • "The most remarkable aspect about the score is how boldly it re-imagines the original. The Swingin' Nutcracker is contemporary from an American perspective without patronizing the European original." - Marc Meyers, Jazz Wax
See all of our Shorty Rogers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Yes
The Yes Album

  (Item #: yes__yesal_1812_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99
Sale Price: $149.00 (You save $50.99 / 25%)


  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sonic grades on both sides, the sound is huge and powerful - exceptionally quite vinyl too
  • Here is the mindblowing Prog Rock Power of Yes on brilliant songs including Yours Is No Disgrace, Starship Trooper and I've Seen All Good People
  • Based on the 100 plus copies we've played over the years, this is as quiet as they come
  • Top 100 - the band's best sounding record if you ask us (although Fragile is right up there with it)
  • "It was the addition of Steve Howe's guitar pyrotechnics that finally allowed Yes to find their true identity. The Yes Album is a giant leap forward..."
More of The Yes Album / More Yes


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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."
See all of our Art Pepper albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Big Band

  (Item #: basiebasie_big_band_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An insanely good copy with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it throughout
  • Both sides are incredibly rich, lively and clear - musically and sonically this is one of the best Basie Big Band records!
  • Guaranteed to be dramatically livelier and more dynamic than any Basie title you've heard
  • Lots of tight, deep, note-like bass and mostly correct timbre for the brass throughout
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Count Basie
On My Way & Shoutin' Again

  (Item #: basieonmyw_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • Incredible shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it from start to finish - relatively quiet vinyl too
  • This All Tube Verve stereo Recording Verve from 1962 is one of the best Basie records from the era that we've played in a very long time
  • Here is the richness the music needs - horns need to be full-bodied if they are to sound like the real thing - but so are speed and clarity, two qualities that insure that all the horns have the proper bite and timbre
  • "A solid and worthwhile album that has been out of print for far too long, this will be a welcome addition to any Basie lover's collection, and comes highly recommended to anyone even mildly interested in excellent large-ensemble mainstream jazz."
More Count Basie


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White Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
At the Bal Masque

  (Item #: ellinbalma_1901_1908) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A stunning sounding Six-Eye Columbia pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides
  • Here are boatloads of the kind of Tubey Magical richness that make these vintage Columbia recordings the uniquely satisfying listening experience we know them to be
  • More superb sound from the legendary CBS 30th street studios in New York - the size and power of a jazz orchestra in glorious all ANALOG sound
  • "Ellington and his all-star orchestra manage to transform what could be a set of tired revival swing into superior dance music and swinging jazz... a surprise success."
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Junior Mance
Get Ready, Set, Jump!!!

  (Item #: mancegetre_1907) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This outstanding copy of Mance's 1964 release boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • Wonderfully big, rich and LIVELY, with boatloads of Tubey Magic and three-dimensional space
  • This vintage stereo pressing boasts exceptionally natural piano sound and the live-in-the-studio energy of a swingin' group of veteran horn players
  • 4 stars: "Mance is joined by some of the cream of the West Coast studio and jazz players for a session that features Mance doing his blues thing on piano while the band swings at various tempi... resembling somewhat the style of the Count Basie Orchestra."
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White Hot Stamper

Ray Charles
The Genius of Ray Charles

  (Item #: charlgenius_of_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • This KILLER 2-pack boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • It's incredibly rich, full and tubey throughout, as Ray tackles both big band classics and string-backed ballads from the Great American Songbook, all with truly magical results
  • Robert Christgau noted that "Charles tried many times, but except for Modern Sounds, he never again assembled such a consistent album in this mode."
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Charles' voice is heard throughout in peak form, giving soul to even the veteran standards."
See all of our Ray Charles albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Gerry Mulligan
The Concert Jazz Band

  (Item #: mulliconce_1905_1907) 

Our Price: $169.99

  • Superb nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound from start to finish, the "big band" sound here is really jumping out of the speakers
  • Huge space, size and clarity, with Tubey Magical richness befitting the 1960 recording dates of these sessions
  • "My idea is not so much that we are a big band with a small-band feel, but that we have a big-band feel in the way that a big band ought to be." -- Gerry Mulligan.
  • "Mulligan stages a thrilling musical spectacle in which fierce rivalry, song-like harmony and refined counterpoint play the main roles."
See all of our Gerry Mulligan albums in stock


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Ellington-Basie
The Count Meets the Duke

  (Item #: ellinfirst_1805_1906) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two stunning nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, both coming in just shy of our amazing sounding Shootout Winner
  • Huge amounts of three-dimensional space and ambience, and Tubey Magic by the boatload - this 30th Street recording from 1961 shows just how good Columbia's engineers were back then
  • Fairly quiet throughout - good luck finding a Six Eye Stereo pressing this nice on your own, they sure don't grow on trees
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... a very successful and surprisingly uncrowded encounter... Ellington and Basie both play piano (their interaction with each other is wonderful) and the arrangements allowed the stars from both bands to take turns soloing."
More Duke Ellington


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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Waka/Jawaka

  (Item #: zappawakaj_1904_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • With STUNNING nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound throughout, this copy came in just shy of our Shootout Winner and delivers plenty of Zappa's Waka/Jawaka Big Band Magic
  • A Top 100 Title, and deservedly so - the sound is big, rich, punchy, lively, clear and above all, ANALOG
  • This copy will show you the size and power of a big band, Frank Zappa style - there is (almost*) nothing like it
  • Rolling Stone raved that this Jazz Rock Fusion album contains "...some of the best material he's done in years." and we could not agree more
See all of our Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Yes
Close To The Edge

