Vinyl Review: Harry James. Comin’ From A Good Place – Sheffield Lab 6 – Released 1977
Vinyl surface noise: 5 (not pops and clicks)
Dynamic Range: 5
Stereo Imaging: 5
Image depth/perspective: 5
Overall frequency response: 5
- The Footstomper
- You’ll Never Know
- Moten Swing
- Two O’Clock Jump
- Watch What Happens
- Tuxedo Junction
- Opus Number One
- Make The World Go Away
- Blues For Sale
If you read my review of Lab3 you probably know where this one is heading. This is another great church recording in the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. It won Audio Technica’s first place award for Audiophile excellence.
Even though I spent years in the pop music recording industry I still love the sound of big band music. I can only assume it came from my father and all the nights I spent in dance halls as a young man. A consummate professional and great trumpet player, Harry James, when paired with his big band, provides great performances of everything they have committed to this vinyl. His bands’ performance coupled with Sheffield labs engineering skills provide a feast of outstanding tracks. If this recording doesn’t raise the hairs on the back of your neck, you might want to check your pulse!
The church ambience for this recording is immediately obvious and opened up the front of my room. The instrument placement and imaging was pin point, and an exact replica of Lab3. Not surprising as both recordings were made in the same chapel, with (I assume) the same instrumental line up and placement.
So, does it equal or better Lab 3?
While it doesn’t have an extended outstanding drum solo that created the 5+ dynamic rating for Lab 3, the overall dynamics are the same or a little better than Lab 3, if that’s possible, and the vinyl is really quiet at all times. If pushed I would say that this recording is just a little more open than Lab3 and the stereo imaging fractionally more precise, but I’m splitting hairs here. Maybe it’s because the vinyl is so quiet. It has all the same tonal qualities, imaging and depth placement as Lab 3, and every instrument sounds like you are there, standing in front of the band. Harry and all the musicians excel at all times, with the double bass, kit and brass punching it out, just as before. If you like sax, and I do, there is plenty of that on these tracks with numerous outstanding sax solos throughout. Every track has something to offer the listener, whether it’s Harry’s solos, a sax solo or the trombone solo on S2T5, all are first rate. Every instrument in the lineup gets its moment and I just loved the front row lineup of all the saxes right in front of me.
For once I can’t really select one track as rising above another. Yes, they are musically different, but all are sonically outstanding. While some albums provide tracks with awesome drum kits (E.G. The Sheffield Drum Record – Lab 14), bass lines and solos, I am not too sure how any album recordings can better this from a musical and technical perspective…..just awesome!
If you like Big Bands, Jazz and Harry James this is yet another album you should absolutely have in your collection.