Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- This early Black Label stereo pressing has superb Double Plus (A++) sound from the first note to the last on vinyl that's exceptional for an LP of this vintage
- The piano sounds lifelike right from the start - a beautiful instrument in a natural space, tonally correct from top to bottom
- Here is the proof that this is an Demo Disc Quality Recording for Contemporary, which is saying a lot, considering how many great recordings this label can claim
- Recorded entirely in one session, this album was the first jazz recording using only songs from a Broadway musical
- 5 stars: “This trio set by Shelly Manne & His Friends… was a surprise best-seller and is now considered a classic…The result is a very appealing set that is easily recommended.”
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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
This vintage Contemporary Stereo LP from has DEMO DISC QUALITY SOUND.
It's all tube, live-to-two-track direct from the Contemporary studio. It’s pretty much everything you want in a recording from this era.
How can you beat a Roy DuNann piano trio recording? 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.
This Shelly Manne album marries Jazz with Broadway in an unexpected, yet sublime union.
Here is the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even 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 Manne and 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 My Fair Lady 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 1956
- 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.
What We're Listening For On My Fair Lady
- 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.
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 Record
My Fair Lady is a recording that belongs in any serious Jazz Collection. Others that belong in that category can be found here.
The Story of the Album
Shelly Manne & his Friends* (*André Previn and Leroy Vinnegar): modern jazz performances of songs from My Fair Lady, as the full name appeared on the 12-inch LP jacket (Contemporary Records C3527), was begun when drummer Shelly Manne, pianist André Previn, and bassist Leroy Vinnegar assembled on August 17, 1956, in the Contemporary studios in Los Angeles to produce an album of jazz versions of miscellaneous show tunes. (The three, having already recorded together as "Shelly Manne and His Friends", had some experience performing as a trio.)
Previn and Manne were exchanging ideas with producer Lester Koenig, who suggested they do some tunes from the current Broadway musical My Fair Lady. Manne and Previn were so impressed with the Lerner and Loewe songs for the show, that they decided to record more of them. They ended up filling the entire album with My Fair Lady tunes. Koenig brought in the complete score, and that evening Manne and Previn, between them, worked out the arrangements and recorded the entire album in one session, with Vinnegar providing the third "very important musical voice in the trio."
Lively and appealing, and clearly aimed at popular taste, the music also showed some daring, in the vein of the experimentation that was a factor in much West Coast jazz in the 1950s. Previn, with considerable musical training, and having composed several film scores himself, was able to suggest certain technical modifications to the harmony and other aspects of the music. Manne, as the date's leader, provided suggestions of his own, for example to treat what was a fast number in the show as a slow ballad instead. The final number, "I Could Have Danced All Night", was given a Latin touch, with Manne even adding the sound of a tambourine. "There was a total thing going back and forth," as Manne later put it.
The sound was recorded by Roy DuNann, later recognized as one of the great recording engineers.
- Get Me To The Church On Time
- On The Street Where You Live
- I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face
- Wouldn’t It Be Loverly
AMG 5 Star Rave Review
This trio set by Shelly Manne & His Friends (consisting of the drummer/leader, pianist André Previn, and bassist Leroy Vinnegar) was a surprise best-seller and is now considered a classic. Previn (who is really the main voice) leads the group through eight themes from the famous play… The result is a very appealing set that is easily recommended.”