Anne Bisson at Toronto’s Angie's Audio Corner
There's been a lot of concern expressed about the difficulties experienced by bricks-and-mortar audio retailers, and I guess these concerns are well founded, but some retailers continue to not only survive but thrive.
One such retailer is American Sound of Canada, located in the Toronto suburb of Richmond Hill. Owned and managed by Angie Lisi (known to all her customers as just "Angie"), American Sound was founded in 1970, and has recently opened a second location a few miles up the road, called Angie's Audio Corner, specializing in their higher-end lines. Angie's very capable assistants, Leyland and Arnold, now look after the Richmond Hill store, and Angie's Audio Corner is Angie's baby. Converted from an old residential property, Angie's Audio Corner has a more sophisticated upscale boutique vibe than the Richmond Hill store, but, with Angie in charge, the atmosphere is still welcoming rather than stuffy.
Angie's Audio Corner had an event on February 28 to introduce some of their new lines, including Joseph Audio speakers, the latest Meridian Sooloos music server, Brinkmann turntables, and Zesto Audio line stage and phono stage. Jeff Joseph was on hand, giving a talk on his approach to speaker design, and there were representatives present for the other lines. Best of all, there was live music: jazz pianist/vocalist Anne Bisson, who has performed at various audio shows. In the heading photo, Angie is holding on to the equipment rack housing the Brinkmann turntable, providing it with additional support.
Jeff Joseph (left) reveals what makes the top-of-the-line Pearl 3 special.
Meridian's John Bartkowiak. demonstrates how to select songs on the Sooloos.
Vienna Acoustics' The Music loudspeaker was on display.
Zesto Audio Leto Preamp and Andros1 Photo stage were designed by George Counnas, whose career has included stints as musician, record producer, and audio engineer.
I've encountered Anne Bisson at the Montreal Salon Son & Image show and at T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas, but this was the first time I had a chance to listen to her playing/singing for any length of time. I have a theory that playing the piano and singing are, to a large extent, incompatible activities: you can do one of them well and be passable in the other, but very few people are equally good at playing the piano and singing. Anne Bisson belongs to this select group: she's a pianist who plays with great panache, and she sounds like a real singer, not a just a pianist-who-can-carry-a-tune.
Anne Bisson's performance at Angie's Corner was much appreciated by an audience that included fellow audio scribes Andrew Marshall (http://www.audio-ideas.com/), front left, and Suave Kajko (http://canadahifi.com/, http://taveshow.com/), front right.