30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Vaughan, Sarah - Sings George Gershwin, Vol. 1 - Super Hot Stamper

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

Super Hot Stamper

Sarah Vaughan
Sings George Gershwin, Vol. 1

Regular price
$349.99
Regular price
Sale price
$349.99
Unit price
per 
Availability
Sold out

Sonic Grade

Side One:

Side Two:

Vinyl Grade

Side One: Mint Minus Minus

Side Two: Mint Minus Minus

  • Sarah Vaughan's 1957 release returns to the site for only the second time with excellent Double Plus (A++) sound throughout this early Black Label Mercury stereo pressing
  • This copy has more richness, space, clarity, dynamics and, most especially, vocal intimacy than most of what we played
  • Hard to imagine we would ever run into a quieter copy than this one - Mint Minus Minus with no marks that play and no groove damage makes this a very special copy indeed
  • Hal Mooney brilliantly handles the arrangements, letting Sarah stretch and bend Gershwin's notes to her heart's content

More Sarah Vaughan / More Pop and Jazz Vocal Albums

100% Money Back Guarantee on all Hot Stampers

FREE Domestic Shipping on all LP orders over $150

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Sarah Vaughan singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of older recordings (this one is now 65 years old), 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 less than one out of 100 new records do, if our experience with the hundreds we've played can serve as a guide.

Need a refresher course in Tubey Magic after playing too many modern recordings or remasterings? These Mercury pressings are overflowing with it. Rich, smooth, sweet, full of ambiance, dead-on correct tonality -- everything that we listen for in a great record is here.

THIS is the sound of Tubey Magic. No recordings will ever be made that sound like this again, and no CD will ever capture what is in the grooves of this record. There actually is a CD of this album but those of us with a good turntable couldn't care less.

What The Best Sides Of Sings George Gershwin, Vol. 1 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 1957
  • 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.

Sarah in Her Prime

We’ve been fortunate to have a number of excellent sounding Sarah Vaughan records find their way onto our turntable over the course of the last few years, but not all that many of them have made it to the site.

Most of the reason for this sorry state of affairs can be attributed to the paucity of clean copies of her prime albums for Mercury (Emarcy being Mercury’s jazz subsidiary) in local record stores. Most of the time her best albums are either missing or scratched. Plenty of Pablos and Mainstreams, sure, but we have never been all that impressed with either label’s recordings of female vocalists.

Finding 65-year-old pressings in audiophile playing condition is not easy, but if you hit the records shops in Los Angeles often enough, a copy or two per year is bound to come your way, and eventually there will be enough LPs to do a shootout. Case in point: This very pressing is the result of years of digging through the bins. And when the sound and music are this good, we feel that the time and money that went into finding such a wonderful record were well spent indeed.

What We're Listening For On Sings George Gershwin, Vol. 1

  • 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 note-like 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 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.

Side One

  • Isn't It A Pity
  • Of Thee I Sing
  • I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise
  • Someone To Watch Over Me
  • Bidin' My Time
  • The Man I Love

Side Two

  • How Long Has This Been Going On
  • My One And Only
  • Lorelei
  • I've Got A Crush On You
  • Summertime

Sarah and Her Remarkable Pipes

Vaughan’s New York Times obituary described her as a “singer who brought an operatic splendour to her performances of popular standards and jazz.”

Fellow jazz singer Mel Tormé said that Vaughan had “…the single best vocal instrument of any singer working in the popular field.” Her ability was envied by Frank Sinatra who said that “Sassy is so good now that when I listen to her I want to cut my wrists with a dull razor.” The New York Times critic John S. Wilson said in 1957 that Vaughan possessed “what may well be the finest voice ever applied to jazz.”

Vaughan’s vibrato was described as “an ornament of uniquely flexible size, shape and duration,” a vibrato also described as “voluptuous” and “heavy.” Vaughan was also accomplished in her ability to “fray” or “bend” notes at the extremities of her vocal range. It was noted in a 1972 performance of Leslie Bricusse and Lionel Bart’s “Where Is Love?” that “In mid-tune she began twisting the song, swinging from the incredible cello tones of her bottom register, skyrocketing to the wispy pianissimos of her top.”

Though usually considered a “jazz singer,” Vaughan avoided classifying herself as one. Vaughan discussed the term in an 1982 interview for Down Beat:

I don’t know why people call me a jazz singer, though I guess people associate me with jazz because I was raised in it, from way back. I’m not putting jazz down, but I’m not a jazz singer…I’ve recorded all kinds of music, but (to them) I’m either a jazz singer or a blues singer. I can’t sing a blues – just a right-out blues – but I can put the blues in whatever I sing. I might sing ‘Send In the Clowns’ and I might stick a little bluesy part in it, or any song. What I want to do, music-wise, is all kinds of music that I like, and I like all kinds of music.

-- Wikipedia