Christian Willisohn – Hold On – vocals & piano – Stockfisch

by | May 2, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

Christian Willisohn – Hold On – Christian Willisohn: vocals & piano – Multichannel SACD – Stockfisch SFR 357.4038.2, 47:43  Sound Quality:  SACD 5.1  ***1/2,  SACD 2.0  ***1/2,  CD  ***,  Music:  ***:

Additional studio musicians (on CD tracks only):
Thilo Kreitmeier: saxophone
Titus Vollmer: guitar
Christian Struck: cor anglais
Matthias Engelhardt: electric bass
Hans-Jörg Maucksch: fretless bass
Richard Hollander: drums

Christian Willisohn is a German blues singer and pianist from Munich. The recording was made in a Scottish concert hall with audiophile equipment. Classe amps and B & W 801 Nautilus speakers were used. In the recording they used a SADiE DSD8 system for the recording, processing and mastering of this Direct-Cut SuperAudio CD – a brand new system from the tradition-steeped British manufacturer of mastering equipment that allows simultaneous recording of 8 channels in Direct Stream Digital. The analog signal from the microphone is converted at the input to DSD and is also maintained in DSD format throughout the processing stages. The end result is then obtained in the SADiE DSD8 – the “cutting master” (AIT tape) – which is later transferred directly to an SACD glass master in the pressing plant. On both the SACD layers there is just Christian playing the piano and singing. One really unusual thing about this disc is that only the CD layer has extra instruments mixed into the recording for a fuller ensemble sound.

Christian Willisohn and either Alexandra Mayer or Claas Vogt wrote all the songs except for two. He also does a cover of Van Morrison’s  “Have I Told You Lately.” “Caruso” is a song sung in German, credited to Lucio Dalla. The songs are all of a very bluesy nature and of high musical quality. The sound of the piano makes it one of the better piano recordings I have heard. Willisohn’s playing is very good and his voice is well-captured – reminding me of Bill Withers. His singing conveys a good sense of feeling for this music. The addition of other instruments on the CD layer gives a fresh and worthwhile look at the music. This is an album I will come back and repeatedly listen to, which I can say for only a very few. A strong album!

Tracks: 1 Hold On, I’m Waiting For You,   2 Little Angel,   3 No More Tears In Vain,  4 Heartbroken Man,   5 Caruso,   6 Black Day,   7 Blues In My Bottle,  8 Have I Told You Lately,   9 Little Fish,   10 The Man In Your Life,    11 Blues On The World

[I feel that I need to clarify my rating system: I think four and five stars are given out far too much. Only recordings that have a near perfect sound should get a 5 star rating, maybe 1 in a thousand albums. It would need to sound like listening to a live concert. I consider the average sound of most CDs these days to be 2 stars or less. I consider that the music on the average pop album to be 2 stars or less. To get even four stars for music an album must have really strong music throughout with no filler and at least a couple of memorable songs.]    

— Clay Swartz


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