  (Item #: yes__close_1902_5_9) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Two killer earning seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades - these early pressings are the only ones that can make any sense of this challenging music
  • An incredibly complex recording, with huge organs, light-speed changes and an abundance of multi-tracked parts
  • And the really good news is that the vinyl on this killer copy is exceptionally quiet as well
  • 5 stars: "Close to the Edge comprised just three tracks, the epic "And You and I" and "Siberian Khatru," plus a side-long title track that represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years."
More Close to the Edge / More Yes


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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

Charles Mingus
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus

  (Item #: mingumingumingu_1808_1902_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $50.99 / 34%)


  • This outstanding vintage stereo copy boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound, or close to it, from start to finish
  • Impulse released a Heavy Vinyl pressing in 1995, as did Speakers Corner in 2003, but neither can hold a candle to the real thing
  • Mingus was a genius and the original music on this record is just one more album's worth of proof of the undeniability of that fact
  • 5 stars: "It closes out the most productive and significant chapter of his career, and one of the most fertile, inventive hot streaks of any composer in jazz history."
See all of our Charles Mingus albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Piano In The Background

  (Item #: ellinpiano_1902_1905) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This original Six Eye has a nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) side one and a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Full-bodied and warm, exactly the way you want your vintage analog to sound - the piano is surprisingly real here, solid and dynamic
  • Classic Records remastered the album in the 2000s, as has Speakers Corner, but if you think either one of those versions can hold a candle to the real thing from 1960, let us send you this record and disabuse you of that notion
  • 4 stars: "One of Ellington's rarer studio sessions... Ellington's solo abilities were always a bit underrated due to his brilliance in other areas, but this set shows just how modern he remained through the years as a player."
More Duke Ellington


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Super Hot Stamper

Glenn Miller Orchestra
The Direct Disc Sound of...

  (Item #: milledirec_1906_1908) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • A superb pressing of a great recording with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Great energy, but the sound is relaxed and Tubey sweet at the same time, never squawky, with plenty of extension on both ends -- that's analog for ya!
  • Exceptionally quiet vinyl throughout with both sides playing Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
  • This is no sleepy over-the-hill Sheffield - these guys are the real deal and they play their hearts out on this live-in-the-studio direct to disc recording
More Glenn Miller


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Super Hot Stamper

Junior Mance
Get Ready, Set, Jump!!!

  (Item #: mancegetre_1907_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • This outstanding copy of the Mance's 1964 release boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • Wonderfully big, rich and LIVELY, with boatloads of Tubey Magic and three-dimensional space
  • This vintage stereo pressing boasts exceptionally natural piano sound and the live-in-the-studio energy of a swingin' group of veteran horn players
  • 4 stars: "Mance is joined by some of the cream of the West Coast studio and jazz players for a session that features Mance doing his blues thing on piano while the band swings at various tempi... The synergy between piano player and band is apparent on all the tracks, and is especially telling on all-time big-band favorite "Moten Swing" and the up-tempo 12-bar theme on "Running Upstairs.""
More Junior Mance


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White Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Ellington '66

  (Item #: ellinellin_1902_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Insanely good shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout and the first copy to ever hit the site!
  • This Grammy award winning title features Ellington performing some of the biggest pop hits of the day: Red Roses For a Blue Lady, I Want to Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, and more
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Ted Heath
Swing Session

  (Item #: heathswing_1904_1907) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Ted Heath Swing Session makes its Hot Stamper debut with KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound from first note to last - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This pressing is bigger, bolder and richer, as well as more clean, clear and open than any copy we played (which is of course the way it earned those Triple Plus grades)
  • These original pressings are ridiculously hard to come by with this kind of superb sound AND quiet vinyl - this one has it all!
  • "... the sound is open and airy with great separation of instruments and very much alive. The band is tight and the music is energetic."
See all of our Ted Heath albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Plays Hefti

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_1905c) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish - super quiet vinyl too!
  • If all you've ever heard is the Roulette original (or the wacky MoFi, or whatever current Heavy Vinyl pressing is being made, this LP is guaranteed to knock your socks off
  • Basie Plays Hefti catches Basie's band at the peak of their powers in 1958, and in this All Tube Recording you get every bit of the magic they made in the studio
  • "The Count Basie Orchestra was in top form for this set of Neal Hefti arrangements. Hefti had been one of the main architects of the new Basie sound of the '50s... "Cute" (heard here in its initial recording) became a standard."
More Count Basie / More Neal Hefti


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Me and You

  (Item #: basiemeand_1907) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An excellent sounding copy of Basie's 1983 release, with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER 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 1983, this is the only way to go
  • This is the Basie Big Band album that came out right after 88 Basie Street, a hard act to follow - top engineering by Dennis Sands
  • "... recorded only a little more than a year before his death. However, the spirit of this music (helped out by some Ernie Wilkins) arrangements) make Count Basie seem ageless."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Zappa
Waka/Jawaka

  (Item #: zappawakaj_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound throughout and exceptionally quiet vinyl, this copy delivers plenty of Zappa's Waka/Jawaka Big Band Magic
  • A Top 100 Title, and deservedly so - the sound is big, rich, punchy, lively, clear and above all, ANALOG
  • This copy will show you the size and power of a big band, Frank Zappa style - there is (almost*) nothing like it
  • Rolling Stone raved that this Jazz Rock Fusion album contains "...some of the best material he's done in years." and we could not agree more
See all of our Frank Zappa and Mothers of Invention albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Gerry Mulligan
The Concert Jazz Band

  (Item #: mulliconce_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, the "big band" sound here is really jumping out of the speakers - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • The sound is clear, spacious, relaxed, full-bodied and lively, with Tubey Magical richness befitting the 1960 recording dates of these sessions
  • "My idea is not so much that we are a big band with a small-band feel, but that we have a big-band feel in the way that a big band ought to be." -- Gerry Mulligan.
  • "Mulligan stages a thrilling musical spectacle in which fierce rivalry, song-like harmony and refined counterpoint play the main roles."
See all of our Gerry Mulligan albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The Great Reunion

