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White Hot Stamper

Cannonball Adderley
Jump For Joy

  (Item #: adderjumpf_1910) 

Our Price: $399.99

  • An incredible sounding copy - this early stereo pressing boasts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • We were knocked out by the Tubey Magical midrange of this killer original, with all the saxophone's breath and bite you would expect to hear on an All Tube affair from 1958
  • This is precisely what is sure to be missing from whatever reissue has been made from the tapes (or, to be clear, a modern digital master copied from who-knows-what-tapes)
  • "Jump for Joy is Adderley's reinterpretation of a Duke Ellington stage musical from 1941... Hearing Adderley's often thrilling, always well-constructed alto sax improvisations over tunes like "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" is reason enough for the album to exist..."
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Cannonball Adderley - Bill Evans - Know What I Mean?

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: adderknoww_2015) 



A distinguished member of the Jazz Hall of Fame.

One of our favorite Cannonball Adderley albums here at Better Records, and the sound is killer on this copy. Both sides are Tubey Magical, rich, open, spacious and tonally correct. We've never heard the record sound better, and that's coming from someone who's been playing the album since the '80s when it was first reissued in its current form.

These guys are playing live in the studio and you can really feel their living, breathing presence on every track -- assuming you have a copy that sounds like this one.

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Chet Baker - Chet

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: bakerchet_2017) 



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

Chet is one of the best sounding Chet Baker records we've ever played, although that's not saying much because finding good Chet Baker records is like finding hen's teeth these days. The albums he did for Pacific Jazz in the '50s can be wonderful but few have survived in audiophile playing condition. The Mariachi Brass albums are as awful as everyone says -- we know, we've played them too. The album he recorded for CTI in 1974, She Was Too Good To M, is excellent and will be coming to the site again soon I hope.

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Super Hot Stamper

Chet Baker
Plays The Best Of Lerner And Loewe

  (Item #: bakerplays_1901_1906) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish, this was one of the better copies we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big, rich, smooth, open, natural, with plenty of tight bass - what's not to like? This copy is killin' it
  • Some of the best jazz guys of the day back up Chet on this one: Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams, Bill Evans, Herbie Mann and more
  • "...the timelessness of the melodies, coupled with the assembled backing aggregate, make Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe (1959) a memorable concept album."
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White Hot Stamper

Chet Baker
Plays The Best Of Lerner And Loewe

  (Item #: bakerplays_1910) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • With incredible Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish, this was the best copy we played in our recent shootout - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Big, rich, smooth, open, natural, with plenty of tight bass - what's not to like? This copy is killin' it
  • Some of the best jazz guys of the day back up Chet on this one: Zoot Sims, Pepper Adams, Bill Evans, Herbie Mann and more
  • "...the timelessness of the melodies, coupled with the assembled backing aggregate, make Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner and Loewe (1959) a memorable concept album."
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Chet Baker - Plays The Best Of Lerner And Loewe

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: bakerplays_2017) 



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

This is a wonderful Chet Baker record that doesn't seem to be getting the respect it deserves in the wider jazz world. You may just like it every bit as much as the Chet album, and that is one helluva record to compare any album to, in our estimation about as good as it gets in most respects.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bennett & Evans
The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

  (Item #: benneevans_1905_1908) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • An excellent original pressing of this classic collaboration. boasting outstanding Double Plus (A++) grades on both sides
  • When heard on our better Hot Stamper pressings (like this one), the album clearly ranks near the top of the Greatest Male Vocal Recordings of All Time
  • Waltz for Debby is the best thing here. Want to hear the Bennett-Evans Magic? Go right to that track
  • 4 1/2 stars: "... one of the best albums of either's career... an excellent jazz-pop hybrid in which both musicians were shown off to advantage."
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The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

The Best Male Vocal Recording of the Era

  (Item #: benneevans_1975) 



This album, when heard on the best Hot Stamper pressings, ranks right up at the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Recordings from any era. Bennett’s voice sounds wonderfully rich, BREATHY, and above all REAL.

