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Jobim, Antonio Carlos - The Composer of Desafinado, Plays - Nearly White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.

Nearly White Hot Stamper (With Issues)

Antonio Carlos Jobim
The Composer of Desafinado, Plays

Regular price
$249.99
Regular price
Sale price
$249.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus to EX++

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus to EX++*

  • You'll find stunning Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) sound throughout this original Verve Stereo pressing - just shy of our Shootout Winner
  • Both of these sides are clean, clear and dynamic yet still full of rich, warm 1963 Tubey Magical analog sound
  • We love the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim here at Better Records and we think this album is his best - no serious jazz collection should be without it
  • Marks and problems in the vinyl are sometimes the nature of the beast with these vintage LPs - there simply is no way around them if the superior sound of vintage analog is important to you
  • 4 1/2 stars: "A dozen songs, each one destined to become a standard — an astounding batting average."

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*NOTE: On side 2, there is a mark that plays lightly and intermittently throughout the last 1/2 of track 3, "Meditation," and all of track 4, "Só Danço Samba."

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 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.

Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG


We’re big fans of Jobim here at Better Records, and this pressing was close to the best from our recent shootout. We had a wonderful time listening to a big pile of pressings -- the sound (and music) were out of this world. We were shocked at just how well recorded this album is.

This vintage Verve 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 The Composer of Desafinado, Plays 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. The copies that tend to do the best in a shootout will have the least (or none), yet are full-bodied, tubey and rich.

Phil Ramone

Credit engineer Phil Ramone for correctly capturing the sound of every instrument here: the guitars, piano, flutes, strings, drums, percussion instruments -- everything has the natural timbre of the real thing. I used to think this recording erred on the bright side, but not the Hot Stamper copies. They are tonally Right On The Money. (When the balance lacks lower midrange the sound gets lean, which causes the strings to seem brighter than they really are, a not uncommon problem with some of the pressings we played.)

Many Distinct Pressings

We’ve played a ton of different versions, including imports, originals, reissues (all stereo), and one lone mono, which was so ridiculously bad sounding we tossed it right out of the competition and into the trade pile.

For those of you playing along at home, we are not going to be much help to you here in finding your own Hot Stampers. Every version had strengths and weaknesses and all are represented in the listings we will be putting up on the site.

What We're Listening For On The Composer of Desafinado, Plays

  • 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, full-bodied 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.

His Best Album

I’m a HUGE fan of Jobim’s music. In my opinion this is the best album he ever made. If you find yourself loving these syncopated beats, you owe it to yourself to check out Sergio Mendes’ music. He did wonderful arrangements of many of Jobim’s songs, and the sound (at least on the Hot Stamper pressings) is out of this world! Astrud Gilberto does wonderful versions too, but her records are very difficult to find in audiophile condition. Believe me, we’ve tried.

Claus Ogerman

The string arrangements by the phenomenally talented producer/arranger Claus Ogerman surely contribute a great deal to the beauty of this music, and much of its "feel." This is the man who made Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim such an original and powerful departure in Sinatra’s body of work. He continued to work with Jobim on a number of follow-up albums, including A Certain Mr. Jobim (1967) and Wave (1967). From 1963-67 he arranged some 60-70 albums for Creed Taylor’s Verve and then went on to work with him extensively at CTI.

And what would Breezin' be without Ogerman’s lush strings? Not to be too unkind, but probably just another George Benson album.

Vinyl Condition

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.

A Must Own Latin Jazz Masterpiece

We consider this Jobim album a masterpiece. It's a recording that belongs in any serious Jazz Music Collection.

Others that belong in that category can be found here.

Side One

  • The Girl from Ipanema
  • Amor Em Paz (Once I Loved)
  • Agua de Beber
  • Vivo Sonhando
  • O Morro Não Tem Vez
  • Insensatez

Side Two

  • Corcovado
  • One Note Samba
  • Meditation
  • Só Danço Samba
  • Chega de Saudade
  • Desafinado

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

In his first American album, Antonio Carlos Jobim presents a dozen of his songs, each one destined to become a standard -- an astounding batting average. Jobim, who claimed to have been out of practice at the time of the session, merely plays single notes on the piano with one hand, punctuated by chords now and then, sticking to his long, undulating melodies with a few passages of jazz improvisation now and then. Yet it is a lovely idea, not a gesture is wasted.

Arranger Claus Ogerman unveils many of the trademarks that would define his Creed Taylor-produced albums with Jobim -- the soaring, dying solo flute and spare, brooding unison string lines widening into lush harmony; flutes doubling on top of Jobim's piano chords -- again with an exquisitely spare touch.

The songs include "Desafinado," "Corcovado," "Chega de Saudade" (No More Blues), "The Girl From Ipanema," "Meditation," "One Note Samba," and half-a-dozen others (every one of which is included on The Man From Ipanema set).