SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Joey Calderazzo, piano – Secrets – Audioquest/ Master Music xrcd24

A most pleasing piano trio, mostly with instrumental backing, on an audiophile xrcd24 reissue.

Published on August 26, 2013

Joey Calderazzo, piano – Secrets [TrackList follows] – Audioquest/ Master Music xrcd24 audiophile CD XRCD24-NT002, 46:56 [elusivedisc.com] ****:

(Joey Calderazzo, piano; James Genus, bass; Clarence Penn, drums; plus horn and string section on most tracks)

Joe Harley produced this session for the Audioquest label back in 1995, live and direct, using a two-track Studer deck and 30ips speed. It’s been given all the JVC xrcd treatments for this reissue, and although it’s not quite up to the level of the F.I.M. and Hi-Q CDs which still must be downsampled to the CD standard, we’ve decided to put it in this Hi-Res section because it’s definitely superior to earlier audiophile xrcds and gold CDs.

Calderazzo is one of the leading jazz pianists today. When this album was first released it got 4.5 stars in Down Beat. While two of the tracks are the straight trio, the six others have often sparse but tasty arrangements by Bob Belden which augment the trio with horns and strings. Tim Ries and Charlie Pillow are the leading reed men involved, with Ries specializing in soprano sax and flute.

Six of the eight tracks are originals by Calderazzo, and the opening track is Miles Davis’ “Filles De Kilimanjaro.” Vince Mendoza’s lyrical “Scriabin” (GraceNote mis-spells it) uses what I suppose is a Scriabin Prelude as its main theme. (He probably got the idea from Bill Evan’s Scriabin arrangement.) The tracks “Echoes” and the title track seem to have the most additional players participating. “Echoes” is also the longest track on the album at 7½ minutes. Calderazzo’s “ATM” winds up the album with some furious uptempo playing by all involved. Some listeners may wish Calderazzo had more opportunities for improvisation, but in general the session is quite enjoyable, and in superb sonics.

TrackList:

Filles de Kilimanjaro, No One Knows I’m Here, Aurora, Sciabin, Echoes, Secrets, Last Visit Home, ATM.

—John Henry




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