For a Popular/Jazz Vocal album produced in 1975, or, to be honest, the entire decade of the Seventies, we can think of no other that's its sonic equal.

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Bennett & Evans - The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

Our Shootout Winner from 2011

  (Item #: benneevans_2011) 



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

I would have to say that this album, when heard on the best Hot Stamper pressings, would rank up at the top of the All Time Great Male Vocal Recordings. If you like sophisticated vocal jazz I don’t think you can do much better than this record, especially when it sounds like this. Tony Bennett’s voice sounds wonderfully rich, BREATHY, and above all REAL.

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Bennett & Evans - The Tony Bennett / Bill Evans Album

MoFi Debunked

  (Item #: benneevans_mofi) 



Sonic Grade: F

A Hall of Shame pressing and another MoFi LP debunked.

That weird boost around 10k that Stan Ricker liked to add to practically every record he mastered wreaks havoc on the sound of Tony Bennett's voice. I would be very surprised if the current in-print CD doesn't sound more tonally natural, and for us audiophile record lovers - not lovers of audiophile records, but guys who love records with audiophile sound - that's simply another nail in the coffin for one of the most laughably inept remastering labels in the history of that sad enterprise.

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Super Hot Stamper

Ornette Coleman
Something Else!

  (Item #: colemsomet_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $59.99

  • With two seriously good Double Plus (A++) sides, this copy was one of the best we played in our recent shootout
  • With its presence, clarity, space and timbral accuracy, this is sure to be one of the best sounding jazz records you've heard
  • Not quite as 'out there' as some others - those of you with a taste for adventurous jazz will still find much to love
  • 4 1/2 stars:"... the most important thing about Something Else! was that, in its angular, almost totally oppositional way, it swung and still does; like a finger-poppin' daddy on a Saturday night, this record swings from the rafters of the human heart with the most unusually gifted, emotional, and lyrical line since Bill Evans first hit the scene."
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Ornette Coleman - Something Else!!!!

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: colemsomet_2018) 



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

For us audiophiles the sound is shockingly good. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1958 All Tube Analog sound can be, this killer copy will do the trick.

It's not quite as 'out there' as some of his better known material, but those of you with a taste for adventurous jazz will still find much to love here.

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John Coltrane - John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: coltrjohnc_2016) 



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

An outstanding copy of this classic Jazz Vocal album, with superb sound throughout. The sound is huge and spacious with richness and Tubey Magic like nothing you've heard. I defy you to find a Male Vocal record produced in the last thirty years that can hold a candle to this one sonically or musically. A wonderful collaboration between a horn player and a singer, perhaps the greatest of all time.

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Miles Davis - Basic Miles

Our Shootout Winner from 2018

  (Item #: davisbasic_2018) 



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

We award this copy's side two our very special Four Plus A++++ grade, which is strictly limited to pressings (really, individual sides of pressings) that take a recording to a level never experienced by us before, a level we had no idea even existed.

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White Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_1908_11) 

Our Price: $649.99

  • A Shootout Winning copy with KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it - fairly quiet vinyl too
  • The embodiment of the big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound Fred Plaut was justly famous for
  • Space, clarity, transparency, and in-the-room immediacy are some of the qualities to be found on this pressing - it's guaranteed to beat any copy you've ever heard
  • 5 stars: "KOB isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence."
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Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_1910) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • You'll find very good Hot Stamper grades on both sides of this 1959 classic by the great Miles Davis
  • KOB is the purest embodiment of the big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound Fred Plaut was justly famous for
  • Clarity and transparency, correct tonality, and in-the-room immediacy are a few of the many qualities to be found on the better copies we offer
  • 5 stars: "Kind of Blue isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence."
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Super Hot Stamper

