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Exceptional Performances - Worthy Productions

 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1100
Registered: Jul-07
I think there may have been a thread here some time ago for people to talk about "must have" disks, either for performance reasons, or for performance and audio quality reasons. I thought I'd start one again. I'm always looking for new disks to pick up, so suggestions on what other people are digging, and why, are very helpful.

I know we have the playlist in the speaker section, which is cool, and I don't want to mess with that. But I thought a separate thread that talked more specifically about the music might also be helpful.

So, what disks are blowing you away right now, and why ?
 

Gold Member
Username: Soundgame

Pickering, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1202
Registered: Jun-08
Emily Claire Barlow - The Very Thought of You

Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Sessions (this was recorded in the Trinity Cathedral in Toronto) - just amazing natural sound and acoustics - you feel like you're there with them.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 15573
Registered: Dec-04
Bonnie Raitt...nick of time. Won a bunch of Grammy's on sound and tunes. I love this disc.

Mellencamp...pick a cd for the tunes, the SQ is solid after American \fool, which is among the best, IMO.
Uh huh out-Stones the Stones, if that is your bag, John and the band pay homage.

I have an RCA release of Elvis that is dead quiet (thats rare). No catalogue # to be found
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 740
Registered: Jul-07
I must have played that Bonnie album hundreds of times!!!!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13447
Registered: Feb-05
Shelby Lynne - Just a Little Lovin'

The Brubeck Brothers Quartet - Intuition

Excellent music and sound for both.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1103
Registered: Jul-07
I have that Emily Claire Barlow disk George. It's excellent. Do you have her new one that's just out ?
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 826
Registered: Dec-06
The best sounding hard rock recording I've ever heard is Extreme's, III Sides to Every Story.

Leonard Cohen, More Best of, for the music and lyrics. Stereophile actually rated one of his early vinyl reissues as a top sounding record. I went out and purchased his first two albums on vinyl.

I really enjoyed the first three Sheryl Crow albums.

And I was very surprised that I liked Gordon by the Barenaked Ladies. Better musically than I expected, and the sound quality was very good too.

And of course, GN'R, Zeppelin, and the Stones.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4110
Registered: May-05
Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are great sounding and great performances IMO. Pretty sure I'm not saying anything new or original there. My only criticism of them is there's too much echo in the voice. The everything else sounds very real, yet the vocals sound recorded. Not the random speach or even the background stuff, but the singing. It aggrevates me a bit.

One or two that may be off the radar -

Encomium: A Tribute to Led Zeppelin
There's 4 or 5 very good covers in there. Sheryl Crow's D'yer M'ker, Stone Temple Pilots' Dancing Days, and Hootie & the Blowfish's (Yeah, I know) Hey, Hey What Can I Do are excellent. There's a few others too. The recording/production on the whole album is top notch. I've used a Sheryl Crow's and STP's tracks during demos several times.

The Black Crowes: Greatest Hits - A Work in Progress
Excellent recording/production. I really like Thorn In My Pride, Remedy, and Wiser Time as demo stuff. The whole album is great IMO. Then again, it is a greatest hits album.

Tool - 10,000 Days
There's so much going on in this album. It may be the modern Dark Side of the Moon. There's layering of sounds and music all over the place. They delayed the release several times because they weren't happy with the mixing. I'm pretty sure it paid off in the long run. A bit too much stuff in between actual songs IMO, but excellent none the less.

I've been on Metallica's Ride the Lightning for a few weeks now. Not a single weak track. People say Master of Puppetts was their best album, but I disagree. MOP's best songs are better than Ride's, but I don't skip a single track on Ride. I always skip The Thing That Should Not Be (I hate that song) and usually skip Sanitarium.

I just wish that Metallica (and everyone else) recorded and mixed like The Black Crowes' album, if not better.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1829
Registered: Oct-07
John Mayall & the Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton

many terrific songs....raw sound. Almost like it was recorded in a garage, but in the good way.
First Clapton solo vocal recording.
Harp solos easily as good as Paul Butterfield.....

This was one of the 3 cd's I bought on the day I bought my first CD player. Back in the early '80s. Album recorded in the 60's.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_Breakers_with_Eric_Clapton
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4434
Registered: Feb-07
"Tool - 10,000 Days
There's so much going on in this album. It may be the modern Dark Side of the Moon."

