The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (barely)*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (barely)
- Truly superb sound can be found on both sides of this early Jazzland pressing, with each earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades
- Wally Heider, recording these sessions in San Francisco in 1960, captured some real jazz excitement on tape, and as good as the OJC mastered by George Horn may be, The Real Deal here takes the sound to another level
- 4 stars: "Tenor saxophonist Harold Land leads an all-star sextet that includes guitarist Wes Montgomery, trumpeter Joe Gordon, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes... The music is as well-played and swinging as one would expect from this superior bop group."
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- Side one, Track Three, Don't Explain, plays Mint Minus Minus to EX++.
Sometimes the copy with the best sound is not the copy with the quietest vinyl. The best sounding copy is always going to win the shootout, the condition of its vinyl notwithstanding. If you tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing Harold Land music and sound. If for any reason you are not happy with the sound or condition of the album we are of course happy to take it back for a full refund, including the domestic return postage.
This vintage Jazzland pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs 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 studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What the Best Sides of West Coast Blues! Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1960
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What We're Listening For on West Coast Blues!
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
- Don't Explain
- West Coast Blues
AMG 4 Star Review
Tenor saxophonist Harold Land leads an all-star sextet that includes guitarist Wes Montgomery, trumpeter Joe Gordon, pianist Barry Harris, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Louis Hayes. Together, they perform three of Land's originals, "Don't Explain," and Charlie Parker's "Klactoveedsedstene," and an early version of Montgomery's "West Coast Blues." The music is as well-played and swinging as one would expect from this superior bop group.