Miles Davis
Kind of Blue

  (Item #: daviskindo_1911) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • An outstanding pressing with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - reasonably quiet vinyl (for this album anyway)
  • The pure embodiment of the big-as-life, spacious and timbrally accurate 30th Street Studio Sound Fred Plaut was justly famous for
  • Space, clarity, transparency, and in-the-room immediacy are some of the qualities to be found on this pressing - it's guaranteed to beat any copy you've ever heard
  • 5 stars: "KOB isn't merely an artistic highlight for Miles Davis, it's an album that towers above its peers, a record generally considered as the definitive jazz album, a universally acknowledged standard of excellence."
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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Our First KOB Hot Stamper - June 2005

  (Item #: daviskindo_2005) 



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

This Columbia Red Label LP has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND!

Call me crazy, but I DON’T THINK YOU CAN CUT A BETTER SOUNDING KIND OF BLUE THAN THIS ONE!

I’m fully aware of how outrageous a statement that is, considering the fact that this is a '70s Red Label reissue. But I've long known of amazing sounding Kind Of Blue reissues.

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Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

Our A++++ Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: daviskindo_2013) 



This Shootout Champion and Hall Of Fame pressing has TWO AMAZING SIDES. Side one was so mindblowingly good that we awarded it our extra-special Four Plus (A++++) rating, and side two was almost as good, earning our standard top grade of A+++! This is one of the very best copies we've ever heard, and we have literally played more than a HUNDRED copies of this album over just the last five years.
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Bill Evans & Toots Thielemans - Affinity

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: evansaffin_2016) 



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

This is a unique jazz album (in my experience, anyway) with very good sound. Piano with harmonica accompaniment is something I’ve never heard before, and most of the time it actually works. Both of these guys are top flight musicians, and their ability to communicate in order to create this wonderful improvisational jazz is a joy to experience.

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Bill Evans - At Town Hall, Vol. 1

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: evansattow_2013) 



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

STUNNING SOUND ON SIDE ONE! It is insanely difficult to find great sounding Bill Evans records, which is why you almost never see any of his albums up on our side. This copy has a side one that is nothing short of Demo Quality. It's one of the better sounding sides of Piano Trio music we'll find this year (along of course with the killer copies of The Three that hit the site). The best music on this album is found on the first side, so this is a very special pressing to say the least.

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Bill Evans - Everybody Digs Bill Evans

Our Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: evansevery_2017) 



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

Everybody Digs Bill Evans is one of the better sounding Bill Evans records we've played lately. Both sides are Tubey Magical, rich, open, spacious and tonally correct.

These three guys -- Sam Jones is on the bass and Philly Joe Jones on the drums -- are playing live in the studio and you can really feel their presence on every track -- assuming you have a copy that sounds like this one.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
I Will Say Goodbye

  (Item #: evansiwill_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Bill Evans' 1980 release makes its Hot Stamper debut with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last
  • These sides are doing just about everything right -- big, full-bodied, lively and dynamic with tight punchy bass
  • Rich, smooth, sweet, and wonderfully natural, this is the sound that impresses us here at Better Records
  • 4 stars: "For his final Fantasy album, Evans, bassist Eddie Gómez, and drummer Eliot Zigmund perform memorable renditions of such songs as Herbie Hancock's "Dolphin Dance"... Fine post-bop music from an influential piano giant.
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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
Montreux II

  (Item #: evansmontr_1810_1903_1908) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This epic live jazz recording finally returns to the site with two excellent Double Plus (A++) sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • A killer pressing, with a very strong bottom end, lovely richness and warmth, real space and separation between the instruments and wonderful immediacy throughout
  • Recorded at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, this 1970 release showcases Evans stylings alongside the brilliant talents of Eddie Gomez and Marty Morell
  • "Bill Evans' second recording at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1970 was a highly anticipated concert, finding the pianist in peak form, accompanied by bassist Eddie Gómez and drummer Marty Morell. "
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Bill Evans - Montreux II

Our Shootout Winner from 2014

  (Item #: evansmontr_2014) 