  (Item #: armstgreat_1901_1905) 

Our Price: $129.99
Sale Price: $99.00 (You save $30.99 / 24%)


  • With two excellent sides each rating a solid Double Plus (A++), this vintage stereo pressing was one of the better copies in our most recent shootout
  • Both sides are big, spacious and absolutely jumping out of the speakers, with rich, smooth sound
  • We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record but make no mistake, this is a GREAT sounding one
  • 4 1/2 stars: "One of the best things about this configuration is the sound of the Duke’s piano - an underrated pianist, he seldom recorded in such an intimate context."
More Louis Armstrong / More Duke Ellington


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Basie Big Band

  (Item #: basiebasie_big_band_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from start to finish
  • Musically and sonically this is one of the best Basie Big Band records!
  • Guaranteed to be dramatically livelier and more dynamic than any Basie title you've heard
  • Lots of tight, deep, note-like bass and mostly correct timbre for the brass throughout
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Shorty Rogers
The Swingin' Nutcracker

  (Item #: rogerswing_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $119.99

  • Superb sound throughout with both sides earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades and playing about as quietly as any Living Stereo record from 1960 ever will
  • Al Schmitt handled the engineering duties, brilliantly, with Shorty and dozens of his West Coast Pals contributing to the dates, the likes of Conte Candoli, Art Pepper, Bill Perkins, Bud Shank, Harold Land, Richie Kamuca and more
  • "The most remarkable aspect about the score is how boldly it re-imagines the original. The Swingin' Nutcracker is contemporary from an American perspective without patronizing the European original." - Marc Meyers, Jazz Wax
See all of our Shorty Rogers albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie And His Orchestra
I Told You So

  (Item #: basieitold_1901_1907) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • A Top Basie Big Band title in every way - musically, sonically, you name it, this album has got it going on!
  • This is the way it must have sounded in 1976, in the New York studios where the famous RCA engineer Bob Simpson was still behind the board
  • 4 stars: "This is one of Count Basie's best big-band studio recordings for Norman Granz during his Pablo years. The arrangements by Bill Holman are both challenging and swinging, containing enough surprises to make this session a real standout."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie Big Band
Farmers Market Barbecue

  (Item #: basiefarme_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from beginning to end on this famous Pablo, one we consider The Best Basie Big Band Record We've Ever Played
  • Both sides are super clear, rich, and full of Tubey Magic, with a solid bottom end and huge amounts of three-dimensional studio space
  • Demo Disc sound - guaranteed to beat the pants off of any Heavy Vinyl pressing, at any speed, of any title
  • "This was an excellent outing by the Count Basie Orchestra during its later years."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
88 Basie Street

  (Item #: basie88bas_1904_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This unusually strong copy of an exceptionally well-recorded classic boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • This is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, 88 Basie Street has got it going on
  • With 18 pieces in the studio this is a real powerhouse - the sound is rich, powerful, dynamic and HUGE
  • 4 stars: "One of Basie's final albums, the very appealing title cut seems to sum up his career, a lightly swinging groove with a strong melody. Two small-group performances with guest Joe Pass on guitar add variety to a particularly strong set."
See all of our Count Basie albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Count Basie
Chairman of the Board

  (Item #: basiechair_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An outstanding copy of Chairman Of The Board, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Forget the honky, hard-sounding Roulette originals, and of course the second-rate Classic Records pressing - this reissue is the way to go
  • From first note to last, this copy is big, clear, rich and lively, with huge amounts of space around the band
  • 4 1/2 stars: "This 1958 date for Roulette was a rare chance for the orchestra to perform on its own, and listeners to hear how powerful the band could be when its concentration was undiverted... The record is admittedly heavy on the blues, but it's a brassy, powerful vision of the blues... A dynamic date, it shows the "new testament" edition of Basie's orchestra in top form."
More Count Basie


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Super Hot Stamper

Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie
Ella and Basie!

  (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_1804_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With excellent Double Plus (A++) sound throughout, this was one of the better copies from our most recent shootout
  • It's very difficult to get the vocals AND the brass to sound right on the same LP, but these sides pull that trick off nicely
  • This early Verve stereo pressing plays exceptionally QUIETLY for a vintage Ella disc - Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus on both sides!
  • 4 1/2 Stars: "Surprisingly enough this 1963 LP was the first time (other than a couple songs) that Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie recorded together. The match-up was so logical that it would be repeated many times over the next 20 years."
More Ella Fitzgerald / More Count Basie


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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra
I Remember Tommy

  (Item #: sinatireme_1905_9) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This vintage Reprise pressing offers the critical listener outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it throughout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We were shocked to hear how good the originals can sound on this album, and just as shocked to hear other copies that can actually beat the best of them
  • The richness of these Tubey Magical Reprise pressings makes them the clear choice for the heavy-on-the-brass sonics (if you have the right stampers)
  • 100% of Amazon reviewers rate this one Four Stars or better, with 77% giving the album Five Stars!
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Super Hot Stamper

Yes
Close To The Edge

  (Item #: yes__close_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Two killer earning seriously good Double Plus (A++) grades - these early pressings make sense of this challenging music
  • An incredibly complex recording, with huge organs, light-speed changes and an abundance of multi-tracked parts
  • A recording that will push even the highest quality, most heavily tweaked stereo to its limits - if you can play this record good and loud, you can play anything
  • 5 stars: "Close to the Edge represented the musical, lyrical, and sonic culmination of all that Yes had worked toward over the past five years. In 1972, Close to the Edge was a flawless masterpiece."
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White Hot Stamper

