Enjoy the Music.com


Audiophile Audition

 

New JVC XRCD Music Reviews

  We have a half dozen new xrcd2 releases auditioned this time around. They retain the format's position of being in almost every case the highest fidelity digital version of the original recording - be it originally analog or digital in nature - while still using the standard 44.1kHz sampling rate approach which is now skirting obsolescence. That also means no special equipment or decoding of any sort is required for playback. JVC does it by fussing over and polishing every little step in the journey from the original tapes or discs all the way to the final pressing, resulting in the preservation of the maximum resolution possible - true 16-bit - without the bit loss along the way due to most processing chains.

 

MOUSSORGSKY-RAVEL: Pictures at an Exhibition - Chicago Symphony Orch./Fritz Reiner - BMG/JVC JMCXR-0016:

I just compared this audiophile classic with two competing new SACD releases. (See Hi-Res Reviews.) It didn't take a back seat by any means. This has to be the most dynamic, powerful and rich version of the warhorse of them all, and the spot-on playing by the expert Chicago musicians under the stern baton of Reiner is a good part of the package. Reiner's pacing is more deliberate than most other versions, with dramatic pauses here and there. The xrcd has just as much clarity to my ears as the Classic Records 33-LP version (but they still sound different). Only 33 minutes length with no filler of any sort.

 

MAHLER: Symphony No. 4 - Lisa Della Casa, sop./Chicago Symphony Orch./Fritz Reiner - BMG/JVC JMCXR-0017:

Another Golden Age LP classic remastered from the l958 session taped in Chicago's Orchestra Hall. In his liner notes from the original album reproduced in xrcd notes, Reiner admits that he never knew Mahler or saw him conduct, but that he did begin his conducting career in the same city that Mahler had started in. This melodic and moving symphony can provide a good starting point for Mahler newbies. The fourth movement is a setting of a poem from The Youth's Magic Horn, and Della Casa's voice is not only gorgeous but gorgeously reproduced.

 

FRANCK: Symphony in D Minor - Boston Symphony Orch./Charles Munch - BMG/JVC JMCXR-0018:

This even earlier Victor recording session took place in Boston's Symphony Hall in March of l957. This was a year before the stereodisc was introduced, but Victor had been taping on a three-channel Ampex for some time already and had released prerecorded open-reel half-track stereo tapes. (Several of which I still have and still sound terrific.) The D Minor is one of the most approachable Romantic symphonies around for the classical tenderfoot - full of great tunes and an easily-groked symphonic structure based on Franck's cyclical return of the same basic theme. (I can't resist mentioning again the person I was "tape-sponding" with decades ago, who excitedly told me about the wonderful record he'd just purchased by "Ceasar Frank and his Symphony.") Both due to the different acoustics of Boston's hall and Munch's conducting style, this recording has a more flowing, homogenized sound than Reiner's. And that's all to the good for Franck's music.

- John Sunier

 

Jacintha - Lush Life (with Bill Cunliffe, piano and arrangements; Darek Oles, bass; Joe LaBarbera, drums; Dmitri Matheny, flugelhorn; Anthony Wilson, guitar, Frankie Marocco, accordion) - Groove Note/JVC JVCXR 0217-2:

This was the third album for Groove Note by the lush-voiced singer from Singapore, released just last year in LP and standard CD format and more recently on SACD (See March Hi-Res Reviews). For the first time a background of strings has been added, giving Jacintha an even more sensuous overall sound than previously. The thorough classical music education of arranger Cunliffe shows in the supportive but imaginative backing offered by the string section. Cunliffe admitted to reimagining some of the impressionistic effects wrought by Delius, Vaughan Williams and Rachmaninoff in their music. This is not like some singer-with strings albums where you're wishing the vocalist would just return to his or her normal piano-bass-drums backing. The contributions of three terrific sidemen - Matheny, Wilson and Marocco - are not to be ignored, and Cunliffe delivers some tasty piano solo work. The realism and presence of Jacintha's lovely voice is something to hear, a definite enhancement over the original CD, about equal to the LP (but, again, different), and expectedly, slightly below the SACD version as regards transparency, detail and "air." (Also, the xrcd version fails to provide the 15 sexy photos of Jacintha that come with the others.) Tracks: The Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Black Coffee, Summertime, Lush Life, Mahna de Carneval, The Shadow of Your Smile, When the World Was Young, September Song, Harlem Nocturne, Smile.

