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White Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Piano In The Background

  (Item #: ellinpiano_1902) 

Our Price: $349.99

  • Piano In The Background makes its Hot Stamper debut with killer Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound from start to finish
  • 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."
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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White Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
At the Bal Masque

  (Item #: ellinbalma_1901_1) 

Our Price: $299.99

  • A stunning sounding Six-Eye copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides; the first to hit the site in many years!
  • Both sides here have the Tubey Magical richness we love about vintage Columbia recordings
  • 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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Nearly White Hot Stamper

Ellington-Basie
The Count Meets the Duke

  (Item #: ellinfirst_1805_1812) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • 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 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
  • "... 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." - 4 1/2 Stars
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White Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Ellington '66

  (Item #: ellinellin_1902) 

Our Price: $249.99

  • Insanely good shootout winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound throughout and the first copy to ever hit the site!
  • Both sides here are incredibly clean, clear, spacious and dynamic with a solid bottom end and plenty of energy
  • 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

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

  (Item #: sinatfranc_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $249.99
Sale Price: $199.00 (You save $50.99 / 20%)


  • A stunning sounding copy with Triple Plus (A+++) sound on the second side and Double Plus (A++) on the first
  • Incredibly big, rich and Tubey Magical yet still clean, clear and open with excellent bass
  • Sinatra is both natural and present - he actually sounds like he is standing on the same stage as Ellington's band
  • "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
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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Piano In The Background

  (Item #: ellinpiano_1902x) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • 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

Ella Fitzgerald
The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 2

  (Item #: fitzgsings_the_duke_1903) 

Our Price: $199.99

  • A superb sounding copy with solid Double Plus (A++) sound on all four sides!
  • Forget the originals - like so many of the early songbook pressings, they suffer from painfully hard and honky mastering EQ (and gritty sounding vinyl)
  • We know whereof we speak when it comes to early Ella records - we've played plenty of them and found that most just don't sound very good
  • "Duke's spectacular catalog dazzles, and his sprightly, lush textures are transfigured under Fitzgerald's warm-timbred voice and elegant, precise delivery... each tune as familiar as it is delightful to hear in this new context."
See all of our Ella Fitzgerald albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
At the Bal Masque

  (Item #: ellinbalma_1901_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • An excellent sounding Six-Eye copy with Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides
  • Both sides here clean, clear and spacious yet still pretty rich and Tubey Magical
  • 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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Super Hot Stamper

Genesis
Selling England By The Pound

  (Item #: genesselli_1805_1902) 

Our Price: $149.99
Sale Price: $119.00 (You save $30.99 / 21%)


  • An excellent copy with Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish - we rarely have these top quality British pressings on the site
  • If you're a fan of early Genesis, or '70s progressive rock in general, it's hard to do much better than this outstanding import pressing
  • One of the better Genesis recordings in our experience but one of the harder titles to find with the right sound and audiophile surfaces
  • 5 stars: "... the album showcases the band's narrative force on a small scale as well as large that makes this their arguable high-water mark."
See all of our Genesis albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The Great Reunion

  (Item #: armstgreat_1901_2) 

Our Price: $149.99

  • 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 here are incredibly big, full-bodied, clean and clear with lots of deep punchy bass
  • We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record but make no mistake, this is a GREAT sounding one
  • "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

Duke Ellington
Ellington '66

  (Item #: ellinellin_1902_1) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • A superb sounding copy with Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER on both sides
  • Both sides here are super clean, clear and present with a solid bottom end and plenty of energy
  • 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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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Indigos

  (Item #: ellinindig_1811_1902) 

Our Price: $129.99

  • With a seriously good Double Plus (A++) side two and a side one that's close to it, this early pressing has the magic of analog in its grooves - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • This 360 Stereo LP 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
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington
The Great Reunion

  (Item #: armstgreat_1901_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • A very good sounding copy, with both sides earning excellent Hot Stamper grades - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • We doubt you have ever heard Louis Armstrong sound remotely as good as he does here
  • We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record but make no mistake, this is a much better sounding one
  • "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

Duke Ellington
Duke's Big 4

  (Item #: ellindukes_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • This is an exceptionally well recorded small group date, with wonderful Double Plus (A++) sound throughout
  • I don't know of any other Pablo recording of the Duke from this era that has such big, open, clear, solid sonics
  • Val Valentin did the engineering - as he often did over the course of his long and storied career, he knocked this one out of the park
  • 4 1/2 stars: "One of Duke Ellington's finest small group sessions from his final decade was this frequently exciting quartet date with guitarist Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Louie Bellson ... Highly recommended."
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Up In Duke's Workshop

