Worlds Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings on Super Audio CD

October 14, in DVD-Audio News

A collection of performances titled the World’s Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings has been released by Chesky Records as one of their latest Surround Sound Super Audio CD releases. The new Super Audio CD joins two more from the label’s New York Sessions SACD series – New York Time by Christian McBride, Javon Jackson, Jimmy Cobb and Cedar Walton and Traffic by Larry Coryell, Lenny White and Victor Bailey – in music stores and web sites that carry Jazz and Vocal music titles. As with their last round of Surround Sound Super Audio CDs, these three releases are Single Inventory Hybrid Surround Sound SACDs where the SACD serves as both the CD and SACD edition of the album.

Chesky also has planned additional Super Audio CD releases at the end of October and the end of November. Here’s more on the latest Super Audio CD titles from the Chesky Records label.

World’s Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings
Rebecca Pidgeon, Livingston Taylor, Valerie Joyce, Christy Baron, Rosa Passos & Ron Carter, Kenny Rankin, Sara K., Marta Gomez, Laverne Butler, Xiomara, Carlos Franzetti and Ana Caram
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Chesky SACD 323)

For the new Surround Sound Super Audio CD titled World’s Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings, Chesky Records has dipped into their vaults to bring listeners a sampling of some of their most talented vocalists. What is different about this SACD Sampler compared to others you have seen is that the label is combining 5 standout performances that have appeared on Super Audio CD disc with 7 that have not. So there are more performances new to SACD here than what we’ve heard to date. A nice plus, I’d say.

Chesky says that “Chesky Records celebrates its 20th anniversary with The World’s Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings, selections culled from the label’s back catalog. Artists include the established Rebecca Pidgeon, Sara K. and Livingston Taylor as well as up-and-comers including Japanese-born chanteuse Valerie Joyce, Cuban sensation Xiomara and Colombian singstress Marta Gomez.”

The album was produced by David Chesky from material engineered by Barry Wolifson, Bob Katz and Nicholas Prout. The SACD was compiled, edited and mastered by Nicholas Prout with Project Coordination by Lisa Marks and Project Assistance by Lisa Herschfield and Nicholas Oddy. The Hybrid SACD disc was made by Sony DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana on their Hybrid SACD production line.

The new Super Audio CD combines some of the label’s most notable tracks from their work with the format to date with a sampling of other tracks – both old and new from Chesky’s 20 years of recording. The Surround Sound mix focuses attention to the front channels with the label’s usual very ambient approach to Surround Sound. I leave to listeners whether the songs on this SACD are truly the “World’s Greatest” but I will say that Rebecca Pidgeon’s vocals on Spanish Harlem (track 1), the guitar work on Livingston Taylor’s Isn’t She Lovely (track 2) and the vocals and musical detail on What’s A Little More Rain by Sara K. (track 7) are certainly highlights and worthy of a listen here. A very nice collection indeed.

Album Selections
1. Spanish Harlem – Rebecca Pidgeon
2. Isn’t She Lovely – Livingston Taylor
3. Fever – Valerie Joyce
4. Ain’t No Sunshine – Christy Baron
5. The Girl From Ipanema – Rosa Passos & Ron Carter
6. ‘Round Midnight – Kenny Rankin
7. What’s A Little More Rain – Sara K
8. Cielito Lindo – Marta Gomez
9. Isn’t It A Pity – Laverne Butler
10. La Habana Jouen – Xiomara
11. Once Upon A Summertime – Carlos Franzetti
12. Meditation – Ana Caram

New York Time
Christian McBride, Javon Jackson, Jimmy Cobb and Cedar Walton
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Chesky SACD 314)

On this new SACD, we hear the first recording of a quartet that calls itself New York Time. It features veteran jazz players Jimmy Cobb and Cedar Wilson as well as well known newcomers Christian McBride and Javon Jackson.

In the SACD’s liner notes, Jazz Columnist Howard Mandel says “This New York Session – the first documented meeting of the warm and swinging quartet called New York Time – is fine listening, first and foremost, exactly as jazz is supposed to be. This music was captured with the players set up in a semi-circle to address a single, central mike, without amplification or monitors. The resulting jazz more than evokes the tradition, it embodies it. You’ll want to hear it over and over again.”

Chesky adds that “New York Time offers jazz fans an opportunity to hear respected elders like Jimmy Cobb and Cedar Walton playing with two rising stars of the genre – Christian McBride and Javon Jackson. The date is highlighted by several of Walton’s original compositions and a cover of John Coltrane’s “Naima.” McBride’s acoustic bass talents shine on his self-written song “Grove” and Jackson lends his own tune titled “Notes In Three.”

The album was produced by David Chesky and Eleana Steinberg-Tee. It was engineered by Nicholas Prout and Rick Eckerie. The SACD was edited and mastered by Nicholas Prout with Project Coordination by Lisa Marks and Project Assistance by Lisa Herschfield and Nicholas Oddy. The Hybrid SACD disc was made by Sony DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana on their Hybrid SACD production line.

