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Robert Baird Posted: May 22, 2015 1 comments
A fan of music and those who make it, he was one of the last labels heads to actually listen to music and care about musicians.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 21, 2015 15 comments
An entire page of the High End magazin was devoted to an introduction to Meridian's MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology. Bob Stuart, who with Peter Craven, invented MQA, spent a generous amount of time with me discussing both the latest developments with the process, and some of the scientific research behind it. Already, Arcam, Onkyo, Roon, and Tidal have signed on as MQA supporters, and over 100 potential business partners have been identified...
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 21, 2015 6 comments
An hour after High End 2015 opened in Munich on Friday May 15, the stairways to the second floor were packed. Multiply this mob scene by 7, and you have an idea of how many consumers and dealers were eager to fill the corridors, halls, and rooms at the show.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 21, 2015 5 comments
One of the major entertainment attractions at High End 2015 was US jazz vocalist (jazz-sängerin) Lyn Stanley. Performing twice daily in the room of her sponsors, Purist Audio Design, Stanley sang live into a microphone to recorded accompaniment, and then invited people to compare the amplified results to the playback of the same track on her LP (using Purist cabling, of course).
Michael Fremer Posted: May 21, 2015 3 comments
Clearaudio began making moving-coil cartridges in the 1970s, and only later got into the moving-magnet business. Moving-magnet cartridge designers must now be mindful that most of today's tonearms are of medium to high mass and that therefore, to be compatible, their MMs must be of low to medium compliance and of higher mass than those of the 1960s and '70s.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: May 21, 2015 0 comments
Ready, set go. It may not look crowded at 9am on the first morning of High End 2015 in Munich, but we who were dashing in an hour early for the Devialet press conference soon found Atrium 4.1 (shown) filled with people. Attendees included, in addition to consumers, dealers from multiple continents, some of whom are now skipping January's CES in Las Vegas because they find the trip to Munich more productive and far more enjoyable. Also present were manufacturers and reps who prefer to make the rounds rather than display. All in all, it's fair to say that, for many in the industry, High 2015 is as much a trade show as it is a consumer showcase.
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John Marks Posted: May 21, 2015 5 comments
The day before I began writing this, John Atkinson posted on Stereophile's website a chart from Nielsen Soundscan showing the ski-jump–like path CD sales have been on since 2004. In 2004, total sales were 651 million units; in 2014, 141 million units. All that is lacking from that impactful visual to make the ski-jump analogy perfect is the little uptick at the end to launch the skier into free air. Those numbers look to me like a total decline in sales of 78%. Ouch.
Robert Baird Posted: May 21, 2015 0 comments
José James: Yesterday I Had the Blues, The Music of Billie Holiday
Blue Note B002283102 (CD). 2015. Yoshihisa Saito, exec. prod.; Don Was, prod.; Chris Allen, eng., mix. DDD? TT: 49:33
Performance ****
Sonics *****

Unlike the conundrum of today's country music, whose lyrics celebrate family and tradition even as the country-music community ignores and disrespects the giants of the music's past, jazz and rock have for the most part remembered and celebrated their musical pioneers and game changers, and the singular, monumental virtuosity of artists like Billie Holiday.

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Robert Baird Posted: May 15, 2015 6 comments
His long, single note leads gave new meaning to the word “stinging,”
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Fred Kaplan Posted: May 15, 2015 0 comments
Trumpeter Dave Douglas has two very different new albums out: Sound Prints: Live at Monterey Jazz Festival (Blue Note), featuring a Wayne Shorter tribute-band co-led by tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano; and High Risk, a collaborative excursion into electronica.

Sound Prints is also the name of the tribute band (a riff on Shorter's classic Footprints album), and, judging from the two times I've seen them play at the Village Vanguard, they're among the most vibrant, dizzying jazz bands around...


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