New James Carter and Volodos Single Inventory Surround SACDs

Delivering on their earlier plans, Sony Music released two new albums by Jazz Saxophone player James Carter and classical pianist Arcadi Volodos on Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACDs. Taking things one step further, both of these new Sony Music releases are also Single Inventory Hybrid SACDs, with the SACD disc serving as both the SACD and CD Audio release. As a result, you will most likely find these two new Sony releases racked in the regular Jazz and Classical Music sections of your local record store rather than in the “Audiophile” or “SACD” section. Here’s more about these two new SACD releases.

Gardenias for Lady Day
James Carter
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Columbia CH 89032)

Gardenias for Lady Day is a new album by sax player James Carter. It is a tribute album to the songs of Billie Holiday and its Carter’s first album with a string section. As noted earlier, the album is a Single Inventory Surround Sound SACD with the SACD serving as both the CD and SACD edition of the album. The Surround Sound mix on the album highlights Carter’s Sax in the Center Channel with drums, clarinet and other instruments arrayed across the front channels. The surround channels are primarily used for ambience.

The album was produced by Yves Beauvais and recorded to 24 track analog tape by Danny Kopelson at Avatar Studio C and Sony Studio B in New York City. The Stereo mix was done by Richard King at Sony Music Studios with additional Stereo Mixing and the 5.1 Surround Sound Mix by Todd Whitelock at Sony Music Studios. Gardenias for Lady Day was mastered by Mark Wilder and authored for SACD by Woody Pornpitaksuk at Sony Music Studios.

Album Tracks
1. Gloria
2. Sunset
3. (I Wonder) Where Our Love Has Gone
4. I’m In A Low Down Groove
5. Strange Fruit
6. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing
7. Indian Summer
8. More Than You Know

Packaging of Gardenias for Lady Day
Like previous Sony Music SACDs, the album comes packaged in a standard CD jewel case rather than the Deluxe Jewel Case with rounded edges that most Hybrid SACD releases from other labels appear in. Also of note, this SACD release dispenses with the insert card that describes the SACD format inside the album as well as the plastic SACD slip cover found on earlier Sony Music SACD releases.

The album features a Sony SACD sticker on the front cover shrink wrap and the SACD “information bar” first used by Universal Music that denotes the SACD Surround, SACD Stereo and CD Audio versions of the album’s music on the back of the album. The back cover of the album also notes that “This disc is designed for use in both CD players and Super Audio CD players.” This wording is also printed on the SACD label of the album.

The album booklet also notes that “This CD is a hybrid Super Audio CD that has two distinct layers. One layer plays on any CD player. The other layer contains the high resolution Super Audio CD (SACD) stereo version and 5.1 surround version of the same repertoire intended for SACD compatible players.”

Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 & Rachmaninoff: Solo Piano Works
Arcadi Volodos, Piano with Seiji Ozawa conducting the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio

(Sony Classical SH 93067)

Today’s second Single Inventory Hybrid SACD from Sony is the latest album by classical pianist Arcadi Volodos. Accompanied by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Seiji Ozawa, the new release features Volodos performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and 7 Solo Piano Works composed by Rachmaninoff.

Sony Classical describes the album by noting that “Hailed as “a genius of the piano” who “out-Horowitzes Horowitz,” Arcadi Volodos burst onto the world scene in 1997 with the release of his self-titled debut recording on Sony Classical. His recital and concert performances and his subsequent award-winning recordings have confirmd the astonishing first impression left by his playing, a phenomenal keyboard technique with brillitant aritistry.

On his new CD, Volodos plays Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring the Berlin Philharmonic in a stunning live recording that captures the intensity of the concert peformance and sets Volodos apart from other pianists who have recorded this work.”

Album Selections
1. Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1
I. Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso
II. Andantino
III. Allegro con fuoco

Rachmaninoff: 7 Solo Piano Works
2. Prelude in G-flat major, Op. 23 No. 10

3. Moment Musical in E-flat minor, Op. 16 No. 2

4. Daisies Op. 38 No. 3

5. Prelude in G major Op. 32 No. 5

6. Oriental Sketch

7. Melodie in E major, Op. 3 No. 3

8. Concert Paraphrase on ”Polka italienne”

A First for Sony Classical, But Not SACD
While Sony Music has previously released pop music albums such as “Alive in Seattle” by Heart and the first 15 albums in the Bob Dylan Remastered Series as Hybrid Layer Single Inventory SACDs, today’s release by Arcadi Volodos is the first Hybrid Layer Single Inventory SACD on the Sony Classical label. That is a bit surprising given the number of record labels that focus on classical music that have already issued some of their own titles as Hybrid Layer, Single Inventory SACDs rather than issue these titles on both SACD and CD editions.

With this release, Sony Classical joins a ever growing list of labels that have issued Single Inventory SACDs including these:

  • A&M Records
  • ABKCO Records
  • Albany Music
  • Artegra Records
  • Artists House Music
  • Capitol Records
  • CC’n’C
  • Chesky Records Classical
  • Clarion
  • Classical Music Network (CMN)
  • Columbia Records
  • Concord Picante
  • Geffen Records
  • Marc Aurel
  • Opus 3
  • PentaTone Classics
  • PentaTone RQR Series
  • Praga Digitals
  • Proprius
  • RCA Red Seal
  • Sketti Sandwich
  • SFS Media
  • Songlines
  • St. Luke’s Collection
  • Stretch Records


The new Single Inventory Surround Sound SACDs by James Carter and Volodos are now in stock and available from Tower Records and the Acoustic Sounds and Elusive Disc web sites. Also worth noting is that Tower Records stores have the James Carter SACD on sale at $14.99 through the end of November.

Upcoming Hybrid Layer Surround Sound SACDs from Sony Music
In the weeks ahead, Sony Music plans to release several more Hybrid Surround SACDs. Included in the next group of SACDs will be two more SACDs by James Taylor as well as the first SACD releases by Barbra Streisand. This will be followed a week later by an SACD from The Thorns.

Due In Stores on December 9, 2003
(SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio)

  • James Taylor – Dad Loves His Work (Columbia CH 90750)
  • James Taylor – Flag (Columbia CH 90749)
  • Barbra Streisand – The Movie Album (Columbia CH 90742)


Due In Stores on December 16, 2003
(SACD Surround Sound/SACD Stereo/CD Audio)

  • The Thorns – The Thorns (Columbia CH 90751)