HE 2006 – AIX Records offered up their two newest high-resolution, multi-channel DVD-Audio/Video products, the audiophile label making full use of their home term advantage: another in their line of double disc Collectors Edition releases featuring Steve March Torme and an all star “ten-tette” in a tribute to his late father Mel Tormй and an innovative jazz jam composition by company president, engineer and musician Mark Waldrep. The discs were available at the show, are currently shipping from the AIX web site and will be available this summer through retailers.
In addition to demonstrating and selling their catalog, AIX made good use of a top-of-the-line K2 media server from San Jose-based Niveus to playback their HD video “Sitting In” programs, which will be featured on HD Net later this year. The Niveus box has the appearance of a large power amplifier due to the numerous heat sinks located around the central chassis but is, in fact, a powerful Viiv™ enabled Media Center PC.
AIX Records released two Collectors Edition titles in 2005 including Paul Williams with Willie Nelson, Melissa Manchester and Gonzo the Muppet and The Carl Verheyen Band, which took the first Leonard Maltin “DualDisc” 2005 DVD Award. The new Steve March Tormй CE title highlights music made famous by his father Mel Tormй, also known as the “Velvet Fog”.
The project was recorded in January of 2005 at the Colburn School for Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles. AIX has made great use of the acoustically superb Zipper Auditorium to capture high-resolution audio and high-definition video over the past 6 years. Featuring Steve March Tormй singing and scatting in his own unique style, the project combines a live recording session done without an audience at Zipper, footage and surround sound of a live show presented in Palm Springs, an interview with Steve as well as photos, video and archival goodies from the career of his famous father. There is even a duet of the two of them singing “Lulu’s Back In Town”.
AIX Records’ founder and chief engineer Mark Waldrep was thoroughly impressed with Steve’s performance, “he stood there in the midst of 10 musicians playing those wonderful Marty Paich arrangements singing into one of Wes Dooley’s [of AEA] own vintage RCA 44 ribbon mics without in ear or floor monitors. The session was tremendously exciting with amazing solos by saxophonist Lanny Morgan and trumpeter Bobby Rodriguez. To experience these great tunes and great musicians in true high-resolution, surround sound is what recorded music is all about’.
Tormй Sings Tormй includes 2 discs, 4 sides, deluxe packaging and a 14-page booklet. The first disc is a DualDisc™ of the high-resolution session as a DVD-Audio disc and CD. On one side of the other disc is a DVD-14 combining a 70-minute “television” linear edit of music, a live show, conversation, interviews, archival footage and reminiscences [by Steve and George Shearing]. The other side contains all of the above in an interactive layout along with additional photos, biographies, a full discography of both Mel and Steve, a high-resolution PCM stereo mix and two 5.1 surround mixes [“stage” and “audience”].
The end result is an amazing high-resolution, surround presentation of some familiar tunes. Included on this double DVD set:
- Sweet Georgia Brown
- On the Street Where You Live
- Just One of Those Things
- When You Wish Upon A Star
- Trolley Song
- Ridin’ High/Shootin’ High
- Comin’ Home
- Mountain Greenery
- Born to be Blue
- The Folks Who Live on the Hill
- Lulu’s Back in Town
- It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got that Swing
- The Christmas Song
Tormй Sings Tormй: Steve March Tormй a new Collectors Edition on AIX Records (AIX 83042)
AIX Records Founder, Chief Engineer and Composer Mark Waldrep Releases ‘Moonlight Acoustica’
Imagine what it might be like to fuse the harmonies of one of the world’s best know piano works into the framework of an improvised 55-minute jazzy jam in the style of “electronica” and you’ll begin to grasp the latest release from AIX Records. Company founder, Mark Waldrep, Ph.D. [his doctorate is in music composition] dreamt up this unusual idea over the past several years and finally had the opportunity to make it happen during one of the company’s session last year.
The players are a who’s who of L.A.’s best session players and names that are familiar to customers that own some of AIX Records’ catalog. Laurence Juber plays the acoustic guitar, Carl Verheyen the electric, Jim Cox is on piano/organ, Cliff Hugo plays acoustic bass, M.B. Gordy and Alberto Lopez share percussion duties and John Ferraro is the rhythmic foundation on the drums.
