This is a great write up of Impex Legrand Jazz 45 RPM two-set disc on the soon to be release HiFi+ Issue 180. 2019 gave us too many choices of great music on vinyl, and so many delivered excellent sound too. Two of the three best sounding LP issues of the year, as usual, appeared in the waning moments of last year, and two of the three sound more than vaguely familiar, because they are supercharged versions of records released in earlier years.
Legrand Jazz is a 1958 recording from the best of times and places-a recording made in Columbia’s famed 30th Street Studio at the height of the golden age of recording when Columbia had the cream of the jazz world’s stars at its disposal. This recording was made to show off that stable of players, and includes performances by, among others, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans and Ben Webster. Each of these star players made better albums, but this gathering of the greats produced an extremely fine performance that never disappoints. lmpex released the reissue in a 33 RPM platter, and we gave it the highest ratings for recording and music back in Issue 153. This new 45 RPM two-disc set demonstrates that all top ratings are not created equal. Instrumental texture is the biggest beneficiary of the new mastering by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering-Ben Webster should always sound juicy, but here he is downright succulent.