1958 classic release on Blue Note by pianist Sonny Clark. Features alto saxophonist Jackie McLean, trumpeter Art Farmer, bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Philly Joe Jones.
The improvement in sound quality of XRCD24 over a conventional CD is not subtle. Obvious gains in clarity, transparency, dynamics and warmth of XRCD24 can be heard by all. XRCD24 allows the listener to hear what the producer and artist intended to hear, the sound of the original master tape. Plays on all standard CD players.
Do we really need more Blue Notes?
The Blue Note reissue explosion continues with these attractively packaged XRCD24s from Audio Wave.
The first four titles are Hank Mobley's Soul Station, Tina Brooks' True Blue, Horace Parlan Quintet's Speakin' My Piece and the Sonny Clark classic Cool Struttin'. If you're new to the Blue Note fetish and want to check one of these out, I'd recommend the 1958 release Cool Struttin'. It's got an all star cast including trumpeter Art Farmer, alto sax great Jackie McLean and the rhythm section of Clark, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones. That would just about wrap it up for any jazz fan. The inclusion of two bonus tracks not found on the original closes the deal on this one musically.
Audio Wave goes the extra mile with the packaging that includes a shiny, laminated hard covered, perfect bound fold-open booklet in which can be found the original liner notes along with Francis Wolff's bonus session photos Music Matters used in its LP reissue. Here they're obviously smaller but still carefully reproduced
When you slip the disc into your player and the title tune's first few bars spill from your speakers, you'll know you've gotten your money's worth. The sound here is about as good as I've heard CD get, especially in a direct comparison to the double 45rpm edition. The clarity and precision of the cymbals the overall depth developed and the bass's drive, definition and texture are exceptional and far superior to the murky yet harsh RVG remaster (I didn't have the Sonny Clark but I did compare a 1998 Japanese Toshiba-EMI RVG edition and it was 'game over' after but a few bars).
But back to the Clark: the slinky title tune sets the stage for a swaggering, bluesy set that epitomizes what Blue Note was all about. If this disc doesn't appeal, you most likely won't like anything the label produced. Farmer and McLean harmonize on the left channel stating the theme, Clark takes a funky solo, Jones and Chambers push it all forward from the right channel and Farmer steps in with a soulful solo followed up by a gritty one from McLean. The term 'in the pocket' was invented for the opening track.Blue Minor, another Clark tune, shows his generosity as he comps quietly but effectively behind McLean and Farmer for much of it and though Rudy has him pushed well back in the mix and he's doing what sound like such simple things, they are placed so correctly in time, your ear is drawn to them even as McLean and Farmer dominate upfront.
Clark's opening solo on Miles Davis' serpentine Sippin' At Bell's is among the album's many highlights and the unusual clarity and harmonic excellence is a fortunate result of both RVG's managing to not overstuff the piano sound or overmodulate the recording as he often did back then and Yoshida and the XRCD process's mastering excellence.
…for those who complain that the Hoffman/Gray 'house sound' is too warm for their tastes (and this is surely system dependent), these Audio Wave CDs will be a refreshing improvement. They manage to sound clean, transparent and well-detailed without becoming cold, icy or etched. For jazz fans not in the vinyl loop these Audio Waves are a great addition to the Blue Note reissue catalog both musically and sonically.
To answer the teaser question, ''yes we do.'' --From the Online Audiophile Magazine musicangle.com, 2010