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White Hot Stamper - Sonny Rollins - Brass / Trio

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

White Hot Stamper

Sonny Rollins
Brass / Trio

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Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • An incredible sounding early Stereo pressing with Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it from start to finish
  • Both sides are full-bodied, musical and present with lots of space around all of the players — the classic sound of top quality vintage jazz vinyl - accept no substitutes!
  • This is a tough album to find with the right sound and surfaces - most copies we run into are beat to hell
  • "In 1958 Sonny Rollins split an LP between two very different settings... [he] excels in both of these settings, making this an easily recommended set."

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This isn't an easy album to come by and even when you find a clean-looking one they tend to be pressed on ticky vinyl, and, as you might expect, not all of them sound all that good.

Add in the fact that you're always going to pay good money for a clean early pressing like this one, and you'll realize that getting a great copy in your collection is not going to be an easy task.

Unless of course, you'd like to take this 100% Guaranteed Hot Stamper home for a spin -- that's probably the easiest (and cost-efficient) method. And who knows if we'll ever find another copy like this one? Certainly, we haven't been able to find a good one for many years, and we've been doing this for a LONG time.

This vintage Verve 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 Brass/Trio 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 1958
  • 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 Brass / Trio

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The lead instruments 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 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.

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

  • Who Care?
  • Love is a Simple Thing
  • Grand Street
  • Far Out East

Side Two

  • What's My Name?
  • If You Were the Only Girl in the World
  • Manhattan
  • Body & Soul

AMG Review

In 1958 Sonny Rollins split an LP between two very different settings. On four selections he is backed by a big band arranged by Ernie Wilkins (Rollins's appearances with big bands have been quite rare through the years) including Gershwin's "Who Cares?" The flip side showcases the great tenor in a trio with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Charles Wright including "Manhattan," one of the very few jazz versions of "If You Were the Only Girl in the World" and a brilliant unaccompanied performance of a song often associated with his idol Coleman Hawkins, "Body and Soul." Rollins excels in both of these settings, making this an easily recommended set.