Oliver Nelson's Big Band
Live From Los Angeles

  (Item #: nelsolivef_1810_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • An incredible sounding copy - Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • If you love the swinging sounds of Oliver Nelson's Big Band arrangements behind Jimmy Smith, Frank Sinatra, Monk and others, you can't go wrong here
  • The 1967 stereo sound here is clear, open and highly resolving, yet still rich, warm and smooth
  • "Here's a driving high flying record from start to finish. It's jazz at it's exciting best as Nelson's arranging conducting and zippy sax work lead real quality playing..." - Billboard
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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Indigos

  (Item #: ellinindig_1905) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, this early pressing has the magic of analog in its grooves
  • This Six Eye Stereo Columbia impressed us with its superbly well recorded big band jazz, in the romantic style Ellington had truly mastered
  • A lovely demonstration of just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be - no modern record can hold a candle to a pressing as good as this one
  • If you like your jazz ballads performed with deep feeling, by a road-tested group of virtuoso players, this record is going to be hard to beat
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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra - Duke Ellington
Francis A. & Edward K.

  (Item #: sinatfranc_1708_1904_1908) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • One of the better copies of this top quality recording to hit the site, with superb Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Sinatra is both natural and present - he actually sounds like he is standing on the same stage as Ellington's band
  • Outstanding size and weight with rich, clear brass and good space up top, thanks to Lee Herschberg's engineering skills
  • "... this collaboration between America's most popular singing icon and pre-eminent jazz composer still endures as one of Sinatra's most enjoyable Reprise-era albums."
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Super Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra
Sinatra-Basie

  (Item #: sinatsinatra_basie_1811_1906) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • This beloved Sinatra/Basie collaboration boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from top to bottom
  • Big space, breathy vocals, lovely leading edge transients, and plenty of Tubey Magic make this album a true audiophile treat
  • 4 stars: "The long-awaited first collaboration between two icons did something unique for the reputations of both. For Basie, the Sinatra connection inaugurated a period in the 1960s where his band was more popular and better-known than it ever was, even in the big band era. For Sinatra, Basie meant liberation, producing perhaps the loosest, rhythmically free singing of his career."
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Super Hot Stamper

Tony Bennett & Count Basie
Strike Up The Band

  (Item #: bennestrik_1812_1903) 

Our Price: $74.99

  • You'll find outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound on this Emus pressing of Count Basie and Tony Bennett's 1959 classic collaboration
  • The originals we have played are uniformly horrible sounding compared to these wonderful reissues - the tonality here is Right On The Money
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... the pairing between Bennett and Basie remains impressive. The band raves through tunes like "With Plenty Of Money And You," and Bennett matches them, drawing strength from the bravura arrangements, while band and singer achieve a knowing tenderness on "Growing Pains." This is an album well worth owning..."
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Hot Stamper

Frank Sinatra - Duke Ellington
Francis A. & Edward K.

  (Item #: sinatfranc_1803_1905-) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • This pressing boasts very respectable Hot Stamper sound from first note to last
  • Sinatra is both natural and present - on the best pressings, he actually sounds like he is standing on the same stage as Ellington's band
  • This copy plays on relatively quiet vinyl, Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • "Recorded on Sinatra's birthday in 1967, this collaboration between America's most popular singing icon and pre-eminent jazz composer still endures as one of Sinatra's most enjoyable Reprise-era albums." - Amazon
See all of our Frank Sinatra albums as well as our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Shorty Rogers Big Band
Jazz Waltz

  (Item #: rogerjazzw_1802_1812) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • Killer sound for this fun Big Band music, with Double Plus (A++) grades or BETTER on both sides - open and clear, with solid bass throughout
  • This is swingin' West Coast jazz at its best, and it plays on exceptionally quiet vinyl, a true Mint Minus throughout
  • Engineered by the great Bones Howe, a man who knows Tubey Magic like practically no one else in the world
  • 4 Stars on Allmusic - this Discovery reissue from 1981 positively murders every original we've played
See all of our Shorty Rogers albums in stock


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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 + Eleven - Modern Jazz Classics

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: peppemoder_2015) 



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

On a great copy such as this one, you can really pick out each of the musicians and follow them throughout the course of each song. When you're able to appreciate everyone's contributions, you can really get a better sense of how much work went into making this album. It's nothing short of epic!

This is one DYNAMIC jazz record -- drop the needle on any track and prepare yourself to be very impressed. The sound is full-bodied and energetic with tight bass, breathy brass, and lots of ambience.

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Basie Big Band - Farmers Market Barbecue

First Among Equals, or The Best Pablo Ever?

  (Item #: basiefarme_first) 



Musically FMB is a Top Basie Big Band title in every way. This should not be surprising: many of his recordings for Pablo in the '70s and early '80s display the talents of The Count and his band of veterans at their best.

Sonically it's another story. Based on our recent shootout for this title, in comparison to the other Basie titles we've done lately we would have to say that FMB is the best Basie big band title we've ever played. Since so many Basie big band recordings are so good, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves; after all, we haven't done shootouts for all of his Pablo large group recordings. To be safe we'll just call this one First Among Equals.

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Benny Goodman - Combos

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: goodmcombo_2016) 



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

We've dropped the needle on a number of Goodman vintage mono records over the years but I don't recall ever hearing one sound like this.

On side two listen for the wonderful electric guitar tone, I think on the first track if my notes are correct. Great sound for this era.

By the second track on side two the sound is clear and rich. Turn it up to hear Benny and his crew playing the hell out of this group of tunes.

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Benny Goodman - The Benny Goodman Story

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: goodmbenny_2010) 



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

This is a SUPERB SOUNDING Benny Goodman Mono album from 1955, here reissued with, in some ways, even better sound. Benny Goodman still had it in 1955, and he and his band really punch some life into this music that they had been playing for 20 years. The Capitol engineers really capture the power of his band, with correct tonality throughout. The originals (which are very hard to find) have a little more midrange magic but less punch. Each is good in its own way. This may be a reissue but it's a damn fine one.

