New CD & BluRay Releases for 12-14-2012

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Title: Tim Warfield's Jazzy Christmas

Genre: Jazz

If you are throwing a Christmas party you need Christmas music. Tim Warfield's latest release will fill the bill nicely. Breezy, smooth, cool, and very urbane, the music is familiar without being too familiar. Warfield's impeccable sax timbre combined with the excellent recording quality makes this Christmas record a year-round treat. The second-longest cut on the album, "Snowfall," is so good you could just put it on repeat and party on...

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Lisa Matassa - Somebody's Baby

Genre: Country, Pop

On this seven song EP you will experience just how badly a studio recording can sound. The first and title cut, "Somebody's Baby," features icepick treble response between 2 and 4KHz. The other studio cuts aren't any better. But a live cover of "I Will Always Love You"  sounds excellent and reveals that indeed, Matassa's powerful voice doesn't need an auto-tune to sound wonderful.  Too bad about the rest of the album...

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 6, Sonically - 4

 

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Title: Wave Mechanics Union - Further to Fly

Genre: Jazz, World Music

Formed eight years ago by several jazz arrangers who wanted to do things their own way, this "band" creates big, lushly orchestrated musical creations. The material on their second release consists of covers of pop tunes from the likes of Paul Simon, Fiona Apple, Tom Waits, Thomas Dolby, and Ben Folds. My favorite cut is a boisterous and unpredictable cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Third Stone from The Sun." Sound quality is also excellent; even during the boisterous passages the sonics are still suave.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 9

 

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Title: Christmas The Mountain Way

Genre: Bluegrass, Roots

Here's another Christmas album for you. This anthology features Bluegrass performers on the Rural Rhythm label. Sixteen cuts from artists including Dale Ann Bradley, Audie Blaylock, Mike Scott, and Marty Raybon cover standards such as "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night" along with more obscure tunes like "In the Garden," and "Nothing But The Blood." Recording quality is good and the performances are more interesting, at least to me, than your typical jazz-lite Christmas music fare.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 8

 

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Title: Hoff Ensemble - Quiet Winter Night

Genre: Jazz, Acoustic

Recorded and produced by Morton Lindberg, this superb-sounding recording of interesting music serves as a sonic bromide to all the sickly sweet holiday stuff that seeps out of tired transducers all over the world. Available in Blu-Ray, LP, high-resolution FLAC (from 2L's website) and CD (comes with the vinyl version), this fifteen-track album has a wonderfully warm yet open sonic quality with enough room ambience to satisfy anyone who loves a sense of "space" in their recordings.

Rating (0- 10): Overall - 8, Sonically - 9

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