The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus*
- An outstanding MONO pressing of Sonny Meets Hawk! with solid Double Plus (A++) sound or close to it from start to finish
- Exceptionally big, rich and Tubey Magical, on this pressing you will find the tonally right-on-the-money sound that is a touchstone of the best Living Stereo LPs (even the ones in mono)
- Amazing music from two saxophone masters on one of the most powerful jazz records we know
- 4 stars: "Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins each virtually defined the tenor saxophone for his respective generation. To hear the two of them interacting freely is a deliciously exciting experience. Hawkins is able to cut loose like never before."
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NOTE: On side two, a mark makes 3 light ticks, followed by 1 moderate pop, two loud pops, and 1 light tick at the beginning of Track 2, Lover Man.
For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are enchanting. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good 1963 All Tube Analog sound can be, this copy will do the trick.
This pressing is 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 may well be a CD of this album, but those of us in possession of a working turntable and a good collection of vintage vinyl could care less.
What the best sides of Sonny Meets Hawk! 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
This record shows off Living Stereo sound at its best. The full range of instrumental colors are here presented with remarkable clarity, dynamic contrast, spaciousness, sweetness, and timbral accuracy. If you want to demonstrate to a novice listener why modern recordings are unsatisfactory, all you have to do is play this record for them. No CD ever sounded like this.
I don't think the RCA engineers can cut this record any better -- it has all the Living Stereo magic one could ask for, as well as the bass and dynamics that are missing from so many other vintage Golden Age records. This is pretty much as good as it gets, folks.
What We Listen For on Sonny Meets Hawk
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians 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.
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.
All the Things You Are
If Hawk's versatility came in handy when he backed Abbey Lincoln during Max Roach's 1960 We Insist! Freedom Now Suite, he took on an assignment of challenging dimensions when in 1963 he cut an entire album with Sonny Rollins in the company of pianist Paul Bley, bassists Bob Cranshaw and Henry Grimes, and drummer Roy McCurdy.
Coleman Hawkins and Sonny Rollins each virtually defined the tenor saxophone for his respective generation. To hear the two of them interacting freely is a deliciously exciting experience. Hawkins is able to cut loose like never before. Sometimes the two collide, locking horns and wrestling happily without holding back.
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