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Bob and Ray - Throw a Stereo Spectacular

Our Shootout Winner from 2010

  (Item #: bobanthrow_2010) 



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

It's been nearly two years but the waiting is over -- we've found another copy of the famous Bob and Ray on Living Stereo with DEMONSTRATION QUALITY SOUND! Without a doubt this is the best sound I have ever heard for side one of this album. The sound here is so amazing I'm willing to go out on a limb and make the following recklessly bold statement. Buck Dance on this pressing has the most extended, natural and harmonically correct high frequencies I have ever heard from my speakers (or anyone else's for that matter).

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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

More recordings engineered by Bones Howe


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Cannonball Adderley and His Orchestra - African Waltz

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: adderafric_2018) 



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

This copy of Cannonball's crazy-fun 1961 album offers outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or better. ALIVE with musical energy, there's also plenty of space for the players to occupy, a quality vital to this big group's big sound.

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Charles Mingus - Me Myself an Eye

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: mingumemys_2015) 



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

If you hear something that sounds like Frank Zappa's music circa Waka Jawaka don't be surprised, we heard it too. Mingus and Zappa were both eccentric geniuses so it only makes sense that they arrived at some of the same musical ideas as they evolved as composers.

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Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

Our Shootout Winner from 2008

  (Item #: minguahum_2008) 



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

This Columbia Six Eye pressing is THE BEST COPY OF THIS ALBUM WE’VE EVER HEARD! We were lucky enough to acquire a few clean copies over the last few months, and this was the best sounding of them all. It’s got that tubey magical late-’50s jazz sound: the brass is incredibly full-bodied, the bottom end has real weight, and the overall sound is amazingly rich and warm. Clean early pressings of this album go for big bucks in stores and on eBay these days with no guarantee whatsover of good sound. This one isn’t cheap either but at least you know that it’s going to sound wonderful.

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Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: minguahum_2018) 



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

This freakishly good 360 beat our best 6 Eye Stereo original, not to mention every other pressing in our shootout as well - darn quiet too. Another amazing 30th Street Studio recording by the legendary Fred Plaut - if you like Kind of Blue, here's another album with that sound (same year, same studio, same engineer).

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Charles Mingus - Mingus Revisited

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: mingurevis_2015) 



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

This copy sounds like a big room full of musicians (25 in all!) playing live, which it surely was. The Tubey Magical richness of this 1960 recording is breathtaking - no modern record can touch it. Allmusic gives it 4 stars and we think it's maybe even a better than that.

On both sides the best sound can be heard starting with the second track, but on side one the first track was very spacious and had a fuller sounding piano than practically any other we played.

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Chicago and The Hottest Stampers

Are You a Thrillseeker Too?

  (Item #: chicachica7_thrill) 



When it comes to sound, I'm a Thrillseeker. I want to hear it LOUDER and BETTER, with more ENERGY and EXCITEMENT, and the reason I spent so many hundreds, even thousands, of hours working on my stereo is that that kind of sound doesn't happen by accident. You have to work your ass off to get it. And spend a lot of money. And dig through a lot of dusty record bins buying LPs until you find one that sounds the way you want it to.

I don't play records to drink wine and smoke cigars. I play records to ROCK. Whether the music is rock, jazz or classical, I want to feel the power of the music just as you would feel it at the live event. To me that means big speakers and loud levels. We played Chicago VII as loud as we could...

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Count Basie - Basie Big Band

The Glorious Sound of Triple Flutes

  (Item #: basiebasie_big_band_wtlf) 



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

Check out the triple flutes on the first track on side two - on a copy like this you will hear some shockingly Tubey Magical, breathy, sweet, natural flutes. And there are three of them! Even large classical orchestras rarely have three flutes. The sound is to die for.

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Count Basie - Basie Plays Hefti

Original Versus Reissue

  (Item #: basiebasie_plays_emus) 



The original pressings are the best, right?

Not in our experience. It's (probably) just another Record Myth.

Basie was recording like a madman back in the late '50s and even all through the '60s. In 1958, the year of this release, he put out seven (7!) albums on the Roulette label. We've played quite a number of them over the years and found relatively few with audiophile quality sound.

Including the original Roulette pressing of this very title. We've only heard a few, and had only one for our shootout, but it was awful enough to make us swear off buying more, especially considering the prices vintage jazz albums are going for these days.

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Count Basie - Basie Plays Hefti

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: basiebaise_plays_2015) 



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

This is the followup to the smash Basie album The Atomic Mr. Basie, an album we would love to make available if we could ever find a clean, good sounding copy to play.

Side one is rich, tubey and lively, right up there with some of the best pressings we played.

Side two tends to start out a bit hot but by the second track it's fuller, smoother, and every bit as dynamic as anything on the album. The sound just keeps getting better from there, with the next track coming across especially big and clear.

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Count Basie - I Told You So

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: basieitold_2012) 



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

This is a Superb Basie Big Band title in every way -- musically, sonically, you name it, this album has got it going on! With 18 pieces in the studio, "I Told You So" can be a real powerhouse -- if you have the right copy, and this side one, with SUPER HOT Stamper sound, shows you just how lively, fun and dynamic this music can sound.

This is the way it must have sounded in 1976, in the New York studios where it was recorded, with legendary RCA engineer BOB SIMPSON behind the board.

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Dick Schory - The Happy Hits

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: schorhappy_2013) 


Side One - A++. This side is full and rich yet clear. Listen to that crazy banjo on track two; that's not an easy instrument to get to sound right, but the RCA engineers pull it off. The brass is a bit "hot" at times so we took off one plus. For all we know this is as good as it gets.

