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kitjv
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Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

Since I will be assembling a serious audio system in the near future, it's time to abandon the iTunes downloads & start to rebuild my CD library.

Question: What would be a consistently good source for high-quality jazz CDs? Thank you!

jazzfan
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

A good source for jazz CDs?

That's an easy question to answer but it can also be somewhat difficult to provide the best answer.

So...

Easy answer - Amazon.com

Correct answers (there are several)

Do you want to shop in an actual brick and mortar store? If so, than you're pretty much out of luck unless you live in or near a large city.

If you don't mind shopping online besides Amazon there is also the Jazzloft and Cadence, both of which offer a much larger jazz selection than Amazon.

kitjv
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

I'm perfectly fine with buying online. What I was curious about was whether there is a consistent audio quality in CDs or are some labels better. Thanks.

Elk
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

I am in no sense as knowledgeable as Jazz fan, but I find ECM's CD's to have both good content and to sound good.

I go for good music first, sound quality takes second chair. If it is lousy music I don't care how good it sounds.

RGibran
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

I'll second Elk's excellent suggestion for ECM.

What is it they do Elk to obtain their signature sound?

RG

Elk
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

Good question.

My impression is careful attention to getting a clean, expressive sound. A good deal of their catalog sounds relatively close mic'd to me (within a couple of feet) but off-axis so that the sound develops a bit while still retaining immediacy without stridency.

They are not afraid of reverb as effect - sometimes more than I would prefer, but good quality stuff. Each recording sounds different so if there is a formula it is a complex one.

I'd love to sit in on a day of recording with these guys. I would learn lots.

Maybe Ethan will chime in. He has good ears and tons of recording experience.

AndyT
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

Rather than recommending a particular label with better sound, I suggest you seek out recordings that Joe Harley is involved with as producer, mixer, etc.. He seems to be associated more with certain artists than a label. Bennie Wallace and Anthony Wilson are 2 such artists that I can think of.

I do think that recordings from Venus sound better than average. www.venusrecord.com. I usually get my copies from Cadence. www.cadencebuilding.com

Don't forget that its about the music. Some of the most enjoyable jazz discs I have are mediocre recordings. And a great recording of mediocre music is only good for showing your system off to the unenlightened.

Andy

BlackstoneJD
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

I usually research albums and artists on Allmusic.com and then buy from Amazon.

linden518
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

Hard to believe no one's mentioned JazzTimes mag, which I find to be pretty good for CD recommendations. Also, every Tuesday nytimes.com will have New CD Release coverage. They're not in-depth reviews and out of 5 discs covered, only 1 will be jazz or at most 2. But the two critics - Ben Ratliff and Nate Chinen - are as good as they get these days, and they'll often boldly recommend interesting discs that might not receive mainstream attention. Ratliff's recent bio of Coltrane, by the way, is EXCELLENT.

wkhanna
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Re: Best Source For Jazz CDs ?

I have found Mapleshade Records to be a good source for V good quality jazz CD's. Some describe their sound as forward, but having spent more time than a person should in small jazz clubs, I think their live discs are V accurate to the authentic sound of the venue, some of wich I have been to. They record exclusively to two track analog to tape, and there is no post processing or mixing on anything.

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