David Benoit – This Side Up [TrackList follows] – Dead Line/ TopMusic International gold CD TM-GCD9802 ****:
(Alto Saxophone – Brandon Fields (tracks: 3, 5); Bass – Bob Feldman (tracks: 1, 6, 7, 8); Nathan East (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5); Concertmaster – William Henderson (2) (tracks: 1, 6, 8); Conductor – Kenneth Bonebrake (tracks: 1, 6); Drums – John Robinson (2) (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5); Tony Morales (2) (tracks: 1, 6, 7, 8); Guitar – Grant Geissman (tracks: 1, 6, 7); Paul Jackson Jr. (tracks: 2, 3, 4, 5); Keyboards – Michael Lang* (tracks: 6); Randy Kerber (tracks: 2 to 7); Orchestra – L.A. Modern String Orchestra (tracks: 1, 6, 8); Percussion – Bobbye Hall (tracks: 2, 3 to 5); Del Blake (tracks: 1, 6); Michael Fisher (tracks: 7); Piano, Keyboards – David Benoit;Producer – Jeffrey Weber; Soprano Sax – Ernie Watts (tracks: 6); Vocals – Dianne Reeves (track: 3))
Keyboardist Benoit selected and arranged these eight tracks for a mostly instrumental album that avoids some of the usual smooth jazz and pop areas by having some nice jazz-flavored arrangements, some especially nice sax solos, and a variety of top players participating, with plenty of variety of instrumentation. This album originally recorded in Hollywood in 1985 and came out in 1990 and has been reissued a number of times already. It seems to be a customer favorite. David Benoit has made over 25 solo recordings and has been GRAMMY nominated.
This is probably the utmost fidelity the album has had so far, although it’s still really a standard CD and thus resides here in our Pop Section rather than the Hi-Res (altho a few other premium efforts have made it to the Hi-Res Section). The stereo original tapes were mastered to digital using 192K/32bit processing (although of course the CD is the standard 44.1K/16bit), using high precision mastering, onto this 24 karat gold CD. The Almarro M1A mastering monitor was used, with the Isoclean power conditioning system, Black Rhodium cables, and the Octave Jubilee preamp. The gold CD was manufactured in the U.S. by Optical. I must say the fidelity is better than most of the gold CDs I’ve auditioned in the past, but not quite to the level of the Hi-Q xrcd24s. I’m mystified that one of the online track listings for this album shows a ninth track, not present on this CD.
TrackList:1. Beach Trails 2. Stingray 3. Land of the Loving 4. Linus and Lucy 5. Sunset Island 6. Hymn for Aquino 7. Santa Barbara 8. Waltz for Debbie