Side One: Mint Minus Minus*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- Red Garland's third studio album makes its Hot Stamper debut on this early mono pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it throughout
- The sound is clear, spacious, relaxed, and full-bodied, with Tubey Magical richness and analog smoothness that on the best vintage pressings can offer
- Another top jazz recording from Rudy Van Gelder - big, bold and lively, just the right sound for this music
- 4 stars: "Red Garland's third session as a leader finds the distinctive pianist investigating eight standards (including 'Please Send Me Someone to Love,' 'Stompin' at the Savoy,' 'If I Were a Bell,' and 'Almost Like Being in Love') with his distinctive chord voicings, melodic but creative ideas, and solid sense of swing."
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- On side one, a mark makes 20 light ticks about one-half inch into Track 4, Almost Like Being In Love, followed by 6 light repeating crackles during the outro.
- On side two, the last half of Track 4, But Not For Me, 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 can tolerate the problems on this pressing you are in for some amazing Red Garland Trio 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 Prestige pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even 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 trio, 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 Red Garland's Piano 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 space of the studio
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.
If you have full-range speakers some of the qualities you may recognize in the sound of the piano are WEIGHT and WARMTH. The piano is not hard, brittle or tinkly. Instead, the best copies show you a wonderfully full-bodied, warm, rich, smooth piano, one which sounds remarkably like the ones we've all heard countless times in piano bars and restaurants.
In other words like a real piano, not a recorded one. This is what we look for in a good piano recording. Bad mastering can ruin the sound, and often does, along with worn out stampers and bad vinyl and five gram needles that scrape off the high frequencies. But a few -- a very few -- copies survive all such hazards. They manage to reproduce the full spectrum sound of the piano (and of course the wonderful performances of the musicians) on vintage vinyl, showing us the kind of sound we never expected from a fairly unprepossessing early '60 jazz piano trio record such as this.
What We're Listening For on Red Garland's Piano
- 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 common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The piano isn't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt -- Rudy Van Gelder in this case -- would have put them.
- 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 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 that is a key part of the appeal 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.
Please Send Me Someone To Love
Stomping At The Savoy
The Very Thought Of You
Almost Like Being In Love
If I Were A Bell
I Know Why
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
But Not For Me
Red Garland's third session as a leader finds the distinctive pianist investigating eight standards (including "Please Send Me Someone to Love," "Stompin' at the Savoy," "If I Were a Bell," and "Almost Like Being in Love") with his distinctive chord voicings, melodic but creative ideas, and solid sense of swing. Joined by bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor, Garland plays up to his usual consistent level, making this an easily recommended disc for straight-ahead fans.
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