Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- You'll find excellent Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides of this pressing of Time In, the last of the albums recorded in Brubeck's "Time" series
- Big, full and lively, with bottom end weight and plenty of space around all the Dave's classic quartet, this pressing proves that the engineering skills of all concerned at Columbia in 1966 were as strong as ever
- On this lovely 360 Stereo pressing you will hear the clean, clear, solid, lively, smear-free piano that makes Brubeck's records from the era such a delight for the analog devotee
- 4 stars: "Though it is seldom celebrated as such, this is one of Brubeck's finest moments on Columbia."
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This vintage Columbia 360 stereo 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.
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 less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we've played can serve as a guide.
What outstanding sides such as these 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 1966
- 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
Size and Space
One of the qualities that we don't talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record's presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don't extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don't seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.
Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read "BIG and BOLD" -- create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They're not brighter, they're not more aggressive, they're not hyped-up in any way, they're just bigger and clearer.
And most of the time those very special pressings are dramatically more involving. When you hear a copy that does that, it's an entirely different listening experience.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better 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 later 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 originals.
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.
Softly, William, Softly
He Done Her Wrong
Time In, issued in 1965, was the last of pianist and composer Dave Brubeck's "Time" recordings, and one of his most musically adventurous. Gone are the moody, silky textures and glissando moves of Time Out, or Time Further Out. In fact, of all the "Time" recordings, this is the least commercial and, in places, almost hard bop-oriented among them. This set goes beyond the entire West Coast idea as well.That's not to say there are no ballads -""Softly, William, Softly"" is one of the most gorgeous ballads Brubeck ever composed, with a memorable solo by Paul Desmond, who plays a slow, bluesy articulation over the pianist's augmented harmonic changes. But there's so much more. The title track has Stravinsky-esque chords that introduce a delicate theme, which disintegrates into a dissonant swing. There is also Brubeck variation on "Frankie and Johnnie," on "He Done Her Wrong." This track comes charging out of the box à la the Ramsey Lewis trio in a fit of pure one-four-five groove, with Desmond playing ostinato throughout the chorus.
And here, Brubeck shows his love of tradition: Inside his solo, comprised of chords and striated intervallic figures that are just off the harmonic series, he never leaves the original behind; it is always readily evoked at any moment in the tune.
The set closes with "Cassandra," a piece with sleight-of-hand rhythms and fleet soloing by the pianist and Desmond. Brubeck himself comes out of the melody with a series of 16th notes that blaze into 32nds before he comes back to the changes for Desmond. All the while, Joe Morello is triple-timing the band even in the slower passages just to keep the pulse on target as Gene Wright and Brubeck move all around the time figures to create a sense of space around Desmond's solo.
Though it is seldom celebrated as such, this is one of Brubeck's finest moments on Columbia.
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