I don't do "audiophile"
If the stuff I like gets the toes tapping it's all good.
These SOUND LIAISON
album downloads have gotten incredible reviews and they do live up to the hype. Especially the One Mic recordings are a must have if you have a decent system.
1. Carmen Gomes Inc. Up Jumped The Devil,
...."This is some of the best sounding drum sound I have ever heard on a recording. Very dynamic and not reserved. The sound of the double bass is full, rich and powerful where needed but with no hint of bloat. And the guitar.....It is clear and reverberant. Naturally, not with added reverb. Of course, the vocals are captured beautifully. Carmen is right there in front of you. This recording doesn’t take you to the recording studio. Even better, it brings the recording studio to your listening room. Very few studio recordings do this. The drums to the left, Carmen in the middle in front of the instruments and the bass just to the right of her and the guitar to the right side of the soundstage. The sound is totally three dimensional. You almost feel like you can reach out and touch everyone. The sound is totally open with natural decay and depth. It is stunning. It really is. No hyperbole."....
2. Reinier Voet & Pigalle44; Ballade pour la nuit
.....These guys and this recording just rocks. Pace, rhythm, tone and soundstage are just off the charts.
The precise placement of all four of the musicians perfectly matches the photos of the sessions.
The balance of all four instruments is darn near perfect. As you can no doubt tell, I am a huge fan of this recording.
It is one of the best in terms of recording quality I have ever heard. Of course, and as always,
your view of the actual music content may vary quite considerably from mine.
Nonetheless, I think we would all agree that this recording sounds sensational....
3. Sound Liaison’s DXD Music Sampler
There are some audio enthusiasts who claim that high-resolution digital recordings offer no audible improvement over conventional Red Book CDs. I could not disagree more, but what about 96 kHz vs. DXD at 352.8 kHz? I found the 96 kHz files to be excellent, but by comparison the 352.8 kHz originals have a bit more air and space in the sound, even with my OPPO player down-sampling them to 176.4 kHz. The DSD comparisons are interesting. I found the DSD files to be a bit “warmer” but I could not help wondering if there’s some sort of euphonic coloration going in the conversion process. At times, I felt that the DSD files had a slightly larger and more precise stereo image. That may seem strange, but I can only report what I heard. It’s possible that my reactions to the warmth and the imaging are due to the simpler analog filtering in DSD playback.Sound Liason’s DXD sampler, The Visual Sound, offers some of the most realistic sounding recordings I’ve heard, in enjoyable selections performed by excellent musicians. Most of the music on this sampler is decidedly laid-back, and audiophiles looking for an in-your-face sonic spectacular will likely miss the point. For engineer Frans de Rond and the excellent musicians heard on these recordings, it’s all about subtlety and refinement. Musically perceptive listeners will appreciate the efforts of all involved in making these fine recordings.
Gary Galo - AudioXpress
4. Carmen Gomes: Don't You Cry
Many musicians can play jazz and blues, but few can sing the blues with total conviction and emotional authenticity. Dutch singer-songwriter Carmen Gomes is one of those few. A father from the Mediterranean region endowed Carmen Gomes not only with a Spanish-sounding name, but by her own description, with a Mediterranean temperament. At the margins of the culture, the world's differences meet; for Carmen Gomes, the language that gave her freedom of expression was not her native Dutch, but English; and the mode that encouraged her creativity was American jazz and blues. With a dozen previous albums in her catalogue, this accomplished singer, songwriter, teacher and vocal coach distills more than two decades of live performance and recording experience into "Don't You Cry", an hour of compelling jazz vocal music.
The selection and sequencing of the songs tells the story of a woman’s growing recognition that she must throw off the chains of love—false illusions, fears and insecurities—before she can find a more honest way of loving. From the opening "Unchain My Heart", a 1963 hit for Ray Charles, through two songs associated with the great Nina Simone, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and Simone's own assertion of female sensuality "Do I Move You", with stops along the way in the Deep South of the songwriter's imagination (Ira and George Gershwin's "Summertime") and the historical reality ("How Long", credited to Leroy Carr, originally written by blueswoman Ida Cox), the listener finally arrives at Gomes' original "As I Do." It's a one-hour trip from the depths of love's oppression to the renewed hope for a relationship between equal partners, cast in the languorous mode of sultry jazz singing and subtle instrumental accompaniment.
Gomes’ stylistic technique extends past the conventions of behind-the-beat phrasing. Listen to how she teases out the syllables, as if the lyrics themselves were musical notes, not just words on a page. On "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", she prolongs the vowel sounds through several shades of inflection. With her flawless pitch, the effect is entrancing. You might hear echoes of Billie Holliday, but her vocal sound has developed well beyond imitation to distinctive individuality.
