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JoeWhip

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Everything posted by JoeWhip

  1. For what it is worth, other than a presentation by Mytek on Friday, I heard no mention of MQA at all at the Capital Audio Fest yesterday.
  2. I saw Dee Dee Bridgewater at The Blue Note about 4 years ago. Great show.
  3. I will raise you one Ron Carter, a lovely man and audiophile.
  4. Thanks. I have the Diana Panton recording as well and forgot to include it here. Next time!
  5. I will be at The Capital Audio Fest Friday. There is a presentation scheduled for that afternoon my Mytek digital that includes MQA. Interestingly, it is right after Mark Waldrep’s presentation. I will keep an ear out for any MQA discussions as I visit the various rooms,
  6. I did not include Ella or Sarah because I think everyone knows about them. In the future I could do an article on my favorite recording by them as well.
  7. I know more than a few audiophiles who consider themselves as connoisseur of female vocals and often use them to demo systems at audio shows. With some audio shows coming up soon here on the east coast, I thought it a good time to give a partial list of some of my favorite female vocalists, ones that I have used to evaluate gear and for many an hour of pleasurable listening. Of course, I will be focusing on jazz singers as most of my listening is jazz. However, as much as I enjoy Diana Krall and Patricia Barber, which are heard all the time at audio shows, this will be a Krall and Barber free zone. It is my intention to focus on lesser known singers, ones that really should have larger audiences.   1. Tierney Sutton Tierney Sutton is probably the best known of the ladies on this list. I was turned on to Tierney Sutton by the late, great Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter, Stan Hochman, many years ago at a jazz show in Philadelphia. I am sure glad I was. Ms. Sutton came on the scene with her first recording which was on the Challenge label In 1998. After the release of that album, she had a series of very well received recordings on the Telarc label, both for their content as well as their sonics. Of all of her Telarc releases, my favorite features a live performance with her and her band at Birdland in NYC in March, 2005, namely I’m With The Band. I have been fortunate enough to see her and her band (Ray Brinker on drums, Christian Jacobs on piano and Kevin Axt and Trey Henry on bass) several times and this recording captures these great performers perfectly with great sound as one would expect from Telarc. It should be noted that this is a real band, hence instead of the recording being listed as Tierney Sutton and her band, it is listed as The Tierney Sutton Band. This band has been playing together for years and they are really tight and move from arrangement to arrangement with aplomb, from tender ballads to scatting and uptempo numbers, always original and creative. Her latest release, Screenplay, finds her and the band in top form, albeit in the studio. I just love their treatment of If I Only Had a Brain. Check it out. Great stuff. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal Purchase via HDtracks 2. Stacey Kent Stacey Kent is one of those jazz artists who found her mojo in Europe. Despite being born and raised in New Jersey, Stacey is not all that well known in the US although she does have a loyal following. Stacey eventually traveled to London to study and perform. It is there she met her husband Jim Tomlinson who is also her sax and flute player and band leader. I was turned on to her in London at Ronnie Scotts. I was gobsmacked at how great she was as a vocalist and how great a sax player her husband was. Listening to him was like listening to Ben Webster. He played with that flare and breathiness that made Ben Webster a giant of the old guard, imho. Stacey favors Brazilian jazz and sings in English, French and Portuguese. I have downloaded quite a few of her recordings. They are all excellent musically as well as sonically. However, Dreamer In Concert is my favorite of her downloads as it captures what I hear when I see her live. The realism of her vocals is stunning. If you are going to give this artist a try, I would start with this recording. If you enjoy what you hear on Dreamer, please also check out Tangerine. This recording features her husband Jim Tomlinson on tenor sax and flute and the great Brazilian guitarist and one of the founding fathers of Bossa Nova, Roberto Menescal, on guitar. The album features tracks from the Great American Songbook that, with one exception, are the personal favorites of Mr. Menescal. This is a beautiful recording. Check her out, you won't be sorry. