Recomend Some Albums Recorded with True Imaging.


I am looking for some recommendations of some albums recorded for true imaging.  By that I mean a group of people playing acoustic instruments recorded old school with just two microphones.    Not songs mixed from multiple tracks and balanced to give the impression they are playing in the center.    I have recently been relistening to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle be Unbroken".   This is a raw recording where they found the best bluegrass and early county artists,  sat them down in a studio,   took one take,  and (probably) recording them with just 2 microphones for stereo.  No mixing and minimal processing.  What they played in the room is exactly what you hear.   The results for imaging is all I can say is wow.   Even with a half decent system you can close your eyes and tell where ever instrument is playing from and where they are standing.   And it is the first time I finally understood the phrase " the speakers disappear".

While my main preference is 70's progressive rock I don't think I will find it there.    But Jazz,  Bluegrass, Blues or Classical would be good.  Any suggestions.
delkal
Most old Mercury Living Presence recordings and also most recordings on Dorian and Mapleshade labels.

Progressive rock recordings?  Stick to albums recorded live for the  closest thing. 

Omni speakers like Ohm do the best job of making most recordings sound like the performers are playing live in your room  

Waterlilly, the Sheffield labs direct to D, just about anything by 2L ( the Nordic sound ), etc , interesting new recording by Amber Roubarth ( 17th ward ),  many more...

and the list of others are long, IF your speaker designer cares about time and phase and your electronics are low to no negative feedback 

Steve Earle And The Del McCoury Band: The Mountain. All vocals and instruments (all acoustic) recorded with them all standing around a single stereo microphone. They performed their live shows likewise. One of my favorite ever shows, at The House Of Blues on Sunset Blvd.

For the most lifelike imaging, one has to go binaural. Recorded with a pair of mics in a dummy head, listened to on phones.

Cowboy Junkies - Trinity Sessions?  (maybe???)
Larry Mcneely, Geoff Levin, and Jack Skinner "Confederation" Sheffield Lab #9. Also, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman Mobile Fidelity MFSL 2-430. Also Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, and Paco DeLucia "Friday Night in San Francisco" Live, Columbia
Some good tips so far.   I wasn't thinking that some record labels would specialize in "natural" recordings and will keep my eye out for them.  I did see Mercury Living Presence issued some collector box sets with 50 CDs each.  Instant classical collection.  Can anyone comment on their overall sound quality?   I saw some tracks were recorded in mono.
I have one of the MLP box sets and the sound quality is top notch as has always been the case with those recordings.   
All Mapleshade recordings are minimally miced in real rooms. See at their site. You can play sample tracks. They have a couple of sampler CDs that give a taste of what their sound is. Try "13 Shades of Blue" Blues, Bluegrass and Jazz/blues. The sound is incredible! http://shop.mapleshadestore.com/Recordings_c_11.html
And yes That Nitty Gritty Dirt Band album is incredible. Have you seen the documentary of it? A lot of fun to watch. That’s how I first heard about it. Was on Netfix I believe.
Also check out Chesky Records. They have their Binaural series: http://www.chesky.com/content/binaural-serieshttp:// Very cool! Watch Steve's video on this page.
Everything from M. A. Recordings is minimally miked in real spaces in a single take. Label Owner/Producer/Chief Engineer Todd Garfinkle may record digitally but it doesn't matter. Pick anything from the label's catalogue.  A good place to start is La Segunda by the tango group Sera Una Noche.
Bsmg-   I have been listening to Al DiMeola, John McLaughlin, and Paco DeLucia "Friday Night in San Francisco"  for years.   It is a great album by guitar masters and something like that is exactly what I am trying to find.  The problem is it is a minefield to find the right recording like that.  Years later they came out with a similar album "The guitar Trio".  Same excellent musicians and music......But the imaging was terrible.   On my system you have a trio playing but they are all playing from inside the speakers.  There are a few sections where imaging was good,  they are playing from the center, and you could tell where they were standing.  But for most of the album it was either far right or far left.    I could only listen to it a couple of times then quit.

Sonicjoy-   I will have to look up the documentary on "Will the circle be Unbroken".  I was a kid when the Circle album came out and my parents took us to a number of bluegrass festivals back then.   Luckily i got to see many of the artists.   Watching Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson play sure was a treat.

