Vinyl Review: The King James Version – Harry James and His Big Band – Sheffield Lab 3

Vinyl Review: The King James Version – Harry James and His Big Band – Sheffield Lab 3 – Released 1976 


Vinyl Review: The King James Version - Harry James and His Big Band - Sheffield Lab 3

Lab3. The King James version – Harry James and His Big Band – 1976




Surface noise: 4

Dynamic Range: 5+

Stereo Imaging: 5

Image depth/perspective: 5

Overall frequency response: 5







Side One

  1. Corner Pocket
  2. Lara’s Theme
  3. Cherokee
  4. More Splutie, Please

Side Two

  1. Traces
  2. Don’t Be That Way
  3. Sweet Georgia Brown
  4. Shiny Silk Stockings
  5. Blues Stay Away From Me

Just one word describes this album :


This album WON a GRAMMY NOMINATION for engineering excellence. It was recorded at the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood.

Being brought up in a house where my father, who made his living as a big band conductor and having his own jazz band, would regularly play his bass and alto sax, clarinet and violin at home. I still remember what they all sounded like as I sat there watching him play.

The musicianship was outstanding on all tracks being incredibly tight. This recording truly shows what a well rehearsed and professional band of musicians can achieve.

To this day this disc never ceases to amaze me. Its dynamics, stereo imaging, depth of field and overall frequency response of all the tracks are astonishing. I often listen to this disc just to remind myself just how good D2D can be and use it as one of my “go to” discs to show friends and colleagues just how a big band (or any) recording can and should sound. The stereo imaging and depth of image are all there at their best, with the drum kit just hanging there in space just up to the LHS of center. The remaining instruments being pinpoint placed, exactly as shown in the album artwork. I suspect this is, in part, a direct result of using just a single point stereo mic with, I assume, no fill from any others. It was amazing how the front of my room was transported into becoming the chapel where this was recorded.

The drum kit dynamics and clarity, and the tightness of the double bass just roll through you. Tracks like Cherokee and More Splutie, Please, really show the level of achievable dynamics and the bass clarity. With the brass section; trumpets, trombones and saxophones, and Harry’s solos, in fact all solos, providing a level of realism I rarely hear on many other albums.

Vinyl noise is suitably low and is never intrusive or audible during a track, only being noticeable at the album lead in and between tracks.

If you like Big Bands, Jazz and Harry James this is an album you should certainly have in your collection.

Purchase vinyl and CDs from Discogs, and CDs from Sheffield Lab.

See my other vinyl reviews here.