29 May, 2010

CD Recommendations (2)

CD Recommendations (2)

What I use for testing gears change all the time. For the Magnepan evaluation here are a few CDs that I have used (besides LPs). They turn out to be all by Black artists. :-)

Ah, Jimi Hendrix!
I am quite a Jimi Hendrix fan. It has always been said his albums don't sound too good, but I think that's not true of current re-masterings (early rock CDs can be pretty awful). I highly recommend Axis: Bold As Love. The first 2 tracks are breathtakingly exciting on the Maggie. As a matter of fact, some of you may remember limage used to play a crazy swirling electronic track (from his son) on his system. The first tracks here should have the same effect. Sound is excellent. In case you think you have all of Hendrix' albums, think again...the latest is Valleys of Neptune, a controversial new release of previously unreleased (some say half-baked) material. I think it's not as exciting as the classic Hendrix albums, but it is a worthwhile one, in good sonics, remastered by Eddie Kramer, who recorded most of Hendrix' studio efforts.

In case you don't know, years ago Stereophile did a feature on Kramer. In his home he uses Klipschorn, driven by humble vintage Japanese electronics (either Yamaha or Luxman)!

Hugh Masekela
This jazz musician is adventurous with his African roots. Track 12 of his album Hope, Stimella: The Coal Train, is familiar to most audiophiles. The plain CD (originally Triloka label) has long been out of print. Everyone knows about the expensive Analogue Production LP and SACD/CD re-issues, but now you have the additional option of buying again the cheaper plain CD, this time on the Sheridan Square label. Note that it is highly misleading that many internet vendors still use the old template which says Triloka label. I believe that's wrong. The new plain CDs you can buy are Sheridan Square label. Correct me if I am wrong. As for the music, this live performance is eminently listenable, and not just for the last track either!

Rokia Traore
Ever since I heard Rokia Troare (official website)during a visit to JC, I have become a fan. All of her CDs are sonically and musically excellent, but some may be hard to get. The newest one, Tchamanche, , should be relatively easy to get. If you're willing to shop online, grab while you can the equally wonderful Bownboi, which has been out of print but recently available again.

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