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal Purchase via HDtracks 3. Kay Starr Kay Starr was born on a Reservation in Oklahoma in 1922 and lived to the ripe old age of 94, passing away in 2016. Kay Starr’s heyday as a vocalist was in the 1950’s and 60's and she was known primarily as a pop singer. As she was not on the scene all that long, many music lovers today have not heard of her which is a real shame because she was simply sensational. While she tended to record jazz and pop standards, she also put out blues and country albums as well. In fact, Billie Holiday has been quoted as stating that Kay Starr was the only white woman who could sing the blues. While this is hyperbole to be sure, there is no doubt that Kay Starr deserves to be heard by a much wider audience. While she made numerous recordings, I Cry By Night is my favorite, and in particular, the 2012 remaster which is available on Qobuz and I believe, Tidal. On this album, she is backed by the likes of Ben Webster, Gerald Wiggins, Al Hendrickson, Joe Comfort and Lee Young. While I too often shudder when I see the term remaster, this is a fine sounding album, with Kay front and center, piano to the left, bass just to right of center and drums and horns to the right. Plenty of depth and space too. Fans of female vocals should give Kay Starr and this recording in particular, a listen, I am sure you will be glad you did. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal 4. Claire Martin Claire Martin is probably the first lady of English Jazz and has a rich deep vocal style. All of her recordings are on the Linn label. My favorite of her recordings is Embraceable You, which, to my knowledge, is the only recording she has made in the US. For this release, she sure picked some great musicians to accompany her. This set features the great Kenny Barron on piano, Peter Washington on bass, Kenny Washington on drums and Steve Wilson on sax and flute. Recorded at Avatar Studios, the sound on this release is excellent and the performances superb. I could listen to the Barron and Martin duet on Embraceable You all day long. If you haven't heard of Claire Martin, by all means, check out this recording. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal Purchase via Linn Records Purchase via HDtracks 5. Karrin Allyson Like Tierney Sutton, Karrin Allison was a bit of an audiophile staple back in the Naughties as the British are fond of saying. While I am very fond of those recordings on the Concord label, my favorite of her catalogue is Many A New Day: Karrin Allison Sings Rogers and Hammerstein which was released in 2015 on the Motema Music label. This set features both Kenny Barron on piano and John Patitucci on bass backing up Ms. Allison. Of all of her recordings, I find this one to be the most satisfying perhaps because it features the music of Rogers and Hammerstein which I find to be a perfect fit with her vocal skills. Turn out the lights with the beverage of your choice and enjoy this recording. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal Purchase via HDtracks 6. Catherine Russell Catherine Russell is what I guess could be called a retro vocalist as her solo recordings harken back to the music of the 1920’s and ‘30’s. She sure comes from strong musical stock, as her father was a big band leader as well as the musical director for Louis Armstrong in the 1940’s. Her mother was also a well known jazz bassist and a vocalist. Before she began her solo recording career in 2006, Ms. Russell was probably best known as a backup singer for David Bowie, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne and even Madonna. Quite a list and I bet she has some great stories to tell! While she has several recordings that I enjoy, including 2014’s Bring It Back and 2016’s Harlem On My Mind, I really love her current 2019 release, Alone Together. While this release is mastered a tad hot, it features great tunes, superb vocals and fine backing from her regular band. Give it a listen. I know you will enjoy it. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal Purchase via HDtracks 7. Michelle Lordi I am quite sure that there are few readers here at Audiophile Style who are familiar with the music of Michelle Lordi. I think that will change with the release of her new recording, Break Up With The Sound. Michelle is a jazz singer well known in the Philadelphia area jazz community and yes, a personal friend. Break Up With The Sound is an apt title for this album, as it is a clear break from her prior recordings and live performances. While there are elements of jazz in this recording, this is not a jazz record. If I had to put a label on the album, I would have to label it as Americana. It is a true cross over recording for Michelle and a whole new direction for her musically and possibly for her career. The music is a true mix but is strongly rooted in country. Tracks such as the Lebowsky/Newman penned Wayward Wind which has been covered by artists as diverse as Shirley Bassie, Patsy Cline, Sam Cooke and Neil Young and my personal favorite, Hank Williams’ I’m So Lonesome. There is a cover of The Stones’ No Expectations, Cole Porter’s True Love, as well as several originals including Poor Bird, Before and Double-Crossed which was written with guitarist Tim Motzer. The musicianship is superb, featuring Philadelphia based musicians Matthew Parrish on bass, the aforementioned Tim Motzer on guitar and Rudy Royston on drums. Also included on 4 tracks is Donny McCaslin on saxophone who is probably best known for his work and that of his band on David Bowie’s last studio recording, Blackstar, as well as being a member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra. One of the standout tracks is the aforementioned I’m So Lonesome as well as Wayward Wind. Another standout for me is Lover Man, which contains a standard jazz vocal over a syncopated drum beat and bass line with some Coltranesq sax work and etherial guitar work. This recording is some of Michelle’s best vocal work, presenting a real sense of vulnerability and even pathos. Do yourself a favor and check out this recording. There is something here to appeal to everyone, from jazz fans like yours truly to fans of country, Americana and Rock. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention the sound quality which is excellent. That was not a surprise to me as the bassist, producer and arranger, Matthew Parrish, is an audiophile as well as a fine musician. Well done all around. Listen via Qobuz Listen via Tidal
  8. You have bandwidth to stream 4 k and 8k video but need MQA for audio? Really? Give me a break.
  9. Maybe you should host a live panel discussion on AS with live chat on MQA!
  10. I am sorry, but RH really went off the rails with this one. I don’t see how he thinks this will turn out well for his mag or his reputation. Seems like the Ed and the ad were coordinated. Bizarre.
  11. Why not get BS or RH or JA to address the issues brought forward by Archimago or any others? We have a point, how about a MQA counterpoint? It can be published on the Stereophile or TAS websites depending on who the author is. Should be fairly easy to do.
  12. i have the DSD 64 files of the fone recordings. I convert them to pcm for playback.
  13. I have the Harry Allen disc. Indeed it is superb.
  14. After the piano and the upright bass, my favorite tool in the jazz tool belt is the tenor sax. As much as I enjoy a great drummer and the rhythm that a drum kit adds to a trio, there is just something about the big warm sound of a great tenor player backed by a piano and bass that really appeals to me. When it comes to the tenor sax, I fall into the camp that there is no school like the old school. Players like The Prez, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, Zoot Simms or my personal favorite, Ben Webster. I could listen for hours to Ben Webster recordings (and have) and his breathy romantic style of playing. Sure, he could swing with the best of them, but no one IMHO could touch him on ballads. No one. However, in the 1950’s with the advent of bee bop and then hard bop, the style of the old masters somehow became old fashioned and increasingly fell out of favor. Fortunately, there are still tenor players today who continue to play in the style of the old masters. For this writer, the best of these players is the subject of this piece, Scott Hamilton. While Scott’s recorded output is vast, I have picked out five of his recordings that I go back to time and time again during long listening sessions. All feature excellent sonics. 1. Live at Smalls If you only get one Scott Hamilton recording, this is the one to get. It was recorded in 2014 at Smalls, a tiny and dare I say intimate jazz club on W. 10th Street in Manhattan. Located in the basement, Smalls holds all of 60 people. This recording puts you right at the center of the stage, close enough to reach out and touch Scott’s tenor. This recording takes you into the club. The entire ambiance of the club is there, from the chatter and the clinking of glasses and silverware. Behind Scott in the soundstage is Rossano Sportiello on piano to the left, J.J. Shakur on bass and to the right, Chuck Riggs on drums. This set has it all. It swings and rocks. All four of the musicians are on the top of their game and clearly love playing together. Tight does not even begin to describe this group. Did I mention that the sound is fantastic? I believe that the CD is out of