CES 2007: Chesky Records, Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs, First Impression Music and Opus 3 Records used the recent Consumer Electronics Show 2007 (CES 2007) in Las Vegas as the venue to announce and introduce some of their new titles on Super Audio CD. The record labels chose to do so despite a change in location (from the Alexis Park Resort to the Venetian Hotel) and changes in sales policies on music discs (sharing a percentage of sales with show organizers) that dramatically cut the number of other companies who chose to sell discs or even attend this year’s show. The result was a music display area where there were almost as many vendors (three) and cashiers (two).
Chesky Offers Sale Prices and Early Access to Two Upcoming SACDs
Chesky Records surprised show attendees by deciding at the eleventh hour to participate in this year’s CES 2007 show. They were not listed in the pre-show guide or on the CES 2007 web site until show time. But show attendees did indeed find them on the third floor of the Venetian Hotel along with First Impression Music and 5.1 Marketing as the sole music disc sellers at the show.
CES attendees that spotted the Chesky Records table were rewarded with access to the entire catalog of the label at sale prices. You could pick up any of the label’s many CD and SACD titles for $15 each or 2 for $25. This included early access to 2 soon to be released titles in SACD Surround Sound – David Chesky’s Urban Concertos performed by Rossen Gergov, Conductor and the Symphony Orchestra of the Norrlands Opera (due out on January 23rd) and On The Wings of An Eagle by John Hicks, Buster Williams and Louis Hayes – another in the label’s highly applauded New York Sessions series of jazz recordings (due out on February 27th). Also available at the show were the two DVD Audio discs remaining in the company’s catalog – Bucky Pizzarelli’s Swing Live and a 5.1 DVD Audio Sampler – both going for a sale price of $20 each.
Upcoming SACD from Chesky Records – January 23, 2007
Upcoming SACD from Chesky Records – February 27, 2007
New SACDs from First Impression Music (FIM)
First Impression Music or FIM as it is perhaps better known was also in the music sales area at CES 2007. On display and for sale were many of the label’s popular catalog of SACD, XRCD24 and Vinyl titles. This included several Hybrid Stereo Super Audio CDs including two of the TBM Jazz Series now on FIM Super Audio CD – Midnight Sugar (FIM SACD 035) and Misty (FIM SACD 062) by Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Isoo Fukui and Tetsujiro Obara, two of the RCA Hong Kong titles imported to the U.S. by FIM – Highlights from Jekyll & Hyde with singers Linda Eder and Colm Wilkinson (RCA Victor Hong Kong 8287-661299-2) and Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 and Vocalise by Yuri Temirkanov conducting the St. Petersburg Philhamonic Orchestra (RCA Victor Red Seal Hong Kong 8287-661318-2) and a collection of jazz performances titled Smooth Jazz Festival (FIM SACD 055).
In 2007, FIM plans to continue their series of XRCD24 remasters of titles from the Decca “Phase 4 Stereo” catalog as well as some new Super Audio CD titles. The first of the SACD titles will be a Surround Sound SACD of A Rose for Me by the Soundscapers in March which is said to mix the music of American Jazz and Traditional Chinese Music artists. This will be followed by a Stereo SACD titled Sway! which is already available in XRCD24 format and features singer Michael Gold performing 13 well known classics. FIM always releases very quality sounding SACDs, so we will keep an eye out for these upcoming releases.
Upcoming Surround Sound SACD from First Impression Music – March 2007
Upcoming Stereo SACD from First Impression Music – April 2007
Equipment and Some News from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
Taking a different approach were the staff at Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. Rather than sharing the open area to sell discs, Mobile Fidelity opted for a sound room at the Venetian to show off both their equipment and some of their SACD, CD and Vinyl releases. Featured here was the very popular collection of recordings by Little Richard on Mono Super Audio CD (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2028). The Little Richard SACD continues to gather buyers, fans and positive reviews. I’ve heard it’s even winning a few “record of the year” for 2006 accolades. Well deserved.
Turning to 2007, Mobile Fidelity plans to release a Surround Sound SACD of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Whites Off Earth Now by the Cowboy Junkies (Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab UDSACD 4010) on February 27th. At the show, we learned that the Cowboy Junkies SACD will be followed on March 13th by a new Stereo SACD of Surfer Rosa by rock group The Pixies (Mobile Fidelity UDSACD 2032). The Pixies album originally appeared on the Elektra label in the late 1980s and is cited as a very influential rock album by many. We’ll await the arrival of both of these upcoming Mobile Fidelity SACDs with interest.
Upcoming Surround Sound SACD from Mobile Fidelity – February 27, 2007
Upcoming Stereo SACD from Mobile Fidelity – March 13, 2007
Upcoming Titles from May Audio
Also choosing the sound room route was May Audio Marketing. May Audio and their web site is known by audiophiles for being the U.S. source for a number of interesting SACD releases from companies such as Proprius, Opus 3 Records, Delos, Turtle Records and Water Lilly Acoustics as well as some of the SACD titles from Arista and RCA Hong Kong. At CES 2007, May Audio had two sound rooms – one featuring the high end audio equipment that they distribute in the U.S. market as well as a second sound room where they displayed selections from the record labels that they distribute in the U.S.
Of note here were several recent releases by Proprius and Opus 3 Records including Opus 3’s new 30th Anniversary Celebration Album, an SACD Sampler which debuted in the U.S. at the show. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to some of the excellent Opus 3 Records SACDs, this new sampler will give you a chance to do just that. The label uses minimalist micing techniques and a subtle ambient approach to its original analog and direct to DSD recordings. In recent years, these are released as new Single Inventory Surround Sound SACDs as is the case with the 30th Anniversary SACD.
New Surround Sound SACD Release at CES 2007 – Opus 3 Records