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

This vintage CTI pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing any sign of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the audience at the live show, this is the record for you. It's what Live Jazz Recordings are known for -- this sound.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
At The Montreux Jazz Festival

  (Item #: evansmontr_festival_1903_6_11) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $129.00 (You save $20.99 / 14%)


  • Evan's Classic Live album from the Montreux Jazz Festival returns to the site with outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last
  • A killer Verve stereo pressing, with lovely richness and warmth, real space and wonderful immediacy throughout
  • Recorded live in 1968, this superb release pairs Evans' unique piano improvisations with bandmates Eddie Gomez and Jack DeJohnette
  • 4 stars: "Evans, famous for a soft-spoken pianistic touch, seems driven to new vistas on this album. He experiments more with harmonic dissonance and striking rhythmical contrasts, making this his most extroverted playing since his freshman release, New Jazz Conceptions."
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Bill Evans - Moon Beams

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: evansmoonb_2016) 



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

Moon Beams is one of the best sounding Bill Evans records we've ever played. You can see why we chose it to be the first OJC Hot Stamper of his to hit the site back in 2015. Play It Might As Well Be Spring for the kind of sublime musical experience you only find on 20th century analog.

Both sides are Tubey Magical, rich, open, spacious and tonally correct. We've never heard the record sound better, and that's coming from someone who's been playing Bill Evans' albums since the '80s when they were first reissued in their current form.

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Bill Evans - Moon Beams

OJC versus Riverside

  (Item #: evansmoonb_wtlf) 



The original Riverside pressings are the best, right?

Not in our experience. We think that's just another Record Myth.

Some of you may have discovered that the original Bill Evans records on Riverside are mostly awful sounding -- I can't recall ever hearing a good one -- so we are not the least bit worried that this OJC won't beat the pants off of the original, as well as any other reissue you may have, and even the new Analogue Productions 45.

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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
The Paris Concert: Edition One

  (Item #: evansparis1_1910) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An outstanding copy of this live album, with solid Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last - reasonably quiet vinyl for this kind of quiet piano music
  • These sides are doing pretty much everything right - as befits a live concert, there's an overall unprocessed quality to the sound and good space around all three players
  • 4 1/2 stars: "With bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joe La Barbera, Evans had one of the strongest trios of his career... The close communication between the players is reminiscent of Evans' 1961 unit with Scott LaFaro and Paul Motian."
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Super Hot Stamper

Bill Evans
Quintessence

  (Item #: evansquint_1910_1) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • Outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound can be found on both sides of this wonderful Bill Evans album - a Better Records favorite
  • Evans is joined here by an all-star lineup of Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, Ray Brown and the great Philly Joe Jones
  • Sonic highlights include a breathy, full sax; a big, solid piano; well-defined acoustic bass; and guitar tone that's tubey and warm
  • "Most of pianist Bill Evans' recordings were in a trio format, making this quintet date a nice change of pace... the results are quite tasteful and explorative in a subtle way."
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Bill Evans - Quintessence

Our Shootout Winner from 2012

  (Item #: evansquint_2012) 



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

STUNNING SOUND THROUGHOUT -- this is one of the best sounding Bill Evans records we've ever heard! Side one here earned our top A+++ grade while side two earned a very strong A++. Both sides are super rich and full-bodied with lots of energy and considerable dynamic power. There aren't too many '70s jazz records that sound like this!

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Bill Evans - Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: evanssunda_2016) 



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

Huge space; clear, highly resolving cymbal harmonics that extend all the way into space; lively energy; bass that's deep and note-like -- I just don't know how you can make this live piano trio music sound any better than it does here!

The best sounding Bill Evans record we have ever played? Probably. It's safe to say that at the very least it's as good as any we've critically evaluated on our current system.

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Bill Evans - Village Vanguard Sessions

Live and Learn

  (Item #: evansvilla_wrong) 



A classic case of Live and Learn. Many years ago we had played copies of the record and thought the sound was fine, shootout material in fact. Flash forward to 2015 or 2016. Now it sounds thin, flat and opaque. Worse, it's actually in MONO.