The project follows the feature rich model presented on virtually all AIX Records projects. There’s beautiful video of the whole recording session shot in HD and presented in anamorphic 16:9 aspect ratio, 3 different mixes of the composition [high-resolution, stereo PCM, “stage” and “audience” perspectives], artist bios and lots of behind-the-scenes bonus materials. The most unique thing about Moonlight Acoustica is the so-called “wallpaper” video presentation. In keeping with the concept of human vs. machine music making, Dr. Waldrep provides a second video stream that is derived from the source session footage…only instead of viewing performing musicians, the screen is awash in abstract, colorful shapes that move in time to the beat. It’s a sort of light show but because it is actually heavily filtered video, it moves in time to the music.
Moonlight Acoustica is just the first of a series. According to Dr. Waldrep, the same treatment was given to Pachelbel’s Canon just before Christmas last year. If this first experiment is any indication, there is some really great music-making in store for fans of high-resolution, 5.1 surround music.
Moonlight Acoustica – The AIX Allstar Band featuring Laurence Juber, Carl Verheyen, Jim Cox, Cliff Hugo, M.B. Gordy, Alberto Lopez and John Ferraro (AIX 80041)
Recent AIX Records Releases Featured at HE 2006
Several high-end equipment vendors requested copies of some AIX Records projects to use during the show. Especially popular was the “High-Resolution Audio Experience” DVD disc that AIX produced in conjunction with Intel last year in time for the CEDIA show. Because the disc contains 29 different tracks in 2-channel and 5.1 surround, it was a hit in a large number of demonstration rooms. Most often heard was the CEA “Demmy” award-winning track [Best High-Resolution, 5.1 Surround Track] from Laurence Juber’s DVD-Audio release ‘Guitar Noir’. Benchmark Media Systems, makers of the DAC-1 used the high-resolution, 2-channel PCM mixes on the AIX sampler to great effect. The wide variety of great music presented on a single disc makes this sampler a must have for any looking to demonstrate high-resolution recording. Other AIX Records’ 2006 releases:
February 21, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Release
AIX 80043 The Brand New Opry Vol. I / Another Time – Jonathan McEuen, Jamie Hanna, Phil Salazar and special guest John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
March 14, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Release
AIX 80040 Vantage Point / Resolution – Simon Phillips, Jaff Babko, Brandon Fields, Walt Fowler and former Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson
April 18, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/CD-Audio Releases
AIX 81005 Lyricism: Songs Without Words / Selected Piano Works of Michael Glenn Williams performed by Roberto Prosseda
AIX 81006 Chopin – Selected Piano Works performed by Roberto Prosseda
More AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Release Coming Soon
The HE 2006 Show was the ideal opportunity for AIX Records to highlight some of the projects that are coming down the pike AND to announce the completion of their new state-of-the-art studio complex. In construction for the last 8 months, the new room features Audience and Cardas cables, Meridian 800/861, B&W speakers, Butler amplification and the previously mentioned Niveus K2 media server.
Mark Waldrep also shared some information on projects nearing completion. They include:
July 11, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Release
AIX 83044 Lowen and Navarro / Carry On Together – another in the line of Collectors Editions as a double disc with DualDisc™ and two-sided DVD-Video
August 15, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Release
AIX 83047 Ernest Ranglin / Order of Distinction – Another CE 2-disc set with special guests Jeff Lorber, Alana Davis, Robbie Krieger, Elliot Easton, Laurence Juber, Adrian Young, Elan Atias and Monty Alexander.
AIX 80048 Hanna-McEuen / Tried and True – with special guest Albert Lee. Fresh from an amazing year of charting country hits, these first cousins progeny of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band members forge their own tracks in high-resolution, 5.1 surround
September 21, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Releases
AIX 80046 Lisbeth Scott / Charmed – the singer and songwriter for the movie Munich and the Passion in high-resolution, 5.1 surround with special guest Paul Schwartz
AIX 80045 Nicci Gilbert and Friends – AIX’s first R&B release with the former Brownstone artist
October 31, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Release
AIX 83047 The 5th Dimension / Order of Distinction – multiple Grammy®-award winning and vocal hll of fame artists in surround sound and HD video
AIX 80034 Keaton Simon / Drive Away – Singer songwriter with an alternative style
November 21, 2006 – AIX Records DVD-Audio/Video Releases
AIX 80049 The Banda Brother/ Primavera – the backup band for over 20 to Pancho Sanchez with special guest Ron Eschete on guitar
AIX 80050 AC Timba Jazz / Neurosis – Cuban jazz featuring the tunes of the late percussionist Long John Oliva
So it seems that AIX Records and high-resolution, surround music fans have a lot to cheer about in the coming months. Stay tuned for updates on these releases as the months click by.