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Rollins, Sonny - Way Out West - White Hot Stamper (With Issues)
Rollins, Sonny - Way Out West - White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Sonny Rollins
Way Out West

Regular price
$749.99
Regular price
Sale price
$749.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus to EX++*

  • You'll find INCREDIBLE Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades or close to them on both sides of this vintage pressing
  • Here are just a few of the things we had to say about this killer copy in our notes: "dynamic and transparent and extended from top to bottom"..."3D and huge and lively"..."very breathy and detailed sax"..."no hardness or veil" (side two)
  • This copy has stunning 1957 Contemporary stereo sonics - big, open and natural throughout
  • One of our favorite Rollins records - one listen to this copy and you will know exactly why we love the recordings of Roy DuNann
  • Problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these early pressings, but once you hear just how superb sounding this copy is, you might be inclined, as we were, to stop counting ticks and pops and just be swept away by the music
  • 5 stars: "The timeless Way Out West established Sonny Rollins as jazz's top tenor saxophonist..."

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*NOTE: The edge of side 2 is quite noisy at 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 can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing 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.


The better pressings sound rich and full-bodied with plenty of low-end weight. This is the Contemporary sound we love.

It's our favorite jazz label for sonics by a long shot. Roy DuNann always seems to get "the real sound" out of the sessions he recorded -- amazingly realistic drums in a big room; full-bodied, breathy horns; Tubey Magical guitar tone; deep, note-like bass; weighty pianos; vocal immediacy, and on and on.

For us audiophiles, both the sound and the music here are wonderful. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good a 1957 All Tube Analog recording can be, this copy will do the trick.

This pressing is super spacious, sweet, and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, the liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you'll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.

This is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There is of course a CD of this album, but those of us who possess a working turntable and a good collection of vintage vinyl could care less.

What The Best Sides Of Way Out West 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 1957
  • 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.

Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren't veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we've heard them all.

Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.

In addition, when the top end is lacking, the upper midrange and high frequencies get jammed together -- the highs can't extend up and away from the upper mids. This causes a number of much-too-common problems that we hear in the upper midrange of many of the records we play: congestion, hardness, harshness, and squawk. (Painstaking Vertical Tracking Angle adjustment is absolutely critical if you want your records to play with the least amount of these problems, a subject we discuss in the Commentary section of the site at length.)

Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

Full-bodied sound is especially critical to the horns; any blare, leanness or squawk ruins at least some of the fun, certainly at the louder levels the record should be playing at.

The frequency extremes (on the better copies) are not boosted in any way. When you play this record quietly, the bottom and top will disappear (due to the way the ear handles quieter sounds as described by the Fletcher-Munson curve).

Most records (like most audiophile stereos) are designed to sound correct at moderate levels. Not this album. It wants you to turn it up. Then, and only then, will everything sound completely right musically and tonally from top to bottom.

What We're Listening For On Way Out West

  • 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, full-bodied 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.

The Players

  1. Sonny Rollins - tenor saxophone
  2. Ray Brown - bass
  3. Shelly Manne - drums

Vinyl Condition

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.

Side One

  • I'm An Old Cowhand
  • Solitude
  • Come, Gone

Side Two

  • Wagon Wheels
  • There Is No Greater Love
  • Way Out West

AMG 5 Star Rave Review

The timeless Way out West established Sonny Rollins as jazz's top tenor saxophonist (at least until John Coltrane surpassed him the following year).

Joined by bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne, Rollins is heard at one of his peaks on such pieces as "I'm an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande)," his own "Way out West," "There Is No Greater Love," and "Come, Gone" (a fast stomp based on "After You've Gone"). The William Claxton photo of Rollins wearing Western gear (and holding his tenor) in the desert is also a classic.