Analog Planet Rated 9/10 Music, 10/10 Sonics!
TAS Rated 5/5 Music, 5/5 Sonics in the May/June 2023 Issue of The Absolute Sound!
Released as part of the Acoustic Sounds Series celebrating 70 years of Contemporary Records, saxophonist Benny Carter's Jazz Giant album features performances by André Previn, Shelly Manne, Barney Kessel and Ben Webster, amongst others. First released in 1958 and recorded by legendary engineer Roy DuNann, this new edition features ALL-ANALOG mastering from the original tapes by Bernie Grundman. The record is pressed on 180-gram vinyl at QRP and presented in a Stoughton old-style tip-on jacket.
This timeless music is beyond the simple categories of 'swing' or 'bop' and should just be called 'classic.'
This new 180g vinyl pressing of Jazz Giant is excellent, thick, dark, and well-centered. Attention to detail is everything on a reissue like this, and the producers made sure to include period-accurate labels — not exact, but still pretty darn close. Also, the cover is constructed similarly to the original, so the album feels like the real deal. In fact, since this reissue feels and sounds so good, I'm wondering if I even need to keep my original pressing at this point. This edition will no doubt be my go-to 'play' copy from here on out. The bottom line with Jazz Giant is this — if you like classic, timeless jazz sounds featuring some of the best musicians of the period, this Benny Carter album should be instantly added to your must-have and must-listen-to list.
Jazz Giant is a record that lives up to its billing. Carter's improvisations are so beautifully crafted that he might be considered a 'jazz musician's jazz musician,' but not in any exclusive way; his unerring melodic sense draws even casual listeners into the music. This always inspired those around him to play their very best, and when that includes the likes of tenor great Ben Webster, trombone genius Frank Rosolino, guitarist Barney Kessel, and the picture-perfect rhythm section of Andre Previn, Leroy Vinnegar, and Shelly Manne, the results are absolutely delicious. Carter was also a great and very original arranger, and that talent is on full display on this session. Most of the program is devoted to evergreens that date from before the swing era, but Carter's arrangements gave them new life. This classic record has been re-released countless times, but none of those reissues could approach the warmth and presence of this beautifully produced LP. Strongly recommended.
- Contemporary Records Acoustic Sounds Series
- 180g Vinyl
- All-Analog Mastering from the Original Tapes by Bernie Grundman
- Pressed at QRP
- Stoughton Old-Style Tip-On Jacket
|Benny Carter||alto sax, trumpet|
|Ben Webster||tenor sax|
- Old Fashioned Love
- I'm Coming Virginia
- A Walkin' Thing
- Blue Lou
- Ain't She Sweet
- How Can You Lose
- Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me