Direct-to-Disk, Yeah, Baby

I was first exposed to Direct-to-Disk in 1973 when a friend played the second Sheffield disk, "Lincoln Mayorga and Friends, vol. II." A couple of years later I was working at an audio store in SoCal where I picked up that album and vol. III that introduced brass. We played the Thelma Houston and Pressure Cooker album so much as a demo record there that I ended up not buying that one.

Since then I've picked up a Buddy Rich D2D called "Class of '78" to go along with my new turntable last March, and then another Sheffield, "Tower of Power Direct."

Suddenly this past week I've had two D2Ds come through the door. The first was one I didn't know existed, Buddy Rich and Mel Torme, "Together Again for the First Time." I got it off eBay from a UK vendor to accompany a rare Pat Metheny Geffen pressing of 1990's "Question and Answer." Lemme tell ya, on this album, Mel is IN the Room!

Then yesterday I discovered a huge antiques emporium on the floor above my local Burlington Coat Factory outlet. It's like a permanent flea market of purveyors of old stuff. That includes LPs, and sifting through one vendor's collection, I came across Sheffield's "The King James Version" D2D of Harry James orchestra for $3. Took it home and spun it, and Yowzah! This may be the best-sounding LP I have. The clarity and transparency are absolutely stunning, and as I've mentioned, I have 6 other D2Ds and am well-exposed to others. But this one is fat, rich, lush, clear. It helps that I love big band swing.

Les DeMerle was the drummer on this. I saw him in a drum clinic the same year this album was made and he's a monster.
Rough Trade is impossible to find.

I agree with dd being great. Teh best record I ahve, sound-wise, is the Canadian Brass recording on Umbrella.
D2D of Harry James orchestra for $3. Took it home and spun it, and Yowzah! This may be the best-sounding LP I have.

Agreed. I have the JVC XRCD version of Harry James and his Big Band made from the analog tapes recorded during the D2D sessions ( done in a church ) Excellent sound and very realistic.

I have also owned "Tower of Power" D2D "CD Version" and whilst extremely good there is better => Tower of Power "Soul Vaccination" Live album is all good recordings you need to crank it though (as it has tremendous dynamic range and a thin but accurate bass which does not work at low levels)

Another great recording is Homage to Duke by Dave Gruisin - stunning sound although a bit heavy in the bass(there is also a Sheffield D2D of Dave Grusin although it is nothing special, IMHO.) Another nice recording is "Digital Duke".

Also Steve Ferrone's Farm Fur "More Head" is amazing live sound and of course amaxingly groovy drumming.

Another Sheffield recording is their drum track - if your system can handle this well at the elevated levels of a real unamplified drum set (up to around 115 db SPL) then you are there!

Johnny - please keep the suggestions coming (I don't have vinyl but a good recording is a good recording)
If you like the Harry James Sheffield, check out:

1. The Direct Disc Sound of the Glenn Miller Orchestra, on either Great American Gramophone Company or Century Direct Disk labels (not sure which came first but both sound great

2. Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass: Big Band Jazz, on Umbrella DD-4

I like both of these more than the Sheffield recordings.

Another one, not Direct Disk, but Digital is the Glenn Miller: In A Digital Mood on the GRP label. It's got a bit of that digital glare, but still tremendously fun listening on either lp or CD