However.... The CD would only play in my car. Wouldn't play on the main player in the house. Exchanged for a second CD and still has the same problem. Never ran into this issue before. Amazon quickly took care of the problem - they always have fantastic customer service. Sent the replacement in two days - took both of the CD's back in the end.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I am Jeff's nephew by marriage. However, I live really far away from him and if I wanted to I could trash this album with no consequences whatsoever. =)
That being said, I cannot trash this album. It's wonderfully crafted, and a fine example of the highest levels of skill and creativity you will ever find in the world of smooth jazz and saxophones. Every member of the band, and every guest musician, is at the very top of their field and it comes through in the recording.
I heard Jeff Kashiwa's music played on [...] decided to give him a broader listen. I'm glad that I did. This is someone that I will definately buy more music from. I'm trolling amazon as we speak checking out mp3 samples from his other works. Jeff, listening to you is not a gamble. I'm going to "Let It Ride".
Jeff Kashiwa has long been a favorite of my wife and I. We were very pleased when he rejoined the Rippingtons. This CD is my favorite of his solo works, he just keeps getting better and better. We highly recommend this work for all fans of contemporary jazz.
It took 20 days, but the problems with the bad tracks sound fixed. I've updated the star rating from one to five stars to reflect my opinion of the album alone.
Thumbs up to Amazon for removing the album soon after my complaint, so others don't purchase damaged goods.
Thumbs up to Brian @ Amazon for keeping me updated.
Thumbs up to Native Language Records for e-mailing me the corrected tracks soon after I reported the problem.
Thumbs down to Amazon for taking 20 days to get this album back up. I know Amazon estimated 2-4 weeks to get this fixed. But that was an unreasonable time as an estimate, and it does not reflect well on Amazon that it actually took them that long. Please work to improve this process.
From Sept 5, 2012:
This review is not a critique of the music, but a complaint about Amazon's MP3 service & support. When I downloaded this album, I noticed that the first three tracks have audio pops and the sound cuts out numerous times. Thinking that it was just a bad download, I tried to play the same tracks through the Amazon Cloud Player, and the problems were still present in the same places as the downloaded files.
I called Amazon MP3 support on Sept 5th, 2012. The fellow I talked with was nice and courteous, but told me that it could take 2-4 weeks for the technical staff to correct the problem. Though I did not expect an immediate resolution of the problem, I think a month wait for a solution is unreasonably slow. I was offered a refund, but declined it. I am a long time fan of Jeff Kashiwa, and at least I will get to enjoy the other 7 tracks which play just fine. I am resigned to just waiting it out for the corrected tracks.
I've been an Amazon MP3 customer since the inception of the service. I've purchased over a hundred of albums, and hundreds of individual tracks in that time. This is the first problem I have had with the quality of the audio. This one problem will not stop me from using Amazon MP3 in the future. But improvement is needed when this type of problem, rare though it may be, is encountered.