The New York Time “Hi Def Jazz” SACD has a nice live recording sound to it. The performances vary from the mellow to material that is upbeat and swinging. Highlights on the SACD include Sixth Avenue (track 2) and In The Kitchen (track 5).

Album Musicians
Christian McBride – Bass
Javon Jackson – Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Cobb – Drums
Cedar Wilson – Piano

Album Selections
1. Newest Blues
2. Sixth Ave
3. My Shining Hour
4. Notes In Three
5. In The Kitchen
6. Naima
7. Grove
8. Whisper Not
9. Diane
10. Mode For Joe

Traffic
Larry Coryell, Victor Bailey and Lenny White
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Chesky SACD 322)

The new Surround Sound SACD release of Traffic features famed jazz guitartist Larry Coryell along with Victor Bailey, former bass player for Weather Report and Lenny White, the drummer of Return to Forever in a trio that some know as “CBW”. Traffic is also the fourth time that guitarist Larry Coryell has appeared on Super Audio CD – following earlier releases including two Surround Sound SACDs: Three Guitars with Badi Assad and John Abercrombie (Chesky SACD 289) and The Coryells with his two sons (Chesky SACD 235) and From The Ashes, a Single Layer Stereo SACD with Dr. L. Subramaniam (Water Lily Acoustics WLA-CS-59-SACD).

Chesky Records says “Traffic continues the CBW tradition of blending virtuosic original compositions with immaculately conceived interpretations of jazz and classic rock standards. Original songs on Traffic include go-for-the-throat throwdowns like “Judith Loves Jazz,” “Door #3” and “Overruled,” while covers of Thelonious Monk’s “Misterioso” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” are also featured. Traffic uncompromisingly captures the immediacy of uncompressed live music in a sonically rich environment; CBW just let the tape roll and channeled the spirit of the moment. “Monk told me one thing that I will never forget,” Coryell recalls.” He said, ‘Wrong is right, baby!’ And on this record, we all took his advice. We all made mistakes with authority and it sounds good.”

The album was recorded live at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in New York City on April 17, 2006. Traffic was produced by David Chesky and engineered by Nicholas Prout and Rick Eckerie. The SACD was edited and mastered by Nicholas Prout with Project Coordination by Lisa Marks and Project Assistance by Lisa Herschfield and Nicholas Oddy. The Hybrid SACD disc was made by Sony DADC in Terre Haute, Indiana on their Hybrid SACD production line.

Jazz writer Bill Milkowski calls the new Traffic SACD “a blitzkrieg of blazing licks, slamming funk grooves and nasty blues-laced abandon”. I’d have to agree that several of the tracks here including Judith Loves Jazz (track 1) and the trio’s take on Jim Hendrix’ Manic Depression (track 2) fit that description. On the other hand, the SACD also features some mellower moments including Joyce’s Favorite (track 4) and even a lullaby for a baby (Jake’s Lullaby) on track 8. The varied styles show the trios versatility and make the SACD quite a musical journey for fans.

Album Musicians
Larry Coryell – Electric & Acoustic guitars
Victor Bailey – Electric Bass
Lenny White – Drums

Album Selections
1. Judith Loves Jazz
2. Manic Depression
3. Door #3
4. Joyce’s Favorite
5. Misterioso
6. Dedication
7. Drums & Bass
8. Jake’s Lullaby
9. Overruled
10. Electric Jam

Upcoming Chesky Surround Sound Super Audio CD Titles
Chesky plans to continue their release of Surround Sound Super Audio CDs in late October and again in late November. Later this month, music stores and web sites will be featuring SACDs by Hank Jones, Jimmy Cobb and Christian McBride (West of Fifth) and Nicholas Payton, Bob Belden, Sam Yahel, John Hart and Billy Drummond (Mysterious Shorter). These Surround Sound Super Audio CDs will be followed in November by Tribecca Blues by John Hicks, Buster Williams and Louis Hayes as well as the recently announced SACD of Personal Favorites by Fred Hersch.

Chesky New York Sessions – Surround Sound SACD Releases – October 24, 2006

  • Hank Jones, Jimmy Cobb, Christian McBride – West of Fifth (Chesky SACD 313)
  • Nicholas Payton, Bob Belden, Sam Yahel, John Hart, Billy Drummond – Mysterious Shorter (Chesky SACD 321)

    Chesky New York Sessions – Surround Sound SACD Releases – November 21, 2006

  • John Hicks, Buster Williams and Louis Hayes – Tribecca Blues (Chesky SACD 318)
  • Fred Hersch – Personal Favorites (Chesky SACD 324)

    Availability
    The new Single Inventory Surround Sound SACDs of the World’s Greatest Audiophile Vocal Recordings and the two New York Sessions SACDs of New York Time by Christian McBride, Javon Jackson, Jimmy Cobb and Cedar Walton and Traffic by Larry Coryell, Lenny White and Victor Bailey are now available for purchase from the Chesky Records web site for $15.98 each. The Super Audio CDs are also available from music stores that carry Jazz discs and several web sites that carry audiophile and Super Audio CD titles. This includes the Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc, Music Direct, CD Universe, Amazon.Com, eBay and CD Hut web sites.

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