The Nearness of You by Jazz Saxophone player Bennie Wallace is now available in the U.S. Market. Originally released by the Enja Records label in Germany as a Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CD, the album has been available in Europe for some time. Recently its availability was expanded into the U.S. market when it was picked up by several web sites that specialize in SACD and Audiophile titles.
This is the second Hybrid Stereo SACD release by Bennie Wallace. His previous release was the well received Moodsville album on the Groove Note label (Groove Note GRV 1010-3). That one was an original Direct Stream Digital (DSD) recording that featured Wallace and a Jazz trio performing 9 classic compositions.
The Nearness Of You
Bennie Wallace with Kenny Barron and Eddie Gomez
SACD Stereo/CD Audio
As with Wallace’s previous Super Audio CD, this one features him performing a series of classic songs. He’s backed by Jazz stars Kenny Barron on Piano and Eddie Gomez on Bass. The album itself comes in a Digipak with a booklet inside that has pictures of the trio as well as pictures and details of the recording session.
Enja Records says “On his album “The Nearness Of You” Bennie Wallace presents a select ballad program of subtle refinement and extraordinary beauty executed by a drummer-less trio of masters. Pianist Kenny Barron (who made some 80 albums as a leader and hundreds as a sideman) is among the all-time greats on his instrument. He worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Stan Getz, J.J. Johnson and other immortals and recently did a duet album with Regina Carter. Bassist Eddie Gomez, a living legend on his instrument, came to fame as a member of the Bill Evans Trio (1966-1977) and is hailed as the true successor of bass wizard Scott LaFaro. The three of them navigate ten American evergreens with unmatched artistry and unusual deepness. An instant classic of timeless mainstream jazz, excellently recorded (CD/SACD).”
The album was produced by Joe Harley who has handled many of the Groove Note and AudioQuest SACDs over the years. It was engineered by Joseph Marciano and Max Ross, mastered by Bernie Grundman with DSD and SACD Engineering by Lon Neumann of the Super Audio CD Center. The Hybrid SACD was replicated by Sony DADC at their Hybrid replication line in Austria.
In listening to the SACD Stereo tracks of the album, I would agree that it is excellently recorded as the Enja Records folks say. The SACD does a wonderful job of capturing Wallace’s sax as well as Barron’s piano playing. Fans of some elegant and subtle jazz playing will enjoy this one.
Bennie Wallace – Tenor Saxophone
Kenny Barron – Piano
Eddie Gomez – Bass
1. Come Rain Or Come Shine
2. Willow Weep For Me
3. Crazy He Calls Me
4. Cocktails For Two
5. Why Was I Born
6. The Nearness Of You
7. I’m Old Fashioned
8. I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face
9. Some Other Spring
10. ‘Tis Autumn
As noted earlier, the Hybrid Stereo SACD of The Nearness of You by Bennie Wallace has been available in Europe for some time. It is now available for purchase in the U.S. via several web sites that carry Super Audio CD and Audiophile titles including Acoustic Sounds, Elusive Disc and Audiophile Resource.