The ensemble Carmen Gomes, Inc. is more than a singer and a backing group. Bassist Peter Bjørnild, whose session notes are posted on the Sound Liaison website, produced the record and arranged the songs in collaboration with Gomes, guitarist Folker Tettero and drummer Bert Kamsteeg. Tettero plays an archtop semi-hollow body guitar that has a warm timbre; his stylistic ears are well-tuned to blues idiom, especially the minor-key blues of the mid-1960s. Kamsteeg uses brushes throughout, and keeps superb time without ever overpowering the singer or other players. In bassist Peter Bjørnild, Gomes has found the deep instrumental 'voice' that complements her vocals, the glove that perfectly fits the hand. Their musical partnership is longstanding, and the trust that only years can bring is clearly in evidence.
The decision to record with a single-point stereo microphone came about after the group had already finished a recording session done with conventional multi-mic technique. The late delivery of a Josephson C700S stereo microphone prompted a test recording of a single tune; an afterwards, engineer and label co-owner Frans Rond was so convinced that the sound qualities of that track should be heard on a full recording, he reconvened two more sessions that consisted of the group's working repertoire, done almost entirely in single takes. Those sessions were recorded at MCO Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on 26 October and 15 December 2018, in DXD 352.8 kHz. As Bjørnild explains: "With only one mic… mixing was no longer possible. We would have to make the complete sound stage right there by carefully moving each instrument closer or further away, as well as left and right, in relationship to the microphone."
With an engineer of the capabilities of Frans Rond, mixing is no longer needed. The careful placement of the musicians and the control of group balance makes "Don't You Cry" one of the best-sounding "live in the room" audiophile recordings I've heard.
Not surprisingly, site listeners awarded "Don't You Cry" NativeDSD Vocal Album of the Year for 2019. I eagerly await the next release from Carmen Gomes Inc.
5; Gidon Nunes Vas - EMBRACE ME
This is a typical Sound Liaison release, here captured live in studio 2 at Hilversum's MCO, with recording, mixing and mastering by Frans de Rond.However en route to becoming a DXD (or DSD) master via a Digital Audio Workstation, the initial recording was transferred to a Studer A80 tape machine at 15ips. Why? The answer is that ‘it gives us a bit of what they call 'Mojo'.
Definitely an audiophile recording, then, but with a sense of humour, and the result is spectacular, with a warm, generous ambience you can almost reach out and touch each instrument; Gidon Nunez Vaz' trumpet, Timothy Banchet's piano, Thomas Pol's bass and the drums of the splendidly named Yoran Vroom- lovingly captured. And Denise Jannah's vocals on four of the tracks are simply gorgeous. The end result is a gentle, measured and totally appealing set.
A.E Hifinews and record review
Johnny Cash - Delia's Gone
Cowboy Junkies - Shining Moon
Robert Wyatt - Alifib
Gentle Giant - Knots
King Crimson - Larks Tongues In Aspic Part 1
Great responses! I have a lot of listening to do.
My all time favorite female vocal test track:
Spanish Harlem-Rebeca Pidgeon
The Ultimate Demonstration Disc - Chesky Records
Try O-Zone Percussion song Jazz Variants you'll think the matching band is in the room. We brought it to a Magnepan demo and people who had left the room came running back in to hear it.
I will give only one,but i had many....
Kenneth Wheeler "what now" a masterpiece of Jazz.... Sound very refined...
I'll stick to non-classical here.
David Bowie's "Heathen." Yeah, it's a CD but it sounds excellent.
"Villancicos," Atrium Musicae de Madrid. Harmonia Mundi France, LP.
The Beach Boys -- Endless Summer. Capitol Records LP set.
Thriller -- Michael Jackson LP.
Frank Sinatra. Any Capitol Records LP, but my best ones are are in a three LP set from France called "Swinging, Sexy, Sinatra."
Roy Orbison. A two LP set from Rhino Records called "For the Lonely."
Big Daddy's two LPs from Rhino -- "Big Daddy" and "And Meanwhile, Back in the States."
Playing for friends...
Anything Melody Gardot
Pink Floyd Dark Side
Steely Dan Aja
Brubeck Take 5
Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues
My similar 3-D experience track is - Takla Makan by Yello
With the right speakers sound coming from 360 degrees!
Please share your many?
ELP "Lucky Man" . If your amp doesn’t shut off before the end of the song you are GTG.
Thank you! I had never heard of Kenneth Wheeler before. Beautiful clear trumpet sound.
By favorite trumpet tune is - Trumpet Tune in D Major by Michael Murray on Telarc label. Make sure to play it loud - at least 85dB - 90dB which is realistic trumpet levels.
