I just reviewed this a week ago in our Jazz Section, so please read that first.
OK, now what have we got with five channels and hi-res that we didn’t have with two and 44.1K? As mentioned in the Audio News recently, this was the first album Telarc recorded on their new 32-track DSD Workstation setup. It’s a gas! Pizzarelli is front and center with his guitar and easy-to-take voice, and the Clayton-Hamilton Band is widely arrayed behind him and around in a sort of horseshoe pattern. The spatial locations of the various soloists in the band are clear and realistic, and the whole thing just swings like mad! Since Nelson Riddle was good but not exactly of the Basie/Ellington level, hearing Pizzarelli with the Clayton-Hamilton aggregation reminded me of Sinatra’s album with the Count Basie Band – only light years better sonics! Just do an A/B comparison of either of the two-channel options on this disc vs. the surround option. There’ll be no more grousing about surround sound just being a gimmick after that!
– John Henry