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Kessel, Barney - Some Like It Hot - Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)
Kessel, Barney - Some Like It Hot - Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

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

Super Hot Stamper (Quiet Vinyl)

Barney Kessel
Some Like It Hot

Regular price
$119.99
Regular price
Sale price
$119.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus

  • Superb sound for Kessel’s brilliant 1959 large group outing, with both sides of this Contemporary recording pressed on OJC vinyl earning solid Double Plus (A++) grades or close to them - exceptionally quiet vinyl too
  • With Tubey Magic, richness, sweetness, and dead on tonality from top to bottom (particularly on side two), this is a textbook example of Contemporary’s sound when it's really working
  • The other OJC pressings in this shootout did not do nearly as good as this one, but out of what we played it sounded right to us
  • An All Star West Coast lineup came together for this one: Art Pepper (on sax and clarinet!), Shelly Manne, Joe Gordon and others
  • 4 1/2 stars: "Such tunes as 'I Wanna Be Loved by You,' 'Runnin’ Wild,' 'Down Among the Sheltering Palms,' and 'By the Beautiful Sea' are given fairly modern arrangements…"

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This copy is spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. The liquidity of the sound here is positively uncanny. This is vintage analog at its best, so full-bodied and relaxed you’ll wonder how it ever came to be that anyone seriously contemplated trying to improve it.

If you like the sound of relaxed, All Tube jazz recordings, you can’t do much better than Some Like It Hot. Many of the copies we played suffered from blubbery bass and transient smearing, but the clarity and bass definition here are surprisingly good.

One of our original pressings had an amazing side two but side one was just a dull, thick, blubbery mess. We may try to sell it someday because even half of an amazing sounding record is worth owning, in my opinion anyway. (Considering that most audiophiles don’t seem to pay much attention to the sonic variations in the sound of their records from side to side, you can be sure that most collectors have plenty of records with only one good side. They just never noticed.)

What The Best Sides Of Some Like It Hot 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 1959
  • 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.

Shootout Criteria

What are sonic qualities by which a record -- any record -- should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.

When we can get a number of these qualities to come together on the side we’re playing, we provisionally give it a ballpark Hot Stamper grade, a grade that is often revised during the shootout as we hear what the other copies are doing, both good and bad.

Once we’ve been through all the side ones, we play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Other copies from earlier in the shootout will frequently have their grades raised or lowered based on how they sounded compared to the eventual shootout winner. If we’re not sure about any pressing, perhaps because we played it early on in the shootout before we had learned what to listen for, we take the time to play it again.

Repeat the process for side two and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.

It may not be rocket science, but it’s a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.

The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.

What We're Listening For On Some Like It Hot

  • 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.

This is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record.

For those of you who appreciate the sound that Roy DuNann and, in this case, Howard Holzer, were able to achieve in the 50s at Contemporary Records, this LP will be a Must-Buy (unless you already have it).

You may remember that Steve Hoffman had Benny Carter’s Swingin’ The 20s album scheduled for DCC. (In fact, it even shows up on Amazon as a title that’s out of stock! There will be a very long wait before it becomes available I’m guessing.) This album has much in common with that one musically and sonically -- it’s a toss up which one you might prefer. I’d recommend them both of course.

The Players

  • Barney Kessel – guitar
  • Joe Gordon – trumpet (tracks 1, 2, 4-10 & 12)
  • Art Pepper – alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet (tracks 1, 2, 4-10 & 12)
  • Jimmy Rowles – piano (tracks 1, 2, 4-10 & 12)
  • Jack Marshall – guitar (tracks 1, 2, 4-10 & 12)
  • Monty Budwig – bass
  • Shelly Manne – drums (tracks 1, 2, 4-10 & 12)

Old and New Work Well Together

This reissue is spacious, open, transparent, rich and sweet. It’s yet another remarkable disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording Technology, with the added benefit of mastering using the more modern cutting equipment of the 70s and 80s. We are of course here referring to the good modern mastering of 40+ years ago, not the generally opaque, veiled and lifeless mastering so common today.

The combination of old and new works wonders on this title as you will surely hear for yourself on these superb sides.

We were impressed with the fact that these pressings excel in so many areas of reproduction. What was odd about it -- odd to most audiophiles but not necessarily to us -- was just how rich and Tubey Magical the reissue can be on the right pressing.

This leads me to think that most of the natural, full-bodied, lively, clear, rich sound of the recording was still on the tape decades later, and that all that was needed to get that vintage sound on to a record was simply to thread up the tape on the right machine and hit play. The fact that practically nobody seems to be able to make a record nowadays that sounds remotely this good tells me that I’m wrong to think that such an approach tends to work, if our experience with hundreds of mediocre Heavy Vinyl reissues is relevant.

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.

Side One

  • Some Like It Hot
  • I Wanna Be Loved By You
  • Stairway To The Stars
  • Sweet Sue
  • Runnin’ Wild

Side Two

  • Sweet Georgia Brown
  • Down Among The Sheltering Palms
  • Sugar Blues
  • I’m Thru With Love
  • By The Beautiful Sea

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

The release of the movie Some Like It Hot served as a good excuse for guitarist Kessel to join together with Art Pepper (switching between alto, clarinet, and tenor), trumpeter Joe Gordon, pianist Jimmy Rowles, rhythm guitarist Jack Marshall, bassist Monty Budwig, and drummer Shelly Manne to interpret a variety of vintage numbers, most of which dated from the 1920s.

Such tunes as “I Wanna Be Loved by You,” “Runnin’ Wild,” “Down Among the Sheltering Palms,” and “By the Beautiful Sea” are given fairly modern arrangements but still retain the flavor of the 1920s, and it’s particularly interesting to hear Gordon and Pepper soloing on these ancient songs.