Side Two - A++, not quite as warm as side one, but more lively and really jumpin'. The last track is truly Demo Disc quality. The bottom and top are extended and the sound is rich in the best possible sense of the word. Superb sound and plenty of fun, wacky music!

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Duke Ellington & Count Basie - The Count Meets the Duke

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: ellinfirst_2018) 



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

Huge amounts of three-dimensional space and ambience, and rich Tubey Magic by the boatload - this 30th Street recording shows just how good Columbia's engineers were back then. Quiet throughout - good luck finding a Six Eye Stereo pressing this nice on your own, they sure don't grow on trees.

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Duke Ellington - Duke's Big 4

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: ellindukes_2016) 



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

I don't know of any other Pablo recording of the Duke from this era that has such big, open, clear, solid sound. VAL VALENTIN did the engineering, and as he has so often over the course of his storied career, he knocked it out of the park.

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Duke Ellington - Ellington Indigos

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: ellinindig_2018) 



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

This 6-Eye Stereo pressing blew us away with its superbly well recorded romantic big band jazz, of which Ellington was a master. Both sides of this pressing are huge, rich, tubey and clear. This is absolutely the right sound for this music. A near-perfect demonstration of just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be - no modern record can hold a candle to a pressing as good as this one. If you like your jazz ballads performed with deep feeling, by a road-tested group of virtuoso players, this record is for you.

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Duke Ellington - Interpretations of Peer Gynt & more

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: ellinselec_2014) 



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

One of Ellington's most enjoyable classic collaborations with Billy Strayhorn.

A++, huge, so big it really fills the room from wall to wall, floor to ceiling. Not many records can do that. Clear and hi-rez. It could use more richness -- that alone would earn it another plus.

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Duke Ellington - Masterpieces By Ellington

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: ellinmaste_2018) 



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

We've known about this wonderful album for decades, since first got hold of a red label copy from the '70s. Although not in the league with the best 6 eye pressings, even that late reissue had enough Columbia magic left in its grooves to impress the hell out of me.

And the fact that a jazz album recorded in 1950 was still in print more than twenty years later is testament to the lasting power of Ellington's music. As Kenny Burrell would say, "Ellington Is Forever."

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Duke Ellington - Newport Jazz Festival 1958

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: ellinnewpo_2011) 



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

If you are a fan, this record will be a thrill. If you’re unfamiliar with the Duke's music, I can't imagine a better introduction than this.

This LP also includes Gerry Mulligan's only performance with the Ellington band. Paul Gonsalves's saxophone performance is superb and worth the price of the album alone. The clarinet parts on Princess Blue are out of this world -- Ellington at his best!

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Duke Ellington - The Ellington Suites

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: ellinellin_2013) 



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

  • An A++ side one, an A+++ side two and quiet vinyl throughout make this copy an Ellington LP that is sure to impress! Side one of this album features a piece called "The Queen's Suite" that was recorded in 1959. On this A++ side, you get stunningly Tubey Magical late '50s jazz sound -- something that's almost impossible to come by on any recording made after that.

    1976 Grammy Award Winner for Best Jazz Performance by a Big Band.

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  • Duke Ellington - The Nutcracker Suite

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: ellinnutcr_2015) 



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

    This Columbia Six-Eye Stereo pressing has an A+++ side one backed by a very good side two! This is a WONDERFUL album featuring Duke and his orchestra doing a jazzy interpretation of the famous Nutcracker Suite, and on a copy like this the sound is SUPERB! We pulled together enough copies to have a big shootout for this album and this copy took home top honors for side one.

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    Duke Ellington - Up In Duke's Workshop

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: ellinupind_2017) 



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

    The notes for this shootout winning side one read: "lively, big, present, with great bass" and that's the way we like our Big Band to sound!

    The first track on side two is not quite up to the standard set by some of the other pieces here but by track two or three all is well sound-wise.

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    Duke Ellington - Yale Concert

    Our Shootout Winner from 2018

      (Item #: ellinyalec_2018) 



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

    There is some interesting mic placement going on with this recording. Some of the instruments seem to be off-mic, creating an unusual effect that has its charms.

    Only one song was actually recorded live, Boola Boola. The rest of the material was taped in the studio and an audience dubbed in.

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    Edmundo Ros - Latin Hits I Missed

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: ros__latin_2011) 



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

    It's unfortunate that Edmundo Ros and his orchestra command so little respect these days from the general record buying public. As for audiophiles, it's doubtful that many even know who he or they is/are. We at Better Records are doing our best to change all that, continuing with this, the second Ros title we've managed to find with amazing sound and music since the first one went up in 2013. It's one of the liveliest, best sounding Phase 4 titles we have heard in quite a while. Stampers simply do not get much hotter than these.

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    Edmundo Ros - New Rhythms of the South

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: ros__rhyth_2015) 



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

    It's unfortunate that Edmundo Ros and his orchestra command so little respect these days from the general record buying public. As for audiophiles, it's doubtful that many even know who he or they is/are. We at Better Records are doing our best to change all that, continuing with this, the second Ros title we've managed to find with amazing sound and music since the first one went up in 2013. It's one of the liveliest, best sounding Phase 4 titles we have heard in quite a while. Stampers simply do not get much hotter than these.


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    Edmundo Ros - Ros On Broadway

    Our Shootout Winner from 2009

      (Item #: ros__onbro_2009) 



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

    Edmundo Ros and his orchestra don't command much respect these days from the general record buying public. As for audiophiles, it's doubtful that many even know who he or they is/are. But we at Better Records are going to change that, starting with this very record, because it's one of the best sounding records we have ever heard. Stampers just do not get any HOTTER than these!

    From the perspective of a level playing field, I cannot think of a single rock record that sounds as BIG and DYNAMIC, nor one that is as spacious and clear, as is the side two of this London Blueback. As good as the best German pressings of Dark Side of the Moon may be, shockingly good in fact, this recording is clearly more exciting and lifelike, with instrumental timbres that are uncannily accurate.


