The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus (closer to M-- to EX++ in parts)*
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus (closer to M-- to EX++ in parts)*
Side Three: Mint Minus Minus
Side Four: Mint Minus Minus
- With roughly Nearly Triple Plus (A++ to A+++) grades on all FOUR sides, this copy is close to the BEST we have ever heard, right up there with our Shootout Winner (side three actually won the shootout)
- These sides are doing practically everything right - they're rich, clear, undistorted, open, spacious, and have depth and transparency to rival the best recordings you may have heard
- We've called this album a Demo Disc for Bass and any Hot Stamper copy will show you why
- "Chuck Mangione composed this music for a film soundtrack in 1978, but it quickly took on a life of its own when it was released as a two LP set, garnering a loyalty the film never enjoyed."
- "Mangione’s own performance on flügelhorn – sometimes hinting at Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain transported to harsher terrain – is frequently riveting, a darkly expressive, soulful element that conveys undiluted passion, sorrow, and joy."
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*NOTE: Sides one and two of these records were not noisy enough to rate our M-- to EX++ grade, but they're not quite up to our standards for Mint Minus Minus either. If you're looking for quiet vinyl, this is probably not the best copy for you.
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
What’s unusual about this album -- shocking really -- is how meaty the bottom end is. I don’t know of a pop jazz recording with beefier, more articulate or weightier bass. The only record I can think of in this genre of jazz with comparable bass is Grover Washington’s Winelight. We played some copies of that album recently and were just knocked out with how well recorded the bass is, just the way we were knocked out with Children of Sanchez. Both of them really set the standard for recording this kind of music. Needless to say we loved the sound.
Recorded at Kendun and mastered by Robert Ludwig, the audiophile sound here should be no surprise
These vintage A&M pressings have 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, these are the records 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 Children of Sanchez 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 1978
- 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 these records 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 pressings that sound as good as these two do.
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.
The horn sound is also key, not only for the flugelhorn that Chuck plays but for the trombones and French horns that fill out the arrangements. When the various horns are solid and smooth (what’s smoother than a French horn?) yet even the more subtle harmonic signatures of each instrument are clear, you have yourself a Hot Stamper.
The copies that are present, clear, open, transparent and energetic, with a solid rhythmic line driving the music, are a hundred times more enjoyable than the anemic pressings that can be found sitting in most collections practically unplayed (gee, I wonder why?).
This idea that most pressings do a poor job of communicating the music still has not seeped into the consciousness of most audiophiles, but we’re working on changing that, one Hot Stamper at a time.
This is the man’s 16th album (!), a Grammy Winner (his second) for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
What We're Listening For On Children of Sanchez
- 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.
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.
- Children Of Sanchez Overture
- Pilgrimage (Part 1)
- Pilgrimage (Part 2)
- Consuelo's Love Theme
- Hot Consuelo
- Death Scene
- Market Place
- Children Of Sanchez Finale
Chuck Mangione composed this music for a film soundtrack in 1978, but it quickly took on a life of its own when it was released as a two LP set, garnering a loyalty the film never enjoyed. Its film origins certainly show both in the purely atmospheric quality of some of the music and in the earnest vocals and awkward lyrics that introduce the suite and later reappear.
However, the simple themes and the powerful, minimal orchestrations–brass and drums for funereal military music; cello, flute, guitar, and eerie voice for the very pretty “Consuelo’s Love Theme”–retain a strong appeal. Mangione’s own performance on flügelhorn–sometimes hinting at Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain transported to harsher terrain–is frequently riveting, a darkly expressive, soulful element that conveys undiluted passion, sorrow, and joy.