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  • Intimate Live LP Recordings

    Just listening to Vince Guaraldi & Bola Sete Live at El Matador in mono on the VPI Avenger with Soundsmith Paua. I can hear people talking and having dinner in the background, doors opening, the sound of glasses, etc. All with the piano, guitar and trio sounding full and rich at the same time. This is a wow moment in vinyl listening. It really is as if I'm in the room. Quite remarkable. My question is, what are other fantastic live recordings that reveal some of the detail and nuance of the actual environment, as if you are really there? This was my first "blow me away" type of listening session and now am intrigued to pursue other live albums. I just purchased the Eva Cassidy 4 LP set "Live At Blues Alley" hoping this will get me there as well. Not sure if the recording is that fantastic or my equipment just got better (Avenger upgrade and Soundsmith Paua upgrade), but I'm hooked.

  • #2
    That old warhorse "Jazz At The Pawnshop" is certainly one of them.
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    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      You certainly can almost see the smoke filling the club!

  • #3
    Not exactly "live" but very real sounding- Chris Whitley's Dirt Floor. Whitley had already been through the wringer- from a top selling debut album to a series of releases that were all different styles, including edgy hard rock played on his resonator guitar. This record is just him and his guitar, recorded on a 2-track in a barn in Vermont. The record is relatively hard to get- the only release on vinyl was through Classic Records, cut at 45rpm- which was a good thing, but I don't think it sold well for Classic, and the remaining copies are in the hands of the small label that issued it, Messenger Records. Worth the trouble to seek out just for the title track- it is haunting.
    Live records have a special energy. This is a good topic.

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    • Analog21
      Analog21 commented
      Editing a comment
      Funny thing... I never really cared for live albums until I got into High End audio. I always wanted to hear the studio albums but now I'm really doing a 180

    • MylesBAstor
      MylesBAstor commented
      Editing a comment
      Hmmm.....I'll have to check tomorrow but I think I have a CR Whitley release but it's 33 rpm. But memory might be failing me.

  • #4
    The Allman Bros Live at the Fillmore has long been regarded as a top "live" record, but to me, it's more about the fluency of that band at their peak- Duane was already gone by the time the album reached a big audience, as I recall, and they played an almost unheard of combination of southern rock and jazz. Sonically, to me, it's just "ok" though.
    Little Feat's Waiting for Columbus- particularly the side with Dixie Chicken, is also pretty killer- my recollection is that the commonly available original pressings were mastered by TML.
    I'm not a giant Billy Joel fan, but his Songs in the Attic, which includes some of the material that was first released before he got famous, is pretty spectacular, and this even though it was a digital recording- Phil Ramone was responsible, so that's why in my estimation.
    I'm sure I have a list of favorites that come to mind, but part of it is what I'm in the mood for at the time~ others here will no doubt have much to contribute. When a band catches the
    fever, and the audience starts to respond, there is a certain magic that is hard to duplicate. It elevates the performance of the musicians- and is often unscripted-

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    • #5
      I love LIVE recordings...always have! In terms of "intimate live" I can't say I have too many, but undoubtedly those who are more into Jazz could offer up plenty of suggestions. I'm a big fan of the MTV Unplugged titles, which I find generally to have been well done from a production/sound/vinyl quality perspective. Some notables are Eric Clapton, Alice In Chains and Nirvana (the ORG pressing).

      And Neil Young - Massey Hall 1971 (Reprise) is sublime. There is also a Classic Records pressing of this.
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      • Analog21
        Analog21 commented
        Editing a comment
        Maybe 'intimate' is the wrong word choice. I was going after the feeling of being in the audience, more of the atmosphere and ambience of the show. There were a lot of MTV unplugged that they never released. The Cure did a show I think, the Cranberries, and many others. Would be cool if they released more of these.

      • Johnny Vinyl
        Johnny Vinyl commented
        Editing a comment
        For sure! I'd certainly be buying whatever Unplugged titles they released.

    • #6
      Bill Evans "Waltz For Debbie" may be the gold standard.
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      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
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        Bill Evans is great; you should hear the tape.

      • lasercd
        lasercd commented
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        Show off.

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Sadly according to Paul Stubblebine, the tape is beginning to show its age. Not sure if WBD will be reissued in the future. Or at least from the master. You can at times hear the tape age in a few places.