Thanks to everyone.......I will definitely have to look up all of these record labels.
Well, get the Confederation record; it’s even better than "Friday Night..." I’ve had this record for over forty years and have never heard one better. You may be able to find one on ebay or some online record dealer. No idea what it would cost now, though. Good luck.
The Ancony Records label (all analogue, 100%) started by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings has outstanding recordings. I am generally not a fan of that style music, but their album, "The Harrow and the Harvest" features not only very fine lyrics and acoustic guitar, but the sound quality is excellent. Even that noted audiophile source, "The Wall Street Journal" recommended it for its sound quality.
The recent Macy Gray record, "Stripped' is fabulous. It's a Chesky release.
The 2L I referred is a label with excellent sampler of free downloads in different formats.

there are about 50 copies of Confederation for sale on discogs, NM- grade will set ya back $15 ish delivered to your door :-)

enjoy
 Check out Theloniuos Monk’s - Straight No Chaser - is the album and the track is Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
You will get a sense of the size of the piano being played . Whatever they call it where the player slides their hand down the keys from high to low or vice versa . You can get the sense of the piano’s size if you have your sperakers wide enough apart
Anything from Mercury Living Presence (well, the stereo ones, duh)Most anything from verve. Consider Ella and LouisSome good ones aboveThe ones i note image fantastically on both LP (assuming your TT is set up) and on digital (even if your turntable is totally broken!) but now you need a good dac and a low-jitter source
Top Secret... David Grisman quintet ‘80 LP is the best recording i have for imaging 
Dude!  Great post/question.   I absolutely love this kind of thing.  

Old Crow Medicine Show, I’m with Her, Darlingside, Parson Red Heads (from Portland), A Fine Frenzy, Eric Earley (Blitzen Trapper), and The Milk Carton Kids are some artists/bands that come to mind that are performing and recording this way now.  Can’t think of any Prog acts that did it.  
So if you’re really into this kind of sound put your headphones on and click on these.  If the first one doesn’t give a joyous thrill I’m a monkeys uncle... 


https://youtu.be/xr5Adx54SxQ

https://youtu.be/WfCcnHvv1Rs

https://youtu.be/bAtPeX6Xuxo

Hope these lead you to great music and listening.  This one mike thing is a most excellent trend. Hope it catches on more.  I love the sound of it.  The Binaural recordings mentioned by @tomic601 et.al. Made by Chesky records are really good.  


@delkal,  forgot I wanted to mention that if you’re interested in the orchestral music application of this idea, the Berlin Philharmonic has been recording in their hall with a single mike (array?) up high right above the conductor’s position.  I have their Beethoven symphonies that they recently made this way and it’s the best ever.  
Nobody mentioned "Jazz at the Pawnshop" yet.  A venerable old classic from the late '70's.  The record is the best, then the CD.  All of the hi-res versions I have skew to the right channel.  Very annoying
Bruce Cockburn recordings are all top notch. Both LP's and CD;s image and sound great. Joe
I’ve recently discovered some old school jazz from the “3 Sounds” and amazed by the quality of the recording given the era. Great listen if you’re into jazz. 
Paul Simon - Graceland. Hard to beat.

Look for Ben Webster live recordings like At the Rennaisance.

Opus 3 recordings.
Jaybar
I’ve recently discovered some old school jazz from the “3 Sounds” and amazed by the quality of the recording given the era. Great listen if you’re into jazz.


What are your favorites?
Finn Brothers - Finn was recorded binaurally.  Stunning recording. (This is Tim Finn from Split Enz and Neil Finn from Split Enz, Crowded House)

Check out the Direct 2 Disc recordings from Quality Record Pressings (AcousticSounds.com).  Mostly blues recordings, but the acoustic recordings are just what you are looking for.  Doug MacCleod's releases are unbelievable.  Hearing that foot stomping on a wood stage is wonderful.  His Reference label LPs are also of that same quality.

Also, go back and listen to the Muddy Waters' Folk Singer Quality Record Pressings LP with Buddy Guy on Acoustic and Willie Dixon on stand up bass.  Amazingly quiet and Muddy's voice is bone chillingly good.  
Prior to his passing, Don Grolnick was one of the most prolific musicians around.  While his records are Jazz recordings, the man literally played on 1000's of NYC studio gigs for decades!  Easily recommended would be Don Grolnick - The Complete Blue Note Recordings.  Loaded with all-stars, its a modern-day Jazz classic (if records were still being judged that way!).  Really wonderful music that's impeccably recorded.  The perfect icing on this particular cake would be Grolnick's final recording; Medianoche (Midnight,) a Latin-tinged Jazz outing featuring his bro; Michael Brecker.  

