Side One: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus
- This outstanding pressing of Leroy Vinnegar's debut album has solid Double Plus (A++) sound on both sides - exceptionally quiet too
- The Contemporary LP stereo sound here is completely natural in every respect - rich, warm and smooth
- Roy DuNann and Howard Holzer engineered some of the best sounding records we have ever heard - here's a textbook example of what the audiophiles at Contemporary were able to achieve in the studio
- 4 stars: "...Vinnegar generously features his talented sidemen... A fine, straight-ahead session."
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For us audiophiles both the sound and the music here are wonderful. If you're looking to demonstrate just how good a 1958 All Tube Analog Contemporary recording can sound, this killer copy will do the trick.
This pressing is super spacious, sweet and positively dripping with ambiance. 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 is, of course, a CD of this album, but those of us who possess a working turntable and a good collection of vintage vinyl could care less.
What the best sides of Leroy Walks! 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 space of the studio
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 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 and this is no exception. 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 Leroy Walks!
- 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 for the bass, horns and drums, not the smear and thickness common to most LPs.
- Tight, note-like bass with clear fingering -- which ties in with good transient information, as well as 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 players.
- Then: presence and immediacy. The musicians aren't "back there" somewhere, way behind the speakers. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt -- Roy Dunann in this case -- would have put them.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Leroy Vinnegar - bass Gerald Wilson - trumpet Teddy Edwards - tenor saxophone Victor Feldman - vibraphone Carl Perkins - piano Tony Bazley - drums
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 later 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.
Would You Like To Take A Walk?
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Walkin' My Baby Back Home
I'll Walk Alone
Walking By The River
On this [album] (bassist Leroy Vinnegar's first as a leader), six of the seven songs have the word "walk" in their title, including "Would You Like to Take a Walk," "Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "I'll Walk Alone," and Vinnegar's original "Walk On." Vinnegar actually does not take much solo space and generously features his talented sidemen: vibraphonist Victor Feldman, trumpeter Gerald Wilson, tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, pianist Carl Perkins, and drummer Tony Bazley. A fine, straight-ahead session.
A mainstay on the West Coast scene since the early 1950s, this was Leroy Vinnegar's first album under his own leadership, cut in 1957. Joining Leroy is a fine group of west coasters, including Teddy Edwards (ts), Gerald Wilson (tpt), and Victor Feldman (vbs), just then making the US scene.
Although Vinnegar's presence is made obvious on all tracks, befitting a leader's role, he doesn't dominate: everyone gets his fair share of the solo spotlight. Wilson stays muted throughout the date and is especially good on WALK ON (a Vinnegar tune) and WALKIN' MY BABY BACK HOME. Most of the tunes are done medium to medium-slow; WALKIN' BY THE RIVER is taken at a brighter pace and features some excellent Teddy Edwards. The well-known Richard Carpenter song, WALKIN' (Miles Davis made a good recording of this tune in 1954), gets a good rendition here. Carl Perkins (p)and Tony Blazely (d) are the remaining two members of the sextet. This is a solid mainstream West Coast date... you should also check out the follow-up album, LEROY WALKS AGAIN. Both are excellent.
-Bomojaz, Amazon Review
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