Unbiased reviews of new vinyl releases, audiophile reissues, and more

Monday, March 14, 2011

Short Spin: John Coltrane -- My Favorite Things 180 Gram Rhino Vinyl

The Music
Rhino continues their vinyl reissue campaign with several Atlantic releases from John Coltrane, including the 1960 classic, My Favorite Things. This record marked his first collaboration with pianist McCoy Tyner and drummer Elvin Jones, who would stay on to record in his classic quartet. The title cut also brought Coltrane his first signature song, and introduced the world to his use of the soprano saxophone. If you'd like to share your love of jazz with your children, grandchildren, or even your husband or wife--My Favorite Things, is the perfect song to do it with.

The Packaging
While Rhino didn't do anything fancy, the packaging is a classy effort and features a very nice medium-heavy weight glossy laminated cover, including a repro "Stereo" sticker. It even has a period-correct glued on rear slick for the rear cover. The heavy weight vinyl, pressed at R.T.I. and housed in their preferred poly inner sleeve, arrived flat, clean, and played throughout with virtually no noise. Another nice packaging touch, was the use of the correct first pressing blue and green Atlantic Stereo label.

(John Coltrane)

The Sound
I compared this reissue, mastered by veteran engineer Bernie Grundman, to my red and green labeled Atlantic reissue from the Seventies, mastered by George Piros. Both versions sound good, and make for an enjoyable listening experience. Compared to the Piros-mastered Seventies reissue, the Grundman-mastered Rhino vinyl comes across sounding rounder and warmer, with a bit less air and detail in Jones' cymbal work, and a bit more lower-midrange oomph to Coltrane's horn. 

Both pressings also contain what sound like tape anomalies--if not quite drop-outs, that occur here and there. I'm not quite sure whether these anomalies are on original pressings, or whether they result from subsequent damage to the tapes. And while noteworthy for review purposes, they don't significantly detract from the listening experience.

Rhino has released a very nice reissue of this classic album, with period-correct packaging, clean and quiet vinyl, and very good sound. If you've had difficulty finding a clean copy of this record on vinyl, or if your system leans towards the bright side and you'd like an alternative listening experience, this reissue from Rhino is very likely for you.


Lucas Supertramp said...

I had been meaning to buy this record for a while now and your review has helped me decide to buy it... thank you

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