The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- An original RCA Black Label pressing with outstanding Double Plus (A++) Living Stereo sound or BETTER from first note to last
- A superb 1963 Living Stereo recording with tons of Tubey Magic, one of Sonny's best
- We've played quite a number of Our Man in "X" RCA titles, and I don't think we have ever heard a bad one
- It's the exceptionally rare copy that sounds as good as this one does - let’s find it a good home!
- Recorded live in 1962 at the Village Gate in Greenwich Village, NY and featuring Bob Cranshaw, Don Cherry, and Billy Higgins
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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 Living Stereo 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 Our Man In Jazz 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 1963
- 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.
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.
What We're Listening For On Our Man In Jazz
- 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.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The saxophone isn't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. It's front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put it.
- 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.
- Dearly Beloved
There is a very valid argument that says the Village Vanguard session with Elvin Jones and Wilbur Ware is one of the tenor saxophonist's definitive live recordings but this Village Gate gig should also rank highly. It could also be called the Ornette connection, given the presence of Billy Higgins as well as Don Cherry alongside Rollins, and the input of the ‘New Thing’ tyros had an entirely galvanising effect on the saxophone colossus.
The 25-minute examination of ‘Oleo’ is one of the great exhaustive workouts in the Rollins canon, replete with the rich rhythmic and harmonic creativity that blurs the boundary between post-bop and avant-garde. Yet the much more leisurely approach of ‘Dearly Beloved’ is an equally thrilling display of tension-release dynamics as the various tempo and texture shifts make the piece a beautiful miniature mosaic.
Rollins' accompanists are all on excellent form, but Higgins in particular is a marvel of invention, his never-ending stream of ear-catching accents amount to a display of light-touch virtuosity that would have been greatly instructive to the forthcoming generation of funky drummers who decisively helped James Brown to revolutionise R&B a few years down the line. But then again, Rollins' music, for all its grandstanding technique, always had a whole lotta soul. The bonus tracks from a studio date where the great Henry Grimes replaces Bob Cranshaw on double bass are also good value.