This I agree with 100%.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4435
Registered: Feb-07
Metallica-And Justice For All

"To Live is to Die" is my go to song when trying out new gear. Exceptional production. Multi-layered guitars with beautiful tone.
 

Gold Member
Username: Stu_pitt

Stamford, Connecticut USA

Post Number: 4112
Registered: May-05
And the only song on that album with any hint of a bass guitar.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4438
Registered: Feb-07
That too. At least the new Metallica album, as over-produced and over-compressed as it is has some good bass on it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 741
Registered: Jul-07
You Gotta Pay The Band, Abbey Lincoln with Stan Getz and Hank Jones
On the brilliant BIRD ALONE track, it could be listed as among the most beautiful solos by each of these artists. http://www.allmusic.com/album/you-gotta-pay-the-band-r104647/review

Gary Burton- Like Minds w/ Correa, Metheny, Holland and Roy Haynes

Many others by Cick Correa and
Gary Burton- http://www.allmusic.com/artist/gary-burton-p6212/discography

Pat Metheney

Bobby Hutcherson

For laying down in the dark:
Abbey Lincoln- A Turtle's dream- http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1055699/a/Turtle's+Dream.htm

Crystal Silence- Gary Burton w/Chick Correa

Charlie Haden-
http://www.allmusic.com/album/land-of-the-sun-r707537/review
If you like that then you need the similar Nocturne. http://www.allmusic.com/album/nocturne-r528341/review

For fun:
John Prine- The Missing Years
He has so many great albums but I list this one as having unusually rich and varied sound.
I often prefer a simple band, quartet or so, but the variety on this worked this time.
Look at the varied instrumentation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Missing_Years_(John_Prine_album)

Mark Knoffler- All the Road Running http://www.allmusic.com/album/all-the-roadrunning-r829699
A highlight amongst many great albums such as
Shangri La,
Noting Hillbillies,
Neck and Neck w/Chet Atkins http://www.allmusic.com/album/neck-and-neck-r91723.
Dire Straights Live

Santana- Supernatural
Amazing that he could be playing so well 30 yrs after Evil Ways etc of his first album "Santana" and 29 yrs after Abraxis.

Jimmy Hendrix: Are You Experienced?, Axis: Bold as Love, Electric Ladyland.

Stevie Ray Vaughn- Texas Flood

Ray Charles- Atlantic hits, Big Joe Turner and the entire Atlantic R & B collection.
http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/7377620/a/Atlantic+R&B+Box+Set.htm

Dr. John- Anutha Zone http://www.allmusic.com/album/anutha-zone-r372137
A return in the late 1990s to his classic style of the 70s.

Professor Longhair- Crawfish Fiesta http://www.allmusic.com/album/crawfish-fiesta-r89388

Rock and Roll Gumbo- Professor Longhair w/ Clarence Gatemouth Brown http://www.allmusic.com/album/rock-n-roll-gumbo-dancing-cat-r89387

Texas Tornados- http://www.allmusic.com/artist/texas-tornados-p5626/biography
Flaco Jimenez- Partners http://www.amazon.com/Partners-Flaco-Jimenez/dp/B000002LSD

Lila Downs- Cantina http://www.allmusic.com/album/cantina-entre-copa-y-copa-r823815

Barely touching on jazz:

Stan Getz- where to start? I guess with his biggest with Gilberto/Jobim http://www.allmusic.com/album/getz-gilberto-r139220
Captain Marvel with Chic Correa, Stanley Clarke and Tony Williams
And dozens more: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/stan-getz-p6568/discography

Zoot Sims with Jimmy Rawles

Nat Cole Trio

Jay McShann- A lot of great albums: http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jay-mcshann-p7110/discography
I especially like his swinging blues w/Duke Robillard "Still Jumpin the Blues"
and his jazzier "Last of the Blue Devils" with Paul Quinchette, Milt Hinton, John Scofield +

Beyond the Blue Bird- Tommy Flannagan w/Burrell http://www.allmusic.com/album/beyond-the-blue-bird-r161888

Antonio Carlos Jobim
Herbie Hancock
Monte Alexander is another with dozens of great albums:
Impressions in Blue
Live at the Iridium
Ivory and Steel
Carribean Circle
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/monty-alexander-p5995/discography

Mingus- a bunch of great albums. A good start might be Changes One and Changes Two because it doesn't go to far outside and it is a great band including Don Pullen and George Adams who had a quarter for 9 yrs.

