DAVID WILCZEWSKI, reeds – Room in the Clouds (with two guitarists, bass, drums, and vibes/percussion) – Opus 3

by | Apr 14, 2006 | SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews | 0 comments

DAVID WILCZEWSKI, reeds – Room in the Clouds (with two guitarists, bass, drums, and vibes/percussion) – Opus 3 Multichannel SACD CD 22051 ****:

Dave played in a big band in Boston as a high schooler and later attended the New England Conservatory there. He recently toured with Brian Wilson and played his saxes, clarinet and alto flute on the DVD called Smile.  Wilczewski even wrote the closer of his dozen original tunes about his experience, called For a Smile. The notes don’t make it clear whether he resides in Scandinavia now or the U.S.  The fact is he’s a not only a superb instrumentalist but also a fine composer with a hip modern sound that is at times rather challenging but never grating or squawking.

Wilczewski plays both clarinet and soprano sax on the first track, and on the tune Elvin Jones he’s heard on alto flute with vibes and percussion. On Fun for Kofi he uses electronic modification of his tenor sax sound. Wayne’s World is not about that layabout’s TV show but about the special sound of Wayne Shorter’s music. On it Dave demonstrates a breathy, almost Ben Websterish sound.

Not as purist as most Opus 3 recordings, this one uses a variety of mikes, including some vacuum tube stereo mikes, and the recording  was made direct to 4-channel DSD.  Editing was done on the Sony Sonoma systems and Meitner digital conversion gear was used. In the transfer to the final SACD all frequencies below 60Hz were sent to the LFE channel, so this is a 4.1 recording – without the center channel being used. It’s altogether a most enjoyable recording with plenty of variety in the tunes.  It’s also a pleasure to have another multichannel hi-res jazz SACD since there haven’t been many lately – Concord and Fantasy seem to be holding off from the format.

Tunes: Mio, Wayne’s World, April Fools, Room in the Clouds, Elvin Jones, Fun for Kofi, Lament to B.G., Gofry in Gdansk, Blues for Shep, Way Back When, Speedy, For a Smile.

– John Henry

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