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Reviews: Gene Harris, Scott Hamilton: At Last

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Reviews: 7

Review by StyleAndEntertainmen November 21, 2005 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Wasn't going to write a review as I just put this on as back ground music while web surfing. But the musics keeps pulling me in to listen. A sure sign of a great album. The sound quality is well done in sudio quality. The playing is very good classic jazz quintet. Everything is as it should be: rich tenor sax, melodic old-timey sounding guitar, good syncopated piano on the boogies, walking bass lines, spot on and tasteful drum kit. There are a few songs though that just suck you in and your toe is a tapping. "Some of These Days" is one of those songs and "Sittin' in the Sandtrap" are two in particular. No way you can sit still while these two songs are playing :)

This is a multi-channel SACD and surpisingly the mix is "agressive" in that all speakers are used for all instruments (blended for front focus). Solos are as likely to come from the rear as the front. I have a full range quad setup so no problems, but YMMV. While not a fan of this type of mix, it didn't seem to bother me as much as on rock albums. The toes just kept on tapping...

So this is not a ground breaking album. But it is jazz quinet in the classic tradition. As the album cover says "If anyone asks you what jazz is... just play this music." I agree it's a thoroughly enjoyable and well done album.

Surpisingly Recommended!


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Review by sacd1 January 6, 2006 (0 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
good sacd,at last.

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Review by djcowboy January 25, 2006 (6 of 6 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
These are two of my favorite artists on one of my favorite labels. Concord has always been known for their exceptional recordings so converting some of their more popular items to SACD makes good sense. I purchased this disc and had to force myself to remove it from the player because it's Jazz that makes sense. The pace changes without becoming overwelming from song to song or becoming disjointed. The players seem to be enjoying themselves, the way they say you can sense a person smiling on the phone. The sonics are not amazing to the point that they call attention to themselves or take away from the perfomance. They just seem to be "Right." The way vinyl/ analog sounds. Live, real, right. This is one of those albums you put on to unwind, entertain a dinner guest or put in the CD player during Rush hour traffic. The regular CD layer is pretty good sonically because Concord does it right. Nuff Said.

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Review by madisonears February 6, 2007 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Realistic recording of superbly played jazz with a blues inflection. This is quality stuff, without a doubt. My girlfriend, who does not like much jazz, was impressed by the swinging nature of these tunes. I do like jazz, and I'm impressed, too. Scott Hamilton is truly one of the newer sax players (I know, he's been at it for 20+ years, but that qualifies as new) who totally understands the bop and swing idioms, and has the chops to put it all on the plate. Gene Harris is a little more blues oriented, but that fits this music very well, and both Hamilton and the remarkable Herb Ellis adjust their styles to perfectly mesh with Harris. This disc deserves to be much more popular, for the quality of its content and its sound. The recording is not showy or splashy, with no artificial emphasis on bass or treble or image or anything else. It feels like you could be in a really expensive seat at a really nice venue without anyone else in the audience. There are so many other discs of recently recorded jazz that sound too "audiophile" and contain mediocre music played by ancient musicians well past their prime, or guys who want to get something out there that no one else can (or should) do. These cats just wanna swing, baby, and it sounds great!

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Review by hawk February 12, 2007 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
I think this is a great jazz SACD...I tried to pick one up about a year ago based
on the review I saw here, but the one album my vendor had was sold before I could get
to it. So I only recently got one and yes I think this album certainly deserves
more attention and could easily compete both in terms of performance and sonically
with all the albums I currently have which are in the most recommended group (all genres)
on this site. Grooving sounds, not boring, but classic jazz with a lot of nice surround
effects that one expects from decent MC treatment. If you want only one good SACD Jazz album,
buy this. I will even venture to say this is a better Jazz album in terms of SACD
Multi-channel treatment, than Miles Davis' Kind of Blue SACD. Which was kind of a
disappointment for me, even though I was told that the real aim of SACD is to capture
the atmosphere/ambience at the time of recording, I am still not quite convinced. Again, this is great
classical jazz that doesn't force any limits, but leaves you with the feeling that you
want to listen to it again.

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Review by derekrumble July 14, 2007 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Not much to add to the above except my favourite track is 'You are my Sunshine' which is very much an old standard enlivenned by gene harris's inimitable piano playing.

A techy / audio comment though - the CD layer to me sounds much much better. Was the CD layer the original CD master I wonder, with a remix / re-engineering for the SACD layer? I would bet that this is the case.


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Review by analogue April 2, 2012 (2 of 2 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Concord sacd jazz releases are so consistent that I can almost close my eyes to give them their prospective ratings. They have a great track record with sacds.

Such is the case with this beautifully transferred sacd of some pretty amazing jazz musicians. I guess its all a matter of style and what one likes. Gene Harris has a very flowing piano style that keeps us interested. Its almost hypnotic at times. Hamilton likewise has a very unique sax playing style. The real question is we like it?? I do.

Musically this is a very good sounding sacd with a good sound stage and nice bass work for the lower end. Drums can be lifelike and organic. This album simply flows from song to song and is a true treat to listen to. There is never any compression with Concord sacds. The original recordings are superb and the transfer process is completely in dsd. The sound is truly awesome. The musicianship is first rate from great jazz men. Whats not to like???

Its difficult to say more except that if you like the more modern jazz......that still connects itself to the classic days....then this sacd is for you. And for those who love multi channel.......Concord sacds are all 5 channel. So you get more bang for your buck.

Highly recommended.

Play it loud.

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