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  Audio Fidelity -
  AFZ5 185
  George Benson: Breezin'
  George Benson
Track listing:
  1. Breezin'
2. This Masquerade
3. Six to Four
4. Affirmation
5. So This is Love?
6. Lady
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Produced by Tommy Lipuma

Multichannel SACD 5.1 mix: Al Schmitt at Capitol Records
Multichannel SACD 5.1 mastering: Doug Sax at The Mastering Lab
Stereo CD and SACD mastering: Steve Hoffman at Stephen Marsh Mastering

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Related titles: 1

Reviews: 4 show all

Review by Marc - SoundMatters September 7, 2014 (6 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a review of the 5.1 channel SACD of Breezin', by George Benson (the new release, issued 5 days before this review). The audio equipment used for this review included an Oppo BDP-105 (connected for multichannel play), PSB Synchrony One speakers (7 speakers, no subwoofer), and a Denon 7.1 channel receiver.

This award-winning 1976 recording earned multiple Grammys (including Record Of The Year for "This Masquerade"), triple-platinum certification (sales), and the general distinction of being regarded as one of the most successful jazz albums of all time.

Widely regarded as marking the birth of "smooth jazz", the musicality of the material has been praised and criticized, largely according to each reviewer's opinion of smooth jazz. There is no debate, however, regarding this album's outstanding musicianship (notably, George Benson's outstanding performance on guitar), the widespread appeal of the title track, and Benson's surprisingly strong vocal performance on the album's most acclaimed track ("This Masquerade"). The remaining 4 tracks on this 6-track album are also fine, though overshadowed by the aforementioned opening two tracks.

Sonics (5.1 SACD):
The 5.1 multi-channel mix is excellent on this SACD, in regards to the musical instruments. This is consistent, throughout the 6 tracks. In regards to the lone vocal performance ("This Masquerade"), the sonic reproduction is certainly good, though not optimal. Though only a minor criticism, the vocal reproduction on this 5.1 mix could have benefitted from a slightly more forward presentation.

Bottom Line:
This 5.1 SACD is a fine release of one of the most successful jazz albums of all time, and should be regarded as highly recommended (with the caveat in regards to the slightly sub-optimal vocal track).

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Review by Audio Ed September 13, 2014 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is a review of the stereo layer. The performance is excellent. Anyone reading this has most likely heard this album many time. I have had the DVD-A in my collection for a long time and it has been a disc that has had plenty of spin time over the years. I have held the DVD-A in high regard over the years and still do, yet I find this SACD to be an improvement. There is a growl to the low end that is not there on the DVD-A and a sharpness to the attack on the guitar that is also missing on the DVD-A. If you already have the DVD-A, getting the SACD is not a must, but I think you will be glad you did. If you are a George Benson fan and did not have the opportunity to get the DVD-A for a reasonable price, the SACD is a must own. This may not be a demo disc to show off one's system but it will give plenty of enjoyable hours of listening. Unfortunately the 2 bonus tracks from the DVD-A are not available here but do not let that stop you from getting this release. I am glad to see that Audio Fidelity is back in the SACD game and if they keep releasing ones like this, they will continue to get my support. Keep up the good work.

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Review by Marpow September 29, 2014 (3 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:    
George Benson - Breezin' SACD Multi Channel 2014
I purchased this solely as a SACD Multi Channel, not ever owning a previous George Benson. In 1976 I would have never considered this type of music as I come from the rock world. I give it 4 stars because I still am not a huge fan of this type music. George Benson is a brilliant guitarist and this was nice to know. I liked the instrumentals better than his signing. The 5.1 multi channel I listened to analog outs in external mode with no processing, just as it comes off the disc. Good quality, done well by the remaster team. There where, two times, an irritating percussion clicks (sticks) coming form rears. I understand that the 5.1 mix is subject to the mixer and the recipient as to the taste of what each would like. My wife thinks it's great. 4 stars is still pretty good.

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