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Everything posted by David

  1. I only have one - Tommy Flanagan's Overseas. It is very well done. Impeccably clear and an amazingly natural piano sound. To be honest, I'm not sure the SACD layer is any improvement (at least on my system) over the CD layer, which is what I usually end up listening to. However, like erwbol, I have gravitated to the Prestige 7000 SHM series, if only because they are about half the cost. I have not compared any two APO SACD / Prestige SHM releases directly, but I imagine you can't go wrong with either.
  2. Echo the sentiments being expressed about the generally high level of quality on the Smalls Live releases. My favorites are the Hays, the Kisor, the Mabern, the Kikoski, the Bernstein, the Avital, and the Grant Stewart (which I'm not sure has been mentioned here yet). But all are worth acquiring. Further, if you are in NY, make sure to visit Smalls. It's a great club and I have never been disappointed by a show there. On another note, thanks for all the recommendations about Smoke Sessions. It looks like the Hazeltine and the Cobb might be my first acquisitions of this label's releases.
  3. Thanks for the responses! If that is the case, I might give emusic a chance.
  4. Can any current (or former user) shed some light on the bit rate used by emusic? I know at one time it was a measly 128kbs. I assume they have increased it to 256k or 320k, but I can't find any information on the site to know for sure. Some of their prices on Smoke/Sharp Nine/Criss Cross/MaxJazz have me thinking that some sort of limited subscription may still be worth it.
  5. Saw Nickel Creek last night at Wolf Trap for the third time. Wonderful!
  6. Saw the Pat Metheny Unity Group for the second time last night at Wolf Trap,with Bruce Hornsby opening. The open air venue swallowed some of Carmassi's contributions and the intricacies of the stripped down Orchestrion's sound, but the group was fantastic. From the last time I had seen them (without Carmassi) they have grown tighter and evolved as a group. Ben Williams in particular appears to have gained confidence, and had several featured solos, where he demonstrated a surprising melodic vein. He took no solos the first time I saw the band. Potter is even more a monster than I remember him, exhibiting mastery and confidence on the tenor, soprano, and baritone saxes. His "All the Things You Are" feature with Pat borders on miraculous. Antonio Sanchez continues to be the grounded center of the group and in my mind, the most perfect drummer for Pat's music he as ever had. I'm not sure I've heard a drummer with a more interesting palette for playing straight eighths, in particular. It even got the wife's stamp of approval, who was interested throughout the entire three-hour set, which probably speaks to why Metheny is both popular and often denigrated by the jazz community at the same time. Regardless, another GREAT Metheny show. I'll continue to catch him whenever I can.
  7. I don't think this is always the case. I know at least the Happenings SHM CD and Hi-Res download have different masterings. I've heard discussion that Somethin' Else and several others may have different masterings as well. In fact, I'm not sure I seen anyone claim the the SHM and Hi-Res masterings are similar. But I haven't purchased too many HiRes files (Happenings, Let Freedom Ring, Rollins Vol.1, My Point of View, The Prisoner, Evolution, Expansions), so I don't have too much to compare.
  8. Happenings is also my favorite Hutcherson! I have the RVG, the SHM, and the HDTracks 96 kHZ download. The SHM is my favorite, though I imagine some might prefer the HDTracks as it is more "flat." Both are better than the RVG, which I also feel is "cloudy" in comparison.
  9. Agreed - US CD is thin and somewhat shrill on my system.
  10. Given this discussion, I thought it might be worthwhile to repost my previous post in September of 2012 in the "What Live Music Are You Going to See Tonight?" thread. ================= If anyone has even a passing interest in Pat Metheny, I HIGHLY recommend trying to catch a Unity Band show. I saw them last night in Orange County and they were absolutely burning. They played for almost 2.5 hours, which included four encores. About 95% of the sold out crowd remained after the end of the last encore. Pat spent most of the night on his hollow-body Gibson electric, jumping to synth for two songs from the new album (Roofdogs and one other), an Orchestrion showcase, and Are You Going with Me (with Potter playing Lyle Mays' parts on the flute!) during the first encore. He began the night on his Pikasso guitar and added his six-string acoustic for part of one song from Unity Band and for an incredible solo acoustic medley (I caught Minuano, Last Train Home, and This Is Not America at least). Except for maybe the first turn on the acoustic, Pat's style was instantly recognizable on all his assortment of guitars. Chris Potter is a great foil for Pat on the lead, and the second highlight of the night for me was a smokin' Metheny-Potter duo version of Solar, with the song beginning as a round, Potter offset from Metheny by the first eight bars of the tune. Incredible. The highlight of the night was a lengthy mini-"Orchestrion" tune constructed over a D-C + D pedal point vamp, with three distinct 'sections' of loops recorded by Pat for a stripped-down Orchestrion (finger cymbals, two xylophone, jars, and one set of cymbals/drums, I believe). After Pat built the vamps, the rest of the band joined in, with Pat and Chris Potter often engaging in soloing simultaneously. The CD doesn't really do justice to seeing this group live. Several songs have an faint-ECM sound on disc, but live, everything was much more "in your face," so to speak. Even their rendition of Two Folk Songs was more immediate than what I remember from 80/81. The primary reason for this "in your face" immediacy, I think, is Antonio Sanchez, who is a force of nature. I never saw Pat with Roy Haynes, but I'm not sure there is a better drummer for Pat than Antonio Sanchez. Their communication was telepathic and his post-bop/disguised funk style is a perfect match for Pat's writing. In any case, one of the best shows I have ever attended. ================ We've recently moved, so I haven't been able to listen much to the new album yet. I am definitely planning to see the new Unity Band live again, however. Other thoughts: I've seen Pat solo with the Orchestrion, and I think the "evolution" of that instrument is pretty neat to witness. The way he's integrated the Orchestrion is completely organic and truly adds a dimension to the band's sound, and the way the rest of the band has embraced it has eliminated any "gimmicky" aspect of it (if there ever was one). Even when Sanchez's and the Orchestrion were "dual" drummers, everything just seemed right. I'd be curious to hear how Carmassi adds his percussion (if he does) to the mix.
