Side One: Mint Minus Minus (High-end)
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This superb 1962 release boasts outstanding Double Plus (A++) stereo sound from first note to last
- Huge, Tubey Magical and lively, with solid weight for Manne's kick and lots of space around all the other instruments, this Van Gelder recording is guaranteed to fill your listening room with brilliant modern jazz music
- Shelly Manne is one of our favorite drummers - here he reunites with the great Coleman Hawkins, as well as Hank Jones, Eddie Costa and George Duvivier
- 4 stars: "This unusual set has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Shelly Manne... A very interesting set with more than its share of surprises."
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For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are wonderful. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good a 1962 All Tube Analog Impulse recording can sound, this killer copy will do the trick.
This vintage Impulse Stereo pressing is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambience. Talk about Tubey Magic, 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.
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. There is of course a CD of this album, but those of us who possess a working turntable and a good collection of vintage vinyl couldn't care less.
What the best sides of 2-3-4 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 1962
- 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 space of the studio
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 2-3-4
- 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 common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Coleman Hawkins – tenor saxophone Hank Jones – piano Eddie Costa – piano, vibes George Duvivier – bass Shelly Manne – drums
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 later 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 that is a key part of the appeal 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.
Take The "A" Train
The Sicks Of Us
Lean On Me
Me And Some Drums
This unusual set has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier, and drummer Shelly Manne.
Both "Take the 'A' Train" and "Cherokee" find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to double-time throughout "Cherokee"), and showing that they'd heard some of the avant-garde players. The most swinging piece, "Avalon," was previously available only on a sampler, while "Me and Some Drums" features Hawkins and Manne in a very effective duet; the veteran tenor makes his only recorded appearance on piano during the first half.
This date is rounded off by a pair of trio features for Eddie Costa (with Duvivier and Manne); one song apiece on vibes and drums. A very interesting set with more than its share of surprises.
- Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.
- Press the space key then arrow keys to make a selection.