Challenge Records Releases First Multichannel SACDs

Challenge Records in the Netherlands has released their first Multichannel SACDs. The new SACDs are Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael by Jim Ferguson, Bob Dorough & Barbara Lea and La Salsa Es Mi Vida by Gerardo Rosales. Prior to these new discs, all of the Challenge Records SACDs had been Stereo releases.

Both of the new Challenge Records releases are Hybrid Layer Multichannel SACDs. They feature Multichannel SACD, Stereo SACD and Stereo CD versions of the music on the album and are compatible with both SACD and CD players. Here’s more on each of these new SACD releases.

Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael
Jim Ferguson, Bob Dorough & Barbara Lea
Hybrid Layer Multichannel SACD

(A-Records SAAL-75103)
Stardust Melody is an interesting release in that the songs in it were also highlighted in a book by Richard M. Sudhalter which features the same title and cover artwork as this new Multichannel SACD. Sudhalter also is a featured musician on the Stardust Melody SACD. The album features 16 of Hoagy Carmichael’s songs that total 72 minutes in length. Included on the album are several well known compositions from this well known songwriter including Georgia On My Mind, April In My Heart, The Nearness of You and Stardust.

Album Performers
Jim Ferguson – Bass & Vocals
Bob Dorough – Piano & Vocals
Barbara Lea – Vocals
Richard Sudhatter – Trumpet & Fluegelhorn
Ben Aronov – Piano
Howard Alden – Guitar
Tom Arton – Trombone
Joe Cocuzzo – Drums
Dan Levinson – Clarinet, C-Melody & Tenor Sax

Album Selections
1. New Orleans
2. Medley: Georgia on My Mind/Can’t Get Indiana Off My Mind
3. Bread and Gravy
4. My Resistance is Low
5. April in My Heart
6. Moonburn
7. Star Dust
8. Little Old Lady
9. Big Town Blues
10. What Kind O’ Man is You
11. Snowball
12. The Rumba Jumps
13. The Lamplinghter’s Serenade
14. The Nearness of You
15. Manhattan Rag
16. Ev’ntide

La Salsa Es Mi Vida (The Salsa Is My Life)
Gerardo Rosales
Hybrid Layer Multichannel SACD

(Javaanse Jongens Tracks SAJJT-75098)
On this SACD, Gerardo Rosales teams up with top musicians from New York to record an album of salsa music. Subtitled “The New York Album”, the disc features 10 salsa tunes with vocals by Frankie Vбzquez as well as a vocalist from Holland named Astrid “La Sorpresa Holandesa”.

According to Gerardo Rosales, “One day I said to myself that the first time I would ever go to New York, it would be to record a CD or to give a concert. With this new production entitled ‘La Salsa es mi Vida’ I have made my dream come true. It pleases me to present you a CD full of original themes, with fresh voices, musicians of the highest level, interesting arrangements and an impeccable sound.”

Album Selections
1. Guasacaca
2. Sorpresa Holandesa
3. Una Salsa para Amsterdam
4. La Salsa es mi Vida
5. Para el Rey
6. Echandole
7. Caramba
8. El Hijo del Sonero
9. Pajarillo & Bailen Joropo
10. Friday Morning

Earlier SACD Releases from Challenge Records
As noted above, Challenge Records and their affiliated labels have been issuing Hybrid Layer Stereo SACDs since the year 2000. They have been widely praised for the high quality sound these analog and DSD mastered albums have achieved. The earlier SACD releases from Challenge include:

  • Deep Summer Music – Jim Ferguson (A-Records SAAL-75060)
  • La Noche Del Rio De La Plata – Mabel Gonzales (A-Records SAAL-75029)
  • One More Time – UMO Jazz Orchestra with Kenny Wheeler (A-Records SAAL-75027)
  • Walkin’ on Eggs – Nighthawks at the Diner (A-Records SAAL-75002)
  • Solo – Misha Mengelberg (Buzz Records SAZZ-75033)
  • Alone Together – Enrico Pieranunzi Quartet (Challenge Records SACHR-75056)
  • Improvised Forms for Trio – Enrico Pieranunzi Trio (Challenge Records SACHR-75032)
  • Infant Eyes: Music of Wayne Shorter – Enrico Pieranunzi Trio (Challenge Records SACHR-75031)
  • Umai – Eric Vloeimans (Challenge Records SACHR-75061)
  • Woodwind Works – Hein Van de Geyn (Challenge Records SACHR-75028)
  • Double Vision – Paul Bollenback (Challenge Records SACHR-75030)
  • Suite Para Violeta – Wianada del Sur & Patricio Wang (Challenge Records SACHR-75050)
  • Seven – Yuri Honing (Jazz In Motion Records SAJIM-75110)

    The two new Multichannel SACDs from Challenge Records are now available from Tower Records as well as several web sites that carry SACDs including Elusive Disc and Music Direct. The earlier Challenge SACDs are available from these stores as well as the Acoustic Sounds web site.