The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- Stunning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) Ellington Big Band sound or very close to it, taken from 1969-1972 recordings, can be found on both of these outstanding sides
- 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."
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What amazing 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 back in the day
- 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
What We're Listening For on Up in Duke's Workshop
- 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 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 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 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.
Towards the end of his life, Ellington branched off and tried some new sounds. In his early days, he played the traditional 30's style big band music. In the mid 50's, he made some exceptional records like 'Such Sweet Thunder'. and in the 70's he made a few hit or miss records. The crowning achievement from this period in my opinion is this one. "Up in Dukes Workshop".
This is NOT a traditional Ellington record. You're NOT going to hear the kind of music he was made famous from. This is NOT the A Train or Mood Indigo.
What this is, is a special smokey / sort of background music / but a vicious kind of background music. It has a Phil Spector Wall of Sound quality to it. 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. When I was a youngster I played this at a 5 star restaurant in New Orleans night after night as background music. The bustling nightlife of that city in all of its swanky best completely matched this music to a T.
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