  (Item #: ellinupind_1712_1903) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • Excellent Double Plus (A++) Ellington Big Band sound, taken from 1969-1972 recordings, can be found on both of these outstanding sides - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • Pablo has here compiled some of Ellington's best later music and mastered and pressed it wonderfully - you will not be disappointed with this one
  • "At first listen it is rougher, seems to be less evolved than his earlier easier-to-notice stylistic approach. If you give this a couple of plays, you will find it totally mesmerizing."
  • "Duke Ellington was the most important composer in the history of jazz as well as being a bandleader who held his large group together continuously for almost 50 years."
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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Super Hot Stamper

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

  (Item #: sinatfranc_1708_1901) 

Our Price: $99.99

  • 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."
More Frank Sinatra / More Duke Ellington


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Super Hot Stamper

Duke Ellington
Yale Concert

  (Item #: ellinyalec_1805_1811) 

Our Price: $79.99

  • You'll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from first note to last on this "live" recording
  • Superb Ellington Big Band sound from 1968 - remarkably rich and real sounding for the time
  • This copy plays on relatively quiet vinyl (for '70s Fantasy), Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus throughout
  • "The great Duke Ellington Orchestra was still intact and in its late prime at the time of this performance from 1968... even as he neared 70, [Ellington] was still at his peak. "
See all of our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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Hot Stamper

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

  (Item #: sinatfranc_1803) 

Our Price: $49.99

  • 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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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 - At the Bal Masque

Our Shootout Winner from 2015

  (Item #: ellinbalma_2015) 



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

This Super Hot 2-pack has the Tubey Magical richness we love about vintage Columbia recordings. The "bad" sides here are proof that no two sides sound the same - they suck. 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.

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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 2008

  (Item #: ellinindig_2008) 



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

AMAZINGLY TUBEY MAGICAL SOUND for this album of romantic jazz ballads. We just finished a shootout for this album and this Six Eye pressing was the winner in a landslide. The overall sound is richer, wamer, and fuller than any other. The brass is breathy with the proper amount of bite; the trumpets sound particularly good. We played about ten copies of this album this week and didn't hear any with the kind of life and energy on BOTH sides of this record. The transparency is amazing and you won't believe all the DEPTH to the soundfield -- you can really hear INTO the music.

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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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    Duke Ellington and Ray Brown - This One’s For Blanton

    Our Shootout Winner from 2006

      (Item #: ellinthiso_2006) 



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

    BIG BOLD SOUND. It has that up front live in your living room sound. It’s very dynamic and tubey magical.

    For this set of duets, pianist Duke Ellington is teamed up with bassist Ray Brown in performances a bit reminiscent of Duke’s work with Jimmy Blanton three decades before. In addition to the four-part Fragmented Suite for Piano and Bass, the duo plays five standards (including Pitter Panther Patter from the Blanton days and three other Ellington-associated tunes). Delightful and often-playful music. - AMG

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    Ella Fitzgerald - Ella At Duke's Place

    Our Shootout Winner from 2016

      (Item #: fitzgella_at_dukes_2016) 



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

    We have a very hard time doing the famous Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks due to the fact that so many pressings don't sound good, and the ones that do sound good are usually noisy.

    That's why it came as a pleasant surprise that Ella At Duke's Place had the potential for excellent sound and reasonably quiet vinyl on the best copies.

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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.

    See all of our Frank Sinatra albums as well as our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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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.

    See all of our Frank Sinatra albums as well as our Duke Ellington albums in stock


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    Genesis - Selling England By The Pound

    Our Shootout Winner from 2012

      (Item #: genesselli_2012) 



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

    TWO EXCELLENT SIDES on this Charisma Import pressing! This is only the second Hot Stamper copy of Selling England By The Pound to EVER hit our site, and with both sides rating at least A++, it's a monster! It's beyond difficult to find good sounding copies of the early Genesis albums, but we managed to pull together enough clean copies to get this shootout going and eventually found a few copies that got the job done. The overall sound is big, open, transparent and tubey.

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    Joe Pass - Portraits Of Duke Ellington

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: pass_portr_2017) 



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

    Maybe it's the fact that there are only three instruments playing, live in the studio, that accounts for the amazing recording quality. Nobody knows, certainly not us, but the one thing we can say for sure is that you will have a very hard time finding a guitar trio album that sounds remotely as good as this one does.

    See all of our Joe Pass albums in stock


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    Louis Armstrong & Duke Ellington - The Great Reunion

    Our Shootout Winner from 2017

      (Item #: armstgreat_2017) 



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

    With two Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning sides, this original stereo copy simply could not be beat. So big, so rich, so Tubey Magical, we guarantee you have never heard Louis Armstrong sound remotely as good as he does here. We remember the Classic pressing as being a very good sounding record, but make no mistake, this is a GREAT sounding one.

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