If yr a Jazz fan and don't have these, it'll be the best money you've spent in some time!;)
"Fiesta!" Dallas Wind Symphony/Howard Dunn/ Reference Recordings
Friday Night in San Francisco Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía just awesome 
Amazing Grace/ Aretha Franklin
Belafonte Live at Carnegie Hall
Sheffield direct to disc
Tchaikovsky/ Capriccio Italienne/ Fiedler
Sound Liaison single mic recordings (Carmen Gomes Sings Belafonte)
H.A.R.P. A Time to Sing
Jeff Hamer/ Laura Cortes - Two Amps One Mic
Opus 3 Sound of Quality (sampler)
Minnesota Orch. Showcase (RR)
Cantate Domino
PPM title album and In the Wind
So it sounds like you want audiophile music.
long long ago when I was a junior audiophile I cared more about how my system sounded. At some point I got back to listening to actual music and said Eff the recording quality, Lots of great music not so well recorded. So what. I want great music 
I have plenty of great music to listen to and most are acceptable recordings (but a few sound so bad I can only listen to them in my car).  And my intent is not to find music I don't like.   I would like to find some well recorded examples of good music for occasional critical listening.  And to be honest maybe just for bragging rights when I show off my system.  Nothing worse than trying to impress your friends and playing some compressed track with zero imaging.
OK I'm going to give you one. Get a copy of Wishbone Ash "Argus" but not just any copy. There is a Japanese version remastered on SHM and is also MQA encoded. I bought mine from cdJapan https://www.cdjapan.co.jp/music/
it sounds tremendous it images and its real music.
Sorry, I thought your original question was about music recorded around a central one or two mikes. This applies mostly to roots type stuff.
What style of music do you really want recommendations for?  Just the 70’s progressive rock you mention?  That’s about the most produced or overproduced music you’ll find other than electronica.  I mean, I’ve read about bands that wanted to do their thing live in the studio but the record companies wouldn’t let them.  Stating the obvious I k ow.   But this is a challenge I’ll give some thought to.  
While I am always open to finding excellent recordings for the purpose of this thread lets stick to recorded in one take and minimally mixed.  If not things get too confusing.

I do like progressive music but I just mentioned it as an example of the type of music that is not recorded correctly (for this thread).  That is why I mentioned Jazz, Bluegrass, Blues or Classical. Narrowing it down more I will say Jazz and Classical.  There should be a lot of old school recordings of these.    Its just a matter of finding the good ones. 


There have been some good recommendation so far and I have a couple of new albums coming.  But finding the exact release mentioned, having it in stock and making sure it is not a CD-R copy is the challenging part.
Lou Reed Street Hassle recorded in binaural stereo.
To help the OP, let’s start putting disc # behind our recommendations 
Also Discogs is IMO a great place to find this stuff

OK

RCA LSP 2527 N2PY 1268

This is the 1962 stereo release of Sonny Rollins - “The Bridge”.  It was also issued in Mono but I don’t know what that sounds like.  There are lots of Jazz Buffs around here who can probably tell you a lot more than I know about the production of this record but it may be what you’re after.  It’s just sax, bass, and drums, and some guitar in a room.  I don’t know for sure how it was miked but it sounds very real, very natural.  I don’t have another album that sounds as real in tone, space, and dimension as this one.  I mean, it plays like it’s 3 (or 4) fantastic musicians in my living room - each one in their own specific actual life size holographic space.  It’s like the players are set up in my room.  You can tell where each player was located left to right and the interaction/reverberation/overlap of instruments sounds very realistic.  It this was done by mixing separate tapes I’d be very surprised.  

I love this whole record.  Both music and SQ.  But, If you want to just sample it before purchase it it’s on the streaming services.  You might just try the wonderful track “God Bless the Child”.  It’s on compilations too including the essential sonny Rollins RCA recordings and some others.  

I know this album has been remastered at least a couple of times   Might be interesting to compare  

I’ll try to think of some others not mentioned yet.  