print. I have a 24/88.2 file from the usual sites. Check it out. You will be glad you did. Purchase via HDtracks Scott Hamilton - Live at Smal's (24/88.2) 2. Live at Pyatt Hall This is another live recording, this one set at Pyatt Hall, at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music. While Pyatt Hall is larger than Smalls, it only holds about 130 people. The sound captured is just a tad more distant than the Smalls set and I mean just a tad. This set has more ballads than the Smalls set, but still features Scott’s large tenor sound front and center, with some brilliant accompaniment by Rossano Sportiello on piano. The capture of the piano on this recording is sensational as is the recording of Scott’s sax. If I had one quibble with this recording, it would be that the recording of J.J.’s bass is a bit more diffuse than I would like, almost as if it was recorded out of phase. A very enjoyable listen nonetheless and a great recording with the lights out late at night. Listen via Qobuz Scott Hamilton - Live at Pyatt Hall Listen via Tidal Scott Hamilton - Live at Pyatt Hall 3. Hamilton and Hamilton Live in Bern This set is a bit of a twofer, as it features Scott Hamilton on tenor with the great Jeff Hamilton Trio. I have mentioned Jeff Hamilton before as he is the drummer on the fantastic Montreux Alexander recording. Jeff has a regular touring trio featuring the sensational and underrated Tamir Hendelman on piano and Christoph Luty on bass. This trio has been together for years and it shows. This is a rather unusual live recording in that it was recorded in an empty hall in Bern Switzerland the morning of their engagement there. For those not familiar with this trio, this is a great recording on which to check them out with the added bonus, of course, of the great Scott Hamilton. Listen via Tidal Hamilton & Hamilton - Live in Bern 4. Who Cares? This is a recording on, dare I say it, a boutique audiophile label, fone. This set was recorded in the cellar of the Hotel II Castello in Italy. On it Scott is accompanied by Andrea Pozza on piano. It is a somewhat laidback ballad set with exceptional sonics with natural reverb and decay. Scott has several recordings on the fone label. They are all worth checking out. There is another set with Andrea Pozza entitled, I could Write a Book, as well as Bean and the Boys and Ballads for Audiophiles. Listen via Qobuz Scott Hamilton - Who Cares? Listen via Tidal Scott Hamilton - Who Cares? Purchase via HDtracks Scott Hamilton - Who Cares? (24/88.2) 5. Back in New York This set was released in 2005 on the Concord label. It features Scott Hamilton accompanied by another great touring trio with Bill Charlap on piano, Peter Washington on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. Again, for those of you unfamiliar with Bill Charlap and his trio, this recording is a fine introduction to his music. This set is a bit different than the others in that it is a studio recording and has a much more bee bop vibe. It is well worth a listen. In these pieces on Audiophile Style, I am writing about great jazz musicians who are still with us and actively touring. If you see any of these fine musicians coming to your town, by all means, see them live. Listen via Qobuz Scott Hamilton - Back in New York Listen via Tidal Scott Hamilton - Back in New York Joe with Jeff Hamilton at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC.
  15. Chris, you have all the fun😎
  16. It bet it would be great powering my Big Ass Fan.
  17. I am no fan of MQA and try not to chim in on this thread, but after the latest analysis, why would anyone be in favor of MQA? Any sound manipulation can be accomplished either with selectable filters in a DAC or via playback software. There is NO need for the MQA format unless the whole thing really is for DRM. Manipulate your music to sound like whatever you like, but don’t force those choices on consumers who may actually prefer fidelity to the source.
  18. I agree completely. I have had in my system for a couple of years and it sounds fantastic. A friend has it as well in a state of the art room and it sounds great as well.
  19. I enjoy Chesky recordings also but they traditionally have more of a distant sound. Also, Chesky tends to record in churchs and larger spaces, much different that the large studio environment used in the SL recordings. Different strokes for different folks. I can and do enjoy both techniques.
  20. I do not have any of Barry’s recordings. I have a couple of the Mapleshade CDs and 4 of Todd’s recordings, one jazz trio, both Será Una Noche releases and one solo classical piano recording. I will put it on the list of things to think about.
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