Roland Kirk- an intro:
We Free Kings
Now Please Don't You Cry, Beautiful Edith

Roy Haynes- Many including "Out of the Afternoon" with Roland Kirk and Tommy Flannigan.

So much Classic Jazz to name just a very few:
Miles
Grapelli
Earl Hines
Theloneous Monk
Oscar Peterson
Bill Evans
Ray Bryant
Earl Hines
Putumayo collections from Mexico, Carribean, Cuba, Brazil etc.

Many Brazilian artists including Marisa Monte- http://www.allmusic.com/album/universo-ao-meu-redor-r835310
Gilberto Gil- http://www.allmusic.com/artist/gilberto-gil-p6573/discography
Daniela Mercury- http://www.allmusic.com/artist/daniela-mercury-p40343
David Byrnes collections: vol 2- http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/6835265/a/Brazil+Classics,+Vol+2%3 A+O+Samba.htm
vol 3- http://www.amazon.com/Brazil-Classics-3-Forro-Etc/dp/B000S9ABQ6
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13452
Registered: Feb-05
Someone else who's heard of Lila Downs, of course it would be you, Kevin.
 

Gold Member
Username: Gavdawg

Albany, New York

Post Number: 1605
Registered: Nov-06
the disc with best SQ in my collection would have to be "The Body Acoustic" It is a sparsely arranged jazz performance.

It is a David Chesky single mic production.

http://www.chesky.com/core/details.cfm?productcode=JD274&category=1
 

Silver Member
Username: Kevincorr

Fairbanks, Alaska Usa

Post Number: 742
Registered: Jul-07
The Cheiftains newest album featuring Ry Cooder "San Patricio" w/ Lila Downs comes with a DVD "The Making of San Patricio" where you can see Lila having fun singing and dancing on the Irish-Mexican jam.
See a bit of it here on YouTube- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6KnV7J1NBk

I listen to all of Ry Cooders discs.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13454
Registered: Feb-05
I really like some of Ry's music and can barely stomach other pieces. He's all over the place and not always in a good way, for my tastes anyway.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1108
Registered: Jul-07
On the Jazz front, one of my alltime favorites is Kurt Elling's Nightmoves disk. Love his voice and the tunes he's selected for this. Definately a great late night listen, and the sound quality is very good.

Also Nikki Yanofsky's new disk (Nikki) is great. Good song selection and her voice is killer. For such a young artist (16 years old) the maturity of her singing is amazing. SQ is good, but not great.

I was into Cosco the other day and saw a compliation set of disks from Led Zepplin....supposedly remastered. Has anyone seen this, and more importantly heard it ? I checked on Amazon but didn't see it there.....maybe a special arrangement with Cosco. If it was disappointed SQ wise I wouldn't bother, but if they had done if justice I'd go back and snag it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 831
Registered: Dec-06
I've got the SHM-CD compilation...not aware of any other recent Zeppelin sets. They are sourced from the 1994 remasters.

Looks like this:
http://991.com/NewGallery/Led-Zeppelin-The-Definitive-Bo-440110.jpg

There is also a less expensive standard CD version, which as far as I know looks exactly the same, but of course it uses regular CDs rather than SHM-CD.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1109
Registered: Jul-07
Thanks Dan. It didn't look anything like that. I'll have to go back and have another look.
 

Gold Member
Username: Soundgame

Pickering, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1205
Registered: Jun-08
Hey Chris - to answer your question, no I don't yet have Emily's latest CD but have been eyeing it. I've got her last three and just love her voice and the sound quality on them all - extremely transparent / revealing recording - if just a touch on the lean side.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1110
Registered: Jul-07
I'd agree they are a hair on the lean side. The best recording I have (SQ wise) I think is Boz Scaggs latest album, Speak Low. It's an HDCD and it sounds fantastic. Also a very good performance if you're into jazz. I haven't listened to it on a non HDCD capable cdp so I don't know how it sounds without that, but with it the sound is very very good. I have lots of other HDCD recordings but they often don't sound any better than my other disks. Not this one though.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 839
Registered: Dec-06
I'm digging this new Ozzy tune. Sounds like a well recorded song too, far as I can tell from a You Tube video.