A stereo recording reissued in mono for no apparent reason? What were they smoking over there at Milestone?

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Bill Evans - You Must Believe In Spring

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: evansyoumu_2013) 



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

A superb side one backed with a very good side two, both on quiet vinyl! This relaxed piano jazz album has been one of our preferred Bill Evans releases around here, not in small part because the best copies can sound wonderful like this. The typical copy of this album lacks the energy and drive to keep the music from getting sleepy, but this side one does everything we could ask for -- it's very dynamic and full-bodied, there's real weight to the piano, and the overall sound is natural and warm. We gave it an A+++.

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Michel Legrand - Legrand Jazz

Our Stereo Shootout Winner from 2017

  (Item #: legralegra_2017) 



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

This album is more common in mono than stereo, but we found the sound of the mono pressing we played seriously wanting. It's dramatically smaller and more squawky and crude than even the worst of the stereo pressings we played.

We had a copy we liked years ago but that was years ago. We don't have that copy anymore and we don't have a stereo that sounds the way our old one did either. Here are some other records that we don't think sound very good in MONO.

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Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Our Shootout Winner from 2016

  (Item #: nelsoblues_2016) 



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

Oliver Nelson's masterpiece debuts at Better Records with at least White Hot Stamper sound on both sides. Side one was so HUGE and Tubey Magical we called it at least White Hot - it's out of this world. If all you know is the Van Gelder original cutting, you will surely have your mind blown by this Hot Stamper LP.

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Oliver Nelson - The Blues and the Abstract Truth

Mastering Better Than The Master

  (Item #: nelsoblues_rvg) 



Another in our ongoing series of Random Thoughts concerning the sound of old records.

For those of you who are still holding on to the idea that the original pressings are better, our Hot Stamper LPs may come as quite a surprise. Yes, we can all agree that Rudy Van Gelder recorded it, brilliantly as a matter of fact. Shouldn't he be the most natural choice to transfer the tape to disc, knowing, as we must assume he does, exactly what needs fixing and what needs to be left alone?

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Boz Scaggs - Silk Degrees

CBS Half-Speed Debunked

  (Item #: scaggsilkd_debunk) 



Sonic Grade: D

A Hall of Shame pressing and another Half-Speed Mastered Audiophile Pressing Hall of Shame.

Ran across this listing from all the way back in 2005. It takes shots at Badly Half-Speed Mastered records like this awful CBS audiophile pressing of Silk Degrees, as well as the audiophiles who complained about plain old domestic pressings at the time. I should know; I was one of them. Ouch.

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Super Hot Stamper

The Three Sounds
Coldwater Flat

  (Item #: threecoldw_1903_1906) 

Our Price: $69.99

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

Our Shootout Winner from 2013

  (Item #: tynerexpan_2013) 



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

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

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

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The Who - Tommy

The Making of the Album

  (Item #: who__tommy_depth) 



DEAF, DUMB AND BLIND BOY

Liner Notes for the Remix by Richard Barnes

In 1966, three years before the original release of this album, Pete Townshend played a tape of a spoof song called 'Gratis Amatis' to Who manager Kit Lambert. The 10-minute aria consisted of high-pitched Goon Show voices singing 'Gratis Amatis' over and over for what seemed like an hour. As they fell about laughing, a friend said, "It's a rock opera", which caused more laughter. Suddenly Lambert stopped laughing and looked thoughtful. "Now there's an idea," he said.

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Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio - Blues to East

Reviewed in 2015

  (Item #: yamamblues_2015) 



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

On this album there's almost none of that "introspective noodling jazz" that the Japanese are infamous for. I love Midnight Sugar as much as the next guy, but too much of that kind of music is wearying.

Yamamoto's Trio wants to show that it can play good old fashioned straight ahead American piano jazz with the best of them. I hear echoes of Bill Evans in Yamamoto's playing. Supposedly he was a big Errol Garner fan as well.

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