The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- With two nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner
- All Tube, Live in the Studio Columbia Sound from 1962 - sound like this makes a mockery of most jazz recordings, and don't get me started on the sham Heavy Vinyl LPs flooding the market with one mediocrity after another
- What a swingin' group - there is simply not a false step to be found anywhere on either side of this wonderful record
- "Hawkins teamed up with the personable trumpeter Clark Terry for this upbeat set of-of solid swing. Terry, in particular, is in exuberant form on "Feedin' the Bean"... but Hawkins's playing (particularly on the trumpeter's ballad "Michelle") is also in fine form."
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These Nearly White Hot Stamper pressings have top-quality sound that's often surprisingly close to our White Hots, but they sell at substantial discounts to our Shootout Winners, making them a relative bargain in the world of Hot Stampers ("relative" meaning relative considering the kinds of prices we charge). We feel you get what you pay for here at Better Records, and if ever you don't agree, please feel free to return the record for a full refund, no questions asked.
*NOTE: On side two, a mark makes 20 moderate to light ticks and pops one-half inch into Track 2.
For those of you who appreciate the remarkable sound quality that Columbia's engineers were able to achieve in the '50s and '60s, this LP is a Must-Own.
This vintage "360 Sound" Columbia Stereo 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 Back In Bean's Bag 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 1963
- 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.
Copies with rich lower mids and nice extension up top did the best in our shootout, assuming they weren't veiled or smeary of course. So many things can go wrong on a record! We know, we've heard them all.
Top end extension is critical to the sound of the best copies. Lots of old records (and new ones) have no real top end; consequently, the studio or stage will be missing much of its natural air and space, and instruments will lack their full complement of harmonic information.
Tube smear is common to most vintage pressings and this is no exception. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.
What We're Listening For on Back In Bean's Bag
- 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.
Talk About Timbre
Man, when you play a Hot Stamper copy of an amazing recording such as this, the timbre of the instruments is so spot-on it makes all the hard work and money you've put into your stereo more than pay off. To paraphrase The Hollies, you get paid back with interest. If you hear anything funny in the mids and highs of this record, don't blame the record.
This is the kind of record that shows up audiophile BS equipment for what it is: Audiophile BS. If you are checking for richness, Tubey Magic, and freedom from artificiality, I can't think of a better test disc. It has loads of the first two and none of the last.
- Bass – Major Holley
- Drums – Dave Bailey
- Piano – Tommy Flanagan
- Tenor Saxophone – Coleman Hawkins
- Trumpet – Clark Terry
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 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.
The Classic Records Heavy Vinyl Pressing
We're not the least bit embarrassed to admit we used to like their version very much, and happily recommended it in our catalog back in the day.
Like many Classic Records, the master tapes are so good that even with their mediocre mastering and pressing (RTI's vinyl accounts for at least some of the lost sound quality, so airless and tired), the record still sounds great, at least until you get hold of the real thing and hear what you are missing.
What do you get with Hot Stampers compared to the Classic Heavy Vinyl reissue? Dramatically more warmth, sweetness, delicacy, transparency, space, energy, size, naturalness (no boost on the top end or the bottom, a common failing of anything on Classic); in other words, the kind of difference you almost ALWAYS get comparing the best vintage pressings with their modern remastered counterparts, in our experience anyway.
The Classic is a nice record, a Hot Stamper is a MAGICAL one.
- A Tune For The Tutor
- Don't Worry 'Bout Me
- Just Squeeze Me
- Feedin' The Bean
- Squeeze Me
Hawkins teamed up with the personable trumpeter Clark Terry for this upbeat set of of solid swing. Terry in particular is in exuberant form on "Feedin' the Bean" and a delightful version of "Don't Worry About Me," but Hawkins's playing (particularly on the trumpeter's ballad "Michelle") is also in fine form. The Tommy Flanagan Trio assists the two classic hornmen on this superior LP.
[Note that Allmusic gives the album Three Stars but the User Rating from five people is Five Stars. We have to agree with the users in this case: it's a Five Star Album in our book.]