 

Gold Member
Username: Soundgame

Pickering, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 1206
Registered: Jun-08
Melody Gardot - Worrisome Heart - the last track is a wonderful sounding experiment
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1120
Registered: Jul-07
Picked up Sade - Soldier of Love cd and listened to it last night after I got home from work. Great music after a long week. Her voice has aged very well, and the recording quality is quite good. Nice relaxing disk, simply arranged, but nicely done.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13541
Registered: Feb-05
Oregon - In Stride

Great music and a fabulous recording.
 

Silver Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 398
Registered: Oct-10
Personally, I think the Michael Brecker disc, "Pilgrimmage", Heads Up, 2007 is easily the best album recoded in ANY genre in the past 25 years. Chech it out!
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13544
Registered: Feb-05
It's a great album and ofcourse you are entitled to your opinion...however....
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 853
Registered: Dec-06


I'm a bit behind when it comes to listening to my CDs. I decided to hear how Slash's album sounds because I know it was recorded fully with analog equipment. I know a few tunes off of it, and I loved By the Sword the first time I heard it. On the main stereo rig this tune sounds pretty sweet. Clear, lots of warmth and dynamics. They need to record more rock albums like this, and go back and re-record the many cool albums they ruined with crappy recording techniques.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4504
Registered: Feb-07
I agree Dan - great album!
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1908
Registered: Oct-07
Lots of music has been damaged....some perhaps with no chance of recovery?
I hope the master tapes / recordings have been preserved so in saner times someone can issue a proper sounding version.
 

Gold Member
Username: Magfan

USA

Post Number: 1909
Registered: Oct-07
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122114058
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1135
Registered: Jul-07
I was listening to my Tower of Power - In the Slot lp from 1975 this morning. Awesome album. Great music, decent recording. Great layering of the instruments, and the baritone sax has serious grunt....even on my modest analogue rig.
 

Silver Member
Username: Superjazzyjames

Post Number: 808
Registered: Oct-10
Check out Zu-ka, "Supplemental Restraints" available on iTunes. Mixture of 70s & 90s rock styles. Superb recording and mixing quality.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1146
Registered: Jul-07
Listened to Al Jarreau's All Fly Home Lp yesterday morning with a large cup of coffee. The sound quality of this album is excellent and I love every song on the record. Excellent songs done only how Al can do them, with some help from Freddie Hubbard. Every record after this I liked less and less, as he transitioned into pop, then got away from his roots almost entirely. This album though was one of his best, if not best.

http://avaxhome.ws/hraphile/al_jarreau_all_fly_home_doc_mfsl_hqvinyl.html
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4551
Registered: Feb-07
Check out the new Sully Erna disc (frontman of Godsmack). The Godsmack CDs have always been top-notch as far as production goes but this is much more mellow, though not in a put you to sleep sort of way. There's a particular track with a lot of piano on the album (the name escapes me now) that sounds amazing on my tube rig with the Sttafs.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kbear

Canada

Post Number: 963
Registered: Dec-06
Had the pleasure of listening to a couple of Black Label Society albums, The Blessed Hellride and Hangover Music. These are probably two of the best hard rock recordings I've ever heard (sound quality wise), and of course feature Zakk Wylde's incredible guitar skills. Very surprised that music like this, on albums made after the turn of the century, was not super compressed.
 

Gold Member
Username: Dmitchell

Ottawa, Ontario Canada

Post Number: 4658
Registered: Feb-07
I bought Hangover Music last year, but never got into it cause it was so mellow (I guess the title should have given it away, huh?). Maybe it's worth another listen.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 13971
Registered: Feb-05
Amina Figarova - Above the Clouds

Outstanding music and a clear open and organic sounding recording. Every instrument clearly rendered with good timbre and scale. The piano is percussive without sounding a bit lightweight..very nice.

Omer Avital Quintet - Live at Smalls

A live recording with a truly live feel. The detail and microdynamics are so good and the sound so intimate that you feel like you are on stage with the band. From the softest pluck on the bass or stroke of a brush to interweaving instrumentals when the sextet is swinging, everything is wide open giving you the feeling of participating in a live event...well done.
 

Gold Member
Username: Hawkbilly

Nova Scotia Canada

Post Number: 1270
Registered: Jul-07
Herbie Hancock - The Imagine Project

I'm usually not a big fan of productions with lots of "special" guests, but this one is very nicely done. Influences from other cultures really enrich the cd with interesting beats and instrumentation. The cover songs are done in a unique way, but still respect the original song. I bought this one a month or so ago and have been playing it quite a bit. Good sound quality as well.
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