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Super Hot Stamper - Charles Mingus - Three Or Four Shades Of Blues

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

Super Hot Stamper

Charles Mingus
Three or Four Shades of Blues

Regular price
$149.99
Regular price
$0.00
Sale price
$149.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • You'll find superb Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it throughout this original Atlantic pressing
  • This side one is big and full-bodied with plenty of energy and lots of space around all of the players, and side two is not far behind in all those areas
  • Robert Christgau called it the best composed bebop he’d heard in 1977; if you’re a bebop fan, we're sure you'll agree!

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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 original Atlantic 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 Three or Four Shades of Blues 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 1977
  • 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.

A Big Group of Musicians Needs This Kind of Space

One of the qualities that we don’t talk about on the site nearly enough is the SIZE of the record’s presentation. Some copies of the album just sound small -- they don’t extend all the way to the outside edges of the speakers, and they don’t seem to take up all the space from the floor to the ceiling. In addition, the sound can often be recessed, with a lack of presence and immediacy in the center.

Other copies -- my notes for these copies often read “BIG and BOLD” -- create a huge soundfield, with the music positively jumping out of the speakers. They’re not brighter, they’re not more aggressive, they’re not hyped-up in any way, they’re just bigger and clearer.

And most of the time those very special pressings are just plain more involving. When you hear a copy that does all that -- a copy like this one -- it’s an entirely different listening experience.

What We're Listening For On Three or Four Shades of Blues

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • 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.

Vinyl Condition

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 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

  • Better Git Hit In Your Soul
  • Goodbye, Porkpie Hat
  • Noddin Ya Head Blues

Side Two

  • Three Or Four Shades Of Blues
  • Nobody Knows

About the Album

Three or Four Shades of Blues is a studio album by the American jazz bassist and bandleader Charles Mingus. It was recorded in sessions held on March 9 and 11, 1977, at New York City's Atlantic Studios, and on March 29 at the Record Plant in Los Angeles. The album features two new versions of Mingus's "standards" and three new compositions performed by large ensembles featuring saxophonists Ricky Ford, George Coleman, and Sonny Fortune, pianist Jimmy Rowles, guitarists Larry Coryell, Philip Catherine and John Scofield, bassists Ron Carter and George Mraz, trumpeter Jack Walrath, and drummer Dannie Richmond.

In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau said the second side on Three or Four Shades of Blue was "the best composed bebop" he had heard in 1977, partly because Coryell and Fortune gave their most impressive performances in some time. The New Yorker found the record "subtle and funny and full of Mingus's peculiar and unmistakable authority." AllMusic's Stuart Kremsky was less enthusiastic in a retrospective review, writing that it was not Mingus's "best work, but not without merit". He felt the title track was one of his most successful attempts at longer compositions, even though he said the electric guitars were out of place.

-Wikipedia