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    Ella & Basie - Ella and Basie!

    Our Shootout Winner from 2018

      (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_2018) 



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

    Take it from an Ella fan, you can't go wrong with this one. On the best pressings, the sound is rich and full-bodied in the best tradition of a classic vintage jazz vocal album with big band backup. You could easily demonstrate your stereo with a good copy, but what you would really be demonstrating is music that the listener probably isn't familiar with, and that's the best reason to put on an old record.

    More Ella Fitzgerald / More Count Basie


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    Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie - Ella and Basie!

    Reviewed in 2004

      (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_2004) 



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

    This early British import KILLS the Speakers Corner 180 gram reissue! I still like their version but this is what it should have sounded like: tonally much fuller and richer. The 180 gram copy suffers from the standard reissue MO -- brighter is not necessarily better, and definitely not when you have a big band and a vocalist, as is the case here. I've never heard this album sound better and I doubt that it really can sound much better than this. This copy makes me want to turn it up as loud as the stereo will go and let those wonderful Quincy Jones arrangements come to life!

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    Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie - Ella and Basie!

    Speakers Corner Debunked

      (Item #: fitzgella_and_basie_speakers_corner) 



    Sonic Grade: D

    A weak outing from Speakers Corner and a Hall of Shame pressing.

    Their 180 gram copy suffers from the standard reissue MO -- brighter is not necessarily better, and definitely not when you have a big band and a vocalist, as is the case here.

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    Frank Sinatra - Duke Ellington - Francis A. & Edward K.

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: sinatfranc_wtlf) 



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

    Notice that, at least for most of the material, and perhaps all of it, Sinatra does not seem to be stuck in a vocal booth. He sounds like he is actually standing on the same stage as Ellington's band.

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    Frank Sinatra - I Remember Tommy

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: sinatireme_2017) 



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

    You'll find relaxed, rich, natural big band reproduction on this copy, with the trombones and woodwinds sounding especially good. Those of you who have a good selection of recordings from this era will recognize the glorious sound of vintage tubes, a sound that has been lost to the world for decades now, but one that is in full flower on this very record.

    Frank is of course in top form and his voice on this album sounds about as good as it does on any recording you can find on our site.

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    Frank Sinatra - My Kind of Broadway

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: sinatmykin_2016) 



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

    Sinatra set very high standards for his repertoire, his musicians, his arrangements and most of all, his performances. I find no evidence to support the contention that any of the above are lackluster or second-rate on My Kind of Broadway.

    If you have any doubts, go to youtube, pull up the album and take a listen to some of the tracks. We can't find a bad one and we would be surprised if you could either. There are lots of great ones in fact.

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    Frank Sinatra - Sinatra and Swingin' Brass

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: sinatswingin_brass_2012) 



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

    This nearly White Hot side two showed us just how good sounding this original Tri-Color Reprise original pressing could sound. Don't get me wrong; they have their share of problems, but the better copies are as musical and enjoyable as many of the best Capitol releases from Sinatra's prime period. (Most of which sound dreadful by the way, due to Capitol's awful mastering. Just play an early Beatles album to hear what I'm talking about.)

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    Frank Sinatra - Sinatra and Swingin' Brass

    Skip the Mono

      (Item #: sinatswingin_brass_mono) 



    Sonic Grade: F

    A great sounding record in stereo, potentially anyway, but in mono the bad sound puts it firmly in our Hall of Shame.

    Stick with stereo; the mono pressings aren't worth anybody's time (scratch that: any audiophile's time).

    A public service from the record loving audiophiles here at Better Records.

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    Frank Sinatra - Swing Aong with Me

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: sinatswing_along_2014) 



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

    Of the five records Sinatra released in 1961 (Sinatra's Swingin' Session!!!; Come Swing with Me!; Ring-a-Ding-Ding!; Swing Along with Me; and I Remember Tommy), this is clearly one of our favorites. (And by the way, what's with all the exclamation marks?)

    BILLY MAY deserves much of the credit for the "swing" that's all over the album. His band is jumpin', and on the best pressings -- such as this one -- the sound manages to convey that energy with virtually none of the grit and hardness you hear on so many of Sinatra's other albums.

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    Frank Sinatra / Duke Ellington - Francis A. & Edward K.

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: sinatfranc_2014) 



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

    An amazing pressing of a superb recording, this White Hot Stamper really gets this music right!

    Recorded one year after the remarkable Sinatra-Jobim record that we treasure here at Better Records, Sinatra takes the opportunity to work with one of the greatest bandleaders in the history of jazz, the Duke himself.

    More Frank Sinatra / More Duke Ellington


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    Frank Sinatra and Count Basie - Sinatra At The Sands

    Mobile Fidelity Reviewed

      (Item #: sinatatthe_mobile_fidelity) 



    Sonic Grade: B

    Another MoFi LP reviewed.

    It's pretty good. Compressed and veiled, but the tonality is correct. I give it a B. It will beat the vast majority of reissues, which tend to be thin, gritty, and woefully lacking in Tubey Magic. And the vinyl will be quiet, which is something not many of the best pressings can offer.

    But who wants to listen to a B grade record when we you can buy A and A+ pressings from us?

    More Sinatra at the Sands


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    Frank Sinatra and Count Basie - Sinatra At The Sands

    Our Shootout Winner from 2013

      (Item #: sinatatthe_2013) 



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

    This double album presents Sinatra and Basie at the height of their powers, in a setting especially conducive to both men's music, the big room at the Sands Hotel in Vegas. If you missed it -- and I'm sure most all of us did -- here's your chance to go back in time and be seated with the beautiful people, front row center. This two disc all tube-mastered analog set is practically the only way you'll ever be able to hear the greatest vocalist of his generation -- in his prime no less -- performing with one of the swingingest big bands of the time.