Happy listening. 






friday night san francisco, the 3 guitarists only play together side 2, 2nd and 3rd track. Vinyl!

when setting up a new cartridge, after test records, I use those 2 tracks to make the final anti-skate adjustment

When you get it right the left and right guitars, even though they are different body types, and different strings, sound balanced, center guitar comes alive, and live audience sounds equal l/r.

If ’off’ you strain to hear it ’right’ and don’t enjoy it nearly as much as when you have the confidence to know it’s balanced. Then, you become involved, immersed it the compositions and skills.

I have it on CD, Vinyl is better on a darn good, well set up TT.

.............................
remote balance.

I found, and I think you would truly enjoy and benefit from remote balance.

MANY tracks (already in your collection) are slightly off balance, a slight tweak can make a large difference, imaging, everything ’opens up’, there is a lot of hidden magic that is unappreciated if off just a bit.

I used to walk forward and back, a real PITA. I got and love this Remote Line Controller.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Chase-Technologies-RLC-1-REMOTE-LINE-CONTROLLER-Complete-In-Original-Box-NEW/333463145628?hash=item4da3f3cc9c:g:bV8AAOSwEDFdpQFT

Absolutely No Noise is True. s/n 105db. I and my audiophile friends, pre-disposed to simple signal path, can never tell if in line or not.

Nicely, it remembers last input used, and last volume level. Several other features/benefits but it’s primary use is to tweak balance.

My friend moved his wonderful system to a space with left speaker near a wall, other side open. Never gonna be perfect, but his solves the problem to a great extent.

.......................................

phase reversal

you may want to follow this phase reversal thread

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/how-to-tell-if-lp-is-recorded-with-phase-reversed



Imaging is usually executed by multi-miking.  Old jazz standards from the 1960's and early 1970's are the best for my tastes.  A mic on stage left, a mike on stage right, and often, a mike on the soloist.  Unfortunately, the bass suffers on many of these mixes, because nearly anyone had a lot of power back then for good woofs.  At least try to get analogue recordings.  AVOID anything early on that brags about being purely digital.   
Night Train, Oscar Peterson Trio

You might love a small jazz trio right in the room with you

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AAHAWMO/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I own a lot of Oscar Peterson, this one is wonderful, listened to it last night.
Older recordings of Eric Bibb. 
Sonny Rollins - The Bridge is a very fine recording, but while it has the typical jazz setting with one solo instrument 100 percent in the left and another 100 percent in the right channel it doesn’t feel very live to me.
Jazz at the Lincoln Center i.e "Live in Cuba" doesn’t have this.
Bruce Springsteen "The live Series" brings us lots of very live and straight recordings from the past 45 years!
I agree Jazz at the Pawnshop is a must listen. I am certain I have ground down the high frequencies on "High Life", but it is still one of my favorite tracks.  Almost anything from Professor Johnson/Reference Recordings would be worthy.
Rudy went Stereo Early.

tape recording was stereo 1956, LP stereo cutting 1958.

Major labels like Columbia had deep enough pockets to hire double the engineers and pay double the cost of labor to have two separate teams simultaneously working on the mono and stereo versions of an album. But Van Gelder enjoyed working alone, and Blue Note couldn’t afford such a robust staff anyway. Was there a way for the engineer to create both the mono and stereo master lacquer disks from a single session tape?

If he only recorded to full-track tape it would have been impossible to create a stereo master from that tape, and recording to two-track tape only would have initially seemed like an unattractive option since Van Gelder did not have a stereo monitoring system in his Hackensack studio.

But just when all hope for the desired simplicity seemed lost, Van Gelder, known to be quite resourceful in the studio, realized a third option: if he made both the mono and stereo LPs from a single two-track tape, he didn’t have to monitor the sessions in stereo. In other words, even if the music was being recorded to two tracks, he could still do all the recording and mixing during a session while listening to a single speaker. That way, when he went to create the mono master disk later, as long as he summed the channels together at equal volumes during the session, all he would need to do was sum them back together again the same way and he would hear exactly what was heard during the session. He called this clever method of getting two recordings for the price of one “the 50/50 system”, and on Halloween 1958, Art Blakey’s Moanin’ (BLP 4003) became the last Blue Note album ever to be recorded to full-track tape by Van Gelder.