Jazz CD Reviews

Salena Jones – Jazz Vocal Best Collection — JVC XRCD

Usual winning combination of jazz vocalist and clean xrcd sonics doesn't quite pan out this time

Published on August 29, 2005

Salena Jones – Jazz Vocal Best Collection — JVC XRCD
Salena Jones – Jazz Vocal Best Collection — JVC XRCD SVCD-1048 CD **: 

Normally I’m a big fan of XRCD recordings—they always sound so clean,
unprocessed, and musical.  That’s why when I put this disc on I
thought there was something wrong with my playback system.  The
instrumental quality was…odd.  The midrange sounded strangely
processed and the entire performance sounded overly “wet” as if there
were classic tube gear used for the recording and not the digital
equipment with the full range and extension that is diagrammed on the
front cover of the CD case.  It’s almost too smooth without any
lack of edge that also seems to rob the performance of any connection
to what real music sounds like.  Occasionally, the environment
seems to suggest the acoustics of a small reverberant venue like a
warehouse while the rest of the instrumentation is unaffected. 

As for the performance…the nicest comment I can make is that it was
lacking–call it uninspired, lackluster or Shirley Horn on
Ambien.  Perhaps the intent was to lull the listener into a
coma.  Take track 12, “Agua De Beber,” a tune that is normally
performed with vibrancy and life.  Jones sings it like she’s lost
her passion for the music.  If you’ve ever been wandering through
a hotel and there was a lounge act playing in the background then you’d
get an idea how this record sounds.  I would much rather listen to
classic, not-so-good recordings rather than a weak pseudo-audiophile
interpretation that lacks verve. 

 
TrackList: 
Singin’ In The Rain; Easter Parade; Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing;
Perdido; Canadian Sunset; Stardust; The Song Is Ended; Take The ‘A’
Train; Sentimental Journey; It’s Only A Paper Moon; My Funny Valentine;
Agua De Beber; Somewhere In The Hills; When You Wish Upon A Star; Who’s
Sorry Now; Alexander’s Ragtime Band; Willow Weep For Me.

-Brian Bloom
 




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