Post image for Vinyl Shootout: Freddie Hubbard – Straight Life (ORG Music 180g vs. Pure Pleasure 180g)

Vinyl Shootout: Freddie Hubbard – Straight Life (ORG Music 180g vs. Pure Pleasure 180g)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Original released by CTI Records in 1971. Catalog Number: CTI 6007. Engineer: Rudy Van Gelder. Producer: Creed Taylor. Recorded at Van Gelder Studios, 1970. Edition reviewed: Yellow label repressing. Matrices: Side 1: RVG 87660-A-RE 4 12-29-70 VAN GELDER, Side 2: RVG 87660-B-RE 4 12-29-70 VAN GELDER.

ORG Music reissue released in 2016. 180g vinyl. Catalog Number: ORGM-2005. Matrices: Side 1: ORGM-2005-A BG/CB -35979- P.USA, Side 2: ORGM-2005-B BG/CB -35979- P.USA. Source: “Original analog tapes”. Mastered by: Bernie Grundman. Pressed by: Pallas in Germany. UPC: 887254671619. MSRP: $30. Buy on

Pure Pleasure Records Limited reissue released released in 2014. 180g vinyl. Catalog Number: PPAN CTI6007. Matrices: Side 1: PPAN CTI 6007-A -32929-, Side 2: PPAN CTI 6007-B -32929-. Source: ??? Mastered by: Ray Staff at Air Mastering, Lyndhurst Hall, London. Pressed by: ??? UPC: 5060149622056. MSRP: $35. Buy on

Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), George Benson (guitar), Ron Carter (bass), and Jack DeJohnette (drums).


This is an odd, fun and mostly satisfying record, overshadowed by its more famous predecessor, Red Clay. The music is described well by All About Jazz, so I won’t bore you with another take on it (as per my review philosophy). Bottom Line: This is jam-oriented but serious music with tons of energy and a line-up of genuine superstars.


Original CTI: 7.2
ORG Music: 8.2
Pure Pleasure: 7.4

This is a good but not great sounding recording considering all that is going on instrumentally. The problem is the amount of high frequency energy coming off the drumset and percussion, especially the cymbals and the tambourine. Sometimes these instruments get distorted due to overload. They have an overly metallic quality that is unnerving. There is also a slight glare present on the original and both reissues.

The CTI original suffers the most from the high frequency issues, but it also has more “air” and sounds a bit more “alive.” However, the trumpet sounds thin, the sax has some nasal-ness, and the bass lacks both quality and quantity.

The ORG Music reissue tames some of the high frequency madness. Cymbals and tambourine are more pleasant and less in-your-face, although distortion on the tape is still heard at times. Trumpet and sax have more body and sound more real. Bass quantity is better, but leading edges of plucked strings are more diffuse. Guitar has a slightly cupped-hands quality.

The Pure Pleasure reissue sounds similar in a lot of ways to the ORG Music reissue. However, this reissue goes a little too far in trying to solve the problems on the original. The cymbals and percussion are somewhat rolled off, and high frequency info is missing. The midrange is nice, very similar to the ORG Music reissue in this regard. Unfortunately, the bass is a little too plentiful. Extra bass can be nice, but it overwhelms in spots.

(See reference system for context on sound evaluation.)


Original CTI: 8.8
ORG Music: 4.3
Pure Pleasure: 9.7

Original CTIs of this era are nice from a quality standpoint. They have laminated, gatefold covers, and decent pressings that are above average for the time.

The ORG Music reissue cover is a disappointment. It isn’t laminated, and instead of a gatefold cover, it includes an insert with the text and images from the original gatefold. More problematic, however, is the pressing. My copy is flat and well centered, but it has many light, inaudible scratches on the vinyl. This is likely due to the record moving around in the inner sleeve during shipping, although some marks look like they were from handling during assembly. ORG Music sent me a second copy, which was much better, but still showed signs of mishandling. Not what I’d expect from an audiophile reissue. Both were sealed when I received them. ORG Music is looking into the issue and assured me they’ve received no other reports of problems.

The Pure Pleasure reissue cover is fantastic. It is both laminated and gatefold. It also matches the details of the original’s graphic design better than the ORG Music reissue (although I think the ORG Music reproduces the correct green labels). Pressing-wise, the vinyl is nearly flawless. It is flat, well centered, and fairly quiet. No marks or sonic issues.


An original first pressing might be the way to go, but only if you can find one in perfect shape (check eBay). My original was a mid-to-late ’70s CTI repress, which may be why it has some issues. If you want to avoid rolling the dice on a used original, either reissue provides very commendable sonics. The ORG Music version is best for neutral systems, while the Pure Pleasure version is better for lean or bright systems. If you want the look-and-feel of CTI’s original deluxe packaging, Pure Pleasure will make you very happy, but you’ll pay a little extra for the privilege. It’s great to have options.

ORG Music reissue LP on

Pure Pleasure reissue LP on