The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- A SUPERB stereo pressing of one of our All Time Favorite Blue Note albums with Double Plus (A++) sound throughout - reasonably quiet vinyl too
- The gospel vocals are amazingly well recorded (thanks RVG!) - with the transparency of this copy, you can easily pick out and follow each voice
- To hear the real RVG magic, play Beast of Burden on side one - that's some real audiophile Demo Disc sound
- 5 stars: "One of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd's career."
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Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in clean shape. Most of them will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. Some will have cut corners. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG, and it will probably be VG+. If you are picky about your covers please let us know in advance so that we can be sure we have a nice cover for you.
This is a top-notch seven piece jazz combo joined by an authentic gospel choir. You probably don't have too many records like this in your collection, that's for sure.
The All Music Guide gives it 5 big stars, and we wholeheartedly agree.
The earlier pressings we've played didn't make us sit up and pay attention this way this copy did. It's obviously cut much cleaner, and there's just more there there.
Both sides of this very special pressing are huge, rich, tubey and clear. As soon as the band got going we knew that this was absolutely the right sound for this music.
What the Best Sides of Donald Byrd's Groundbreaking Jazz Classic 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 1964
- 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.
A Big Group of Musicians Needs This Kind of 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 just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that -- a copy like this one -- it's an entirely different listening experience.
Tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley;
guitarist Kenny Burrell,
pianist Herbie Hancock;
Donald Best on vibes;
Butch Warren on bass;
Lex Humphies on drums;
eight-voice choir directed by Coleridge Perkinson;
arrangements by Duke Pearson.
What We're Listening For on A New Perspective
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The trumpet and sax aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- 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.
A Must Own Jazz Record
This Demo Disc Quality recording should be part of any serious Audiophile Jazz Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
Beast of Burden
The Black Disciple
This unusual set was one of the most successful uses of a gospel choir in a jazz context. Trumpeter Donald Byrd and a septet that also includes tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley, guitarist Kenny Burrell, and pianist Herbie Hancock are joined by an eight-voice choir directed by Coleridge Perkinson. The arrangements by Duke Pearson are masterful and one song, "Cristo Redentor," became a bit of a hit. This is a memorable effort that is innovative in its own way, a milestone in Donald Byrd's career.
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