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    Frank Sinatra and Count Basie - Sinatra At The Sands

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: sinatatthe_wtlf) 



    There is some edge on Sinatra's voice on every side of every copy; it's so common it's got to be on the tape. Those copies with less edge and grit on the vocals which are not overly smooth or dull tend to do very well in our shootouts.

    Also, richness is very important. We look for a combination of rich, Tubey Magical sound that still maintains a fair amount of space, clarity, transparency and freedom from smear.

    The original label pressings (always in stereo; the monos are really a joke) are richer and thicker as a rule.

    The pressings with the orange two-tone labels tend to be thinner and clearer. A high percentage of them are much too modern sounding, bright and gritty, and when they are we throw them right in the trade-in pile.

    More Sinatra at the Sands


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    Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo

    Our Shootout Winner from 2015

      (Item #: zappagrand_2015) 



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

    The Tubey Magic found on the title cut is really something to hear. The Grand Wazoo now gets my vote as the best sounding record Zappa ever made (along with Absolutely Free).

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    Frank Zappa - The Grand Wazoo

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: zappagrand_wtlf) 



    The Tubey Magical keyboards at the start of The Grand Wazoo are amazing sounding on the best copies. How Zappa ever decided to go digital when he managed to record so well in analog (from time to time, let's be honest) is beyond me.

    Problems?

    Smear on the horn transients are always an issue on this album (and Zappa's previous big band album, Waka/Jawaka). After that we would say a lack of top end is the other most common shortcoming we hear. To find a copy that's not dull and smeary is no mean feat.

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka

    Our Shootout Winner from 2014

      (Item #: zappawakaj_2014) 



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

    What an incredible album. I know of no other music like it in the world. It's not big band, it's not rock, it's not jazz, it's a unique amalgamation of all three with an overlay of some of Zappa's idiosyncratic compositional predilections (say that three times fast) thrown in for good measure.

    In our opinion it's nothing less than Zappa's MASTERPIECE, the summation of his talents, and a record that belongs in every right-thinking audiophile's collection. (We say that about a lot of records audiophiles don't know well, but we've been doing it for most of our 27 years in this business and don't see much reason to stop now.)

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    Frank Zappa - Waka/Jawaka

    What to Listen For

      (Item #: zappawakaj_wtlf) 



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

    Not long ago we discovered the secret to separating the men from the boys on side one: TRANSPARENCY.

    On the lively, punchy, dynamic copies -- which are of course the best ones -- you can follow the drumming at the beginning of 'Big Swifty' note for note: every beat, every kick of the kick drum, every fill, every roll.

    More Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention


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    Freddie Hubbard - The Body and Soul of Freddie Hubbard

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: hubbabodya_2017) 



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

    The bluesy version of Willow Weep For Me on side one is WONDERFUL. The rich, full-bodied sax sound is Right On The Money. The overall sound is totally transparent with superb clarity. Scrapple From The Apple (also on side one) has a silky top end anchored with deep, well-defined bass.

    We had good success with both '60s originals and later copies pressed in the '70s.

    More Freddie Hubbard


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    Gene Harris Big Band - Tribute to Count Basie

    A Concord Record that Isn't Mediocre (!)

      (Item #: harritribu_indepth) 



    Since when did Concord learn to make a record that sounds as good as this one, with inspired, energetic performances from this solid group of veterans of the jazz wars no less.

    Where is the typical Concord sub-gen, opaque, closed-in, compressed and lifeless sound we've been hearing all our lives? This is one jazz label that has done almost nothing of any real interest from the very start, and yet somehow they not only managed to get Gene Harris and his band of All Stars to play with tremendous enthusiasm and skill, they actually managed to capture, with considerable fidelity I might add, the prodigious big band energy they produced onto a reel of analog tape. I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't heard it with my own two ears.

    More Count Basie


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    Gerry Mulligan - The Concert Jazz Band

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: mulliconce_2016) 



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

    If you've never heard a good All Tube Recording of the baritone sax, buy this record -- it will blow your mind!

    Huge amounts of ambience fill out the space the extends from wall to wall (and all the way to the back wall of the studio), leaving plenty of room around each of the players.

    More Gerry Mulligan


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    Gil Evans Orchestra - Out Of The Cool

    Our Shootout Winner from 2011

      (Item #: evansoutof_2011) 



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

    This is an incredibly well-recorded big band jazz album from 1961 with excellent music, and a Hot Stamper pressing like this one gives you WONDERFUL SOUND. We've been collecting these for ages trying to get this shootout going, but it's difficult to find copies that sound like this. We went through a ton of expensive copies and only found a few that were fit to list on the site. This one fared very well, earning an A++ for side one and an A+ on side two.

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    Glenn Miller Orchestra - The Direct Disc Sound of...

    Our Shootout Winner from 2010

      (Item #: milledirec_2010) 



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

    One of the all time GREAT Direct to Disc recordings. For sound and music this one is hard to beat. And the vinyl is as quiet as any you will find.

    We went a bit overboard years ago when we wrote, "I don't think you can find a better sounding big band record on the planet." Well, we've heard plenty of amazing big band albums in the course of our Hot Stamper shootouts for the last five or ten years, albums by the likes of Basie, Zoot Sims, Ellington, Shorty Rogers, Ted Heath and others.

    More Big Band Jazz


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    Grover Washington - Feels So Good

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: washifeels_2016) 



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

    Top A+++ sound on side one and Double Plus on side two - who knew this was such a well recorded album? So much like live music -- uncompressed, present, full of energy, with the instruments clearly located and surrounded by the natural space of the studio. An RVG recording (and mastering) from 1975 that is a KNOCKOUT on a copy like this.

    See all of our Grover Washington albums in stock


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