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Reviews: Jazz in an R&B Groove

Reviews: 2

Review by Christine Tham May 9, 2004 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
This is the second of two mid-priced Super Audio CDs from the HighNote Records label. It's a compilation of tracks from previously released CDs on the HighNote and Savant labels (Savant is a "sister" label).

The title says "Jazz in an R&B groove" and the blurb says "The Music must move you. This is the criss-crossing of Jazz with R&B grooves that keeps the pulse going, not too fast, but enough to lift the spirits - and the feet! The songs evoke memories of the groove so familiar. Like an old friend".

Upon playing, many of the tracks sounded more like "smooth jazz" to me, although there are hints of R&B every now and then. The compilation is a mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks, and most of them are quite pleasant to listen to.

The packaging is a somewhat unusual Q-pack plastic job with cardboard inserts glued onto the case.

There are no liner notes apart from a track listing (including band line-ups and track durations), plus minimal production credits. I would have liked to know some technical details on the recordings - in particular whether these tracks were originally recorded on analog or digital. My guess would be that these are originally PCM recordings but it's hard to tell.

I must admit I was very pleased with the sonics on this disc! The overall presentation is clean and airy, with an extended frequency response. The cymbals sound thrilling without being "hollow", and the bass room shaking. Saxophones and vocals are reproduced with a high degree of "presence" and easily fill the room. Track 7 (At Last) in particular has fairly deep low frequencies that rattled my tiny subwoofer and the B-3 organ in Track 8 (The Closer I Get To You) sounds particularly thrilling.

In comparison, the CD layer doesn't quite sound as thrilling as the DSD Stereo layer, with the cymbals sounding more "hissy" than "ringy" and both vocals and instruments sound ever so slightly recessed and less well-defined.

Given the price, I would say this disc is a bargain, especially if you like this kind of music. Two thumbs up!

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Review by DeSelby May 15, 2005 (1 of 6 found this review helpful)
stereo sonics: mainly very good sounding compilation

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