- John Henry

 

Stan Getz with Cal Tjader (plus Billy Higgins, Scott LaFaro, Vince Guaraldi & Eddie Duran) - Fantasy/JVC JVCXR-0218-2:

Some of the greatest West Coast jazz players of the late 50s jammed their hearts out in this l958 San Francisco studio session for Fantasy. It resulted from a stint at the famous Black Hawk jazz club by Getz' quartet during a time when Tjader - who lived in the area - was taking time off and forming a new group of his own. As Ralph J. Gleason reported in his liner notes to the original LP, Getz blended with vibist Tjader as though they had played together for years, and the session was over in record time. Not all sessions were being recorded in stereo in l958 - the year the stereodisc was introduced, but this one was, fortunately. It's all here, with a clarity the original LP never had - including the exaggerated separation of instruments to show off the stereo. Tracks; Ginza Samba, I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face, For All We Know, Crows Nest, Liz Anne, Big Bear, My Buddy.

 

Oscar Peterson & Dizzy Gillespie - Pablo/JVC JVCXR-0219-2:

I someone missed this one back in l975, though I don't know how, being extremely partial to bare-bones jazz duos like this - free of the usual rhythm section. Oscar just sat down and started improvising on seven mostly standards plus an extended free-for-all blues, and Diz just wailed on this trumpet. No special arrangements, no other sidemen, just two of jazz' supreme geniuses doin' their thing unencumbered. Diz especially sounds right in your lap - amazing presence not heard on most of his recordings with his groups. The tempi range all over the place, not stuck in a comfortable middle tempo that would be the easy way out in the absence of a rhythm section. Another interesting aspect here, as pointed out in Benny Green's fine liner notes (unreadable in the reproduction of the original LP liner but helpfully re-printed in normal-sized type) is that many of the tunes move back and forth between major and minor keys. That's like catnip for me - love that feeling. Not all the jazz classics chosen by some reissue labels are really classics, but this one couldn't be more of a classic. Tracks: Caravan, Mozambique, Autumn Leaves, Close Your Eyes, Blues for Bird, Dizzy Atmosphere, Alone Together, Con Alma.

- John Henry

 

     
 

Quick Links


Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

 

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Preamplifiers
Amplifiers
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

 

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

 

Videos
Enjoy the Music.TV

 

Columns
Editorials By Tom Lyle
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Viewpoint By Steven R. Rochlin
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles


Show Reports
New York Audio Show 2019 Report
Capital Audiofest 2019 Show Report
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2019
High End Munich 2019 Show Report
AXPONA 2019 Show Report
Zagreb AV Show Report 2019
CanJam Singapore 2019 Show Report
Salon Audio Montreal Audio Fest 2019
Bristol Hi-Fi Show Report 2019
Florida Audio Expo 2019 Show Report
Warsaw Audio Show Report 2018
New York Audio Show 2018 Report
Capital Audiofest 2018 Report
Copenhagen HighEnd 2018 Show Report
Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show Report 2018
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF) 2018
CanJam 2018 Denver RMAF Report
KL International AV 2018 Show Report
High End Munich 2018 Show Report
AXPONA 2018 Show Report
Click here for previous shows.

 

Other
Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty

 

Resources & Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions

 


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

 

Partner Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HIFICRITIC
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
NOVO (CANADA HiFi)
STEREO Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

 

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

 

Contests & Our Mailing List

Our free newsletter for monthly updates & enter our contests!

 

Social Media & Video
      

 

 

 

       

Home   |   Industry News   |   Equipment Reviews   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us

 

All contents copyright  1995 - 2019  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.