the ultimate demonstration disk has excellent selections for equipment comparisons which are very revealing of the difference in the equipment
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Yes: the artists matter a lot. Last night I dug through my CDs (which have seen little use since I went to high res) and pulled out a 1982 Decca recording of the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, performed by Kyung Wha Chung, a young (then) woman from Korea. We have heard a lot lately about Hilary Hahn, and I have several of her recordings. However, to my ear, this performance by Kyung Wha Chung takes technical skill and artistic interpretation to a higher level. Sometimes lesser known performers may excel.
Try "Jazz for a Literary Mind" by Chesky. It includes artists such as Dave's True Story, Kenny Rankin, John Pizzarelli, Sara K., Peggy Lee, Livingston Taylor, The John Basile Quartet, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Rebecca Pigeon, Red Rodney, and Carla Lother. These tracks are all unique and special. Some are recored in a church in NY.
Hi I got through a few ads in stereo magazines two different Chesky cd's. One was called "The Vocal Collection" and the other "10th Anniversary Special Edition." The first ncluded Rebecca Pigeon, Livingston Taylor, John Pizzarelli, etc. The other includes these same artists one cd and classical music on another. I have no idea how you would get hold of these cd's. They were special offers-I think in Stereo Review- 4 or 5 years ago. You might try to hold of Chesky to see if they still have some in stock. They only cost me about $5-$10 each as they were special offers. Good luck Dan
I second Mejames post at this thread's beginning re. the Ultimate Demonstration Disc. While it may not cover as many artists as other Chesky discs, it is a compilation disc that I play more than any other I own. Not only is it a good demonstration disc with verbal descriptions between each track of what to listen for, but it contains superb performances by some of Chesky's best artists.