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Reviews: Monty Alexander: Monty Meets Sly and Robbie

Reviews: 4

Review by DeSelby February 25, 2005 (1 of 6 found this review helpful)
Sonics:
stereo sonics: full, rich sound (but see the other reviews for the music)

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Review by Oakland December 22, 2005 (5 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
OK, Telarc’s “Monty Meets Sly and Robbie” was released 3 or 4 years ago, so it not new. It doesn’t matter because I keep rediscovering this disc over and over and each time it is more fresh than it was before. While I am primarily a classical music listener this funky “jazz soul reggae” music is probably the most “exciting” disc I have in my collection.

The musicianship from track one through track 10 is absolutely first class. Monty Alexander on grand piano, and the Jaimaican rhythm section of Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare not to mention the sidemen on this disc are top drawer individually and as a group.

Perhaps excluding some James Brown from back in the day Telarc’s “Monty Meets Sly and Robbie” has got to be among the most rythmic and most funky recordings I have ever experienced. Most of the tracks are of American jazz and pop (soul) standards from the 60’s with a powerful undercurrent of unmistaken reggae Jamaican funk. This is rhythm personified.

The “funkiest” is reminiscent of the disco version (red LP 45 rpm) of the Brothers Johnson "Get the Funk Out Ma Face", but more so. At sufficient volumes you get that "you are there thump in you chest". My sub drivers rarely have to visibly move to reproduce deep bass, but they were no doubt pulsating with this Telarc SACD. For the last several years this disc has been my reference for exemplary deep bass performance.

For the first three years I had this disc I listened in two channel. And I believed it simply could not get better. How could it? Wrong! The sheer excitement and entertainment of “Monty Meets Sly and Robbie” is ratcheted up two or threefold in the multi-channel mix. To some this may be an acquired taste. This *is* an agressive mix and “authentic” it may not be. But tacky it is not.

And man it sure is funky, and the multi-channel mix underscores and celebrates this and the musicians in a unique and wonderful way. This presentation is no mistake; the end result is probably exactly what the engineers and artists intended. This is an A-1 multi-channel mix.
The performances are unbeatable but the sound too is very good although not quite as “pristine” as as Telarc's later efforts. This may be due to the punishing bass evident on each and every cut. But make no mistake the sonics are great.

There is a prerequisite for complete enjoyment: your system must be able to handle the workload. The low end content is about as serious as it can be in the realm of music. I read a complaint over in rec.high-end.com where the bass on this disc completely overwhelmed a listener’s system. Neither he nor his system could handle the bass. The low end is awesome whether listened to in two-channel or multi-channel. However, from the standpoint that multi-channel seems (actually does) spread the workload around to all speakers it is smoother and actually more impactful. Reliance on a solo sub in lieu of a “partnership” of 5 full range speakers is asking from compromise. So you *must* utilize all full range speakers and/plus use a subwoofer if you need one (or two).

The music is remarkably infectious. I have never shared this SACD with anyone that didn’t love it to death whether or not they were familiar with the genre. You will love it too.

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Review by madisonears January 30, 2007 (1 of 5 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Homogenized pablum of the highest order. None of these renditions of classic jazz and soul tunes will make you forget the originals. The style is neither soul, nor jazz, nor reggae by any stretch of the definitions of those genres. This music is the equivalent of jerk chicken from a fast food restaurant. Yes, the sound is pretty spectacular in the worst Telarc manner, with bloated bass and oh-so-sweet-there's-no-life-left highs. I kept hoping that the next song would get better, or, at least, interesting, but none ever did. Buy for the sound only, or if you like your jazz strained through the Kenny G filter.

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Review by mlgrado October 19, 2014 (0 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Native DSD? As soon as I put it on, it certainly didn't sound like it. Sounded more like average quality PCM. Taking a look at the liner notes...

"PCM to DSD upsampling with EMM labs DSD converter"


Well, that settles that.

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