2005 Demmy Awards

The Consumer Electronics Association announced last week its finalists for the 2005 "Demmy Awards," a collection of audio demonstration music that the group puts together for retailers and manufacturers. The panel of judges for the awards include Stereophile's own John Atkinson.

The CEA sorts the choices into five categories: Best CD Track, Best High-Resolution Two-Channel Track, Best High-Resolution Multi-Channel Track, Best Segment of a DVD as a Movie, and Best Segment of a DVD as a Music Video or Concert.

Old standbys from Pink Floyd (DSOTM) and the ubiquitous Diana Krall are included, as well as some interesting picks from The Grateful Dead and John Coltrane. Other surprises: There's no classical music on the multichannel list, and Patricia Barber doesn't appear anywhere.

According to the CEA, its choices "highlight recordings that reflect the highest quality of sound engineering, incorporate natural tonal balance and great clarity of detail and have a realistic, three-dimensional soundstage. These recordings are musically convincing and emotionally engaging and, thereby, provide consumers with an exceptional sonic experience in the retail demonstration environment."

Sounds like the audiophile manifesto. The winners will be announced at CEA's PARA Management Conference, May 14, in California. Here are the finalists:

Best CD Track

  • "Jersey Girl"—Holly Cole, Temptation (Blue Note Records)
  • "Seven Bridges Road"—The Eagles, Hell Freezes Over (Digital Sound)
  • "Narrow Daylight"—Diana Krall, The Girl in the Other Room (Verve)
  • "Stimela (The Coal Train)"—Hugh Masekela, Hope (Triloka)
  • "Come Fly with Me"—Frank Sinatra, Sinatra at the Sands (Warner Brothers)

Best High Resolution Two-Channel Track

  • "Serenade for Winds, 3rd Movement"—The Academy of St. Martin-in- the-Fields, Amadeus—Original Soundtrack (Fantasy Records)
  • "A Love Supreme"—John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (Impulse!)
  • "Piano Trio in G Minor: Scherzo; Intermezzo: Moderato con allegro"— The Florestan Trio, French Piano Trios (Hyperion)
  • "Narrow Daylight"—Diana Krall, The Girl in the Other Room (Verve)
  • "Good Morning Little School Girl"—Muddy Waters, Folk Singer (Chess)

Best High Resolution Multi-Channel Track

  • "Breathe"—Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon (Capitol)
  • "Hunting Wabbits"—Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, XXL (Silverline Records)
  • "Ripple"—Grateful Dead, American Beauty (Rhino Records)
  • "Mosaic"—Laurence Juber, Guitar Noir (AIX)
  • "Temptation" —Diana Krall, The Girl in the Other Room (Verve)

Best Segment of a DVD as a Movie

  • "Chapter 15: Viva Santa Ana" from The Alamo
  • "Chapter 17: Remember the Alamo" from The Alamo
  • "Chapter 8: Sandstorm" from Hidalgo
  • "Chapter 8: Freedom" from King Arthur
  • "Chapter 14: The Gunfight Begins" from Open Range

Best Segment of a DVD as a Music Video or Concert

  • "Sing Along"—Blue Man Group, The Complex Rock Tour Live (Lava)
  • "High and Dry/Singing in the Rain"—Jamie Cullum, Live at Blenheim Palace (Verve)
  • "Dark Star"—Grateful Dead, The Closing of Winterland, December 31, 1978 (Monterey Video)
  • "Narrow Daylight"—Diana Krall, Diana Krall, Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival (Universal Music Video)
  • "Lido"—Boz Scaggs, Boz Scaggs —Greatest Hits Live (Coming Home Studios)