Frinz Reiner Rimsky-Korsakoff Scheherazade No. 4 The Festival at Baghdad, The Sea, Shipwreck
Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
Bill Evans At the Montreux Jazz festival (SIde 1)
Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd Jazz Samba E Luxo S 6
Vinyl LP analog source.
Re:Trumpet Tune in D Major by Michael Murray on Telarc label.
What is the name of the album?
Looking for a Home by Keith Greeniger and Kai Dayan
Recat by Richard Villalobos and Max Lodebauer
Just a Little Lovin' by Shelby Lynne
Babylon Sisters by Steely Dan
Opalesque by Ralph Towner and Gary Peacock
Poinciana by Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, and Jack Dejohnette (live in Paris)
(La) finta giardiniera, movement: Geme la tortorella by Regula Mühlemann: Mozart Arias
Not showing off at home, but take CD's to listen in a store, primarily to listen to speakers. (don't take LP's), you do not know if their TT system is setup correctly, CD will send the same thing everywhere you go.
1. Rebecca Pidgeon's voice, mentioned above, is pure, let's you know right away about highs/mids balance, not much imaging revealed
2. Casandra Wilson's voice tells you a lot more about upper bass and midrange. Blue Light Till Dawn album. Terrific Imaging from fabulous musicians. Solid center image of her voice, verify no frequency variations l to r.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Light_%27til_Dawn
3. Duet: Enough is Enough (no more tears) by Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, the blending and distinction of their individual voices is incredible.https://www.google.com/search?gs_ssp=eJzj4tVP1zc0TDMyM7csK7M0YPQSSM3LL03PUMgsVoCwAJ-YClU&q=enoug...
4. War of the Worlds, incredible range, and specifically to hear Richard Burton's voice. You can readily tell if it's right or wrong.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Wayne%27s_Musical_Version_of_The_War_of_the_Worlds
5. Friday Night in San Francisco, 3 World Class Guitarists play togetherhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friday_Night_in_San_Francisco
Best Imaging Test: Side 2, tracks 2 and 3. My LP beats my CD, but you need a CD version to rule out any misalignment of TT, then use it to refine your TT, it is a great help refining anti-skate
6. Eurythmics, Annie Lennox's Voice and Dave Stewart's sound/imaging variationshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_Dreams_(Are_Made_of_This)
7. Andreas Vollenweider, White Winds, A Sonic Feasthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Vollenweider
Charlie Byrds fine direct to disc LP on Crystal Clear is also a great demo LP. I find most d2d records are good for dynamics but the music is usually lame and tame.
Of course Norah Jones Come away with me lp is great I don’t know why is a stand out number.
XLO reference recording test and burn on CD has some excellent music on it.
I also find The Band The Band 45 rpm release very rewarding.
CD- Ceremonial Music for trumpet and symphonic organ
Telerac Label,Michael Murry, Trumpet Tune in D Major
Check it out on YouTube
Terry Bozzio one of my favorite drummers! I lucked out and saw him perform at a local Guitar Center Clinic. Talk about small venues. Worlds largest drum set. If you’ve never seen it, check it out on YouTube.
Behind the Veil- Jeff Beck, CD Guitar Shop- Terry Bozzio on drums.
I agree Paul Simon’s Graceland is incredibly well recorded! One of the best.
My two favorite tracks are Boy in the Bubble, and Graceland. I have been using those two tracks to demo speakers for years. Another Paul Simon track I use is, Ten Years.
Alison Krauss has a sweet voice. My favorite track by her is, Baby, Now That I’ve Found You - Live Version
Cassandra Wilson- I use the Track, Come on in My Kitchen from Blue Light Til Dawn as a subwoofer test.
Enough is Enough, a great find. Never heard that before!
Twenty Test Tracks! Some of my favorites....
Avalon - Roxy Music
Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits
That Voice Again - Peter Gabriel
El Macho- Mark Knopfler [ One of my subwoofer test tracks]
Seven Days - Sting
Pearl On The Half Shell - Weather Report
The Gift Of Time - Jean Luc Ponty
Every Word - Sade
Wicked Game - Chris Isaak
African Night - Al Di Meola
Morph The Cat - Donald Fagen [Subwoofer Test Track]
Trellis - Synergy [If you have a strong enough system, go for it!]
Leather Cats - Oregon
So Long Mickey Mouse - Return To Forever
Alone In The City - Chris Botti
She - James Newton Howard
Spiral - Vangelis [Favorite Electronica Track]
Espana - Patrick O' Hearn
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Day Breaks - Live On KCRW - Norah Jones
Can agree with Every Word by Sade and Leather Cats by Oregon, especially the latter.