  11. Seconded on the music. I thought I was going to be put off by all the vocals, but surprisingly, that was not the case. There are certainly some clunkers in Woody's vocals, but overall, as king ubu said, the arrangements are brilliant, the band swings like crazy, and the sound is excellent. Even more seconded on the liner notes, which in my opinion, are some of the best of any Mosaic set I own.
  12. Sidewinder -- on my system, the Lloyd discs in particular are all noticeable improvements on the Collectables CDs. Some of these sessions (Soundtrack, for example), might not have been recorded well in the first place, so even with an "upgrade," they are okay at best. The Collectables CDs are consistently poorly mastered, so I have welcomed these Japanese Warners as replacements, even if they aren't in the same league as the recent Japanese BNs and CTIs.
  13. Alexandros, Etcetera is a noticeable upgrade over the Conn. Indeed, I have purchased most of this series and they are definite upgrades over the earlier Conn and mid-to-late 90s BN releases. Of course, some of these Conns are really shrill, so an "upgrade" is hardly a ringing endorsement. I haven't purchased any where I already had the BN Works release (like Lee Morgan's Infinity, for example), so I can't provide any comparison in that regard. However, while far from the Analogue Productions "flat" sound, these are definitely not too loud and not fatiguing on my system. I'm not the biggest fan of the original covers, but in my book, the sonic presentation is much improved over any official US release.
  14. Aftab, I have used both CD Japan and HMV. While HMV's prices can be lower, their shipping costs tends to be higher than CD Japan's, and they don't offer my favorite shipping option -- SAL, which is noticeably cheaper. At least for me, the main factors why I choose CD Japan over HMV are the customer service and the superior packaging. Any time I have had any problems or issues, CD Japan has been very quick and responsive, and willing to "make things right." HMV on the other hand is hit or miss. Additionally, CD Japan's packaging, as Clunky alluded to, is excellent. HMV's packaging is on par with what I usually receive from Amazon's Prime Service -- good, if not excellent, but not in the same league as CD Japan. In short, I only use HMV when they have items that are unavailable at CD Japan.
  15. Thanks Scooby! While I am pretty good at identifying chord progressions, singing is a challenge! I am embarrassed at how off my guide tone was after even one modulation. Needless to say, I have never been good at transposing on the fly, and perhaps this exercise will help.
  16. I just wish these were the same price as the Blue Notes. However, sounds like I need to check out the Dolphy and a few of the Rollins', as I love his Prestige sides.
  17. Based on the reviews here, I just ordered a bunch of "early" Blue Notes from the October and November batches - these appear to be limited to six months (at least my Wayne Shorter Speak No Evil and Dolphy Out to Lunch are) and I'll try to work my way through the offerings chronologically, even though there's a few in the Jan and Feb batches I'm quite interested in hearing.
  18. CJ -- thanks for sharing! That was a great read. Plus, the Carmassi video was a joy to watch. Quite a talent indeed.
  19. erwbol -- I can't thank you enough for this information. This is truly useful information. I had been avoiding all of these, but now . . . On a tangential note, I have Shirley Scott - Girl Talk, which was released on SHM around this same time period, and I really like the sound. I don't have anything to compare it to, however.
  20. Never had the SICP 1230/1, but will wholeheartedly agree with Lon that whatever is in the Complete Columbia Collection sounds VERY nice.
  21. White Album seconded here. I'm too young to have experienced the Beatles first-hand; my first exposure to them was during the early 90's, and am part of the grunge generation (Pearl Jam's Ten and Nirvana's Nevermind were the "Beatles" of my youth). Wasn't keen on their early stuff, but even at that age and at that time, recognized something special about the White Album, especially "While My Guitar . . . ," which remains my favorite Beatles song. Since then, Revolver has worked its way up to being on par with the White Album, but for me, the White Album will always be my favorite. And Jim is right about two things: 1) both the mono and stereo versions are well worth acquiring if you are a fan, and 2) Revolution #9 is not worthy of the rest of the album. One advantage of our digital world is that I can save a White Album playlist that simply skips that track.
  22. I sprung for the deluxe set -- well worth the money, if only for the BD audio disc alone. With my setup (mid-fi) this is the best this album has ever sounded to me. Clean, smooth, and while not a "flat transfer," not brickwalled either. I too have nearly his entire output (but fortunately my wife loves him, too!) and Moondance is my favorite of his albums. The multiple of each song are pretty interesting, and mostly noticeably different from the master. Most takes are slower than the final version. There's also at least one additional song that didn't make the final album (I shall sing). To me, the multiple takes show that the final choices, especially for tempo, were clearly superior. Buy without hesitation. This has been on regular rotation in our household since I purchased it.
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