A Great Bargain For A Classic Album
L. Wong | 08/31/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who purchases this CD/LP package will almost certainly base there purchase on the classic title song alone. The album as a whole is a great introduction into classic jazz with its characteristic solo improvisations. The music is really hard not to like.
For the very modest price (I paid $10), one can hardly complain, especially when you're getting both an LP and CD. The LP itself appears and feels like a 180-gram pressing rather than the run-of-the-mill 125 or 150-gram type (bravo!). This translates to lower surface noise. I only heard two or three very faint ticks through the title song (and I do mean faint). There was also noticeably more air and timbre coming from the sax on the LP compared to the CD version. If you haven't heard an LP in the last 20 years, you'd be shocked at how good newer pressings can sound. The CD version may have also undergone some form of electronic compression compared to the LP, which also sounded a little more dynamic. Presumably, Capitol records may have compressed the CD in case listeners felt like ripping it into an MP3 or iPod file. The CD works well enough for the typical noisy car environment or other casual environment. Unfortunately, the LP was slightly off-centered. This meant that the pitch/speed varied enough to be slightly audible. One reviewer implied that the audible "wow" was very obvious. You'd have to listen to judge for yourself but the effect is greater toward the inner bands. In any case, I don't recall the album ever having particularly good sound quality to begin with and both formats reinforced my overall expectations. After all, the final product is only as good as the original source (transferring master).
The CD itself is in a thin, blue paper sleeve that is inserted into the LP's sleeve (obviously a cost cutting production measure). Surprisingly, the LP appears to have some mild rub marks (almost appears as faint scratches) and there is also one very small scratch that looks like it was carved in by a needle. But even these production flaws were not audible. Like I said, for the price how can you complain? The Capitol label is not exactly an audiophile label anyway.
Hence, the one-star deduction.
But I have to say that for the price, this package is definitely a keeper for me.