    • #7
      Joni Mitchell - Miles of Aisles (Asylum 1974 2LP). Recorded live at the Universal Amphitheatre, LA (other than 2 songs).
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      • Bill Hart
        Bill Hart commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for remembering that one- the side with Love or Money is killer. I caught that tour, with the LA Express. She was cooking with them. Johnny Guerin's drums sounded great.

    • #8
      Originally posted by lasercd View Post
      Bill Evans "Waltz For Debbie" may be the gold standard.
      Which pressing, señor?

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      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        I've the original black label Waltz for Debby, the OJC and the 45 rpm. The 45 rpm has some advantages and the original 33 rpm others. The OJC trails this pair but if you don't have either of the aforementioned pair and the price is right, the OJC isn't awful. The original black label Riversides are hard to find and as usual caveat emptor. Jazz people played their albums to death while classical collectors played them once and then place the LP on the shelf.

        For intimacy though, Bill Evans Trio Live at Shellys-Manne Hole is just a smidge better. Especially Chuck Israel's bass. I think Chuck has a group that he plays with in Portland, OR now and Charlie King and my buddy Rich Brown has recorded him.

      • astrotoy
        astrotoy commented
        Editing a comment
        The big collection of MD tapes I bought has both Bill Evan's Trio albums Sunday at the Village Vanguard and Shelly Manne's Manne Hole albums. Need to listen to them (1/4" 15ips 2 track). You need to drop by, Myles when you are next in SF. Larry

      • MylesBAstor
        MylesBAstor commented
        Editing a comment
        Deal!

    • #9


      Lovely RSD release. Singer/songwriter with his guitar and a mic at a record store.

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      • #10
        Neil Young, Live at the Cellar Door. Small club in DC.
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        • Analog21
          Analog21 commented
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          The Eva Cassidy live album I just order was at Blues Alley, another small club in DC. Maybe DC is the place to be

        • Bill Hart
          Bill Hart commented
          Editing a comment
          Blues Alley is a great club, been there many times. No big deal to get in, get seated, have a drink and enjoy a performance.

        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          The Neil Young is much better than the Eva Cassidy. No insult meant. The Neil Young caught me totally by surprise and recommended it to Mark who I know loves it too. If only they had kept it in the analog domain. The Neil Young reminds me of the Steven Stills Just Roll Tape that Classic reissued. (in fact Just Roll Tape is very intimate but suffers from some mike overload or distortion at times.) But the reason I brought up JRT is that it, like The Cellar Door release, contain many of their hits in a very stripped down version, without the added harmonies. Serves as a very interesting comparison.

      • #11
        You can definitely hear the audience on this album. In fact, I think I'll play it now.

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        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
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          One of my secret Barber pleasures late at night.

        • allenh
          allenh commented
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          I love cranking Like JT and Black Magic Woman. Fantastic!

      • #12
        McCartney - Unplugged
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        • Johnny Vinyl
          Johnny Vinyl commented
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          Vinyl or CD?

        • JCOConnell
          JCOConnell commented
          Editing a comment
          I have the spain LP issue

        • JCOConnell
          JCOConnell commented
          Editing a comment
          P.S. I bought the import Lp when it came out as there was no U.S. domestic issue

      • #13
        It's late but I'll throw one out album that George Cardas discovered many years ago. Bill Henderson Live at the Times on Discovery Records. Classic later reissued the single "Send in the Clowns."

        I'll sleep on the thread more tonight.
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        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          is your Classic 'single' noisy? I have five copies they all have unacceptable surface noise, bad plating or something... I did find an original copy of Live At The Times from which the single comes from, haven't played it yet.

        • MylesBAstor
          MylesBAstor commented
          Editing a comment
          Haven't played my CR reissue in ages and don't remember. Usually play the original. Actually found a sealed copy for peanuts a while back as a safety copy. 😌

        • lasercd
          lasercd commented
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          Its a great recording but I would say that Mr. Henderson's vocals are an acquired taste.

      • #14
        http://www.ebay.com/sch/Records/1769...lugged&_sop=16
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        • #15
          A couple of recent Mosaic releases:

          Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington @ Cote d'Azur


          Thelonious Monk "At The It Club".


          The monumental reissue set of Art Pepper "Live At Ronnie Scott's" is incredibly well recorded and Pepper is in great form.

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          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            I also have the Art Pepper at Ronnie scots and its among the best of the best live club recordings I have.
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