CES 2005: Groove Note Records was one of the music labels and partners featured at the Elusive Disc booth during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The connection is not surprising since Elusive Disc serves as the U.S. Audiophile Market distributor for the label and has been a key factor in getting the word out about the label’s excellent jazz reissues and original audiophile recordings featuring Jacintha. During CES, Groove Note provided me with news about their first 5 Super Audio CD releases in 2005, including one which was launched a couple of weeks after the show.
At the Elusive Disc Booth
At the Elusive Disc booth at CES, I saw a wide assortment of Super Audio CD releases with sale pricing. Included in the sale were mainstream SACD titles from Sony Music and Universal Music as well as new SACDs from small audiophile labels including FIM, Naive, BIS, Brilliant Classics, Jazz Stream, TACET, Cybele, Proprius and Linn Records. The booth also featured some titles on Vinyl LP and some Aluminum CD and DVD-A titles as well.
Also on display was the cool looking Shanling T-200A Stereo CD Player, imported from China by Music Hall, the Aural Audio Audition Headphone Amp and the AKG K-1000 headphones. For potential music buyers, Elusive had several listening stations which consisted of Sony 5 Disc SACD Changers paired with headphones where you could sample some of the SACDs available for sale before buying.
Roy Gaines Blues SACD – Now Available on Groove Note
Some time ago, the Groove Note audiophile label announced that they planned to issue the Roy Gaines Blues album entitled I Got The T-Bone Walker Blues on a Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CD. The news from Groove Note Records owner Ying Tan is that the SACD has been completed and is now available for purchase through the Elusive Disc web site, with additional audiophile web sites and music stores to follow. (The Gaines SACD was slated to be available during the CES show, but production schedules didn’t enable that to happen).
The new SACD features Roy Gaines’ tribute to T-Bone Walker. The original Stereo CD release of this recording in 1999 was hailed by critics as one of the best audiophile recordings of that year. So the new SACD edition should be very interesting indeed as it was produced by Groove Note’s usual top flight production team of Producer Joe Harley, Engineer Michael Ross and Mastering Engineer Bernie Grundman.
Groove Note describes the release by noting that “Roy Gaines is the greatest living blues guitarist that you probably don’t know anything about. Not only is Mr. Gaines a sizzling blues guitarist, he also possesses one of the most magnificent blues voices around! The real tragedy is that until very recently this supremely talented musician was almost forgotten by blues fans in the U.S. Born in Houston in 1937, Roy started playing the guitar as a teenager and soon developed a reputation as an instrumental prodigy. By fourteen, he was actually being invited on stage to play with the legendary T-Bone Walker during the latter’s live gigs in Houston and became known as T-Bone Jr. By his early 20s, Roy was playing and recording with Roy Milton’s band in LA but returned to Houston to join the Duke/Peacock blues label as a full time session guitarist on such seminal blues recordings as Bobby Bland’s It’s My Life Baby and Junior Parker’s Driving Me Mad. He was also the featured guitarist on a whole bunch of singles recorded by Big Mama Thorton for the same label.
The focus of this album is on the music and spirit of the late and very great T-bone Walker, Roy’s earliest mentor and inspiration as a guitar player. T-Bone’s body of work includes such timeless blues standards as Stormy Monday, Dreamgirl, West Side Baby, T-Bone Blues and I’m in An Awful Mood and many others. This album focuses on the classic tunes and styles from the period of the 40s and 50s.”
4 More Groove Note SACDs from Concord Jazz Catalog
High Fidelity Review readers know that Groove Note has a licensing agreement in place with Concord Records which started in 2002. This agreement enables the staff at Groove Note to release titles from the Concord Jazz catalog in SACD and Vinyl LP formats. Groove Note plans to once again dip into this rich catalog of classic jazz recordings to bring music fans 4 new Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CDs in March and June.
As with their past releases, these will be prepared for SACD from the original analog master tapes under the supervision of label owner Ying Tan and audiophile producer and writer Joe Harley. Each album will be initially released in SACD (at a list price of $24.98 each) to be followed a month or two later with a Vinyl LP edition (at a list price of $29.98 each). The 4 new Hybrid Stereo SACDs will be:
March 2005 – Hybrid Stereo SACD Releases
June 2005 – Hybrid Stereo SACD Releases