Side One: Mint Minus Minus (often quieter than this grade)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it on both sides
- Our Six Eye stereo pressing here is big, open and rich, with width, depth, and three-dimensionality that modern records can only dream of
- On a live recording such as this, the transparency of the All Tube Analog has the power to transport you to the front row of Ciro's in West Hollywood - what a thrill!
- "With a particularly strong lineup that includes vibraphonist Red Norvo, tenorman Flip Phillips and trumpeter Jack Sheldon, this LP features Benny Goodman at his best (even if the swing era had supposedly ended 15 years earlier)."
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It's hard to imagine a better album of Benny Goodman performing in his "prime" - he was only 51 when he made this record - than this very disc.
It's reasonably quiet, it's original, it's in stereo, and the performances are uniformly excellent. Benny is joined by top sidemen - their enthusiasm, as well as the audience's, drives him to play the songs he's loved for decades with real gusto.
This vintage Columbia 6 Eye Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely 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 band, 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 ... Swings Again from 1960 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 1960
- 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 Jazz Group 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.
What We're Listening For on ...Swings Again
- 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.
- Alto Saxophone – Jerry Dodgion
- Bass – Red Wooten
- Clarinet – Benny Goodman
- Drums – John Markham
- Guitar – Jim Wyble
- Piano – Russ Freeman
- Tenor Saxophone – Flip Phillips
- Trombone – Murray McEachern
- Trumpet – Jack Sheldon
- Vibraphone – Red Norvo
- Vocals – Maria Marshall
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.
- Air Mail Special
- Slipped Disc
- Gotta Be This Or That
- Where Or When
- I Want To Be Happy
- After You've Gone
- Waiting For The Robert E. Lee
- Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
- Sing Sing Sing (With A Swing)
This live session from Benny Goodman's 1960 tentet, despite some throwaway vocals by Maria Mashall, finds The King of Swing catching fire a few times, particularly on an extended version of "After You've Gone." With a particularly strong lineup that includes vibraphonist Red Norvo, tenorman Flip Phillipsand trumpeter Jack Sheldon, this out-of-print LP features Benny Goodman at his best (even if the swing era had supposedly ended 15 years earlier).
Benny Goodman was the first celebrated bandleader of the Swing Era, dubbed 'The King of Swing,' his popular emergence marking the beginning of the era. He was an accomplished clarinetist whose distinctive playing gave an identity both to his big band and to the smaller units he led simultaneously. The most popular figure of the first few years of the Swing Era, he continued to perform until his death 50 years later.